Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Importance of a South Georgia BFF

Well, now, what would you make with a rusted tin can from a desert coulee near the Columbia River, the Christmas 1931 issue of The Household Magazine, addressed to Magnolia Windham of Fort Valley, Georgia (a gift to me from my dearest friend, Gray, who totally "gets" me), and a spiffy pair of red celluloid shoe buttons (these also turned up in a big jar of old buttons Gray gave me; I told you, she "gets" me)?  Earrings, that's what.  With extra-long gold filled wires and cartoons of pretty little girls modeling the latest fashions.  Sweet and edgy, and long enough almost to tickle your shoulders.  This is something worthy, good looking and steeped in the value acquired by lasting well past its heyday, an ordinary thing that has become a treasure.   Really, there is no such thing as "ordinary" -- it's only an illusion.  Things all around us are extraordinary, every day.

Or you could collage faces from a romantic turn-of-the-century print of Cupid and Psyche, with more rusty tin can and freshwater pearls and binding wire.

Does anyone out there remember the Benday dot?  When you look closely at these old images, you will see they are composed of many very small dots, which is how printers got half tones -- gray.

For my beloved friend Gray, who knows we are still a couple of ya-yas and if we were in the same classroom the teacher would make us sit on opposite sides of the room.  And I promise I won't make you eat anything with peaches in it, ever.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A little day hike in January

The morning view from my studio seemed to promise a rain-free day, which is rare this time of year on the west side of the Cascades.  A good day for a hike on Tiger Mountain, even though we won't see snow. The El Nino weather phenomenon has caused the warmest January on record.  It kind of put a crimp in the snow shoe opportunities around here.

Still, the filtered sunlight on ferns and mosses in springlike weather is magical. On a weekday the trail is quiet and secret.  The air is clean and sweet and seems to glow like stained glass in scattered sunlight.  Everywhere there are beautiful things to see, close and distant.  And even if it hasn't been a good year for snow shoe trips or ice climbing, it has been a year for beautiful ferns, mosses and fungi.

These are polyphores growing on a mossy alder log.  A beauty all its own.