ragtags studio central: sarah's random this & that

random means "having no definite aim or purpose," (1655), taken from "at random" (1565), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"). In 1980s college student slang, it somehow, and sadly, acquired a distinct sense of "inferior, undesirable." (Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper) Well, okay, fine, Mr. Online Etymology Dictionary person, but THIS is the 21st Century. It's a whole new ball of wax.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

View from the Garret, Tuesday Feb. 19th

Courage and Kindness, Compassion and Grace

I used to think, when I was younger and had four small children and a (in my opinion) refractory husband, that my lesson for this lifetime was about Relinquishing Control! Just when I would think the situation was in hand, a shoe would drop. Every time it appeared as if things were on an even keel, and we had all gotten ourselves sorted out, the unexpected would rear up, often seemingly from nowhere. So when jumping to conclusions, as we are all wont to when desperately seeking an explanation, that was the obvious one. I simply needed to give up on the concept that I could "take care of things". I also thought, in flower child fashion, that Love Conquers All. If it didn't appear to, well, then it wasn't true enough, or even just, enough.

Lately, though circumstances aren't substantially different (I'm older and have four grown children and a (still often, in my opinion) refractory husband, and add to that grandchildren underfoot daily, book deadlines, art deadlines, and having somewhat less energy than I did in my 20's and 30's, and, just when I think the situation is in hand, a shoe drops. Every time it appears as if things are on an even keel, and we have all gotten ourselves sorted out, the unexpected still rears up, often seemingly from nowhere.) I look at those things differently.

I realize that control had to give way to courage - being brave in the face of the unexpected and the unknown. The world is a frightening and difficult place, at least as frequently as not; of course in some places, it's rotten all the time. Life is heartbreaking; there's no way around it. We are - or were - children who are hungry, kicked around, or maybe at best ignored, as frequently as we're cherished and protected. We idolize our parents even when they betray us. We fall in love with people who don't, can't or won't return our love. We see childhood hopes and dreams smashed, or simply left behind in a shoebox of treasures on a beam in a cellar thousands of miles and years away. And that's those of us who are lucky - those of us who don't live in devastated war torn communities, besieged, always hungry, and growing up with little hope things will be better for our own children, if we grow up at all. And that's why I look for courage in myself and those around me. The means to be brave in the face of the unexpected and the unknown, to show courage and carry on.

I no longer place much importance on an exalted love for everyone and everything. It isn't likely or even practical that each of us will be able to truly love everyone else. There are simply too many human failings of the heart to allow it. I do believe kindness and compassion are always possible, even when love isn't, and that they spring from courage and are not quite, though almost, the same thing. Kindness refers to the little things, small everyday gestures - being good, and a help to those near to us, in our varied circles, even extending that to those we may not know personally, but to whom we reach out when they need a hand to steady, or a word to comfort. Compassion is larger than kindness. One can be kind, lacking understanding. Compassion is a way of understanding, of putting oneself in the position of another, of walking the mile in their shoes. Compassion evokes generosity of spirit and encourages universality while recognizing individuality. It allows true forgiveness of terrible human failings and outrages that would seem unforgivable almost as easily as smaller transgressions of a moral code.

We are all born to have our hearts broken any way you look at it. Feeling myself blessed rather than harried, and always able to laugh at myself and my own small troubles, and make those around me laugh too, that's a great and good reward for trying to approach the world with courage, kindness, and compassion. And that's what I call grace.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Mimetic Architecture

Programmatic, by any other name, would look as cool.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Can you hear me now?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Made MY day!

I received a swell surprise when I showed up for my daily morning 'chat' at Marie Otero's blog. Even though I'm actually just reading the latest goings on of the authors at the keyboards behind the pages, it's almost like a quick daily visit (hence, chat) since I find myself responding, laughing and definitely feeling a bit of the back and forth rapport one experiences when truly in the same room having a lively chat!
Anyway, I am terrifically honored to be one of Marie's recipients of the "You Make My Day" award! (She also listed some well-loved blogs I def. would have included in my list if she hadn't claimed them first, including ---
Robin-Marie Smith
Emmy Tofa
Catherine Moore
Denise Lombardozzi)

The rules? Name 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blog land. Let them know through email or by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. My picks are here, in no particular order:

Jennifer Gordon
Angela Cartwright
Lou Robinson
LK Ludwig
Suzi Blu
Pilar Pollock
Erika Tysse
Lia Kent
Charlotte Lyons
Leighanna Light
and of course, that very cool bi-continental artist herself, Ms. Marie!

News from the Garret

I really have been working - on something artful, something fabulous,
something you will love! And in a few months, I should
actually be able to post some real news about it!

People all over the world

The author of the following review (which was posted at reservebooks.com) is originally from Rwanda, now living in Norway. . .

In this House, Written jointly By Angela Cartwright & Sarah Fishburn

Inside This House Cover

This fascinating book, based on a deep artistic inspirational on different issues, but focusing mainly on altered art imagery and collage techniques. It gives good feeling and a priceless pride of having an own home, because “ a house is a nest for dreaming, a shelter for imagining”-Gaston Bachelard- and home sweet home indeed.

In our daily life, as human beings, no doubts that we like best things. But there is nothing best like to stay in whatever we do all day long then spend the rest of our day in resting and relaxing time like evenings, romantic mornings, togetherness with relatives and friends, playing with pets, praying etc…

The book “In this house” reveals the importance of having house and nostalgia of our lovely rooms as our refuge cages, and the walls of our house’s rooms as our inspiring table or lamenting walls where we posting all our ideas when we feel like doing so.

A room in house is like half-heaven normally. But a decorated room with some nice words to remember like “approach the dewy world as the messenger,…Still your desires and be little fragment of what the universe is wanting to utter”, is like a room on sky, far from earthquakes and far from any destructive agents.

Some postings with worlds of wisdom like “let our curiosity keep up our spirit. Life is an unending adventure. No artist has any other aim than show his soul by his work, etc”,remain in our mind during our stay or the rest of our journey on this planet.

As we live in large and broader range of diversity, we have different perceptions about our homes, but we all like a well –artistically- corrected room to inspire our dreams in the night, all “In this house” then!


Reviewed by Dr.Claude Shema-Rutagengwawww.peacepoet.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? (Shelley) (redux)

When I find myself suffering from a raging case of Spring Fever,
I look for solace in the little things. Catherine Moore has many
delightful little things on her Character Constructions site.

who what when where how

Last night I got a series of questions from Emmy. I did NOT read directions. They were each supposed to be answered with only ONE word! How is that even possible? I have no idea.
But I stole this list of questions from Jenn, and answered them, since there seemed to be no word strictures.

1. Are you taller than your best friend?
Def. NO. (No matter who she or he is!!)

2. Do you have a favorite type of pen?
One I accidentally brought home from Angela's and never sent back. It's red and says Alvarado Paint & Hardware, LA. It doesn't say what kind it is, but it writes better than any pen I have ever seen!

3. Look at your planner for March 8th, what are you doing?
Working on the new book.

4. What color are your toenails usually?
In winter, their own color, in summer something bright (my neighbor J___ would say "garish").

5. What was the last thing you highlighted?
An image on a piece of art I was working on.

6. What color are the curtains in your bedroom?
Pink & orange.

7. What color are the seats in your vehicle?
My bike seat is black.

8. Have you ever had a black and white cat?
No, but a black and white one at the same time, sort of; the white one was my room mate's. He called her Ice Cream. Mine was black and HIS name was Lord Krishna Tittielick (for obvious reasons).

9. What is the last thing you put a stamp on?
A birthday card to one of my kids and his girlfriend.

10. Do you know anyone who lives in Wyoming?
Yes, several. Hey, Deb!

11. Why did you withdraw cash from the ATM the last time?
Can't, have no atm card, had to cancel it because a lame ass company called Passport to Fun (yeah, whatever!) put fraudulent charges on it. So, if I don't get some more $$ in my paypal account soon, I'm f***ed.

13. Can you spell well?
Yes. W-e-l-l.

14. Do you like Cinnamon toothpaste?

15. What kind of car were you driving 2 years ago?
None, never have hope I never will.

16. Pick one: Miami Hurricanes or Florida Gators:
Hurricanes suck, Katrina was a byatch, but Miami does have some cute architecture, and I hear the vintage clothes scene rocks. . .

17. Last time you went to Six Flags?
Um, never?

18. Do you have any wallpaper in your house?

19. Closest thing to you that is yellow?
Appliqued flowers on my top.

20. Last person you gave a business card?
Someone I sent an etsy purchase to.

21. Who is the last person you wrote a check to?
Sylvia Luna

22. Closest framed picture to you?
An antique print from a book on East Indian art, this one depicting love themes, that my SIL gave to me.

23. Last time you had someone cook for you?
Sunday night at the Rio.

25. How many emails do you get in your inbox daily (excluding spam)?
Average between 100-200 a day, sometimes a little more or less.

26. Last time you received flowers?

28. Do you play air guitar?
I have. But prefer singing on Rock Band.

29. Has anyone ever proposed to you?

30. Do you take anything in your coffee?

31. Do you own any Willow Tree figurines?
Yes. They were my mum's. She's dead, so now I have them.

32. What is/was your high school’s mascot?
Eagle (Eldorado, Albuquerque).

33. Last person you spoke to from high school?
Via email, a (re) union organizer.

34. Last time you used hand sanitizer?
I was trying to remember if I did on our road trip last summer - but don't think so.

35. Would you like to learn to play the drums?

36. What color are the blinds in your living room?
No blinds; the curtains are fuschia & orange.

38. Last thing you read in the newspaper?
An article about the play with the ink drawing sets that you can see in my previous blog entry.

39. What was the last pageant you attended?
Hm. Well. Never have been to a pageant.

40. What is the last place you bought pizza from?
Nick 'n' Willy's.

41. Have you ever worn a crown?
Only of thorns. (BAD BAD joke, Mea Culpa, (as much as a non-Catholic can say Mea Culpa!))

42. What is the last thing you stapled?
Transparency pockets onto altered steno books for a cd swap.

43. Did you ever drink clear Pepsi?
What? Is that another name for vodka?

44. Are you ticklish?

45. Last time you saw fireworks?
I assume this is NOT referring to the kind from fabulous sex? well, then, last 4th of July.

46. Last time you had a Krispy Kreme doughnut?
Never, but would like to try one someday.

47. Last person that im’d you, and you actually responded?
I don’t IM.

49. Do you have a black dog?
Josie's a border collie, so she is only part black.

51. Are you an aunt or uncle?

52. Who has the prettiest eyes that you know of?
Me, but all those peeps in the Margaret Keane paintings run a close second.

53. Last time you saw a semi truck?

54. What is the last song you belted out in the car?
I was singing "Robin Hood and Little John walking through the forest" this morning with Sebastian, but we were in the living room.

55. Do you have a little black dress?
I really really really need one. Yes, need.

The Play's the Thing

These sets for “The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island (Or, the Friends of Dr. Rushower),” a new musical by Ben Katchor playing at the Vineyard Theatre in NYC are rockin' the "ink drawings w/watercolor" world. Click on the link below, or the title above to see a video of Mr. Katchor talking about the sets: many more are shown - I am particularly enamored of the French Cleaners. . .


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yay for subliminal advertising!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Aahhhhhhhh. . . . .

I am totally smitten - in deep smit, with this Tokyo based artist, Hiromi Sato. Her website is in Japanese, but if you don't speak it, the pictures are still oh so pretty. I would love a book of her illustrations, maybe she will discover Lulu soon!

Wild, in the Streets

Still haven't visited the Etsy shopping bazaar?
Not even sure what it's all about?
Well, here's a mini-vid to introduce you ---
Etsy, meet readers. Readers, meet Etsy!
(And don't forget you can turn down my music first,
just go on over to the sidebar and mouse the volume

Saturday Market

Forgot to mention - she already knows and her package has been mailed off -
Leau won an SF artist apron. Hope you like it, Leau!

She likes us! She really likes us!

Teesha Moore recently reviewed my book
In This House for her Art & Life zine!
Thanks, Teesha!

Monday, February 04, 2008

At Last

My etsy Designs & Ragtags Pushcart is now open --- visit me there,
and when you buy any item, you will be happy to know
it will be shipped to you for FREE.
And speaking of free, Leau, can you email me your mailing address when
you read this? You are an SF apron winner in the February 1st drawing. . .