Too close to my muse?

Insect empathy is getting the better of me. I just flicked an enormous slug off of my flowers and it hit one of the deck supports. I felt bad. I swear when I went to check on it, it was giving me puppy dog eyes.

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But what are you going to do with it?

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It’s been interesting over the last year, getting in the groove with “doing” art again. I make myself laugh, which is a good thing, and other people laugh as well, which is even better… I’m enjoying experimenting with paints and inks, and recently have gotten a kick  out of actually having to replenish my card supply in the local bookstore.

I don’t know how I feel yet about trying to answer people when they ask “So, what are you going to do with your art?”… I usually self-consciously laugh, and say, well, I am doing something with it… I make it. I share it online. But Anxious Me starts mumbling about my not being a “real” artist, about not having a voice or direction, about not working large enough, or deep enough or… well… all that garbage conversation that a few of us have with ourselves.

I don’t intend to try and make a living off of it, in fact, part of me hates to have any focus on “oh, that would sell!”… but I like the idea of being able to cover my art supplies by producing saleable items. I like making people smile, and maybe they start looking closer at nature around them, having conversations with insects, or wondering what swear words hummingbirds use when defending their feeders.

All that being said, I am looking into selling cards and prints here. I suspect it would mean setting up a PayPal account, and I need to come to peace with the state sales tax paperwork annoyance. My time is precious to me, and I dread having to spend more hours keeping track of expenses, figuring out shipping, and trying to keep an eye on how a new income will affect my budget (oy, health insurance, why must you be so complex for the self-employed) so I’m not fully committed yet… but getting close…

 

Mapping it Out

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“Mapping it Out” is in progress…

I took a mini vacation last weekend and ran away from home. I almost didn’t go because I was feeling so overwhelmed, and the weather was finally sunny, and I felt like I should stay home and garden and take care of house stuff.

I’m so glad I went. Most of it was spent here, both Saturday and Sunday, where I talked with as many people as I possibly could, and sat in the sunshine listening to laughter and conversation. Making “friends” online feels very strange to me, it felt good to talk in person and know that, indeed, these are friends…. Then I was able to hole up in my wonderful motel room, complete with back deck, read and relax.

The motel owner frantically waved me over one afternoon when I pulled into the parking lot. A huge cecropia moth  was creeping along, slowly moving it’s wings around, stretching… we started to move it out of the sun and with a burst of energy it lifted up and flew across the lawn, and we both shrieked loudly and happily! What a gift. I sketched a small version for the owner and left it when I departed.

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I’ve been home for 3 days and to be honest I am ready to map out another trip! I’m going to be in my first craft fair selling cards and prints in a few weeks, and I’m scrambling to pull together what I want to present, how to set up my display, and realizing I need a receipt book, ha ha — this is going to be an adventure!

 

Things I Learned from a Blind Dog

One more post about Lyttle. He went completely blind about 2 years ago, shortly after coming to live with us, after my friend that owned him passed away. I had promised her I would care for him (there was never any question! I had dog-sat for her for many years, and Lyttle and I understood and loved one another) and we had both assumed that he might not linger long after her.

He instead seemed to know that I would need him around for a while. I realize now that he was transitioning me through some years of change and growth, that he was a consistent measure of my days, and warmed me while he slept on my lap in the evenings.

I wrote this list last night while thinking about what a character he was, and what I learned from living with him these past years.

We always hoped that when he smiled while sleeping it was because he could see in his dreams.

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I started posting photos on Facebook of all his “screw it, close enough” moments, usually around his almost making it to his bed before falling asleep. Oh, he’s missed.

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Come Back

I hope this spirit comes back to visit sometime. Lyttle was a brave beast. Nosy, stubborn, loving, protective, strong. He loved investigating the nooks and crannies of life. I met him  over 10 years ago, and he has been living with us for the last 2. He didn’t care that he was blind, he powered through and over any obstacles in his path. He made me laugh, made me cranky, and made me cry. A true lap dog but always up for an adventure.

He passed away this morning, here at home. The house still echoes his pre-breakfast “hooting” sounds and I’ve already looked outside half expecting to see him searching for treats on the lawn. I told him last night my lap was ready any time he decided to come back.

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