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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just Passin' Through

While it is true that I always have much to say, I don't always have exactly the right thing to say on the spur of the moment. Sometimes I want to say something a little more correctly, so I take a day or two to polish my language, making sure it matches what I feel.

Her name is Kim and her husband is Dave. I've touted her blog several times here, but I want to go on record again. If you want to see the most beautiful and creative art in all manner of media - collage, jewelry, hand made beads, paper-decorated ephemera - then you need to spend some time on her wonderful blog. Those of you who have a short attention span will lose out. It is worth reviewing many, many of Kim's past posts and checking out all the links on her sidebar. Hers is a blog treasure chest of delights.

We'd planned this blogger get-together for some weeks and on Sunday morning, we began making high security coordinates worthy of a military mission on our cell phones. Kim and Dave are on their snowbirding trip from Arizona to Alaska and it is luck that landed them in my neighborhood on Easter Sunday at dinner time. We appeared in the parking lot at approximately the same time, and each said what must be Blogging 101 script: "You look just like your pictures!" Introductions were made and we repaired into the Lindo Michoacan - one of my favorite spots to dine, and they liked it, too. They were hot and tired and parched after 7 hours of travel, so they tidied up a bit and we tucked into a booth where we shared a most lovely early evening. Dave did not feel stiff in any way - come on, I know when someone is enjoying himself! - which was wonderful. One of my friends had said earlier, "Oh, that poor man." No. He had fun, too. It was grand to meet with new friends who were not precisely strangers. We had much to say to one another, photos to be snapped on 3 different cameras, stories to tell and Kim's jewelry offerings brought out for my own private showing.

I've mentioned that Kim is generous, and she did not come empty handed. She had recently posted photos of some postcards she had collaged but said they were not very practical, since she'd become overly excited and decorated both sides of the cards. My comment at the time was that they were so beautiful, I wouldn't want to mail them away anyway, but would just keep them to enjoy in all their beauty. She handed me a stack and said, "You choose!" Oh, I don't like to make decisions on a too full belly. One later always thinks, "Hmmmm, I wonder . . ." But I love, love, love my Asian flavored offering that now sits perched against my computer monitor. Check the little wind-up pelican on the one side! (upper left-hand corner, photo on the right.) All photos have been kept at high resolution to retain the detail. Just click on them. So now I was ready for my private showing of the most recent jewelry creations, but Kim wasn't finished pulling surprises out of her hat. "Here," she said. "I made this just for you." And it's this part I wanted to be sure to relate in a properly descriptive way.

Note about photos: The lighting is not good. I needed to use my little lamp that has a base that behaves like an easel to display my goods. The lamp is dear to me. But it does not shed as much light as the sparks from my brain shoot out of my ears. Click in for a larger, closer view. Ha! I must be feeling very secure today because I'm not even inclined to apologize for being unskilled at taking pictures. That's not what I do. I tell stories. And I'm OK with that.

First of all, Kim doesn't bring a gift and just toss it at the recipient. I already knew this because when I have purchased jewelry from her, the
first thing that has always impressed me is her beautiful packaging and presentation. Across the table, she handed me a rectangular package wrapped in sewing directions from a paper pattern and adorned with a collaged tag she had made. I grinned. I'm a woman who recognizes sewing directions. My gift is a journal, but that does not begin to tell the story. In this journal, one does not want to record that she went to Fresh & Easy for the cucumber sale or to Ross on Geezer Day. There is no place in this journal for mundane notations such as "get oil changed in car" or "make annual gynecology appointment". No, this journal begs the recording of important events or a recital of one's loftiest thoughts and emotions, maybe a poem or a snippet of meaningful lyrics. Important births and deaths might be memorialized in a journal such as this, and it must always be displayed so visitors can appreciate its beauty. Here is my best effort to appropriately describe the journal:

She made it pink - a nod to my blog's pink presence. Kim pays attention to details. Its cover is muslin, stiffened by paint applied to cover and batik-decorate it. Pink, deep fuchsia, purple and gold coexist alongside funky golden buttons and a lovely, distressed length of burgundy ribbon which serve to secure the journal when not in use. The pages inside the bound book are made from differently colored heavy art paper, decorated with every imaginable kind of ephemera from vintage postage stamps to old photos, cuts of musical scores and antique books.
Some of these images make me grin - the pansy my Granny and I so loved (even though Kim didn't know that), the 1950s high-heeled shoe and dance steps, some old advertising art. Some made me sentimental or moony - the lovely teacup and very, very old botanical images and reproduction woodcuts of crying babies. Kim gets her paper ephemera from many countries, estate sales, stamp shows - she is not a typical "go to Michael's and buy what's there" woman. As I flipped the pages slowly, enjoying and exclaiming, I came upon something that I had to hold up into better light, for the restaurant is not brightly lit. "Corralejo!", I exclaimed a little loudly. Kim's eyes asked, "What?" On the bottom right hand page was a picture of 3 blue bottles of some of the best tequila I've ever enjoyed! And Kim didn't know that, either. We laughed and laughed. Six months ago, I'd have said, "Let's go get some. I have something to show you."

I did get my private showing of the Collection and bought a glorious pair of earrings which will be revealed when I partner them with the right dress and get someone to snap my picture. And then it was time for them to leave. Hugs and more hugs were exchanged. I walked them in the wind to the curb to pint out where they'd make their turn to get back on the highway and continue driving for as long as they could tolerate. Later that evening Kim commented on my blog to say they'd enjoyed dinner and had driven as far as Alamo, Nevada. And so it goes . . .

In my ears right now: Another big hit from the Sea Hags' repertoire. I imagine everyone knows the part I sang. I hate it when I'm pushy and selfish! Sort of.

Something that charmed me: I shared the story of the journal and the Corralejo at an AA meeting. I had to do a little back story to set the table, and I was going to lose the men, so I cut to the chase. Suddenly, I had everyone's attention again. "You never told her that was your booze of choice?" "Never did." "How'd she do that?" "Well, I'm not sure, but it is remarkable." "Yeah, like an omen from god or something. You should stop at a casino on the way home and play a few hands. The stars are aligned in your favor." Uh-huh. I need a new addiction.


  1. Oh, you are so sweet Leslie and what a nice account of our meeting. I hope that I can do it justice whenIi get around to posting on my blog.
    We made it to the land of many shrubberies (Seattle) after the seemingly endless desolate miles of the Great Basin and will board the ferry tomorrow.
    Yes, Dave did enjoy the meet up as well and commends you on the choice of restaurants.
    xoxo Kim

  2. @ Kim ~ I'm glad to hear about your trip progress and that you've made it to green territory. I believe you've passed now through that which should be called the Great Empty Basin, eh?

    I've had a bit of a letdown this week. I'd so looked forward to our visit and spun immediately into a pretty work-busy, stressful week. They call that life, right? All the good with the bad.

    Ha, Dave! Yes, I usually know where to scout out good eats. Best of everything, always.

  3. @ Artymess ~ I knew you'd enjoy that, Lorna. I wish you'd been there, too. We talked about you in most loving terms. Kim said, "Lorna doesn't fly." "Uh-oh," thought I.

    I've got the Royal Wedding and all the hoopla surround it on TV right now. I care far less for the wedding than for the London travelogue. It's gray and windy, despite late April.

  4. It's such a beautiful, thoughtful gift! Looking forward to seeing the earrings. And, did I see you wearing your fun new shoes at dinner?

  5. @ CramCake ~ She's an incredible friend, and she can do it long distance, as well. Oh, yes, those were the kicks under the table.

  6. Les, your blog post in my opinion is a fine artist's testament and tribute to the work of a fellow artist. What a gorgeous journal. I have never seen a hand-made journal so full of wonderful little treasures with the pansies, the tequila bottles, the incredible paper. I love the postcards too. I am tickled at your arrangement of these beautiful items with soft lovely lighting. Thank you for sharing your event with the talented Kim and her spouse and sharing the unique gifts she brought. My own artist's sensibilities are saturated and glowing with the beauty you have shared. Thanks Kim for being an artist in our world!

  7. @ TRegina ~ Well, my BFF, fancy running into you here, you - another giver of beautiful gifts for which I am so grateful. Thank you for your kudos. I wanted to do Kim and her art justice, not be silly, not speak too soon.

    Re: the soft lighting, etc.: I was taught "If you can't give them substance, give them form", so if my words fell short, at least Kim's lovely offerings would glow and seduce.

    Thank you for commenting! It's nice to see you here.

  8. Very nice. Who are the Sea Hags?

  9. @ Tag ~ My secretary of many years and I used "Sea Hag" as a term of endearment for one another. Blog posts of 4-18 and 4-24-11. We also loved, LOVED to sing and dance in an unattractive way.

  10. I like her whimsical approach.

  11. @ Kirk ~ Oh, yes! You hit on one of her most appealing attributes - whimsy. I so enjoyed meeting her and Dave.