Tuesday, June 30, 2009

not just for birds

Crow here.

This is a picture drawn by my great nephew Irwin who's trying his best to be a chip off the old block. He has a way to go yet but you can see he has the general idea.

He flew in from the east coast last night excited to tell us about one of the latest developments in green technology. It seems some people with a little more foresight than appears to be the norm realized that if you can get electricity from wind power by having turbines on the ground, imagine how much more you could get by sticking them way up in the air.. like 20 to 40 thousand feet up in the air where the wind really blows.

According to Irwin these scientists and engineers have decided NYC is a goldmine of stratospheric wind power. That is where Goldman Sachs is headquartered, isn't it? I'd like to suggest they take a reading of hot air currents over Washington DC too but New York will do for a start. For those of you who prefer to watch he brought an old video explanation of the process he found in a second hand shop on 42nd St:

Now we have to go out and find the youngster a decent pair of Crow boots. I can't have a great nephew of mine running around bare clawed. It's embarrassing.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

you were gone?

Apologies for not having been around much this past week but I had a little project that turned difficult right from the beginning. It's done now so I thought I'd show you what developed when I decided to make a bigger bag (7x9").

This is the front.

This is the back.

And this is the inside.

Why was it difficult? First it was a piece of silk that really didn't want to be painted black. All the other colors were okay but you'll likely notice black was an important element and after overpainting and drying the top three times I finally took it off the stretcher and painted the back. That worked. Then there was some difficulty in me imagining how it could be sewed for best effect without just plain sewing up the sides by hand. Once I could no longer see straight I asked my clear headed husband for help and he immediately saw what I was missing. Thank goodness for numb.

It has stitched in loops at the sides and two 36" long ties so it can be worn across the body or tied at the waist. I've never thought most belly bags very attractive but this is a cool idea. I think I'll work on a couple more til I get it just right but meanwhile I'll be back to posting and visiting as usual. Sometimes you just have to work out a problem so you can relax again.

I hope you missed me :-)

Now I just have to figure out how to get i-photo to finish three pictures taken in succession to all have the same colored background which is olive green...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

the winner is:

I had to wait for Crow to wake up. Then I had to wait more while he made his leisurely way to the bathroom to commence his morning ablutions. You know it's a good thing we have 2 bathrooms - well, actually we have 2.5 but the .5 is under the staircase on the other side of our living room. It seemed that using it would be not very private (like peeing on the aspidistra while continuing a conversation) so we filled it with portable shelving and turned it into a cupboard.

Anyway, back to Crow and the further wait while he fluffed his feathers and sipped his espresso. By then I was getting just a little impatient but he's never responded to my enthusiasms, something that's probably been good for for me over the years. Now that he's lit his first Cohiba cigar, for this is Sunday and a special one at that being Father's Day, he's finally ready to pull one of the Origami cranes out of the crystal bowl. The paper birds make rustling sounds as he sifts through them. Now he's finally made his choice which he gives me to unwrap. Ahh! The name written inside in tiny script is: Spartacus.

Happy Father's Day, Spartacus! The O'Hare departure lounge drawing is yours if you want it. Get in touch by the usual method and if Crow isn't available to fly it to you directly I know who is.

Friday, June 19, 2009

better late..

This one is set up a little differently from usual but there is a new story on Adventure's Ink. I hope you like it :-)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

before the meltdown

Getting There (or here - depending on pov):

It was always interesting arriving at O'Hare and going off to look for the connection to Portland while walking among of crowds of people heading off to all sorts of exotic, perhaps even sophisticated destinations - New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Paris, Rome, Prague, Reykjavik,Vienna, Berlin, Beijing,Tokyo - perhaps even Lhasa via Delhi. Everyone tends to dress for their destination so you'd see people heading to Hawaii already wearing beach clothes and the ones on their way home to London making sure they weren't parted from their umbrellas. Walking along the broad concourses of the alphabet terminals, maybe even getting to ride the underground people mover, looking at the neon light show while listening to Brian Eno's 'Music For Airports', you could imagine being free to go anywhere. Where's the gate to the past you may have wondered but I think it was never there to be found.

I always made a point of visiting the bathroom even if I didn't have to just to flush and watch the seat wrapping revolve to a fresh section. For some reason that particular version of 70's futurism always amused me. Back then, if their was a long interval between flights, it was still possible to leave the terminal to go outside and watch people arriving. Limos, buses, cars and cabs would pull up to the departure doors dropping off passengers in every conceivable mood, an experience that only strengthened my understanding we're all continually just passing through.

But enough of these airport dreams, even if it was O'Hare and just about the biggest anywhere, it would eventually be time to get serious about finding the gate that matched your ticket. Just time enough left to buy some candy, a wrapped lunch and reject the souvenir Cubs hats you'd been so thrilled to find just a few years before. Time to move along to this year's destination.

Without even checking your boarding pass you'd know you'd arrived at the right place the minute you saw all the backpacks with people slumping under the weight. For some reason backpacks, running shoes, baseball caps and birkenstocks were and still are the fashion items of choice for those returning to Oregon. Sigh.. It's a nice city, perhaps even the most Canadian city in the US, but it's a little boring.


I found this drawing today while tidying, an illustration for one of a few not very successful Portland stories I played around with last year. Since it may be just the thing for tacking over the grease spot that can't be scrubbed off the kitchen wall, I'll offer it as a prize to anyone who'd like to write a travel story. It can be long or short, posted as a comment or on your own blog (just tell me it's there) and I'll write your name down for a random draw one week from today.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

2 etz or not 2 etz?

Typical for me is being in two minds about a simple thing. In this case it's whether or not to attempt selling some of the silk bags at that huge web based market known as etsy.com.

I've been painting and sewing more of them recently. There still aren't a lot because each one takes some doing (as I've described before) but I see advantages and their opposite. Since the ladies themselves have little help to offer, in fact they don't seem to care, I thought I'd ask your opinion.

1. It's a bad time to hope for buyers of unnecessary fripperies.
2. It would boost my income with the loss of same that retirement will entail.
3. Is $60-$75 an unreasonable price for a 3"x5" wearable artwork?
4. How can I put a price on anything?
5. Do I write a story for each one?
6. Are 6 too few and 20 too many? (Now there are 6.)

A few weeks ago I established a 'store' spot and opened a PayPal account. I'm painting some larger bags (7"x9") which will be quilted, maybe beaded but definitely more substantial than the little ones. I'll post pictures as they're done.

Turning the blog into a commercial enterprise just isn't going to happen and you're always so supportive it's probably silly of me to ask for an honest opinion but that's what I'm doing. 2 etz or not 2 etz, that is the question. A little real world store run by some nice people may still be in my future.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

a magic mountain?

I wonder if I'm the only one who never heard of Damanhur. (Click on the Temples) Just a few days ago I came across a reference to a group known as Damanhurians and thought it must have been some imaginary literary utopia but, being curious, I did a search and found there really is such a community in northern Italy about 30 miles from Turin.

Oberto Airaudi was a young boy with an amazing gift for remote viewing who saw temples and a highly evolved community of people living in harmony. In 1977, having become successful in business, he went looking for a place that would suit his vision and found a remote hillside that felt right. He and a group of friends moved into the house on the property and started digging. This went on in 4 hour shifts for 16 years until the Italian police decided to raid the place and threatened to blow up the mountain if they weren't shown what was going on. You can read here about how it happened and what they found. At last count there were nearly a quarter of a million people actively involved.

Or perhaps you might enjoy seeing the only video (in English) I was able to find. It might look a little strange or even corny but there's something like a hint of the beginning of a better way of being and living in this world. I like to think that ultimately we'll get beyond the roadblocks. We're dreamers, after all, aren't we?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

prize Crow

Our friend Nunly asked susan to post a list of seven things she likes that couldn't include people. Taking the suggestion one step further she decided to foist the duty onto me using the excuse that few people other than her know anything about yours truly.

1. I enjoy human art (it must be nice having opposable thumbs). I've been around longer than you might guess and the picture above is a portrait of me copied from a cave wall in Lascaux, France. I told you I've been around a long time. I've known many great artists in between (vanGogh painted some cousins) and have perched for a few but there's been nobody quite so in tune with crowness since the shaman Wulla-mullung in Australia. His paintings haven't been found yet.

2. I like sailing ships - those big wooden ones folks used to venture out to sea on like barques, brigantines, frigates and galleons. They had masts and mizzens and miles of rope for perching on while the ocean breezes ruffled my feathers. Junks, sampans, catamarans and boats made from the reeds that grew in the great marsh of Mesapotamia. Metal ships have fed man's arrogance.

3. Old time pieces are another favorite thing. Pocket watches with chains and fobs aren't so much about being on time for appointments as they are simply pleasant to hold and examine. Time itself is meaningless except as a way of measuring change.

4. I like flowers. You see them as lovely examples of the gentle qualities of nature but in truth they are local reminders of the power of expression in the cosmos. They probably shouldn't exist at all but the fact they do, in every shape and size and in every climate, is a wonder.

5. Music might be the the original human art form, so ancient that nobody knows its beginnings, but you can still get clues here and there if you search long enough. If you listen to Water Drums by the Baka pygmy tribe you'll hear them playing a river.

6. I like it when humans live in harmony with their surroundings. Rammed earth houses, cob, paper, adobe, stone, bamboo and light concrete are all much more satisfying to your physical and aesthetic needs (and ours) than sterile steel and glass buildings.

7. My favorite thing of all is sharing a snifter of Remy Martin and some fruitcake (topped with marzipan and royal icing) while relaxing on my perch with dear friends. You should drop by for a chat some day.

I don't know much about how these things are done but susan has suggested I ask Liberality, Lover of Life and Linda to take the award for their wonderful blogs and also to share seven things they like about the world.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

summer stylin' 1954

I don't know about you but I haven't changed a bit :-)

Just holding a spot here while Crow considers his options.

It's nearly summer and the livin' is supposed to be easy, innit?

I'll be by soon.