Saturday, December 21, 2013

Tis the season

To be jolly. Fa la la la la, la la la la.

I'm working on the jolly part - far too much to do in far too little time since my return to Connecticut. I am, however, very joyful and thankful for so having so many good things and good people in my life.

There's my new favorite word - benign. It's really being all jumbled up with an extra n thrown into the mix, but it's also the sweetest of words to hear...especially when said in regards to one's mother.

Then there are friends like Pam

who saves tea bags for me and sends them along - 

all nicely emptied even though I keep telling her to just stick them in a box.

And who included a good bit of indigo from her own stash with the tea bags.

photo by Barry Smith

Then there's Fiona. Part of my whirlwind week back home has included being able to visit with Fiona and Barry in New York on Sunday. It still boggles my mind that they choose to visit during our winter. Think about's summer in Australia just now. They've traded sun and warmth for snow/rain/sleet + wind + cold temps.

I'm so glad we had the chance to get together again. This time around we took in some bad art at MOMA. Really, really bad art at MOMA. The kind that leaves you wondering how on earth this stuff got to be shown there. Really? Just what were we missing? The kind that also leaves one thinking that their 1st graders made better collages back in pre-school. Yep. That kind of bad.

Lunar Architecture by Fiona

The good art came via a little bag that Fiona handed me containing gifts from her and Barry, Noela and Susan.

I've felt a kinship with Fiona from the beginning of our exchanges via the inter-pixies. And our work shows it, don't you think?

Imagine Peace by Fiona

Some time last year, I rusted a piece of cotton that printed beautifully...except that it had measles. Seriously. There were little dots all over it that I just could not get past. Noela thought she could do something with a bit of it so, not being able to see beyond the measles, I sent the whole thing to her.

She sent part of it back in the form of the most wonderful book,

all wabi sabi style

and playing off the measley parts 

in ways that left me speechless with surprise and joy

Peace by Noela Mills

and feeling very peaceful. 

 Susan's textured prints have me wanting to hold them

and examine them,

 to learn their language,

to listen to their tales

and secrets...for surely they are maps to another world, another time...

when feathers were magical and the most precious of possessions.

Barry's gift is one of reflection, stillness and meditation.

Encouraging me to smile, dream, shine, have hope, be at peace, to love and have joy. 

Tis the season for hearts to swell with amazement and awe, in my case at having such wonderful and generous friends. Thank you doesn't seem quite enough, but thank you all so very much for the gifts, but especially for being in my life. 


  1. absolutely WONDERFUL. i'm so glad you had this benign gift!!!

    1. It truly is wonderful Velma. Thank you! Merry Christmas!!!

  2. oooo gorgeous all of them..... when barry and fiona went out of their way to meet me they bought a little metal leaf mini bowl then purchased a piece of my work from my solo - they are special souls....

    1. They are indeed special souls Ronnie. I only wish we'd had more time to chat and shake our heads at the bad art. Ha! So......when will you be visiting New York? My husband that whenever we finally make it to Australia, at least a month is needed because there's visiting to be done. One day...

  3. I am struck by the generosity and camaraderie of friends who will make irrational visits, that someone will go to the trouble of sending you empty teabags, that you dare to "blaspheme" about bad art at MOMA (I love it!!), and that spectacular photo of the feather. So much more than benign. . . I think the universe is telling you something. All in all it sounds like a marvelous holiday season!

    1. I think you're onto something there Cindi. The universe is speaking and I'm trying to listen closely. I've also been blessed to have made such wonderful friends - both in "real life" and via blogging. The world is vast, but also so very small at the same time thanks to the internet.

      As for the benign-ness of life right now. was the best kind. My mom had a tumor removed recently from a spot where tumors are very rarely benign. Her's was. She remains the Bionic Woman (as she used to tell the children in her class...).

      Life is very, very good. Wishing you the best of holidays!

  4. Dear J, life is good. It is a wonderful thing to have friends who share, who make time to fit friends in and who give beautiful and precious gifts from the heart. Thank you. Like you I could have used a few more hours to chat and laugh and see gorgeous things, but there will just have to be a next time. Benign is good and maybe a great way to ponder 2014 as it begins. Safe travels and much happiness at Christmas for you all...F

    1. As you said, Fiona, life is good and that is a great thing to be able to say and feel and know. That you and Barry are part of mine is a blessing. Merry Christmas!

  5. Such beautiful things and wonderful thoughts ... it is always good to visit.
    Thank you for sharing over the year and may there be Happy times to come for you and yours ...

    1. Visiting is great - especially as hopping over to each other's house for a cuppa is a tad difficult. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year.

  6. Oh I am in love with Susan's prints! Thank you for sharing :)
    Have a happy christmas!

  7. I can feel so much joy just reading your post and viewing your treasures that I can imagine how happy you must feel to have them. May 'benign' be the sign for 2014. Happy Holidays, Jennifer!

  8. you are a gift
    thanks for sharing yours

    1. Thank you my dear. The same is true of you. Wishing you a year filled with peace, joy and love...and art!

  9. just found this post! My network has been overrun with children home from school I imagine! Was so very glad you and Fiona and B were able to catch up, shame about the MOMA art. Tragic really when there is so much interesting or exquisite art to be viewed. Glad you enjoyed all the little treasures that came your way. Love what Noela did with your measles fabric! Hope 2014 is all you could wish for Jennifer. I agree with elizabeth b …. you are a gift. A treasured person. x

    1. Susan, think nothing of it! A much better, more personal thank you will come, but this post was a quick way to say it until then. I enjoy "all the little treasures" every day. They are proof that there is good in the world (a cliche, but it's how I feel), that friendship/kindredship can exist regardless of proximity...or having actually met.

      As for seeing bad art at MOMA, I am going to rectify that today by going to the Metropolitan Museum to see the Ink exhibit that Fiona and Barry saw. Xu Bing has a piece in it that Pam and I first saw back in 2001 at the Sackler Museum in DC. I remember being stunned and awe struck at his artistry, creativity, imagination, skill, etc. Fell totally in love with his work and with artist's books. 13 years later, it will be great to revisit...and photograph with a digital camera. Shhhh.....

      Wishing you a most wondrous 2014!

  10. much more good art here than i can take in at one sitting - shall have to revisit!
    and speaking of revisiting - i hope your return to moma was a good one!
    a beautiful tradition getting away for the holidays - the girls look so happy.
    take good care - happy 2014 to you and your family!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...