May 30, 2009

saturday morning update

Hello all. Computering isn't convenient from the hospital, let me tell you. By the time I got to my motel room the last couple of nights, I was just too pooped. And, I'm sharing my room with my dad's wife so it isn't easy to set up that way either.

Anyway, my dad is in his own room - we lucked out and he got a private room. He is much weaker and in much more pain than he was after the bypass surgery. For this type of aneurysm surgery they pretty much take out all of your "stuff" and lay out on the table next to you while they put in the new aorta. He had to have a bit larger one that went down to where the arteries for his legs branch off. Anyway, they put your stuff back in but it goes into shock sort of or "sleeps" as the nurses say. This type of surgery is much harder to recover from. His insides are still asleep today. He has a tube going through his nose down to his stomach draining bile and stuff, so he can't even have ice chips yet or a sip of water. His mouth and throat are very dry and it is hard for him to talk. He actually has tubes all over the place draining and filling up different parts. He dozes most of the time, we are here to help him suck out the yuck from his mouth and wipe the insides with cool wet sponge-cicle things and help communicate with whoever asks him questions - he doesn't hear very well - and help when his IV gets a kink in it cuz he bent his arm too much (they showed us how to fix it), etc - those are the little things. He will have the epidural a couple of more days at least. His pulse is weak and faint in one foot so we are waiting for the doctor to come and make sure nothing collapsed due to that new branch off the aorta - that is the worry today but we feel pretty good that it is okay - his foot is much warmer today.

I've read all the comments below and you brought tears to my eyes - you are all so kind and I gain so much strength and a smile, maybe soggy, but a smile from your loving caring messages. My computer battery is almost out of juice and right now not in a place I can plug in. Pam - I've been sleeping with my teddy bear for good luck and sweet dreams (along with a little help from xanax that I am only taking at night to settle down and go to sleep). Love to you all! Maybe in a day or two I can write about something more fun than all of this!


May 29, 2009

A quick hello and update

My dad had his surgery yesterday afternoon. It was supposed to take 2 1/2 hours and took about 4 which had us a little nervous, but it all turned out fine. He is in the ICU where he was expected to stay for 2-3 days. Last night when we saw him he was in terrible pain which really upset me - he just seemed to be suffering so much and we could only see him twice for about a half hour each time. I cried and cried when we left after the last visit they would allow last night. I felt so awful.

This morning when we saw him he was much better and not in nearly as much pain as they finally got that under control. He has a epidural and morphine drip that he can manage. He was much more like my dad this morning. In fact, he's doing so well other than pain, they are going to move him out of ICU as soon as another bed opens up. So once again, he's surprised everyone and doing better than the standard average guy in his position. He was strong tough determined ol' bird. A little cantankerous but I am in awe of his strength and determination.

So, I'll be camped out at the hospital, as I am now (in the ICU waiting room), the next several days. Until he gets moved we can only see him at 5 scheduled half hour times during the day. When they move him, we have someone with him at all times. The hospital seems to depend on that, family staying with the patient, to take care of the little things.

That is all for now. When I get in a better location I may have better access to my computer and blog visits. Until then, thank you for all of your continued prayers, good wishes, and cheering on!
They mean the world to me and I have mentioned to my dad that people that have never even met him are praying and pulling for him. His name is Jim if you want to be specific in your prayers.

One last thing, I lost my mom after some unexpected complications from a less risky surgery than the ones my dad has been through. So there is a little bit of me that is always aware of that and worries about that. Your prayers really do help not just my dad, but me too. Thank you!


May 26, 2009

A long hello from Missouri

I arrived safe, sound, and un-slapped or otherwise punished or constrained by flight attendants. This was a bumpy flight with all of the thunderstorms between Los Angeles and Springfield, MO, but I've been on bumpier ones. I survived. I just about rubbed the wings off of Pam's doll she made me, but I got here fine.

My dad looks great, so much better than how I left him after the last surgery. That has made me feel better about this one. He looks strong and determined. My brother gets here tomorrow and Thursday we will be moving from Mountain Grove, where my Dad and his wife, Neva, live to Springfield about 65 miles away. I'll be staying with Neva in a motel near the hospital at night and in the hospital all day everyday the week or so my dad is there.

Yesterday I got to do something I hadn't done in years. When I was little and growing up in the Midwest, school got out before Memorial Day and started again after Labor Day - nice long summers. Now my kids go to school until late June and go back in late August. Anyway, when I was little we would come here to Mountain Grove to visit my grandparents and spend our 2 week family vacation in the Ozarks. We were almost always here for Memorial Day. Little temporary stores would pop up just for the purpose of selling silk flowers for folks to buy for Memorial Day. My mom, grandmother, and I would carefully choose dozens and dozens of flower bunches, pack up a picnic lunch, and the whole family would set off to visit all of the country cemeteries where my ancestors were buried. These are country cemeteries, on little bitty old country roads next to little bitty old country churches and one room school houses of long ago.

It was always a fun day. My dad would drive fast over the hills and curves of those little bitty old country roads and our tummies would drop like we were on a roller coaster. We'd giggle and my mom would scold my dad for driving too fast. We'd tour the old cemeteries a bit, plunk in the ground the new fresh flowers, if silk flowers can be considered fresh, and talk about who was who and how they died and how they lived. I loved those stories. I loved reading all the old fashioned names on the headstones. Since I didn't know most of the people, as they had died long before I came along, I imagined their lives as I looked at the dates on their headstones and saw them as romantic movies in my head . . . some tragic, some boring (based on their names, of course), some heroically long and exemplary for surviving the hardships of life before electricity and TV and fast food. As an adult, I have a hard time sifting through what may be stories I made up in my head about those people whose headstones I carefully inspected and what I was told and what of what I was told was true or embellished.

This year, it was a quicker trip. My mom and grandparents are long gone. My dad had already bought the flowers and it was decided half heartedly not to visit one of the cemeteries of my grandfather's family as it has somehow lost its importance to visit over the years - it's further away and the family more distant now. We didn't pack a lunch. We ate fast food. I drove and I don't think I drove quite fast enough that anyone lost their tummies on the little bitty old country roads. This time instead of remembering the people, it was more remembering the Memorial Day trips of years past. But it was good. Had I been alone or had the luxury of more time, I could have easily come up with a few romantic or tragic or heroic stories again. It was not the day, not the mood.

I did find this unusual headstone for which I am imagining all kinds of stories. It does not mark the place of any relation of mine but it is near my father's parents' graves in Koshkonong, MO. Right next to it was a headstone for two men with the last name of Johnson and just below their names and dates it read "Real Brothers" which I found interesting as well. There is no date on this stone and nothing on the other side. It appears to read John H Johnson with many letters backwards.

We toured the great metropolis of Koshkonong which took all of a few minutes. It was just so cool to hear my dad tell a few little stories of places we drove by, like the rock wall that still stands outside an old stone church where he sat and watched military vehicles drive by as men went off to war at the start of WWII, and to see the old battered store front of the general store where he worked at the ripe age of 8 stacking potatoes and delivering groceries in his wagon, and to see his childhood home where he lived with his mother and grandparents after his father died when he was 7, to hear about the peach orchards that grew between the houses and how his grandfather worked on the railroad right there by his house. That was the gift of yesterday and the things I hold so dearly about my occasional trips here and the ingredients for all of the stories I can imagine about the people whose names are still whispered to the soft summer winds on Memorial Day trips.

I am not a photographer and only brought my cheap little "purse camera" but I wanted to try and show you the brilliant color of the cemeteries and the new flowers placed over the weekend.

I haven't checked email or blogs and will try to in the next couple of days. My schedule is not my own here and there is lots of visiting to catch up on as well as the need to get the chores caught up so that all is well over the next couple of weeks around here. I miss you all! I thank you for your good thoughts and prayers that brought me safely here!

May 24, 2009

Oh, I'm a little nervous here

I leave in for the airport in about an hour. Yikes. It is raining and thunderstorming where I'm going too. More yikes. The flight attendant may have to slap me or something. Maybe they have tranquilizer guns or something they can shoot me with if I get out of hand. Anyway, I will be checking and posting some, or my husband will for me, throughout the next week. Dad's surgery is Thursday afternoon. We'll keep you posted. Thank you for all of your good positive vibes, prayers, good wishes, and finger crossing! And, thank you, Pam for my goodluck dolls - they're ready to go even if I'm not! Have a great rest of the weekend!

May 22, 2009

Happy Friday!

I don't watch a lot of TV and certainly don't pay all that much attention to commercials, but I found one I truly love to watch. I know it's annoying that this overlaps my side column but I couldn't get this one any smaller. I already have some art ideas after watching this . . . .

Here's the making of that commercial too . . . . (you may need to turn off my playlist as you scootch down the screen to see this)

I dreamt this morning that the post office blew up last night with all of the trades and Etsy orders in it that I mailed yesterday. What does that mean I wonder?

May 20, 2009

Busy as a bee today

I have about 10 million things to do in the next few days. I have one more trade to finish, lots to mail, laundry and errands to do. I am shutting down my Etsy later today until I get back. I can't believe it's already Wednesday and I only have 4 more days to get ready to be gone 2-3 weeks. It's really hard to be gone that long! Yikes!

This is for my friend Verna. We're doing a bee swap.

Queen Bee

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/20/09
This is a 4 x 6 collage using a face from, a body from Flickr's Okinawa Soba, shoes scanned from a magazine, wings from, and a little crown made from a 100 year old encyclopedia page. The face and body were printed in black and white and hand-colored after printing and trimming. These pieces were attached to a background made from merging a picture from Flickr's imagesbykim, a texture from Flickr's Dogtired, and a texture from Flickr's 'Playingwithbrushes' in photoshop.

I have a few more pieces I want to make before I go. We'll see if they get done! Hope you have a great day!

May 19, 2009

There's someone I'd like you to meet

I don't know if you've seen the email message about how God puts people in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I have received it a few times and, in fact, sent it out again this week. If you want it, let me know and I'll send it to you. The reason I tell you about is that I want you to meet someone that God certainly placed in my life on purpose, hopefully for a lifetime but maybe just a reason or a season. Any of those ways, I'll take what I can get. I have been so thankful for her friendship.

Pam Smallcomb of Yoborobo is an artist and an author and, I'm proud to say, my friend. She keeps the author part a bit quiet but she writes children's books. She promises to share more of that part of her life with us in the future. I met Pam through Flickr and her scrumptious doll sculptures and got to know Pam through her blog and the many, many supportive and caring emails and messages she's somehow found time to send me. Maybe she knows deep down she was placed in my life for a reason because she is having a big impact on me.

Anyway, I asked Pam to make me a doll that I could take with me as a good luck charm on my trip coming up in a few days. I asked for a keychain doll so that I could hook it on my laptop case and have it with me always and I asked her to stuff it full of the magic I am just sure she possesses and sprinkles on everything she makes and writes and does. I got my package yesterday and I thought I'd share the opening up process with you.

As soon as I opened it, I saw there was 2, not 1, but 2 packages inside! Surprise! I love surprises!

Here is Florence, my good luck charm. She has wings! Maybe they will help us fly to Missouri. And she's bright and beautiful and I can feel the good luck stuffed inside with Pam's magic. Pam even added some magic worry beads and a fish charm!

And now for the surprise . . . Can you read the note?

A Teddy bear doll too! I love him! Though he's quite a bit smaller than the big ol' cuddly bear of a husband I normally sleep with, this will certainly keep me company trying to sleep alone. And, he'll fit in my laptop case too. So now I am doubly lucky!

You need to be sure and check out Pam's Etsy - and her Flickr - I decided to post some pictures of some of her work so you could get a sneak peek. These are some of my favorites . . .

This is Walter Dunworthy

This is Hyacinth

This is Verity

This is Julie-Anne

and this is Frida the Rabbit!

There are many more wonderful creations to see from Pam, so do go visit her Etsy and Flickr. She is a very talented artist and you can see a few of her illustrations in her Flickr as well. But be sure to leave time to read her blog too. Her last two posts happen to be my favorites. She is Erma Bombeck reincarnated. She makes me smile from ear to ear.

Thank you, Pam, for all you have given me - all of your support, your perfect sense of humor, and your very kind and generous friendship. And, thank you for my special custom order! You don't know how much my dolls mean to me!

May 17, 2009

Flaws and all

This piece has flaws. Most of my pieces have flaws, this one just has some big ones. It is disappointing when you spend a great deal of time on a piece only to muck it up in the end . . . which I did with this one. I'm going to point out the flaws in my flickr (which you can see here ) because it is easier to do there than here - be sure to look at the note squares on the piece. Flaws and all, here it is . . .

House Fly

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/17/09
This is an 8 x 10 collage, large for me, using a body from flickr's goldengreyblue, a face from, a house from, wings from, and boots scanned from a magazine. The hat was made using a combination of images from flickr's takeabreak and wackystuff. The face and body were hand-colored after printing with ink and pastel. All were printed and hand trimmed and arranged on a back ground using a floor from the public domain and a sky from flickr's Dogtired.

Do you get it, kinda? She's the fly, swatting houses. I decided not to do this piece over because it has already lost my attention span. In fact, that is probably why I mucked it up - should have "measured twice, cut once" as my hubby says. I slapped it together at the end. I shouldn't have put off gluing it down. This has been in the works since Friday morning and laid out since yesterday and I kept finding other things that needed to be done other than art so I kind of got in a hurry to finally finish it.

This weekend was busy with the mundane. Nothing exciting but every minute used albeit not in art ways. I am WAY behind on my friends' work and flickrs and blogs. I'll work on it tonight and tomorrow . . . cuz I miss you all! It's going to be a busy week getting ready to leave in less than a week! I'll try to get a few more pieces, visits, and posts done and then I'm shutting down until after I get to through Dad's surgery. Hope you had a great and creative weekend!

May 15, 2009

The Kathryn Wheel, fish, and awards

I recently had the pleasure of meeting (online) Kate from The Kathryn Wheel and somehow arranged a private trade with this talented lady. I find her work more than inspiring and rich in color and detail and I find myself spending a great deal of time in her blog and flickr losing myself in her beautiful pieces. You can find the piece she made for me on her blog at this post

She also sent me these surprise presents until our main pieces were finished and ready to mail. What a lovely lady and wonderful gift!

She sent a gorgeous ATC that I let it be known I wanted very badly (well, technically a different edition of the original that had already been traded but I love this one all the more) and some beautifully watercolored backgrounds. As you will see, Kate sews gorgeous details in many of her pieces. When you visit her blog, be sure to visit several pages of posts and her flickr to see a wide variety of her work and journal pages. I am in love with this woman's work!

I have loved her work so much, in fact, I found it very difficult to make something for her. I really struggled with this and partly from my own fault. I suggested we make pieces with a fish in them and that darn fish really hung me up this time. Finally, tonight I finished a piece I like well enough to trade. It's a little different for me as I went back to one of my old watercolored backgrounds and didn't cut off the head and make it bigger - even left the hair on!

She Loved Fish

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/15/09
This is a 3.5" x 5" collage using a vintage black and white image from and a fish from the public domain that were reprinted, carefully trimmed and hand-colored. The wings are used with a license agreement with Butterfly Utopia and the tape measure is from flickr's pamj. All were arranged on a watercolored background with trims from Graphic 45.

This is how the main image looked before printing, trimming, and coloring.

I don't know if Kate loves fish, but I do and I love that she was willing to play along with my fishy theme.

Recently, Kate gave me a lovely blog award and I have waited until I could share our little trade and feature her a bit to pass this award on . . . the 2009 Friendly Blogger Award.

I have to be honest a moment. My blog links and flickr contacts and other gallery contacts have grown so much over the last few months, it takes me several hours to visit and comment everyone and answer emails. I used to try and visit every day. Then I tried every other day and am now realizing I can only make the rounds a couple of times of week in order to get any of my own artwork done. I love, love, love and require the visits for my own inspiration and social contact so it is not a chore in any way. It just takes a big hunk of time. Besides the inspiration, it is very important for me to do this visiting because I know how much everyone's comments mean to me in my flickr and my blog. They mean the world to me. I am often overwhelmed with the time people take to leave the lovely supportive comments they do and I cannot imagine working without them. So, what I'm trying to say is this. I know how much time it takes away from your own work to cheer on your fellow artists and I want you all to know that it doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated. It is often the catalyst for someone to keep going and keep trying. Some days, it's the ONLY reason! So, all of you that visit here and regularly comment, this award is for you. Please download it and say you got it from me . . . because you did, every single one of you!

May 13, 2009

A Fairy Tale for You

Once upon a time, there was a good fairy mother who posted on her blog that she was going to do a few chores and then "above all" play with art today. The fairy mother was genuine in her intentions and set about doing the tasks that needed to be done around the family dwelling in hopes that she soon would be doing what she most wanted to do. As most things end up, however, one thing lead to another.

For instance, when the good fairy mother went into her 17 year old son's room to leave something he left in the living room, she noticed the dirty clothes on the floor. She dutifully started to pick them up and sort them in the hall into the piles that awaited washing. During her many trips into the scary forbidden 17 year old son'sland to gather and pick the laundry, she pricked her toe on a poison apple, actually a stray hard drive laying amongst the briar patch of cords and discs and plugs and jewel cases and old potato chip bags and popcorn bowls and empty coke cans, and she decided it was time to slay the evil son'sland dirty room dragon.

The fairy mother worked and worked to clean the room and had to venture on a long journey to the kingdom of Target to get a new area rug and mattress cover and pillow. Truth be told, the fairy mother first sent her Prince Charming to the kingdom of Target but he returned with only a waterproof mattress cover, much like the fairy mother used to put in the cribs of her sleeping babes. A little distressed that she must do most things herself, the fairy mother saddled her trusty pickup truck and struck out on the journey herself to find the proper cover. But even the fairy mother had her challenges. The first time she visited Target she didn't think about nasty trolls putting full sized mattress pads in the twin size shelf space. The second time she visited Target she got sidetracked by the enchanting bath towels and set her magic truck keys down to fully appreciate their size and thread count. After a breathtaking run from the checkout counter back to the towel aisle she located the cursed keys, made her purchases and returned safely to finish her brave battle with evil son'sland dirty room dragon. (Every adventure needs a chase scene and this one happens to be absolutely true - too bad you couldn't hear the verbal description I gave my family of this scene as the aisle I ran down pulled out of focus, got longer and longer in a nightmarish movie kind of way with a stranger admiring her keys in a sick twisted kind of car stealing way) Of course, in the end, she slayed the evil dirty dragon room.

What fairy mother didn't expect was that 17 year old son would be so elated to find his forbidden forest room to once again be clean and perfect and pristene (and not smell like something died), he decided it was time to actually spend some time with his parents and talk about the many things that fill a 17 year old's mind. Now, behold, this was not a conversation about girls and video games, but instead, this particular son at this particular time wanted to talk about death and theoretic ideologies of heaven, hell, and religion and which parent he would rather have around during an apocolypse, fairy mother or Prince Charming. While fairy mother got the award for coolest parent ever, Prince Charming won the charished Mostly Likely to Succeed in an Apocolypse Award, just like in your old yearbooks.

After discussing the philosophies of life, religion, prejudices, politics, government control, economics, and high school the villagers decided it was time to feast. Prince Charming butchered the bacon package he found wandering in the fridge, picked from the veg drawer and sliced the tomatoes for a traditional BLT dish. With the Queen Mother (mom-in-law) and court Jester (daughter) joining in the magical gathering, all dined to the background music of NCIS until their tummies were full. Fairy mother washed the dishes and scrubbed the bacon splatters and washed more of the laundry she picked from the 17 year old son'sland and set off on a new adventure to blog land without playing in art at all today . But, BUT, everyone lived happily ever after . . . .

Much better today!

I feel much better today. My nose quit running which is such a relief. The cough kept me awake all night and I still feel crumby but oh so much better than the last few days. I was just about to believe I had the swine flu. Hee hee.

Isn't this the cutest little guy ever? I found him yesterday in the Library of Congress so you are free to copy and use him. I love him! I have all kinds of ideas for him . . . we'll see what he says about them later.

I am going to get some chores done, take it easy, and above all play today. I am just going to play. I might even make some ATC's which I don't do often enough. They seem less formal to me somehow, kind of take the pressure off of making some best piece ever thing I get goin' in my head feeling too self important and serious about all of this. It's time to play. I'm going to be closing up my Etsy this weekend until I get back from my Dad's and things are a bit slow now anyway, so it's a good time not to worry about selling what I make and just make it cuz I want to.

Have a great day! I have a lot to do over the next few days but I always look forward to blog visiting you all more than anything else - I'll get by sometime today or tomorrow!

oh p.s. Scout, my dog that hurt his leg, got about a dozen or more stitches yesterday and spent the day at the Vet's. His gash was about 3 inches long and very deep. He was pretty loopy when he got home and very quiet today, but he's fine and loving the extra attention. I tell him in my "I love you doggy" voice that he's a pain in the neck and now wasn't the best time to cost me $200 but he can make up for it by not chasing the UPS truck anymore.

May 12, 2009

Good Morning!

Today's miscellany . . . . My head cold has moved to my chest and I'm starting to feel it in my body a bit today, so I am going to take it easy. Also, one of my nutty big ol' dogs, Scout, ran into a sprinkler chasing the UPS truck up and down the fence row and has a huge gash in his leg. My hubby is off to take him to the vet but I will be dog sitting today to make sure he doesn't lick it and stays quiet.

I just wanted to say hi and tell you that I am going to do image research today and not a lot of writing or working otherwise. Did you like my Mother's Day award joke? Our good family friend, Kim, sent it to me yesterday and I just had to share. I knew it wasn't really about me but I thought for one split second some other Marsha Jorgensen must have got the award and . . . then I finally caught on. I am very gullible. I probably shouldn't tell you that as you might take advantage of it as my brother and husband and son and every other teasing type soul takes full advantage of.

Notes on my artistic adventure . . . . I am going to start this little section of some posts so if you want to avoid me blabbering on about my thought process as an artist, you can. Don't feel obligated to read or comment. It's just my sending out into the cyber world my miniscule little thoughts about my art life.

Thank you for all of the kind comments on The Attic. I have thrown myself on a slippery slope. I have been so taken with digital collage work lately I am desperately trying to find a way to use digital backgrounds and hand cut images together. There is just something about the subtle edges of cut collage work that I am not ready to let go of - the depth or layers even though it is itty bitty, the hand-made quality, the feeling of handling the image more with my own fingers. Yet, I love the magic I have seen people create in digital work. So, I've just started trying to make digitally layered backgrounds. That is my first baby step. I will probably work on this and still hand cut and color the main images and see if I can marry the two for awhile. The slippery slope is this . . . now I feel I have to put my main images in a more realistic setting - can't just let them float on an empty simple flat background. And, I don't know how to make the digital settings any better than I have ever been able to make a background - you know this isn't my strong suit. Photoshop is not at all easy for me to figure out - I mean I have no idea what I'm doing. So, once again, my head is spinnning and I don't know how to work or in which direction I want to try next. Part of me wants to set it all aside and make something completely different for myself. Thus the image and art research today.

Before I leave these notes, I must tell you this. I just opened my May/June Somerset for the first time this morning. I had heard from some of you I was in it. I never received a voucher or free magazine from them this time so I finally found it and bought my copies. I couldn't bring myself to open it, which is silly, I know. I flipped corners until I caught a glimpse and then bookmarked the page and had my family look without me. I just really didn't want to know what my pieces looked like amongst the others. I already didn't like my work, and again, was a bit embarrassed and surprised they made it in. So anyway, I finally opened it, trying to avoid my page. Don't get me wrong, I am very honored to be published again. You may wonder why I send them in if I am learning I will end up hating them being published . . . I am trying to figure that out. I think at the time I make them, I feel they are the best I can do and I promised myself that regularly sending things in for publication, putting that pressure and discipline on myself would be a logical part of a long term business plan if I really want to live as an artist. Have to put yourself out there. But, I push myself everyday to try one little thing different, try one little thing I didn't know I could do, and thus, my vision changes ever so slightly every few days and a few weeks later I find myself in another spot which may seem very near the last one to you, but is miles away for me. I don't claim to be rational or clear minded as an artist - I am as confused and searching as they come.

One of the biggest delights for me, opening this issue finally, was seeing Becky Bunn of Heart in my Hand's gorgeous work and article on 4 pages. Holy moly, woman! When you said you were in it, I didn't realize you were IN IT (!like 4 big beautiful pages! 92-95) I would have opened it sooner. Congratulations and you so deserve it - lovely, lovely, gorgeous work and article! The whole issue, if you haven't looked or bought it yet, is one of my favorites with a wide variety of stunning work from a lot of talented people.

May 11, 2009

Just had to share the best award I've received . . .

Mom of the Year

Happy Monday!

I spent much of the weekend nursing a stupid ol' head cold. My body is fine but I never knew my head could produce so much yuck! My nose is raw and red, my brain feels loopy, and now I'm getting the cough. Oh well, better now than when I am with my dad in a couple of weeks.

The Attic

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/11/09
This is a 5 x 7 collage using a face and body from, wings from, house used for hat from, and boots scanned from a magazine. The face and body were hand-colored. All pieces were altered slightly digitally, printed, carefully trimmed, and arranged on a background made from merging a room picture from the public domain with a texture from flickr's Dogtired.

This morning, I opened a lovely package that came Saturday but got mixed in with the mail I kind of ignored anyway since I didn't feel good. Geesh! I wish I would've seen it Saturday. My lovely friend Linda Cain of Friends in Art sent me the most lovely pieces.

A note pad in a lovely cover and the prettiest little altered tin. If you are not familiar with Linda's work, you just jump right over to her blog right now, cuz you are missin' out. Talk about eye candy. This woman is on more than one design team and it is no surprise anyone wants to show customers what lovely things can be made with their materials using Linda's talents. Oh she makes my eyes pop out of my head and my breath catch in my throat with every visit I make to her. Thank you, Linda, for spoiling me!

We did not do much over the weekend. While I was watching the garage get cleaned out (yes, I just watched - I had already cleaned house and done laundry) my mom-in-law ran across this picture of my husband she found in Kent's dad's old desk.

Oh my. He is one good lookin' man and he's all mine. The picture got pretty beaten up in that desk drawer over the years, but this was taken in the early '80's while he was Captain of the football team at California Lutheran College (now University). We met about 6 years later and he was even better looking if that is possible.

Anyway, the weekend. We didn't do much. I drooled ove the picture above off and on - that was the highlight. We went to brunch yesterday and I slept most of the rest of the day. It wasn't a bad Mother's Day at all. Speaking of mothers, though, my friend Pam at Yoborobo has the most perfect synopsis of trueisms about kids I have read in a long time. She is brilliant. Run over and read this post for a good "yep, she knows exactly what I go through" post

I did get another lovely blog award over the weekend that I will be sharing later today or tomorrow.

May 8, 2009

Just a little ATC

I owe my friend Kate an ATC and a larger fish piece. I am still working on putting together a fish piece - you'd think it would be easy for me since I love them so much, but it is actually a bit harder. And Kate's piece for me is so dang good and clever. I don't know yet exactly what I'm going to do yet. I am researching images right now.

Fairy Window ATC

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/8/09
This is an ATC collage using a face from and a flower crown from and arranged inside a window from flickr's Just.N8. The face, skin, crown, and hair were further hand-colored to pop a bit more than the original pictures.

I may still add something to the bottom of this piece. Have to find the right thing. We'll see. I have a feeling I'll be posting and visiting a lot this weekend but since it's Friday here, I'll wish you all a Happy Weekend now!

Some swap pieces done today

I am participating in a couple of private swaps. One is for text inspired skinnies. I chose fortune cookies as my inspiration since I find them to be one of my favorite things to read (if you knew my attention span for reading, you'd totally understand).

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/8/09
These are four 3 x 5 collages using a face from flickr's sassyarts, bodies from, shoes from, backgrounds from flickr's joes sistah, images snipped from a magazine, and home made text. The faces and bodies were hand-colored.

Have you noticed fortune cookie fortunes are getting funnier? Here are some of my favorites I have read recently . . .
  • What you just ate wasn't chicken.
  • Try another cookie.
  • Ignore previous cookie.
  • Everyone agrees you are the best.
  • Don't panic.
  • Speed is a ppoor substitute for accuracy.
  • Stop procrastinating, tomorrow.
  • I cannot help you for I am just a cookie.
  • Wow! A secret message for your teeth!
  • When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out . . . because that is what is inside.
  • If your work is not finished, blame the computer.
  • You are the crispy noodle in the vegetarian salad of life.
  • Buy the red car.
  • You will be hungry again in one hour.

The other swap is for heart inchies.

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/8/09

May 7, 2009

Music, connections, art . . .

In the last post I mentioned many artists from all around the world and how much I savor those connections. I also mentioned that in preparing the post I found on Shari's Creative Chatter blog the most wonderful videos and project called Playing for Change. You can watch the short video explaining what Playing for Change is all about. It is about inspiring one another, making connections and coming together from every walk of life to make this big ol' world work a little better. I plan to show these videos in sequence here. Today I've posted the introduction and the first episode. You need to jump over on the right side of my blog and turn off my playlist first.

It is evidence to me that not all of the most talented and important people are famous. Have you ever seen any of these people before? I love the idea that our blogs and our art and our words are doing a bit of what is undertaken with Playing for Change. We inspire each other, make connections, and come together.

These two things, music and art, come together for me in another context as well. I am a musician and artist born in a body that struggles with both. I feel and see visual art and music in ways I cannot relate to you - it is soul deep for me. My soul yearns for what my mind and hands cannot make easily, without great effort. I think I must be a reincarnated artist and also a musician stuck in a body that doesn't know how to make either very well. Music and art are as important to me as eating, or sleeping, or breathing. My husband wrote recently that the musician chooses the notes, the poet chooses the words, and the artist illustrates them both. It is easy to connect words to art. Artists title their works, we use words to celebrate and describe them. But for me, connecting music to pictures is as perfect as it gets and a little more subtle. I rarely work without music playing. I find it to be one of my biggest inspirations and it further communicates the message I am trying to "write" wordlessly into my pieces. Usually, not always, the music I play on my playlist here is chosen to set the stage, the ambiance in which I want my art to be understood. Sometimes it has nothing to do with my art at the time, but more with what my soul needs at that instance.

Recently, a constructive and kind hearted suggestion was made to me that I remove my music from my blog and that maybe more people would visit. Not that I am feeling a need for more people to visit. I am happy with the lovely people that visit regularly. But, I don't want their experience here to be negative in any way. So, I am searching out input on the music on blogs thing. When I blog visit, I turn my music off so that I can listen to what other people play on their blogs. It gives me a bit more information about them, an insight into the way they work, the things they enjoy. And, I enjoy hearing things I might not hear otherwise. I have never found it to be a problem with page loading. Blogs load for me just as fast with music as without it but maybe that is just me. (I have found, interestingly enough, a certain page layout that some people use conflicts with something in my computer and freezes it up. It's really weird. The horizontal based layouts freeze me every time.) If it is music that I just really don't care for, I just turn off their playlist and continue my visit. Kind of like if you don't like what's on TV on that channel, change it, no biggie. I like blogs without music too. I am easy to please and find my own way to make everything work for me.

I know it is impossible to please everyone. But, I really would like to know if my music is a pain for the majority of visitors. You can email me instead of commenting if you like - Be honest now! Truly, I love my music, but I can listen to it without it being on my blog. If you all think it takes away from your visit here, I want to know.

I am a lucky girl!

Please be sure to read this whole post - I know it's long, but there is an award at the bottom I want you to be sure not to miss.

I told you it's been like Christmas around here. I've received so many lovely things in the mail recently, some in trade and some just because I know very sweet generous people. The first few pictures show two lovely pieces I got in the mail from Becky of Heart in my Hand blog. I've been drooling over her dolls and I think I might have hinted a bit about how I'd love to have one. Becky still doesn't have an Etsy which I hope you all will help me convince her she should open. I cannot thank her enough for this lovely surprise out of the blue. I am so touched. I put some detail shots below each main image. Here is the lovely doll I received from her.

So beautiful . . .

And, this is my favorite part . . .

And this is the second piece I got from Becky . . .

Look at the stitching . . .

Here are a few of the lovely mail pieces and collages I've received from several artists.

Starting from the top left and working clockwise, a postcard collage from Cathy of Cathy Parmelee's Art + Life, a postcard collage from Donna of Donna's Inky Corner, and two wonderful little collages from my buddy Tracey (aka Angellea) who is blogless but has a wonderful flickr you should visit at Tracey, this is where I would be giving you a mini-feature IF YOU HAD A BLOG! (some of us keep trying to get her to start one so we can bother her more but maybe she is being smart - maybe we would bother her too much.)

These next two pieces were sent from Melissa of Honey Girl Studio and also known as Tootieu on flickr. This is a very lovely collage on canvas that I again commented just enough to sweet talk her out of it. As a surprise she also sent me this beautiful pendant made from a poker chip!

I received a package of loveliness from Kate of The Kathryn Wheel as well, but I'm saving it to post when I finally make her some trade pieces, which I have just started trying to figure out.

And then one of my newer friends, but one that I have been so lucky to have had lots of recent conversations with, Pam of Yoborobo, sent me this gorgeous print of one of her collages. I am going to feature Pam soon on my blog so I will save some to tell and show you later.

Pam also recently gave me this lovely blog award, The Renee Award. I am so proud of it. You can see what she wrote about it on her post at

Snipped from Pam's post about this award, “The Renee award was created by Bella and Ces in honour of their friend Renee. In Bella's own words "this is a brand new award and I have the pleasure and honor of spreading the seed, watching it grow. I hope it finds it's way to those who are like Renee: the acorn, a small package becoming a tall and sturdy oak, giving more acorns, becoming tall and sturdy oaks, giving acorns…” I, too, went to see Renee's blog, Circling My Head, and agree it is worth every second of investigation. The art images she shares are incredible only to be matched with eloquent and humorously real writing.

So, I am to pass this award onto 8 others. I could have given it to about a hundred. I settled on 9. If any of you 9 have an award-free blog, no worries. Just enjoy my little thank you for sharing all you do. I chose to share some new blogs I've discovered recently and have enjoyed visiting in hopes it will connect you with some people you might not have met yet. To me, connecting with folks all over the world with all kinds of voices and things to make, sing, write, and do is one of the richest experiences we can enjoy in our lives. If you know these blogs already, you can enjoy them again as I do many times a week.

Sunshine Dew (New Zealand) Pherenike writes some of the most beautiful posts I've ever read. She reminds me to appreciate and find the beauty in everything and to be looking for it always. I especially love her thoughts of gratitude at the end of each lovely post. She serenaded me, in a way, in one of her comments and I am still singing to myself, "every little thing is going to be okay".

Sophism Press (Australia) I've told Chrisy that she is officially one of my appointed Life's Tour Guides along with Ginny's Small Studios and Linda Crispell who are all the best at finding beautiful things and people and art and places that none of us should miss. Be sure to check out her very cool Etsy while you're there. I want her Anatomical dishware but I have several of her pieces on my wish list.

Lumilyon (United Kingdom) I've just met Lumi and I must admit I'm shallow. I was attracted to her images and art before anything else. I'm a visual gal first I guess. Turns out she also has one of the sweetest souls ever so it makes it that much more wonderful to enjoy her beautiful work. I wish I could have a bit of her style in my work, I love it so much. We have connected in our metamorphosis philosophy and I have enjoyed our writing back and forth and sharing our journeys.

Francis MK (Brazil) Another artist whose art I am in love with. Maybe you will see some similarities in the work of Lumi and Francis. There is some sweet melancholy surrealistic dreamy quality to their work that takes my breath away. Francis is a poet too. Since I do not speak or read Portuguese yet, I have not had the chance to appreciate this talent of hers, but someday we will find a way for me to appreciate that as well. Francis also has a kind and beautiful soul and I have so enjoyed our messages to each other.

The Kathryn Wheel (UK) Kate is someone I've recently met and fell in instant love with her art and wonderful personality. I go to her blog for pure instant visual gratification. I love the sewing details she adds to many of her pieces. Her colors are rich and her images fun and endearing. She is always one of my favorite and first visits to make.

Donna's Inky Corner (UK) Donna is someone I've been getting to know the last couple of months. Again, her blog and artwork delight me with her whimsy and creative style. She collages, paints, draws, you name it. I love all of her work and gaze at it for long periods of time trying to pick up just a bit of her expressive quality.

Broken Heart Art (New Jersey, USA) Susan is just my kinda gal. She is s Jersey girl and I mean it in the most complimentary way. I just left a job that had me working with some East Coast gals for several years and let me tell you, they have such a perfect way about them - real, bold, funny, true blue, and in her words "take names and kick butt" approach to life. I need me some of that! I have enjoyed our offline messages as much as her blog, but you can enjoy her take on life and cooler than heck art on her blog too! Some of us are trying to convince her to open an Etsy - see what you can do.

Creative Chatter (Illinois, USA) I'm not sure how I found Shari. I found her flickr first and had to write her a note about her work. I just adore it. Her work has a vintage quality I cannot recreate though I would love to. Her buildings, especially, just entranced me. I would love to combine her vintage beauty with Lumi's and Francis's surreal melancholy and I think I would have found the voice I've been looking for. Anyway, Shari and I connect in lots of ways with our trying to make art after long dry spells and in the midst of a lack of confidence and artistic searching. Be sure to tell her how amazing her work is. It is!

Queen of Arts (New Hampshire, USA) Last but not least, I present to you Kim. Kim's blog attracts me in so many ways. She is on a journey, maybe more than one. She is so good at writing about what she is thinking and pondering and I relate to almost everything. She is good in connecting other writings and music with her own story and uses them perfectly. Her art work is personal and gorgeous and a reflection of her journey that she bravely shares with everyone. She has even started a movement. She sells and leaves rocks with messages on them everywhere she goes and has many people that share in this mission of paying good thoughts forward. I just know one of these days I will find one. I certainly need to leave some.

I leave you with these connections to make or to reconnect with again. I hope you enjoy them all as I have. Thank you, Pam, for the award and the opportunity to bring the world a little closer. In that light, later tonight or tomorrow I'll be sharing the Playing for Change videos on my blog which coicidentally I found on Shari's Creative Chatter blog while preparing this post. It is so relatable to this idea of connecting, it made me tear up when I watched it.

May 5, 2009

Another custom piece

Love Boat (what a perfect (well, almost as perfect as mine) husband and dad that's been working with me. This is for his lovely wife - hope she doesn't look on my blog. I don't know if it's a surprise or not.)

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/05/09
This is a 5 x 7 collage using faces from a private photograph, man's body from, woman's body and wings from, crown from, boat, man's hat, and water from the public domain, and the boots were scanned from a magazine picture. The faces, skin, boat, water, and wings were all hand-colored. All of the pieces were arranged on a sky background from flickr's Joes Sistah.

Well, it's been a good day of work. I still have some trades to work on and when they are done in the next day or two, I am going blog partying, visiting everyone I've missed this week. I have gotten so much art in the mail lately from some very kind, generous, and talented folks. It is like Christmas around here. I will post all I've received along with some blog awards later this week. I had a bright idea. When I am stuck in the hospital with my dad in a couple of weeks, I will be doing some artist features and boy, will I be blog hopping then.

Puppet Fairy

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/05/09
This a 5 x 7 collage using a theater and body from, face from flickr's takeabreak, hat and word made from scraps, and wings from The face and body were printed in black and white and hand-colored. All of the pieces were hand trimmed and arranged on a sky background made from a texture by flickr's Joes Sistah.

Circus Fairy

copyright by Marsha Jorgensen 5/5/09
This is a 5 x 7 collage using a face from, wings from, body and hat from, and boots scanned from a magazine picture. The face was hand-colored. All parts were altered slightly digitally before printing. All were reprinted and hand trimmed, arranged and attached to a background made from merging two textures from 'Playingwithbrushes' from flickr.

May 4, 2009

I'm here . . .

I'm just busy doing other things other than blogging which isn't good but necessary. I haven't visited folks since Friday so I know I have missed a lot with all of you. I'll be by this week. I'm trying to at least keep up with email and everyone's flickrs. All is good, just kinda heavy and big right now. A lot on my mind and in my personal life. All will be fine in the long run.

My background seems to have disappeared tonight. I'm not sure how that happened. It was my own personally made background. Maybe it will reappear again . . . I hope. How strange.

Today is my Kent's 50th birthday. He's literally "my old man" now. I am only 43 and I rub it in with him as much as I can. So, just for you honey . . . nee nee nah nah (with my fingers waving in front of my nose). I love you baby, even if you're old. You're getting distinguished now, like my beloved Cary Grant. And you know how I love older men. For the rest of you, we celebrated with friends in a combined sending off party for our friend Tracy who is about to leave on her 3rd tour to Iraq, God bless her, yesterday at Oz and Jolene's. Today and tonight, and this cracks me up because we are so dang old and out of shape, we celebrated with Kent taking off the day, watching movies and napping and a fabulous dinner from In and Out. Impressive 50th birthday I throw, huh?

I thank you for all of your recent comments and emails. The beauty post struck a different response than I thought about when writing it. I thank you all for your comments, which took me by surprise at first and then I realized how I sounded like I was so fishing for compliments and I truly was not. Just baring my soul a bit. So thank you anyway for helping me through this - you're all very sweet. I've started working with Wii fit which I can tell is going to take care of this. The last time I used it was on Christmas day and I have somehow lost weight and gotten in better shape than I was then, so . . . wow. Don't know how that happened. I am only about 20 lbs overweight as opposed to the 35 I was fearing. Wii fit makes working out a lot of fun so I'm on it!

Hope I have pix for you tomorrow!

May 1, 2009

Beauty . . .

My friend, Kim of Queen of Arts had a very real (and lovely because of that realness) post on wanting to feel beautiful. I so related to that post. I have always felt ugly, my whole life. I am very masculine with my long face and big nose. I look exactly like my dad. In fact, I have been places and had complete strangers come up to me and ask if I was his daughter because I look just like him.

I had long hair for many years thinking it made me look more feminine, but kids at school told me I looked like a witch (seriously). I have very thick curly hair and it just makes my face look longer when it's long. So, I cut my hair several years ago when we cut my daughter's when she had lice so bad we couldn't get rid of it. I haven't had the courage to go through the ugly phases of growing out hair again. Now, very often at drive through windows and other places where a clerk might just glance at you, I get called Sir.

One thing I always had, though, was a slender figure and a nice flat tummy and real hips with a small waist just above, little boobs but good enough for what they're needed for. I am almost 5' 9" and have short legs that used to be gorgeous despite their shortness (my height is in my long torso). Key words here being HAD. Since I quit working I have sat all day working on art. I used to be on my feet all day, walking to classrooms, and lifting books and putting them away (doing about hundred deep knee bends everyday). I walked miles and miles in an 8 hour day. This week I had to have my husband cut one of my rings off my finger. I only wore two. My wedding band, which thankfully came off but is still too tight to wear right now, and a diamond ring that was my mother's. That ring was given to me 13 years ago when we buried my mom and I had not taken it off since. I've probably gained 25-30 lbs in those 13 years, 20 of them in the last 6 months. My once gorgeous muscular toned legs are full of cellulite and thundering about. My flat tummy is getting a gut. I was shocked last night when I was in bed laying on my side, as I usually do, and felt my stomach as it hung down to the mattress. It used to stay where it's supposed to, not hang down. So, I've been feeling ugly, especially since the ring thing. That really hit me hard and embarrassed me. My husband has gained a lot of weight too over the last year and I've been giving him encouragement to start working out as he seems so tired and I worry about his health. He is an apple on toothpicks which they say puts the most stress on your heart. I am a pear which is safer but not any prettier. I know part of why I feel so un-pretty is because I don't feel good. I eat horribly and need to get some exercise, need to move around. So, even if it takes time away from art, I am going to get myself together here and take care of me and maybe that will help hubby take care of him too.

In the meantime, Kim shared this cool little video that did make me feel a bit better tonight. You'll need to turn my playlist off or you will have conflicting music as you watch.