Did you ever have a recurring dream? I mean one that you somehow remember when you wake up, and it stays with you all day. It sets up a kind of disturbing undertone that is just beneath your consciousness until you lie down for the night. As soon as you are prone, it comes flooding back.
Well, when I was a young person, sometimes I had recurring dreams and sometimes I had dreams that I wished were recurring dreams. I have had one dream that has persisted into adulthood, and no, it's not the one about showing up for the final exam with no clothes on, although that's always a good one and just about everyone has had that one at least once. My son actually showed up a day late for both his finals last semester. When he told me on the phone, I said, well, at least you were wearing clothes!
No, this one is just me and maybe some other people driving down this hilly forested dirt road in North Carolina. I actually know the state, and somehow that is a major part of the dream. It's always the same road, the same car, and I am always lost. It's pretty though, and not really scary, just disturbing. I have another variation where I'm driving and I am lost, of course, and I am entering into a city, probably St Louis, and there are all these highways coming together in a big megalopolis and it is raining. And all the highways start to sink under water and start to crash. I am up high enough to see this. I see a hole open up and all the water and roads start to be sucked down into the vortex. I am hysterical and I don't want to die, not like that anyways so I wake up. My blood pressure just went up like 10 points just writing that down. That one is terrifying.
Still, that's not what I wanted to tell you about. There was this other dream. I was in fourth grade and this is the first dream I remember remembering. Firstly, you need to know that I was one of those kids who, as my Mom described, had an over active imagination. You know, artsy. I used to be able to lay in the grass for hours and just stare at the clouds until they became whales and men with large noses and stuff. My Mom could leave me at the end of the driveway where all the gravel was and I would content myself choosing the sparkliest gems for my ever increasing collection, straight from the local gravel pit. At least I was an easy kid.
So, anyways, my parents would go out every Saturday night to Marti's, the best restaurant in town. My brother and I would have a baby sitter. After the dog bit Mr. Samis, we got a new sitter who was a teenager I guess. She just wanted to watch this scary movie. I started crying because of the overactive imagination. She said that the best thing to do would be to watch it and see that it wasn't so bad. Don't you know where this is going? Right! It was so much worse than anything my young innocence could conger up. I've tried to block it out, but I still remember this scary murderous harlequin clown on a merry go round. Doesn't it strike you as odd that I'm not scared of harlequins, clowns or merry go rounds? I know! I love all those things. But put them together and I'm terrified! The mind is a complicated thing.
So, anyways, I'm 9, and I have this dream. It was one of those dreams where part of the dream is that you are sleeping and you wake up. I wake up because I hear this loud tapping at my window. In fact it sounds like the glass is about to be shattered.
Now it is important at this point to tell you about the place where I grew up. It was a pretty impressive setting for western New York near Lake Ontario. It was pretty flat, except for the hill that lead up to the one lane bridge that crossed over the Erie Canal. Actually, that artificial hill was the source of a lot of good and bad times, but that's another whole story. Oh, of course, I'll make it short. When I was a kid my brother and I and some other kids used to sled down that embankment on our saucer sleds wearing our snowmobile suits. It was basically straight down, but sort of short, so we didn't really have to worry about breaking our heads. That was one of the fun things. The other was when my brother discovered skateboarding and he use to skateboard down that big hill doing his giant slalom turns, going about as fast as a car. I tried it once, but I broke my foot. When I was eleven I was riding bikes with my cousin Mike. Our instructions were to just ride up and down the hill, but how boring is that after the first couple of times. So then we got permission to go over to the next road and ride up and down that hill. Well, I made an executive decision that if that was ok, then I was sure that riding to my grandmother’s house should be ok. Besides, my brother was there learning how to ride a horse from my uncle Paul. So we took off the other way and rode about eight miles to the next town over. My uncle saw us and unbeknownsed to us he called my Dad. Well, all was going well until he showed up and belted me. Mike got off scott free. Still, it was so worth it! The worst thing that happened on the hill didn't really involve me at all. It was my brother, Frank. He had a recurring run in on the school bus with the kid that lived at the bottom of the hill. He decided that he had enough, and got on his three speed bananna bike to go beat up this kid once and for all. Now something you need to know about Frank is that by the time he was in jr high his feet were like size 15. The other thing is that he used these feet as brakes for his bike. My Mom was frustrated because he was always wearing out his sneakers. So anyways, he starts out down the hill going really fast. When he lowers the big dogs to slow down he gets all tangled up and crashes into the gravel. He shows up at the house all dripping with blood and my mother freaks out. He has to go to the hospital and get stitches and get all the gravel picked out. And you know what, that kid at the bottom of the hill never knew that he almost got his comeuppance that day.
So, the bridge went over the canal and the canal was one of the borders of our property. The towpath was on the other side of the canal, but if we got down the hill we could walk all the way to town if we wanted to. During the Blizzard of '77 Frank cross county skied 7 miles on that towpath into town to get us food. In the late fall they drained the water mostly out of the canal. I have no idea why. There was still enough water in there to drown though. One time I went down there and there was just the head of a baby horse sticking out all frozen. My Dad called the people who lived on the other side of the bridge hillbillies. Probably that was because of how they took care of their horses. The canal nevertheless was a very big part of our lives and my overactive imagination.
Now for the dream: so the window shatters and in comes this long giant fingernail. At the end of the fingernail is a dark hairy finger. I am not scared in the dream, I'm just observing this. It's daytime somehow and when I look up I see a giant gorilla. It's like King Cong. I don't think I had ever seen the movie, but I must have heard something about it, or how could my imagination have thought this up? I sense that there is something he wants of me so I stand on the fingernail and he withdraws me to the outside. He is giant. He is about fifty feet tall and he raises me up, up up to sit on his shoulder. Than he walks me down to the canal. Down on the embankment I see a giant pod that has been cracked open. I get the connection. Cong can't speak, but when he grunts I sense that he is confused. He has no idea what he is doing in Albion, New York any more than I do. Has that pod always been there? Did it come from outer space. Who knows? I feel a bond with this enormous creature though. One thing is clear to me, he is my friend. We become inseparable with me riding halfway to the sky nestled in deep fur. We explore the canal, the apple orchards and the woods around the house. I set up a place for him to live under the bridge. I have dreams of how Cong and I will make the world a better place. He is like a one gorilla bulldozer, so he could help construction workers and farmers. He would excel at demolition work. He could also be my protector against bullies. Things are going along pretty smooth for me and my secret friend. (Because it’s a dream, the fifty foot tall gorilla can stay a secret for now.) Of course it can't be long before some of the men see Cong and me. They think he is kidnapping me or worse and come running with their guns. I am screaming and screaming not to hurt him; that he is friendly and he wants to help us, but no one listens to a kid, especially a little girl. They start shooting at him. It isn't really hurting him, it more just makes him mad and he starts swatting at them. Now people are getting hurt. Cong feels bad. I try to calm him down, but it's as if he realizes at that moment that he can't coexist with us. In the confusion he lopes down to the canal bank, slips inside the pod and it seals itself shut. No one knows but me. Even though I could have said where he was, I never would. I was waiting, even after I woke up, for my princely Cong to return once more.
Every night after that for a long time I would try so hard to recreate this dream world.
I am not going to start with how sorry I am that I am a hopeless blogger! Let's just put the past behind us again!
This weekend I finished up some pocketwatch necklaces I was working on. I love every part of making these. It starts with the hunt. I scour E-Bay for the best prices and spend my late evenings trying to get a "deal". I usually end up with a few good pieces and a lot of junk. But what's wrong with junk? I take apart the watches and it gives me lots of little gears and doodads to use, which I did in some of these watches. At the moment when I get my srcewdriver just under the lip of the rim it POPS, the overwound spring zips and squeals and I jump and a little noise escapes me! It's always a surprise. Some of those old watches just do not want to release. I soak them in vinegar for a couple of days. That seems to help them if they are really disgusting. Some of them have been left in a barn or somewhere for the last hundred years! When the package comes in the mail I am so thrilled until a foul odor wafts up and gags me! SO if anyone thinks these aren't worth the meager price I have placed on them, just remember the suffering I went through.
Then comes the process of collecting all the things to decorate with. I am always amazed at how much little stuff I have! I landed about a hundred of those tiny frozen Charlottes that were buried in the dirt at the German doll factory. They are perfect and I have been making a lot of jewelry out of them. The lifesize eyeball was a gift from my artist friend, John Dyer. (Check him out sometime on the Meibohm's Art Gallery site.) Note: He is the best painter in the world and curiously weird to boot! What could be better? Anyways, I gather all my junk and start composing. I use Aves Apoxy Sculpt to fix it all together, then wait for it to harden.
Then comes the painting. This is where it really comes to life! Many thanks to Michael DeMeng for revealing to me that paint, just simple paint could transform a piece. I always used to try to use inks or stains or complicated patinas, but now I just paint it! Go figure! It's fun to play with different combinations of paint, even though I don't name them like he does (or remember them).
A coat of varnish, a chain, and waalaa, finished. Photos, post, and sit back. Oh yeah, find buyers (kind of have that under control)
YAY! This weekend was the first time I could actually make something! I still can't do a lot, but I could mix some Apoxie Sculpt. This cute assemblage reminds me of spring. Unfortunately, we are supposed to get a possible foot of snow tonight! Look at the date! It was 84 degrees a couple of days ago! What a year.
I was reading Country Living magazine from my Mom and I saw these cute Easter eggs made with graphics printed on temporary tattoo paper. What a great idea. Too bad Easter was yesterday! A day late and a dollar short is how I think it goes. Maybe I'll do it next year! But now it's got me thinking of a hundred ways to use printable tatoo paper.....
I finished this baby before the thumb incident, but never got a chance to post it. This is an ideas I had a while ago and my son James claimed it even before I started making it! He is a Star Wars fan as I am. I think the Ewoks are so cute! They remind me of a cross between teddy bears and gremlins! When I was a kid we went to Disney World and at the Star Wars ride you walked though a forest of pines that they supposedly used during the filming of the movie. I have always remembered those trees and thought about them as I was gathering my materials. I wanted to make sure I had the bare trunks so the Ewoks could maneuver underneath.
It's lit from above with the Millennium Falcon LED light. It looks so cool with the dark glittery background. Who'd think if glitter and Star Wars together?!
Is it creepy or cute that you can see the Ewok through the eye socket?
This is the outside view. I painted everything this time for a patina old coppery statuesque look. You can also see another light in the base. Nice nightlight huh?
Where to begin! I tore the ligament in my thumb while skiing in Aspen with the Downhill Dames. That has put a damper on a lot of stuff! I am fairly miserable and consequently haven't been HERE on this blog! It was my first time in Aspen and it was awesome. The other EIGHT! women were fantastic company and awesome skiers! Most of them were new to me and it was fun to meet new people who had some similarities and some variety. Julia worked on the floor of the Canadian stock exchange and had some practical and enthusiastic investment advice. Mary Jo was the Mom and took care of the shopping! Paula took care of me when I got hurt. It was just great to get away with the girls even if I did get hurt. It was a stupid accident. I never fall, but I just slipped and fell on my pole. I knew it was bad and I whipped off my glove and shoved my hand in the snow and yelled S**T!!!! But was had a guide and he was taking us on some special trails up off the summit, so I just skied without my poles for the next couple of hours!
I got back from Art & Soul in Virginia Beach last night. I had a wonderful time just getting to make stuff that I don't usually do at home. I learned so much from Jen Crossley in the 3 jewelry classes I took from her. It was awesome that she came all the way from Australia to teach us! It was also good to reconnect with some old friends and see the gang from Loving Mixed Media! I also meet some new people that I will stay in touch with. It's so nice to meet some Kindred Spirits! Here is some of the finished and unfinished jewelry I made.
I finished the Jewel Box Baby. I want to credit my husband Doug with helping me to decide to put on the red jewel necklace. I tones it down a little bit with paint and I think it looks great.
I have started a new baby. Her hair is rhinestones. I am also going to put them on the top inside. There is a hinge in the back. When you open her up the inside is going to be a fabric lined small compartment. You will be able to store treasures in there. The most difficult part so far has been making the pattern for the fabric so it made the well for the secret compartment. Now I have the idea which is good because I would like to make 2 more of these! Thanks to Laura Lee for letting me use her sewing machine. I have to get one of those someday.
It seems like I've been working so slow lately. I guess it is what it is right?! It will eventually get finished. I have been very busy at the Dental Office, which is great. I am honored to have a career where I get to help people and use my artistic talents as well! So no complaints!
Well, I finally finished the Baby I started at the course I took at Valley Ridge last October taught by Michael DeMeng and Jane Wynn. I made a shrine out of the inside to Ganesh. He's the happy Hindu god of prosperity. Right up my alley! I used a lot of Apoxy Sculpt in this. The lotus leaves and all the little "tentacles" are made from it. Everything is attached with it also. I just love the hinging heads. I thank Jane Wynn for this idea and inspiration.