Friday, February 29, 2008

What I'm Afraid of Friday

I am afraid of the long bridge collapsing while I am driving across and then being stuck in the car.
I used to be afraid that this would happen and I wouldn't be able to unbuckle the car seat.
There are hundreds of weird things that I am afraid of ...driving, germy shopping carts, kidnappers, UFO's, grasshoppers, cougars, bears, getting old, losing my child somewhere, mold, some of my neighbors, hiking (there could be a wild animal or a kidnapper), people judging me for being afraid,
closets (dark scary ones)...and the list goes on and on .
More next What am I afraid fo Friday...
What are you afraid of.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Keith Lee Morris Interview

Keith Lee Morris is the interview for this week. Keith is the author of The Greyhound God and a book of Short stories The Best Seats in The House and there are several short stories published.

I have to say that I would recommend both books and every short story. Even after I read the finished interview. He actually is an accomplished writer.

So, here goes...

Did you always think that you would be a writer? When did you come to realize that writing was something that you would love doing?

Let me go ahead and say first, gentle readers, that Denise already knows the answer to this question, she knows the answers to most of these questions if you want to know the truth, because she’s read just about everything I’ve ever written and known me for over half my life, all the way back to the time when we were kids in Mexico and she got so sunburned that her feet looked like hams, were in fact cooked to the point of being edible, probably, and it’s actually surprising that none of us on that high school field trip did in fact try to eat Denise’s feet, considering the amount of tequila we were consuming and the generally poor quality of the native cuisine. Anyway, what I’m saying is, Denise is a buddy from way back, so if the interviewer and the interviewee at times sound overly familiar with one another, you’ll know why.
(just for the record, my feet did not look like hams, I have no idea where that came from. I did get a sun burn. But at least I didn't get kicked out of the 'disco' for not wearing the right shoes.)

No, Denise, I did not always think I would be a writer—as you well know, my original intention was to be a drunk, and I was successful in pursuit of that goal for many years. It wasn’t until my early 20s that it began occurring to me that I might write something, and it came in response to my first really serious and long-winded bout of reading, where I was taking in everything I could get my hands on and wrap my mind around. Even after deciding I wanted to write, I wasted the better part of the next decade—I wouldn’t say I got serious about writing until I was around 30. Even now I don’t try to stick too closely to a writing schedule, and I’ll go months at a time without writing much of anything. And I’ve never loved doing it—if you’re doing it right, it’s hard work (at least for most writers), and it makes you tired. I like having written, but I don’t like writing. Kind of the same way I feel about running—I feel great after I’ve run 5 miles, but I don’t enjoy myself much along the way.

What inspired you to write your first short story and then your first book?

I think just seeing what other writers had done and wondering how well I could do if I tried. Literary fiction really helped to give shape to my life in my early 20s—when I read a book like As I Lay Dying or The Great Gatsby the world started to make more sense to me—and I wanted to see if I could contribute something to what I’ve always felt is an honorable profession. Like most writers, I couldn’t handle anything longer than a short story to begin with. I spent years trying to write decent stories, and then at some point the stories started becoming longer, the ideas just kept growing when I tried to put them down on the page, and it was at that point that I started thinking novel.

Do you think writing and story telling is something that anyone can learn ?

Do you mean, like, can anyone learn how to write, or do you mean is it a skill that can be learned? If you mean the former, I’d have to say no—for instance I don’t think the guy who answered the phone when I tried to track my wife’s birthday present through UPS the other day could learn to write, because he had no heart and no patience with anything. Some people aren’t constitutionally equipped, the same way I’m not equipped to do electrical work—I would end up getting hurt. Now, if you’re asking the latter, which I think you are, I’d say yes, definitely, and not just because I would have wasted the last decade being a writing teacher if the answer were no. I’ve seen students of mine make great strides from what I would have considered modest abilities initially. Can a writer become a genius simply by working at it really hard? I don’t know—you look at someone like Hemingway and you think maybe yes. But I’d say it would have to be rare. My guess is that when you start talking about the truly great writers, the ones who, when you read them, make you stop and think Oh yeah, that’s what great writing is like, as if you hadn’t seen it in a long time and had forgotten how to recognize it when you encountered it—well, I think those people probably have something inside of them that can’t be taught. They’ve also been taught a lot of things, I’m sure, but there’s some deeper quality at work, something that I don’t think can be absorbed simply by reading or taking a writing class.

Who or what has influenced your writing?

Jeez, could we get a little more vague? Cause I’m feeling like these questions just aren’t giving me any room to maneuver. My parents, William Shakespeare, the entire history of the world, coffee, cigarettes, the song Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells, this Airedale mix dog named Chippy that I had when I was 10 that got run over by a car, and you, Denise—pretty much everything and everybody influences my writing. One way to answer might be to say which authors I can actually see in my own work from time to time—William Faulkner, J. D. Salinger, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Annie Proulx—I’ve recognized all their handprints from time to time. My writer friends—especially Brock Clarke and Steve Almond—have pushed me along. And I’ve always been greatly influenced by my family and all my old friends in Sandpoint, Idaho, whom I think remain at the heart of my work.
( I have no control over the way you maneuver your answers)

Do you have a favorite author and what is it about their work that you like?

Well, Faulkner, I guess—the way he fashioned a whole world’s worth of drama and amusement out of that small place where he was born and raised. You can read Faulkner and understand everything you ever need to know about literature and you will never have left rural Mississippi. I’ve always loved Dostoevsky, too, the level of his ambition and all the craziness he was willing to explore to try to rise to it.

Are your stories and characters based on someone you know or events in your own life.

Yeah, you’d like to know, wouldn’t you. I’m sure you do know in some cases, so go ahead and tell people if you want to.
( I have yet to read about the gorgeous, intelligent brunette)

There seems to be a strong relationship between parent and child in a lot of your stories. Is this something that comes from being a father or from the relationship you have with your parents.

I think I wrote several stories that centered on relationships between parents and children even before I had my own kids, but I think the big shift is that I used to adopt the point-of-view of the child and now I adopt the point-of-view of the parent, generally.

I read a review of your short story Testimony. The reviewer said that it was among the best that she had read. I also read a favorable review of The Greyhound God over at Bookslut. Do you see all of your reviews and how do you feel about book critics.

My books and stories haven’t been very widely reviewed, so yeah, I’ve probably seen most of them. You never know what’s behind a book review—is the reviewer doing someone a favor or is he/she feeling pressured in some way or is this really the way he/she felt? I tend to rely more on the opinions of people who know me—if a book is recommended to me by three or four people who know my tastes, that’s when I’m likely to read it. And as far as my own work goes, I’m lucky enough to have several loyal readers (you’re one of them, of course) who tend to help me discover where I’m at with particular stories or novels. I trust that kind of feedback more than book reviews, because I know more about the motives behind the comments—I also have a better idea of who’s blowing my smoke up my ass and who really likes the book. If my wife likes it, I generally feel like I’ve done a pretty good job—she’s my toughest and most honest critic.

You have a new book What is the name of the book and when can we expect it out on the shelves. How is this book different from your others.?

Thanks for the opportunity to do a plug. You’re really getting good at this interviewing business. It’s a novel, and it’s called—at least so far—The Dart League King. It’s about this bunch of losers who get together to play darts in an ordinary bar in an ordinary small town in north Idaho on an ordinary Thursday night. It’s fabulous, in other words, just exactly like my other books. You should read it (them). It’ll be published by Tin House Books in October.
(Well, I am reading the manuscript right now and it is very good. I can't wait to see what happens.)

Will you be out on a book signing tour with this book, if so, where can we find you.?

I’m guessing Portland and New York, since those are the two cities in which the publisher has offices. Probably South Carolina and Idaho. Maybe Seattle. Boston? San Francisco? Las Vegas? L.A.? I’ll let you know when the time comes.
(The reason I ask is that it is always fun to go out and meet you at some of these readings. Something exciting usually happens)

You don’t have a blog of your own, I notice that there are several writers with blogs or websites. Is there a particular reason that you don’t have one?

Ignorance. Incompetence. Indifference. I wouldn’t know how to start one or what to blog about.

The last question would be…Who do you think is funnier my sister or me?

This is one of those difficult questions that’s been argued throughout the ages, like how was the universe formed. I don’t think I’m qualified to offer an opinion.
[Note to readers: the reason she’s asking this is because, at one time or another in the past, I’ve suggested that one or the other of them is funnier, and, depending on the answer, they get, like, really snooty and egotistical or else really pissy about it, so it’s better not to say anything. So just play along with me here, even though I actually know who’s funnier.]
[Additional note: They also have this weird thing where, when they’re talking to one another, they say, “My mother called me on the phone,” when in fact they have the same mother. My mother, My mother. There’s this weird territorial vibe, that’s all I’m saying, and it’s best to leave them alone. In case you ever meet them, I mean.

Well Keith, that was one of my stranger interveiws and I hope that people will read on of your books or at least a short story.
Hopefully, I will have as much influence on your readership as Oprah. I do have to say even after all your sarcastic remarks that you are still one of my favorite writers...Right up there with Sherman and Truman.

Monday, February 25, 2008


For the last three weeks I have not stopped listening to this Guy

Everyone at work is like 'denise, can you play something new'...
but, you know how you get to like one song or one album and then you have to play it till you can't anymore. Well, that is where I am at.

Also, I forgot to tell you about this site I found Two Peas in a Bucket that has a free photography class. I have been trying to get better at photography and with photshop. Now all I have to do is find a cool photoshop class that makes sense to me.

One more cool photography site I like is Shutter Sisters
I really like that is all women and they have different photo challenges. I have a different photo challenge every time I take a picture, so it is nice to go somewhere and see what others have to say.

And I would like to say a Big Thank you to Bronwyn at Smoke and Ochre for nominating me for the You Make my Day Award. I appreciate that she takes the time to come by. She has a wonderful design blog, so go check it out. And as I said before, you all make my day. Seriously.

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

I Am

I was over at Two Lime Leaves and Kirsten had her version of the poem by George Ella Lyons' Where I am From

There was a group of people who had done their versions, so of course I had to try.

I am from peanut butter and honey sandwiches, life cereal and wonder bread.
I am from the house on ruth street, small, warm and safe. I am from Oak Street, Main street and the Long Bridge.

I am from huckleberries, apple trees and baldy mountain ,lady slippers, green grass and dark waves.

I am from swimming, and boating and picnics at the lake.I am from brown eyes, curly hair and holding your breath underwater for four minutes. I am from the Irish with loud laughs and a taste for beer. I am from Grandma and Grandpa, aunt Julie and Emma Claire. I am from Shannon, Colleen, Teresa and you.

I am from the best cooks and the kindest hearts. The scariest father and the funniest dad. I am From doubt and fear and sometimes shame.

I am From quit crying and This hurts me more than it hurts you. From bedtime stories and wild coyotes. From skinny dipping, sledding down Dearborn street and fishing.

I am from a Catholic grandma and a pentacostal Grandpa, and going to confession and going to faith healers. I am From first communion and from the born again. I am from one with no faith and one with strong faith. I am from learning your own way.

I'm from Idaho, Canada and Ireland. I am from Red Current Jelly and Sour Cream Twists. Thanksgiving at The Kaniksu, telling stories and smoking cigerettes.

From the logging camp with two little girls alone with their father while men would drink Vanilla extract cause the liquor was gone.

From the house by the train depot with the oven door open to heat the kitchen so you could read and stay warm. I am from bum jungle, city beach and the lake.

I am from fried egg sandwiches and the late show on Saturday night. I am from Grandpa, and sleddng on old refridgerator doors behind his truck.

I am from going to the beach after dinner, riding bikes and doing the dishes. From popcorn and deedee bars. From Hippies and sandals and fourth of July parties.

I am from Aunt Julie's old trunk, tea pots and dresses, letters and pictures and jars of buttons. I am from tea and toast and love and sorrow, tragedy and triumph

They weren't Kiddin'

Cahterine at Happy Day Art has awarded to me the You Make My Day Award.

Which was very nice of her...I am not sure how I make her day, but I do enjoy checking out the techniques she uses on PMC. She is amazing...

Anyway, Thank you Cahterine.

I am supposed to nominate ten people who bring me joy and inspiration out here in blog land.

I can't name just ten I think all the blogs I visit bring me joy and inspiration. So I nominate all of you....

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center. -Kurt Vonnegut

Friday, February 15, 2008

Interview with Bronwyn of Smoke and Ochre

This weeks interview is with Bronwyn of Smoke and Ochre

Tell us a little about yourself

I am 38. I have lived in Johannesburg all my life. I am married with two dogs and a cat.

The name of your blog is Smoke and Ochre, where did that come from?

I took the name from one of my favourite poets Ingrid Jonker. Smoke and Ochre is the title of one of her collections of poems. Her poetry is quite sad and poignant, but incredibly beautiful. I also like the way the words smoke and ochre fit together so well.

Have you always been interested in design? Do you work in design?

I don't work in design, I'm a freelance journalist, researcher and producer of radio, television and film content. I'm mainly doing documentary work at the moment. I've always been interested in design and décor and love décor magazines, more as a personal interest than anything else. The internet opened up a whole new window in the design world for me and got me completely hooked.

Everytime I read your blog I want to redecorate my house. How often do you redecorate or reorganize?

Thanks for saying that, it feels good to know that I've inspired you J I don't redecorate as such as often as I'd like to, my house is more like a work in long term and slow progress. My furniture pretty much stays put, but I love creating and inventing new displays in all the different rooms, adding smaller items, and changing the bigger items as I can afford to. I am addicted to thrifting and love vintage things, so I am constantly adding and changing the smaller décor items around. I've been thinking about simplifying….I hate clutter, and I don't want to accumulate too many possessions. I think that having too many material possessions burdens you down somehow. I don't know how I'll ever curb my love for thrifting though!

I have been introduced to many new designers through your blog, how do you find so many designers and home designs.

Mainly by spending far too much time on the internet. You end up jumping from link to link and at the end of the trail you find the treasure. Online magazines, newspapers and other blogs are a great starting point. For example I might see a great photo on Marie Claire Maison online and then I'll google the photographer and find (or not) nice pictures on his site, the photographer may have interesting links on his site or mention a magazine I haven't heard of, and so the trail for beautiful things goes on. Flickr is another great source, I also read magazines. It's amazing how often I google one thing, and find something else lovely but unexpected.

What most inspires you

Things I see on the internet, other people's blogs and art, music, books, books, books, things I see on TV or hear on radio, my husband, my friends, my step-mom (she's very artistic and creative), being with creative people. Ideas inspire me a lot – South Africa inspires me completely, there is so much political and social debate going on all the time, so much wonderful art and culture, colour inspires me, thrift stores, pots of paint, art and stationery supplies, driving through interesting ethnic and cultural neighbourhoods, I love to explore different places.

Do you have a favorite design blog or magazine?

Difficult to say because there are so many good blogs. I love all the blogs on my blogroll. My two favourite mags are the South African Elle Decoration, House and Leisure and Visi. I wish I had more access to international magazines but they are so expensive in South Africa. I was in Australia last year and it was heavenly to buy the Australian décor mags like Real Living and Inside Out.

You say you love all things Scandinavian, how did that love start

Through the internet and discovering the beautiful Swedish design blogs and stores.

I know you also enjoy collage and journaling. How did you get started with these two crafts and how much time to spend on them

I have always loved to make and create things and have been keeping visual and written journals since I was thirteen. I've always had the need to express my thoughts and feelings in journals, to draw and paint and make collages in them. I've also always loved collage and sticking and juxtaposing different and clashing images together. I love grungy, bold, bright messy styles. Once again, I discovered a lot of altered art and new visual journaling styles and ideas through the internet and books. I spend a lot of my spare time on arty/journaling stuff. I have my art table and computer desk next to each other and I can happily spend hours playing between the two while I listen to music or good talk radio. Over the past few months I've discovered the joys of Photoshop which I've been teaching myself, and today I got my first professional request for a graphic design quote. So who knows, hopefully this is something else I can explore as well.

What made you start a blog and how has it evolved

Being a journal keeper most of my life, the minute I discovered what a blog was I was compelled to dive in. My first blog was a political, social, news commentary blog but I eventually got bored with it and stopped blogging. About two years ago I discovered altered art and art blogs and decided to give blogging another bash. It started out purely as a place to put my journal pages and then kind of evolved into a more décor/design blog.

How did you become a guest blogger for Elle Decor and what was that like?

I had made contact with Heather, of Skinny laMinx and Elle Décor via email and she invited me to guest blog. At first it was a bit intimidating, but once I started and got positive feedback I really enjoyed doing it and had fun looking for content.

I have also read your articles in Thought Leader which I thought were great too. I actually enjoyed quite a few articles at Thought Leader.

Bronwyn, Thank you so much for your time. After speaking with you I have bought two books, one on Ingrid Jonker and also the book When a Crocadile eats the Sun. Thank you for giving me a little more insight into South Africa.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Three things

1. six weeks ago I set a goal to go snow shoeing at least 5 times per week for six weeks. Today it has been six weeks.!! Yeah, I did it…If you knew me you would know that is cause for celebration.

2. One year ago I set a goal to work through my depression. I have had a good year with counseling, acupuncture, A Happy Light, At least 30 minutes of daylight per day and some sort of exercise. Another goal attained.

3. Sixteen years ago today my daughter Emily was born. That was pretty amazing and still is!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Megan from The Scent of Water-Interview

Megan at The Scent of Water is this weeks interview.
Tell us a little about yourself

I read a lot, and when I’m not reading, I wish I was. That pretty much sums up the essence of my entire existence. I also have one husband and three children, but I find that if you throw some food and hugs and kisses in their general direction every now and then they pretty much take care of themselves.

You are such a talented seamstress, is sewing your favorite craft? If so, how did you get started and what was the first item that you created.

Talented is not the word I’d use! Chronically hopeless is closer to my own version of how I sew. Fortunately on a blog I can photograph all the nice bits and no-one can see the rest.

I have a love/hate relationship with sewing. I love fabric and the idea of making things out of fabric, but I do get very frustrated that my vision is always exceeding my reach.

If not, what is your favorite craft?

My most favourite craft is a subset of sewing: quilting. I mostly quilt free form these days, which is a fancy way to say I just pick up pieces of fabric and sew them together in a fairly random fashion.

I got started in quilting by looking through quilt books in the library, being thoroughly inspired by their beauty, and then borrowing my mother-in-law’s sewing machine and jumping right in. I have a special love for the combination of beauty and utility and quilts are definitely both of these.

The very first quilt I made was a baby quilt I designed myself. It had 5 huge blocks of Ohio Stars, and 4 plain squares and though I would be unlikely to make something like that now, I loved it. I also gave it away, which has been true of every single quilt I have made since. I have promised myself that the next quilt I make will be for me. So far all I have done is lots of dreaming – it turns out I am a much fussier client than anyone I have ever sewn for before. I’m considering firing myself.

Thrift store shopping seems to be something you enjoy, how often do you visit thrift stores,(is that what they are called in Australia) and do you go to the “thrifting” with an intention or do you go just hoping to find some great treasure.

I spend far too much money being ‘thrifty’! Yes, I love to visit thrift stores and have a particular favourite just a few minutes up the road from where I live that always seems to have many treasures hidden inside. I particularly love old china tea cups and find it very difficult not to buy one at every visit.

Thrift stores are called Op Shops (short for opportunity shop) in Australia, but I never get to visit them because I live in New Zealand! Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view) we share a common idiom, and they’re called Op Shops here too. I do usually say thrift shop on my blog though, because I like the sound of the words better. I’m pretty sure I should have been born French.

Visiting your blog is like visiting a friend for tea, it is peaceful, fun and it touches on things that women seem to be interested in.

How do you feel about your blog and your visitors.

That’s a very kind thing to say; I certainly hope that people visiting my blog feel comfortable. They’re all very welcome. If I could sit down with a cup of tea and slice of cake with every women in the world, from leaders of nations through to the lady who packs my bags at the supermarket, and let them know how much I admire who they are and what they do, I would. I really would.

I enjoy my blog a great deal, and miss it when I am on holiday or too busy to give it much time. I have an incessant worry that it is much too confused and unfocused, which greatly bothers me. I have never managed to sort that out satisfactorily.

I have, of course, the very best visitors in all of blog land. What I don’t understand is why they keep coming back. I’m hugely grateful that they do, otherwise I would have to be all mateless and sad, and that’s rather too pathetic to think about really.

When and why did you start your blog ? How has blogging influenced you at home and with your crafting?

I started The Scent of Water in November, 2006. I had another blog before then but it had gotten to the point I felt I was locking myself into a persona that wasn’t very true to the real me, at least not much of the time; I was also burned out with university study. After my final exams I got all antsy for another blog and The Scent of Water was born.

The reason I started to blog again was because I just loved having an outlet where I could rave on about whatever happened to enter my pretty little head at the time and nobody would look at me funny or ask me to shut up.

Which is also the biggest influence having a blog has had on me: it gives me the freedom to say out loud and often, my god, isn’t life a miracle? Because isn’t it? Takes my breath away, this planet we live on. I understand that it is also full of war and famine and disease, all of which are most definitely not amazing, and I would never downplay the struggle that just getting through a day can sometimes be. Indeed, it’s precisely because of the struggle that I think life is beautiful and worth the fight. We’d just take it all for granted otherwise.

My crafting has mostly been influenced by other people’s blogs. It would have taken me a long time to refine my own sense of style without meeting so many different artists and craftswomen and being exposed to what they have done and are currently doing. I’m enormously grateful for this.

Do you feel obligated to blog on a regular basis? Do you have a specific time that you set aside for your blog?

I don’t feel obligated to blog every day but if I go a few days in a row without a post I start getting that nagging feeling in my head. I’m much better about this than I used to be though – I like to think my blog friends are patient enough that they won’t abandon me if I go through a dry period every now and then.

I am currently rethinking the time during the day that I should blog. It used to be rather ad hoc, in that I’d stumble out of bed in the morning and check my mail and other people’s new posts and start writing a post of my own and then check back to see what, if anything, people had to say about it, and suddenly it would be after lunchtime and I would have a whole days worth of work to fit into the next couple of hours before the children come home from school…

I’m much too busy these days to get away with this (I started graduate studies this month), fun though it was while it lasted. Mandy of once mentioned that she blogs in the evenings, and I have been thinking for a while that I might have to do the same to save my day being swallowed whole. As long as it doesn’t interfere with my television watching. Priorities and all that.

I love the name of your blog, How did you come up with it.

I was looking through the books on my shelf for inspiration and came across it in the Old Testament’s Book of Job. The whole phrase is: “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. It’s roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.” I felt rather useless and dried up myself at the time and this really spoke to me; I loved the poetry, the imagery, and the metaphor of old things being made new.

I do try, when I remember at least, to make my blog a place where people can find some small bit of refreshment and encouragement, myself included. Whether I ever succeed in this aim, I’ll let you all judge.

What are the top three blogs that you visit regularly?

That’s a very difficult question! I have many, many, blogs that I love to visit regularly, though I comment much less than I used to. It gets a bit too much to keep up with it all after a while doesn’t it?

I really must add that I have been very, very, blessed with meeting a whole bunch of amazing women through blogging that I am privileged to call friend (you know who you are!) It’s a pretty awesome community we have. I’m getting all soppy now.

The photos on your blog always make me smile, I really like the mosaics, when did you become interested in photography and how has that interest grown.

I’ve loved photography since I was a little girl. I still have photos I took of my cousin ‘modelling’ for me when I was somewhere around 11 years, she 10. They’re awful. I was awful for a long, long, time. I still have a rather limited range of photographic ability (not to mention primitive equipment!), but I do think I have developed a certain clean and simple aesthetic that I enjoy.

I’d really like to take some classes and get some better equipment in the future so that I can develop my knowledge and ability. Unfortunately I’m just too lazy to do anything much about it. True story.

Do you have anything exciting planned for Valentines day? Any great gift ideas that we can steal???

You know, I’m a real bore when it comes to stuff like that. I’m the kind of person who is invariably in bed come midnight on New Year’s Eve, and I have to absolutely force myself to do the children’s birthday party thing so I am not eternally condemned as the Worst Mother Ever.

But still, I do love a pretty cupcake and I was planning to make jaw droppingly delicious raspberry coconut cakes with a candy heart on top for dessert on Valentine’s Day. Not very exciting, is it?

If you want some great ideas to steal try a visit to Jennifer The Theme Queen at The Felt mouseShe has posted some excellent Valentines ideas and links.

Megan, I love visiting The Scent of Water, it just has such a peaceful and real feeling. Thank you so much for your time and agreeing to be interviewed.

It was my pleasure entirely.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Frozen Roses


It's a moment that I'm after, a fleeting moment, but not a frozen moment.
-Andrew Wyeth
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Friday, February 01, 2008

Stacie Florer of Nomadic Creations Interview

Stacie Florer is this weeks Interview.

Stacie is a jewelry designer and a women on a personal journey. I love Stacie's designs and I also love the fact that she is so open about her journey to discover herself.

Stacie you have traveled and lived in many different places. How has that influenced your life and your work?

I remember as a little kid being fascinated with other cultures and other ways of seeing and experiencing the same physical reality that I found myself enjoying. I made a pact with myself to get out and see as much of the world as I could as soon as I was old enough to leave home. It has influenced me lately in the realization that no matter where you go, there you are...and you have to do the inner work if you want the ultimate adventure.

What was your favorite place to live and why...

My favorite place so far has been the Pacific Northwest in terms of physical beauty and wonderful weather. However, a summer in Chicago was wonderful too, just a different vibe. I loved Singapore from the standpoint that the Asian culture is so different from anything Western, and I loved the food opportunities Singapore offered me. Plus, we lived in a deluxe condo on the ocean, with marble floors and a humongous swimming pool. But now that I muse about all the places that I have lived, I think that right now, here in Chattanooga, I am very happy since I have had the luck to meet so many friends, and my family is no farther then 8 hours by car.

What was the most interesting place that you have lived?

The most interesting place would have to be the Pacific Ocean. I lived on two boats for a few years, and even though my berth was about as big as my body, I was always on the water or outside during that time soaking up Alaska and Mexico. I saw whales, porpoises, dolphins, name it, all day every day. So as far as interesting and stimulating, the ocean would have to be my answer.

You worked on a ship in Alaska, how did find that job and what was the most exciting or memorable event during this time.

When I was 22, I had this itch to go to Alaska. I had just returned home to Arkansas from Chicago, and I was very focused on figuring out how to get up there. I had limited resources, but I kept with my intention. One day, about 3 weeks after I started really focusing on finding a way to go, I ran into a friend of mine from high school at the mall. We went to Ruby Tuesday's to get some lunch, and as we were talking this guy came up and started talking to my friend. He had just returned from working on the Seabird up in Alaska, so my fate was sealed. I asked him for the contact info for the Human Resources department, and he gave me Barbara Noonan's name. I corresponded with Barbara for about a month via the telephone and mail, and she told me if I was ever in Seattle in April to come by and apply. So on April 15, 1991, I told my parents that I had a job (I didn't, just the promise of an interview) and I sold what little stuff I had and bought a plane ticket to Seattle. I didn't have any money for a return ticket, so I had to get the job. I walked into Wilderness Cruises office the next day after spending the night with a cousin I had never met, and I interviewed. I got the job, and Barbara sent me to the airport and flew me to Portland where I met the boat.

There were so many memorable episodes during my stint at sea...touching a gray whale, swimming with sea lions, walking with bears, watching the gazillion eagles flying around, seeing waterspouts...but I did spend about 10 days with the Reagan's on the Silverado in the summer of 1992 and that was pretty cool. I was one of a crew of 5 people on a 125 foot boat...with 4 secret service men and a Coast Guard cutter trailing us through Alaska. I ate Grape-nuts with the President every morning and we just shot the shit, basically. I knew that it was a once in a lifetime moment for me... and I took full advantage of the time we had together...I learned a lot about him and Mrs. Reagan, and that time that I spent with them went a long way in showing me what was possible in a marriage. They really, truly loved each other with a warmth and passion that as wonderful to be around. That is the best memory I have of the two of them. A real life love story.

The name of your blog is Nomadic Creations do you still feel nomadic?

I do. When I started the blog, Shayne and I were traveling a lot...but now that we are sort of settled in Chattanooga, my journey has taken a completely different path...I am discovering my different levels of Mind.

You write about many interesting issues on out blog, When did you first start your blog and why.

I had another blog for quite a while before Nomadic Creations was born. I blogged while in Singapore as a means to stay in touch with friends and family while we were was easier then calling on Skype and repeating things over and over again. I then decided to pursue my jewelry and started Nomadic Creations as a way to make myself accountable to my little audience about what I was creating daily.

When did you start to create and design jewelry? Was there a particular incident or moment that made you choose this art form?

I saw some tribal jewelry in a shop on Arab Street in Singapore and fell in love with the tribal style that I saw. I then started to research how to make my own jewelry to reflect that old, tribal look that was a bit more contemporary, and that is how it all began.

I love that you are so open and willing to answer questions that readers have about the different techniques that you use in your jewelry. Have you ever thought of teaching?

I have thought about it, and then I decided to just concentrate on acquiring my own style and ideas instead of recycling everything that I was learning from everyone else. I think it takes time to really come up with your own ideas and I am giving myself lots of room to play. So, for now, I just answer specific questions and concentrate on learning as much as I can.

This year you had your jewelry in galleries and you also participated in a market, was that more pressure than you were used to and how did you manage?

It is a lot of pressure. You have to have the designs down pat, since you don't have a lot of time to play and come up with new things when you are in full market season. I have been in my studio learning and playing a lot right now, trying to come up with some new designs that I can convert to production pieces for the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter of this year. I managed by working 7 days a week for 6 months...but it was great and I learned a lot.

How has having your blog changed you if any?

It has changed me in many enormous ways. I wanted to have a place to meet myself and other people with similar interests, and it has evolved into a forum for me to explore my creative and spiritual pursuits. Writing daily has opened up my world in too many ways to list here...but I have met many friends, explored my interests to the fullest, and discovered how talented so many people really are, and how they manage to juggle so much in their lives! So yes...this way of communicating has changed me and my life for the better. It is way cheaper then therapy!

You are now on a personal Journey and have started a separate blog to write about this. How do you feel about sharing such a personal journey experience?

Actually, I am very comfortable sharing this journey with others. What I am experiencing through some simple exercises that anybody can do has opened up my consciousness in a way that religion has been unable to even touch. So, I am excited to share this process with anybody that is interested...but I can do it on my own time, and I readily understand that it takes a very specific set of circumstances to bring a person to the place where they are ready to go on their own inner journey. I was tired of hearing how already enlightened people are living after their realizations; I wanted to know exactly what the process is on a weekly basis to gaining important realizations about yourself and the reality you think you understand. I understand anybody that reads it is bringing it into their life for their specific reasons, and that if I can be a small part of their discovering how multi-dimensional they are and how sacred they are...then the world knowing aspects of myself that are less then ideal is worth it. I am changing myself anyway, on my own, so the non-productive mind issues that I am struggling to change are on their way it is all good!

Stacie I have enjoyed your blog for quite some time now and have appreciated all the help and encouragement you have provided. I wish great things for you this year as you continue to grow both in your personal life and your jewelry business.

Thank you Denise...I have to say, I love the direction your blog is taking, and that you are on your own journey is really great to watch...have a great year...and thanks for the interview!