29 June 2010


It seems I've pretty much missed June and, come to think of it, a good part of May.  Well, I do have a pretty good excuse for missing the latter half of May.  I finally got back out for a walk at the Arboretum this morning and realized I completely missed the mountain laurel blooming and it looks like the rhodendrons are about done as well.  C'est la vie....

But what spurred this post is a brief respite from the heat has allowed me to finally open up the house and, joy of joy, the cicadas are here.  I've been locked up in dreadful air conditioning for weeks.  So this morning, with windows open, my background music is the carrying on of the crows in the trees outside my studio and the heavenly periodic roar of the cicadas.  I haven't had time to cruise my yard for them, but I'm pretty sure this is the local variety.  Such extraordinary little creatures.

The cicada chorus makes it not quite so hard to get back to work.  Hmmm, well, I'm not actually 'at work', but I'm getting closer.  Ah, but the only thing I like better than listening to cicadas is watching dragonflies, actually having a dragonfly land on my hand is better yet.  How can I not be inspired by dragonflies ... the colors and delicate wings and, oh I feel a new color combination coming on.......

And one of the real joys of being back in the south is fireflies.  So so sad, no lightening bugs in Port Townsend.  I'm looking forward to the cooler days of this week's forecast, windows open, listening to the cicadas, glimpses of dragonflies floating through my flower beds, sitting out on the front porch in the evening and watching the magical dance of the fireflies.  The joys of summer......

I love all the crazy places and things that provide inspiration.  Bugs, the glorious critters of summer in the south, who would have thought???

okay, off to work for this little peep
blessings - kvk

26 June 2010


oooohhh, good horoscope today.........

The fog has lifted and you are ready to take off, dear Sagittarius. The dreaminess you may have experienced of late has been nice, but now it is time to get moving again. Use all that you have learned from that recent internal processing and put it to use in the practical world. Try not to get caught up in the crossfire of conversations that don't really pertain to you. Feel free to start something new. 

bon soir mes amis

vision mining

I'm finally getting settled back in here on the home front and catching up on emails and blogs and facebook (still don't like F/B).  I often wonder what the expiration date is on leaving comments to the comments, so I'm thinking I'll try this ... Thanks to each of you who left comments here and there while I've been on my travels.  I really do appreciate the effort and always love comments - I really do.  And Hillary, you're killin' me with the Paris thing.

The trip to Dallas was a long haul, but here's a video of what made it all worthwhile ...
 My mom (aka Mae, aka Maisy) rockin' out on an African style drum.

She's slowed down a bit, but she can still throw down a nice little boogie woogie ...

How cool is that????  Music was the theme for the trip.  My little brother and family have a whole music store's worth of instruments and equipment and everyone ('cept lil ol me) plays multiple instruments.  I do sing, but my fear of instruments still has me in its grip.  Kathy the hermit talked the whole 12 hour drive from Nashville, where I had collected my big brother, and by the time we got to Dallas, my throat was aching.  Needless to say, after a week's worth of talking and singing and laughing, my throat is still trying to recover.

Getting back to work, after being decidedly distracted for the last month, has been something of a challenge.  One nice thing on the way home ... my brother ended up doing pretty much all the driving (with one 2 hour break from me) and we had talked ourselves to a quiet time.  So I picked up the current issue (don't laugh) of the Oprah magazine for an article on vision boards.  I was curious as to what Oprah would have to say and it turns out it was Martha Beck's take and a fairly different take to boot.

I've been wanting to put something up on my walls in my studio for months, been wanting to do a new vision board just as long - remember those blank walls???  They're still blank.  Turns out this version of creating a vision board is really resonating with me.  Main idea - don't go at it from the front, don't approach it with a specific goal in mind.  Assemble images and components that hit on a deeper, visceral level, or as she says, "your animal/angel self".  Another new thing is gather and assemble the images and keep the mind out of it, maybe meditate on the finished product for a bit, but then lose it, forget it, recycle it.

So now I'm starting to collect images, rather I'm trying to look at things from a different perspective.  I'm going to have to sneak time here and there to look for images, but this post on Martha Beck's blog has some potentially good links.  The final step in her process is the part about participating in creating my vision - caveat here, "be still and still moving".  You know being a visual person, I'm always looking for 3D models to represent concepts.  You're gonna love this one, well I love this one ...

My model for the idea, "be still and still moving" is a gyroscope.  The first thing I did on Tuesday was go to the toy store and buy one.  Here's my new visual aid:

I was looking for a nicer one, but fell back into my immediate gratification mode and decided the toy version is just fine.

I have no idea where this is all going, but I'm thinking that's pretty much the point.  I've struggled this last year and a half with trying to pin down a vision, a goal, a direction.  The trip to Provence seems to have been the catalyst to crack open my frozen psyche.  The trick now is to stay still while still moving.  It's jolly good fun to be in observer mode, no judgments or qualifiers or opinions.  I'm looking forward to seeing what shows up on this trek.  Here's to mining that good old subconscious!

A few things that have hit my radar in the last week ...

a renewed interest in the Pre-Raphaelites
Waterhouse's Boreas ... lovely

From my friend Lynne's blog, I just discovered the blog of Erin Faith Allen, which I'm liking very much.  Then on Erin's blog roll, I found the incredible chakra imagery of Mykal Aubry and his Visions of Origin site.  Lots of things relating to chakras hitting my radar.

I've been listening to my Incredible String Band station on Pandora - a great mix of 60's folk legends like Nick Drake, Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Bert Jansch, Holy Modal Rounders, etc, etc.

That's where I am for now.  There's more in the works, but I'm glazing over and need to take a break.

OH!  I knew there was one more thing!  I've got work back on Etsy.  I'm especially fond of this bracelet.

For now .......
with gratitude and many blessings - kvk

13 June 2010

Vacation Slide Show

Welllllll, let's just see if this works.  Sorry that for right now the images are not labeled or captioned.  That'll have to wait until I get back from Dallas. 
ttfn - kvk

11 June 2010

the evolution of a self image

As I've been recovering from my nasty cold I've been mulling over themes and ideas for my "trip to France" post.  What's different, how influential was the trip, was it just for fun, is there a 'bigger picture' message to decipher, what were my favorite things, what sort of new jewelry will emerge, etc etc etc.  So I've brewed a lovely cup of thé coquelicot, black tea with poppy flowers, from the Lourmarin Friday market, served it up on our hand sewn Provençal table linens from the Saint Rémy de Provence market and am sitting down to make a first attempt at sorting it all out.

I guess the most obvious thing I've noticed is a need to make changes in my outward appearance - little things really, but as I sit here in my observer mode, interesting changes.  Firstly the silliest one ... I've always been one for the understated.  Most of my clothes, shoes and bags are black, brown and charcoal gray - yeah I know - pretty boring, but it makes packing so much easier.  In the summer I do varnish my toenails, but stick to browns, taupe, maybe a deep plum if I'm feeling extravagant.  So when I bought emerald and dark charcoal nail polish the other day, it marked a shift.  Behold, my new sparklie toes....

I hate for this to seem like it's just about shopping, but one of my big purchases was a pair of shoes that I've been lusting after for years.  The shop was in Bonnieux and I felt like I'd landed in heaven.  An important side note ... One thing I felt the whole time in Provence - like I had found my tribe.  I was surrounded by a landscape that felt right.  Being a jewelry designer, clothing and fabric and colors are an important part of my awareness.  Everywhere I went, the village markets to the boutiques to the people on the street, I encountered heavenly linens in delicious, rich colors set against the backdrop of  a spectacular rugged landscape with ancient stone walls.  It was my palette, my landscape.

Here's the shop ... stepping into La Cambuse was breathtaking.  All the clothing was by a French designer whose name I cannot for the life of me remember.  I could have spent a fortune on those clothes.  She also carried Trippen shoes, seriously comfortable in some of the most outrageous designs you'll ever see, along with an exquisite selection of handcrafted jewelry.   Trippen first hit my radar when one of my students at ArtFest 2003 was wearing a pair.  I've been lusting after those shoes ever since.  I bought a pair of Trippen classics, still sort of funky, but not too crazy.  My sort of understated pair ...

I'll be trying to compose an email in French to the owner of La Cambuse to inquire about the clothing designer's name and also do some plugging for my own jewels.  There's a Google gadget that I think will work - that's how I've been plugging in French words and phrases with the correct accents and punctuation.

More on the outward appearance theme ... On Tuesday I had to run some errands and as I was driving into town I had the thought to go by the spiffy eye glasses shop downtown.  You might remember a while back I posted a picture of some frames I was thinking about.  Those frames were very retro, inexpensive and probably not the most flattering - just a fun pair of frames.  So it was a surprise to find myself being drawn back to this shop and even more of a surprise to find a spiffy pair of frames and plunk down a deposit.  The evolution of my self image continues and in honor of Self-Portrait-Friday  - Kathy in her new frames  (they still need a bit of leveling)  ...

As I ponder the trip and it's residual effects, one thing that has stuck with me is that long distance travel is a particularly surreal undertaking.  Remember, this was my first trip abroad.  To start in familiar surroundings on one day and be transported into a completely different world the next - well, it's confusing and exhilarating and wonderful and exhausting and stressful and amazingly wonderful.  It has actually helped me feel more settled here in Asheville.  Relatively low cost of living and good geographic location ... I can see that this is a good base for future travels - and yes, there will absolutely be more future travels. 

I'm on a bit of a roll now and listening closely to my inner guidance system.  I just revamped my Talisman - I took off a PT pebble and one piece of beach glass, added a pebble from that Mediterranean beach, a small faceted nugget of ruby tourmaline and a large faceted nugget of Vesuvianite and changed my silk message to no limits, no fear.  Here's an excerpt of some of the stone's properties from That Crystal Site:
Vesuvianite provides a link to the higher self and the information it offers to the soul in incarnation. Psychologically, it releases feelings of imprisonment and restraint ... it gently dissolves anger and alleviates fear, creating inner security. Vesuvianite (Idocrase) has powerful mental connections. It opens the mind and clears negative thought patterns so that the mind can function more clearly. It stimulates inventiveness and the urge to discover, linking this into creativity.

Oh!  I almost forgot, another splurge ... We bought a photographic collage from Kamil Vojnar at his Atelier in Saint Rémy.  We were captivated by his imagery and had a hard time choosing, but kept coming back to this one.
It's an original on canvas, 30cm x 30cm - The Arrival.

It seems this wonderful, virtually perfect vacation is helping me to become more me - that can only be a good thing.  As for pictures from the trip, I'm still plowing through them, rotating and cropping and naming and getting them ready to upload to either Flickr or Picasa.  Until that's done, here's a few that I've spiffed up ...

 And last but not least ... after a long day of perusing markets or Roman ruins or the mountain roads of the Luberon, each night we'd come back to our village grocer to pick up a baguette, some local cheese and pate and a different bottle of inexpensive local wine and some little decadent sweets from the boulangerie or La Place Delices.  We'd finish the evening with a stroll along the alleys and side streets of Lourmarin.

So that's it for now.  I'm heading to Nashville on Monday to hook up with my brother and then driving all the way to Dallas on Tuesday for a week-long family gathering.  Dave will be stuck at home, back in school and at work.  For someone who doesn't get out much, I'm turning into quite the traveler.  I need to have the photos organized before I leave so's I can do show and tell for my family.  That means photos will be uploaded somewhere before I leave.

the journey continues - ain't it grand!
blessings - kvk 

02 June 2010

I'm back, but........

am in the grips of a seriously nasty cold ... at least it waited till I was on the plane home.  So while I do some major doctoring, consume mass quantities of my de-gunk concoction and gather some energy to sort through the hundreds of photos, here's a couple of little old moi in heaven in Provence.

This was in Bonnieux - one of our favorite villages. 

 I got to do some beach combing along this rocky section of the  Mediterranean coast.  I'm thinking of doing a very limited edition of necklaces with some of the treasures I collected.
And yes, I did go swimming in the Mediterranean - it was butt cold and incredibly salty and absolutely wonderful!  I won't be sharing those pics.

So for now I'll say à bientôt!

blessings - kvk