bread & puppet prizes

Growing up in Vermont meant summer at Bread & Puppet’s Domestic Resurrection Circus. It was an important part of the formative years of my life, visually, politically, and socially. I was exposed to communal camping, food, working together, art on a scale I hadn’t imagined before, and life life life. We’d camp all weekend, bring jewelery I’d made (under the disturbing moniker of Abruptly Naked Gerbils Who Were Formerly Wearing Hats — ah, my 14 year old self was an odd one) to sell on blankets in the sun, swap for pretty stones & crocheted goodies.  We’d ramble into the woods, bathe in the creek, freezing cold mountain water.  The Circus ended in 1998, after party kids changed the atmosphere from one of community& art & harmony to something dangerous. But the museum is still in VT, and performances happen all over all summer. John Bell wrote a really fantastic history of the Circus and it’s closing, please read it!

More & larger images here, from the museum in Glover, VT.

OK! So…my first giveaway. I ordered my regular Bread & Puppet calendar, and they sent me some extra prizes. So much goodness. These 2 lovely & heart-bursting prints could be yours, just post a comment & then I choose randomly. Uh, maybe when I have more than…5 comments. That’s how it works, right? It’s nice also if you maybe say some nice things or share some pretty memory. Tit for tat!

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The large print is 11 x 17 and the little one is 5 x 7.

Madame Yevonde

I love coming across groundbreaking female artists from the past, it’s so refreshing and inspiring!

By 1921 Madame Yevonde had become a well-known and respected portrait photographer. In the early 1930s, Yevonde began experimenting with colour photography. The introduction of colour photography was not universally popular; indeed photographers and public alike were so used to black-and-white pictures that early reaction to the new process tended toward the hostile. Yevonde, however, was hugely enthusiastic about it and spent countless hours in her studio experimenting with how to get the best results.

Her use of color, subject matter, and style influence can still be seen today. The following are all from the 1930’s!

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Isn’t she lovely? I want to make friends with her & lie around and read together!

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More images here!

we find our histories

I spent the long weekend in San Diego, as my mother is there for a month taking care of her parents. For me, being around family is surreal – we are not “family people” inherently, and witnessing behaviours and being around this curious tribe that looks like you and acts like you is strange but enlightening. It was good, a good trip. I have really been feeling blessed these days.

I did manage to snag some amazing treats while down there, from an estate sale around the corner & also family bits that were plied onto me by my Nana.

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The shearling 1930s coat is from the estate sale. It was perfect for my strange feverish flight home, in Long Beach you get on the plane on the tarmac with a stairway, so glamorous. It’s very Myrna Loy in the Thin Man. The coat, not the plane. Though you never know.
Tweed cap, estate sale.
Kid gloves, estate sale.
The typewriter, my uncle’s, he died in 1993. It writes in cursive, which is exactly what I have been wanting for aaagggeess. I am in raptures over it & really glad to have something of his. Maybe he will send me messages on it? When he died,  I’d have dreams that he was calling from the beyond but I was too scared to answer the phone in the dream as I Knew It Was A True Thing. Now, I wish I had.
Dominos, my grandfathers. Ancient bone? Ivory? Again raptures. I’ve been wanting to play dominoes again since my birthday. Now I just need Oakland friends. And domino tea parties.
The Polaroid Land Cam was my grandfathers. I may need to splurge on at least one pack of film.
I also grabbed 2 family photo albums, one from 1917 and one from 1944. They were disintegrating and wedged in a closet.  One amusing moment ~ my grandfather has piles of rocks and driftwood and feathers everywhere, just tiny collections and vignettes,  and my Nana was angry about them being everywhere. My mom laughed and just pointed at me, knowing that I do the same.  When he is gone, I will go to the house and collect those tiny piles.

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salvaging salvation

I’ve already posted my love of handmade houses, and so many of them are made of salvage. While the cabin I’m building does have some new materials for warmth, I am using all salvaged windows and doors, and any fabulous elements I find.

Aurora pointed me to these amazing photos of the home of art director John Holmes, designed by William Kirsch. It’s made entirely from used parts including 85 stained glass windows. Amazing. Who wants to move to the woods with me and start building?

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medicine wheels

I’ve been thinking so much about medicine wheels lately, my hands are itching to make one, to head to the beach for driftwood & magic.

One of my favorite things found in Vermont over the holidays is this handmade pouch, hand embroidered probably 100 years ago with this medicine wheel. It tingles with magic when you touch it, I am in awe of it. The inside hoops that gather the ribbon are bone.

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When I read this piece of writing this morning by the lovely Kaia Ra, I knew that my medicine wheel intuition was exactly what I’ve been needing to do to build a map and to ask for the directions from the universe. I’ve known for so long that I need to open up to the universe, stop being so harsh, dance & love and express JOY instead of expressing momentary irritation. We make our own paths to ourselves but we are always guided.

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The following was written by Kaia in Mt. Shasta, it is just so inspiring and beautiful that I had to share. Kaia does classes, energy work, and rituals in the Bay Area, & helped me get through a miscarriage in an incredible way.

For the past year i have felt compelled and inspired to build medicine wheels when i am within Her. Small or large, it does not matter, faerie beings of all sizes enjoy them. The spirit world LOVES them. The ancestors gather close, the water sprites flit about, ancient tree spirits steps outside of their bark to help channel whatever the wheel needs for that location.

Medicine wheels are altars in nature, they are stargates, they open up intentional portals of energy for the earth, the earth spirits, the ancestors and the star beings above to work together as one with a physical world interface. Sacred geometry and ancient future designs are the human interface for these realms to work together. I give thanks, we are so blessed to be able to participate in this multidimensional conversation through our gifts of creativity.

With healing work all kinds of emotions can span the inner spectrum. There are moments when I want to break something or physically storm against the world. These feelings are natural and I honor them. But what i have found is that when i go into the natural world and create i am harnessing this anger in strength, grace, channeling it into an offering to both spirit and myself.  There were days I didn’t know how to breathe or eat or get out of bed. What kept me going was finding my way in nature. I would beg the faerie and ancestor spirits to help me find the right branches or stones or feathers to work with. I would be stumbling through the woods, praying, crying, daring to keep creating when all i wanted to do was throw up. And i began to create medicine wheels. Circles, circles, circles of power, activation, healing, gifts to myself, gifts to others, gifts to my true divine mother.

As I worked on the medicine wheel today, I was filled with the consciousness of the river. There was not enough sound in me to feel sadness, only the movement of Her body all around me. I dug my hands into the crags and found piece after piece of perfect medium. Stones in all shapes that hugged my hand, the piercing water was glue against my skin. I wondered how often people got to know the strength and poignancy of stone and its spirit…right through their own two hands. The green moss was emerald healing energy all around me as i began to place each stone in steps for faeries to dance around later tonight.

I wondered how many deep places within people would start to settle perfectly like these pebbles in the river if they took the time to sit here and just be or just create their own vision inside of Her. And as usual, my mind wandered to the current health of our planet and how powerful it would be if everyone went into nature and began creating, mindfully, with nature.