Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Savoring the Season

This time of year makes my socks go up and down....

But it's packed full of activity -- family birthdays, my OWN birthday, the end of Fest followed by all the post-Fest clean-up and the post-Fest art commissions and the post-Fest recovery period. And don't forget my favorite holiday: Halloween.

The season deserves all my attention, though, it's that spectacular. I wish it wasn't so brief.... I could spend whole hours/days/weeks just being still and watching it, feeling the temperature changes, following each leaf as it falls, enjoying the fragrance of loam and woodsmoke, wishing on each milkweed seed as it floats away....

But by the time I stop to do this, it seems I'm already smelling snow. Autumn is curled up and sleeping, and I have yet to rake her leaves! And so I don't.... I don't put the gardens to bed either. I leave them wild and shaggy like little enchanted forests full of burrs and brambles, where rabbits hunker and mice burrow under the leaves....

Maybe it's just that I can't bear to let go of my season. If I rake, if I garden, it's like I've tucked it all away like my Halloween decorations, to be forgotten about until the holiday sneaks up on me again and I hurriedly pull them out and enjoy them briefly without really smelling the candles and tasting the pumpkin spice and wearing the witch's hat....

My season deserves to be savored.

And so THAT is what is on my list today. Savor the season. And do it all again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Join me.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dear You

So much to tell you,
So much to share....
And I will; I promise.
But for the moment I need
A bit more pencil time,
A bit more Autumn,
A bit more silence
(No -- a LOT more silence)
Until I can find my words.
I hope that's OK....


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Leafling Story

I don't have time for blogging today, I really don't. But it's time to talk about this. I just hope I can do so without sounding too stupid....

Not long ago, I had an emotional crisis while watching news reports about terrorist attacks and police shootings and Donald Trump, climate change, parents murdering their children, floods and fires and fill-in-the-blank. The whole world was in chaos and needed help, and here I was with nothing at all to offer.

It was about that time that I began creating my leaflings. I'd go for a walk, find a leaf, take it home, and draw on it; wash, rinse, repeat. Faces, mostly. Sometimes I'd write a wish on the back -- "Mother Earth, may your heart be healed" -- things like that. Then I'd release them on the wind to work their magick.

Doing this helped me. In my head I saw each leaf go on to spark a little change, even if all it did was fall to the curb and decompose. Then I began imagining that each was discovered by the one person who needed it most, someone who looked down at the earth and saw the earth looking back. I liked to think that that person was suddenly kissed by magick and began seeing the wonder and beauty in everything, and they began paying it forward. In my head I was changing the world one leaf at a time....

I know that my few friends and fans on my Facebook page like to know that I'm being creative, so I shared what I was doing on social media. Thankfully, it all got the reaction that I was hoping for. Nothing crazy, mind you; just a few folks being charmed by my efforts. The fact that I'd spent time creating these leaflings only to let them blow away was a big part of what charmed them.

It was suggested to me that I add a hashtag or my email address or my website URL on the back of each leaf, so I can hear when and if one was ever found, and also because people will want to know who the artist is. But the idea made me uncomfortable. I didn't want anyone to see my work and wonder about me; I wanted them to see my work and be filled with wonder.

Occasionally someone would comment. "I wish I lived in your neighborhood; it would be so exciting to look down and find one!" A friend wrote that he saw a stand of old milkweed with clusters of empty pods still clinging to their stalks and thought to himself, "Wouldn't it be cool if Delayne drew on one of those?", then went on to say that he'd simply walked away with a smile, telling himself that I'd drawn on them all. When I read that, it was like everything came Full Circle.

My leaflings were making their magick.

But it wasn't long before other comments surfaced: "I hope you're weatherproofing them somehow so they last." (But then they won't decompose; I'm trying to commit a random act of wonder, not poison the earth....) Or, "I live half a world away; I'll never find one!" (How do you know this? They're MAGICK.) Or, "Can I commission you to make one of these for me?" (You're talking about ME taking MONEY now, right?) Or, "Where do you sell these and how much do they cost?" (Yeah, you're talking about money....)

Here's the thing:

I'm just the delivery system. Mine is just the hand that helps the Other Side make contact. Some of us are already 'awake' and familiar with the divine, but others need a miracle, a bit of serendipity, something completely unexpected (like seeing a leaf that sees you back) to make eye contact and kiss them on the heart. To me, it's magick of the highest order.

And I sincerely believe that by working this way -- with fallen leaves and their impermanence -- the message is rather like a glamourbomb (look it up), free to decompose and release its wonder-filled stardust in the air like a perfume. Does that make sense?

That being said, let me repeat that I am just the delivery system. I'm assisting the Fairies, let's say. I'm a minor part of the team. And the thought of taking money in exchange for the small thing I'm doing gives me hives. Money is Donald Trump. It's greed. Yes, yes, I know that I call myself an 'artist' and that I try to sell my work so that I can live to do it all again another day, but don't think it doesn't bug me to have to do this. I've written dozens of blog posts (like this one) about my aversion to being paid for what I do and how bad I am at business so I won't repeat myself. Let's just say that if there was a way to do what I do every day, share my work with others, and still eat and pay my mortgage, I would do it.

But no. Money factors in here, so I deal with it as best I can. I sell my artwork. But this? This is different.

Because others have asked to see my leaflings in person, I've chosen to bring them with me to Fest this season. They're in a display case on my counter, and when people appreciate them I tell them the whole long story. Some get it, some don't. Some lecture me. Some roll their eyes.... I understand. In a place where NOTHING is free, where tickets for a family cost a fortune, where costumed street characters roam the grounds with tip baskets hanging from their belts and seed money tucked in their cleavage, where the smallest of interactions come with the expectation of reward, where food booths have tip jars on their counters next to the napkins, where you can't request a song without waving a five-dollar bill first, what I'm doing is so dang dumb that I can hardly type this without shame.

And smarter heads remind me that it's dumb. Like they did, repeatedly, this past weekend. "This is a business. Take peoples' money." And I really do listen, I swear; I'm just trying to take their advice in a way that is comfortable to me. And I think I've come up with a solution. Maybe.

For the moment, this is where I'm at:
  • All the leaflings I create, starting today, will be gently coated with a water-based solution to protect their tiny faces and keep them looking fresh. (This way, should one find its way to you, it will weather the trip, thus allowing you to frame it, gift it, repurpose it, or release it.)
  • And if you live 'half a world away,' you can still 'find' one of my leaflings, because I'll mail it to you.
  • And you can commission me to make one if you need some magick in your life (or know someone who does). How much do I charge? I don't. (Read on....)
  • And if you're at Fest and one of my leaflings 'calls' to you, then you're obviously the one meant to 'find' it. Give it a good home. (Read on....)
I never meant for these to be 'free.' (Magick isn't free; there's always a price.) But in this case I'll let you decide what this is worth to you and what you want to give in exchange. All I ask is that if you wish to pay me in real money, you do so without putting cash or coin in my hands. Give it to me in an envelope and I promise someone else will open and deal with it; I won't know if you think my work is worth 50 bucks or 50 cents or 50 paperclips, so there's no humiliation factor for either of us. Or make a donation on this site (I'll link a Paypal button or something here if/when I can figure out how to do so). Or do something else like rescue an animal, donate some books, read to a kid, fill-in-the-blank. Just move the magick forward, 'k?

Because the Fairies have given me a serious job: to begin their work in this little way and make sure it continues -- without pause -- to heal the Earth and its inhabitants one magick leafling/one kind deed/one act of wonder at a time.

And if you so choose, it can be your job too.

And we can heal the Earth together.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Virtual Eraser in Hand....

I woke yesterday with a strong need to erase parts of myself and recreate them. Not the outside stuff, exactly. I like the age I am and the way I look. (Although I'd be happy to redraw new internal bendy parts and digestive bits, thank you....)

It's the Past I'd like to tweak. And the Little Girl I used to be. And the Clueless Adult she grew into. All the times she should've said no. The things she did for others without a thought for herself, and the relationships she chased in vain for validation. And the people she hurt because she was hurting....

And with that strong need to erase and recreate myself, I felt a giddy temptation to eradicate my online presence. Erase this blog, take down my Facebook fan page, close my Etsy store, everything....

Not sure why, exactly. Because I'm fine with how things are. No one's trolled me or hurt my feelings or anything. Just, suddenly, I wanted it swept clean so I could start again from the beginning (or even not start again at all). And I could half-imagine what my life would be like without this online connection. And the feeling was nice....

Please don't think this has anything to do with Wonderful You. You're my beloved reader, my single awesome fan! The special person who watches my videos and comments on my posts and 'likes' my updates and shares my Tweets and 'hearts' my Instagrams and buys my Etsy stuff.... It'd be rather selfish of me to disappear after you've spent your precious time online being my friend and giving me a follow....

Perhaps I just need to step away from the computer for a bit. Get out of my head. Quit being influenced by Perfect Others online. Take a break, refresh, and return when I feel like myself again.

A sweet friend agreed I should do just that but suggested that before I 'go' I leave you this message (or something like it):
"I'm off gathering inspiration and will be back sometime in the future. In the meantime, I hope you find magic in the everyday events surrounding you. I look forward to hearing about it when I return!"
Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? Like the person who wrote that packed up their magick pencils, grabbed their cloak, hopped on their broomstick, and set off on a Grand Adventure. 

I wonder what she did, where she went, what she saw? I wonder how it all changed her into the new-and-improved being she's so desperate to become?

Hmmmm....... (*pleasant sigh*)

Even I look forward to hearing about it. 


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The 'M' Word Revisited

This quote keeps following me around....

It makes me think of a story I read or heard once of a young man who ran a 'pay what you can' taxi service. He may even have been a fellow Minnesotan and I learned about him on the local news. Whatever the case (can't seem to locate the story online and I've got no patience for searching any longer for it), what I recall of the story keeps following me around, too....

Seems to me this young man was unemployed during the height of the economic crisis, and he came up with the idea of a taxi service that has no set fee. Riders paid what they could afford. He wasn't thinking, "How can I make money?" He was thinking, "We're all struggling. How can I help and still pay my bills?" I like that. I would give him a hug and buy him a beer if I could remember or discover who he is....

My first thought was that people would take HIM for a ride. And I'm sure it was his first thought, too. If I remember correctly, some riders did just that. Others paid with stuff that wasn't money, like an extra sandwich from their lunch or a CD of their original music. For everyone who stiffed him there was always someone generous to make up for it, and at the end of each day, when all was calculated, he made more than he would've done charging a standard rate. And his idea wasn't about getting rich anyway, it was about making enough.

Rich doesn't interest me half so much as enough does. Rich gets my attention only in how I could share it somehow....

About the time I began fleshing out this post (I've been working on it for ages), the lottery was a big topic of conversation. It was up to a nonsensical sum, and numbers were about to be drawn for a possible winner. Occasionally when the total is high like that I'll play, not because I want to win so much as I love how having that two-dollar ticket in my hand makes me DREAM. I would play every week for that reason if I didn't dislike the idea of being $100+ dollars poorer at the end of the year (I'm already plenty poor enough, thank you).

I'll admit buying that occasional ticket does give me a little shiver, though -- not because I have a chance in hell of winning, but because I have a chance in hell of winning. Not only can I imagine the wonderful scenario of suddenly having more money than I can count, but I can imagine the nightmare scenario as well. And it scares me. Someone on the receiving end of a quick bundle like that would be in danger of being victimized, taken severe advantage of, scammed up the wazoo, fill-in-the-blank. And there's also the chance of going down the classic money-winning path of soon finding oneself in deep debt, with perhaps a drug habit.

This post wasn't supposed to be about the lottery, so I'll go back to where I left off with the quote and the 'pay what you can' idea.

I can't help but imagine that everyone in my circle is where I am. Struggling. Living from month to month and wondering where the money will come from to pay the bills. This isn't true. Some in my circle are living like this, of course, but there are more who are financially very comfortable. And some are very VERY comfortable.... But since we don't talk about money together, I'm blissfully unaware. So when I create something and they want to buy it, I already assume they are as penniless as I am. I love that they appreciate my creation and want to own it, but I know from experience that just giving it to them devalues it. (Doing that also makes me angry with myself, as I need something in return in order to continue doing what I do....)

But.... what if....? What if I tried that 'pay what you can' model? What if I followed the suggestion in the quote above? What if I allowed a customer to give me what they felt my work was worth, without judgment? At the end of the day, wouldn't the final total give me a big-ass clue about my work and whether or not I'm wasting my time?

When I brought this up recently with a friend (who'd just got done scolding me for not charging her enough for the work she'd commissioned from me), she countered, "But if you did that, people would just take advantage of you." And I'm sure they would. Some people would. Some take advantage of me NOW. But would those thoughtful and generous 'others' -- like in the above taxi story -- make up for it? Would I find at the end of the day that I've come out ahead? That all of us that did business together that day were satisfied with what they gave and got in return? By doing this, would I not be following the taxi man's example: "We're all struggling; how can I help and still pay my bills?" That's exemplary, isn't it? It says, "It's not about being rich. It's about having enough."

And I'm all about that....

My heart thinks this idea is perfect, my head is pretty dang skeptical, and my close friends think it's crazy. So I'll ask you: What do you think?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Dear wonderful You,

Well, hmmmmm.... Apparently I published a post yesterday that I hadn't meant to publish.


I hate when that happens. Because it makes me look like I really have no idea what I'm doing. (Which is pretty much the case, actually.)

Anyway, I took it down. Mostly because I write to discover how I really feel about something. And I hadn't explored the topic of the post enough to have solidified my thoughts before accidentally hitting the 'publish' button.

Oh well....

This particular post was about reacquainting myself with the health regimen I was on before Fest, Stress, and The Holidays knocked me the heck out of it and back into the overweight-and-out-of-shape zone, and about how interested I am in pursuing a creative health regimen again as well. Get back into the routine of doing something creative on a daily basis sort of thing.... Last year at this time I was exploring color with my '50 Shades of Fae' idea, which I thought I'd continue to pursue long after I fulfilled the required number of designs. But now? Now I'm not so sure....

The post went on to say something about me maybe picking up a book on creativity and doing the exercises. Or taking an online Creativity Coaching class. Or maybe just promising myself to do something creative every day, even if it's not in my chosen medium, and then post the result here in order to hold myself accountable.

And then I remembered how dang great I am at jumping on an idea, chugging along for a week or month or so, and then losing momentum.... Remember my short-lived sketch-a-day regimen?.... You don't?.... Well, perhaps it's because I chugged along for a week or month or so and then slowed to a frippin' halt.... I did that with a weightloss thing, too. And a blogpost-a-day thing. And I'm sure a bunch of other things. Because my follow-through skills suck. And because my attention span sucks, too....

But now I'm wondering if it wouldn't have helped me to be part of a group, one of a bunch of like-minded folks who wished to explore their own creativity. Not necessarily in an oil-painting, sculpture-carving way (although that's fine!) so much as in an, I dunno, "let's put on our Creativity goggles and see what happens" kind of way. Does that make sense? No rules. And no pressure to create something physical on a daily basis. More of just a check-in. Kind of "here's an example of how I thought outside the box today." Or "I spent my Creativity time today writing a letter to a friend." That's do-able, right?

And if I did this, would you be at all interested in joining me?

I would even go so far as to set up some kind of a platform that we could post to privately to share our explorations. (Not 100% sure how to do that, but I'd be more than willing to figure it out if there was any interest....) And that way, when I drop the ball (because I probably will) you're welcome to keep it rolling for a second until I get my act together. And the posts wouldn't be just about me, would they? Because they'd be about US....

And I'm about to press the 'publish' button here in a second, even though I know I haven't thought this post through. Maybe because I'm hoping you'll have something to add that will further the discussion.

Sending my voice out like a boomerang to see what comes back,

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Hopefully Not Too Whiney Update

Still ill since my last post....

During that time there were chest pains, CT scans, a stress test, the works. The annoying Shingles rash has appeared to quiet down visibly, but still itches and burns and makes it nearly impossible for me to wear clothes in comfort. And the sinus-fever-cough thingy has morphed into something that makes my lungs sound like they're popping bubblewrap with every exhale.

It's the pits. I feel my age, feel old, feel beaten. Twelve hours of sleep a night plus a nap in the afternoon is hardly enough for me now. I love to sleep, but I'd prefer not to sleep my life away, thank you.

Perhaps the results of the stress test and stuff will give me a clue to what's dragging me down? Maybe. Or it could simply be that I was already run down when confronted by this cold and it just consumed me like a grassfire.


For now I'll sleep, since that's what everything wants to do. And I'll try not to mention all this again, since no one wants to read a Poor Me post. And I'll keep in touch, since that's what I enjoy doing.

Until then, my friend.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Having a Day....

I drew this days ago. When things were painful but less bleak....
Dear You,

I'm shooting from the hip today.... Typing without thinking, really. Typing as a form of coping.

You should be forewarned that I'm physically feeling poorly, which isn't helping my mood. (For the record, Shingles SUCK. And go ahead and add a nasty sinus-and-fever-and-cough-related thingy on top of them. I'm pathetic.) Plus, I've been dealt an emotional blow, which isn't helping either.... As a result, I've spent my awake moments today wondering What The Effing Hell.

I'd sob if I didn't think it'd make my head explode....

This mood will pass, I know. Tomorrow will be better. And I'll spare you by not welcoming you into my Mind Dump (no Palaces here...) so you can see for yourself what craziness has contributed to this fall running leap down the rabbit hole. 

Instead, do this for me (please): give yourself a hug, think of a special time when we had fun together or got into mischief together or fill-in-the-blank together (not that time when we pissed each other off….). Smile. Give yourself another hug (from me). And -- above all -- take gentle care of yourself.

I don’t tell you enough how much I heart you, do I? But please know that you are always in my thoughts. And you mean the world to me. 

Now turn off the computer and go look at the clouds.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Weekend Eve Thoughts for 1/29

It’s after noon, I’ve been up for hours, and I’m still not awake. Still groggy from all the Dreamtime activity! This is the week for familiar dreams, I guess; I must have some unfinished subconscious biz that needs addressing or a lesson that needs learning….

Anyway, here are some Weekend Eve thoughts:

FIVE THINGS TO BE HAPPY ABOUT (from The Happy Book by Barbara Ann Kipfer):

  • Dimmers for lights.
  • Onion domes and stained-glass windows against a forest setting.
  • Pails of first-run sap 
  •  Quilted kitchen appliance covers.
  • Raisin sauce.


  • Good customer service.
  • Homemade ‘stone soup.’
  • The mail-order catalog from The Vermont Country Store ~ “Purveyors of the Practical and Hard-to-Find.” (In which you can still buy Evening of Paris perfume in the little blue bottle. Remember seeing that on the shelves at Woolworth’s? You can get a catalog mailed to you, too!)
  • Miniature yellow Legal pads. (They are as much fun to write lists on as thin-lined steno pads. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.)
  • Drawing a pretend tattoo with a Sharpie™ marker.

            (Because I’d love to know.)

SOMETHING (I think is) COOL:
‘Stone soup’ you say? Here’s the story, courtesy of Stone Soup Magazine. (There is a BUNCH of interesting info about the tale on the magazine's site. Check it out!)

The Original Stone Soup Story from 1808,
“To Make Stone Soup”

A traveler, apparently wearied, arrived one morning at a small village that lies to the north of Schauffhausen, on the road toe Zurich, in Switzerland. A good woman sat spinning and singing at the door of her cottage; he came up to her; talked first about the roughness of the roads, and then of the prospect of a luxuriant vintage along the banks of the Rhine: at last he asked her if she had any fire?

“To be sure I have! How should I dress my dinner else?”

“Oh, then,” said the Traveler, “as your pot is on, you can give me a little warm water.”

“To be sure I can! But what do you want with warm-water?” 

“If you will lend me a small pot,” said the Traveler, “I’ll show you.”

“Well! you shall have a pot. There, now what do you want with it?”

“I want, said the Traveler, “to make a mess of stone soup!” 

“Stone soup!” cried the woman, “I never heard of that before. Of what will you make it?”

“I will show you in an instant,” said the man. So untying his wallet, he produced a large smooth pebble. “Here,” he cried “is the principal ingredient. Now toast me a large slice of bread, hard and brown. Well, now attend to me.”

The stone was infused in warm water; the bread was toasted, and put into the pot with it. “Now,” said the Traveler, “let me have a bit of bacon, a small quantity of sauerkraut, pepper, and salt, onions, celery, thyme.” In short, he demanded all the necessary materials.

The good woman had a store cupboard and a well cropped garden; so that these were procured in an instant, and the cookery proceeded with great success. When it was finished, the kind hostess, who had watched the operation with some anxiety, and from time to time longed to taste the soup, was indulged. She found it excellent. She had never before tasted any that was so good. She produced all the edibles that her cottage afforded; and spreading her table, she, with the Traveler, made a hearty meal, of which the stone soup formed a principal part.

When he took his leave, he told the good woman, who had carefully washed the stone, that as she has been so benevolent to him, he would, in return, make her a present of it.
“Where did you get it?” said she.

“Oh,” he replied, “I have brought it a considerable way; and it is a stone of that nature, that if be kept clean, its virtue will never be exhausted, but, with the same ingredients, it will always make as good a soup as that which we have this day eaten.”

The poor woman could hardly set any bounds on her gratitude; and she and the Traveler parted highly satisfied with each other. Proud of this discovery, she, in general terms, mentioned it to her neighbors. By this means the recipe was promulgated; and it was in the course of many experiments at length found, that other pebbles would make as good soup as that in her possession. The viand now became fashionable through the Canton, and was indeed so generally approved, as to find its way to most of the peasants’ tables, where stone stoup used frequently be served as the first dish.

Wikipedia has this to add: “Stone Soup is an old folk story in which hungry strangers compel the local people of a town into sharing their food. In varying traditions, the stone has been replaced with other common inedible objects, and therefore the fable is also known as button soup, wood soup, nail soup, and axe soup.” I DID NOT KNOW THIS. 

Stone Soup is a fun recipe to make with kids. My own Girlz and I used to make it together on occasion. And you’d be surprised how relatively easy it is to get young picky-eaters to eat some veggies if you let them have a hand in their preparation.

I walked in to the Village yesterday to buy some local honey at the co-op. On the way home I passed a Goldfish cracker in the road (message: “Today you may feel like a fish out of water, but smile anyway and just keep swimming”). Not once did I slip on any ice, and the brisk breeze and bright sunshine did me a world of good. It reminded me that my favorite thing about working full-time at an office was the walk to and from the Metro Transit bus stop. The world and the weather were a comfort to me on my way to and from that stressful environment. Yes, some days it could be horrid outside, but it was always interesting. And there was the sunrise. And in winter, the sunset. And, of course, that moment or two to connect with The Meaningful.

Happy Weekend Eve. And may your weekend have some dipped-in-gold moments in it. And a book! And a comfy couch, a warm afghan, a hot beverage, maybe a jigsaw puzzle, and a beloved film or TV show. 

Mmmmmm. Thinking now.... What would you choose? A cup of tea with some Jane Austen? Hot chocolate with ‘Bonanza?’ For me, I’m on a kick right now with hot turmeric milk and back-to-back episodes of Big Bang Theory. What would be your favorite combination?

Have fun. And get outside for a moment! :)