Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Inspire Me Thursday: Wings

"I'm Still Standing" created in 2007 with recycled doll parts, vintage fuel gauge, paperclips, Mica, ball chain, rubber stamps, and old rusty metal :)


Most items related to breast cancer have the word "hope" associated with them. When my mother was first diagnosed, I made an assemblage that I called "Hope". The hope was unfounded in her case and I began to feel as though the word might be too tentative, too dainty. I don't want to rely on hope alone; I want to Survive. The word feels stronger, more determined, more of a command. We have to be warriors in the fight against cancer.
All of this came to me while creating the above piece. I was feeling fiesty that day :)
Mixed media assemblage with vintage bible text, antique Mica, cancelled flemish stamps, black gesso, rubber stamps, and canvas.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October Thoughts

My first encounter with breast cancer was on September 30 of 2000. For the first time, I understood the phrase "paralyzed with fear". I was home alone and received a phone call from my doctor informing me that I had a tumor in my breast. I remember sitting at the table for a very long time after that call just staring into space. I didn't know how to feel or how to respond. I didn't know how to tell my family. I started with my mother who immediately expressed the thought that if I had been more careful about my weight, I would not have received that type of phone call. From there I moved to my husband (should have started there) whose obvious fear served to both make me feel very loved and to scare the bejeebers out of me. We then decided to only tell my boys as much as they needed to know at the time.

I knew that my grandmother had died of stomach cancer and had always heard that the disease sometimes skipped a generation. I had convinced myself, however, that I and the other members of my family would live forever. Being faced with a potentially fatal disease can be a rude awakening. It is a defining moment in one's life to realize that your time on earth is finite and completely unpredictable.

The tumor turned out to be benign and life went on . I found myself to be a little more serious, a little more cautious, and sadly a little more grown up. Seven years later, my mother was diagnosed with second hand smoke lung cancer. Once more the ugly, vile word had entered my life. Mom fought bravely and died six months later. Once more I moved on feeling even more vulnerable and a lot more grown up. Nothing like the loss of a parent to force you to face your own mortality.

Fast forward to 2009. This time, I received a voice mail message, "doctor would like you to see a surgeon". Biopsies, surgery, bi-annual exams, and now a five year regimen of cancer fighting medication. "Tumor benign but precancerous cells present", I've dodged a bullet again, but have reached a point of feeling fear every time I hear the dreaded "c" word on the radio or see it in print. Suddenly people all around me are being tested, diagnosed, operated on. It's become unavoidable.

I realize, that with the exception of my mother's fate, my story is a (pardon the pun) benign one. I can't imagine the fear factor when the diagnosis is malignant. I conduct a fund raiser in my building every year to support research. I buy pink ribbons at the grocery store and purchase all of the pink ribbon products I can find. I urge everyone to do what they can during October and throughout the year. We have to find a way to beat this hideous disease. Join me in praying for breast cancer victims and survivors everywhere. Thank you.....

The above pages are from a journal entry I produced in 2000 while waiting for the results of my first tumor...

Friday, October 9, 2009

The latest ATC swap theme was Halloween. I know that my swap partner, Veronica, loves Halloween so I went a little crazy and decided to mail my canvas to her in a handmade miniature coffin. I had a lot of fun creating the coffin! Using cardboard, tissue paper, distress ink, crackle paint, and vintage text I was able to create the top and bottom. The hinges were fashioned out of black ribbon. One of my favorite things to come out of my kitchen table studio this year.....:)

Sunday, October 4, 2009


The Ultimate Mask was accepted into the Blood Bath City annual art show at the Anton Art Center! Hooray!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Inspire Me Thursday: The Crash

What a wild and crazy ride it's been trying to keep up with the economy! Businesses going under, companies in the tank, CEOs getting indicted, unions being busted, homes going into foreclosure, dreams being put on hold. We can rage, cry, laugh, or dance our way through it. Maybe all of the above?
The theme for Inspire Me Thursday this week is "newspapers". The Crash is collage on heavy watercolor paper with rubber stamps, ink, and vintage papers.