Nature's Stunning Abstracts - Masterpiece "Paintings"

"Each man’s necessary path, though as obscure and apparently uneventful as that of a beetle in the grass, is the way to the deepest joys he is susceptible of; though he converses only with moles and fungi and disgraces his relatives, it is no matter if he knows what is steel to his flint."
  -Thoreau journal entry; excerpted in Thoreau and the Art of Life

"The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention."
 - Julia Margaret Cameron


The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, 
for I have seen the shadow on the moon, 
and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church
- Ferdinand Magellan


"Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand." 
-Thoreau journal entry; excerpted in Thoreau and the Art of Life


"Life is much too important to be taken seriously."
 - Oscar Wilde


"Between the banks of pain and pleasure the river of life flows."
 - Nisargadatta Maharaj


"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - 
the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science"
 - Albert Einstein from Living Philosophies

"One is never so strong as when one is broken."
 - Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan


"Hand over the controls to the universe and go along for the ride. 
When you're a passenger, 
you can appreciate all the beautiful scenery that you might otherwise miss."
Author unknown


Ageism - Sexism

"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, 
but beautiful old people are works of art."
 - Eleanor Roosevelt 

I've done some adbusting to show the double standards between men and women, and to play around with the rampant ageism found in advertising, especially in regard to women.  Below is what advertisers use to represent an attractive 40s male - covered over with words used in women's advertising.  These words seem ridiculous when placed over a man's face, but are so ubiquitous over a woman's that we think little of it. 

The following image includes a picture of an "acceptable" woman of the *same* age; the type of woman whom these words would usually accompany.  Note not a wrinkle in sight; the product must work!  (After all photoshop has made the 40 y.o. look 20).

Skin of a baby!  Forbid we show our lives on our faces like men do (and do with style)...lines from laughing not okay...

and these ads for jeans, with their words switched sure seem strange, eh?...

Comfort and Value.

Fit and Flatter.

Erase our lives, our individuality?  No thanks.

"I am not old…she said
I am rare.

I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play.

I am the retrospective
Of my life as art

I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense

I am the fullness
Of existing.

You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found

I am a treasure.
I am a map.

And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey

Ask me anything."
- Samantha Reynolds

Again, more pictures of men who aren't held to the same standards of youth, placed in an ad instead of the usual air-brushed women...it really makes the absurdity stand out:

and some close-ups so you can read the words:

...can be life threatening...

Ultimate Perfection

Contains human albumin!  Is this a weird, but accepted form of cannibalism?

okayed by the FDA, it must be fine...

And I leave you with this photo (which is not mine, photographer unknown) and this link to a great article from which I've pulled this quote:

"For as long as women are distracted by society's dictations on 'beauty' they will never pose a threat to the system.
So long as a woman's attention is focused outwards, she will forever be divorced from her innate magic and power."

And Ladies, WE ARE immensely POWERFUL.

Louise Bourgeois



'And She Calls' (from the archives, 2007)

You are so powerful.

Lesser men will try to smother that radiance,
squash it by a multitude of means.

Be ever vigilant
and take necessary actions to shine on.

It's been long enough.
The time is now. 


Contemplating Collapse

'Contemplating Collapse, 2015, full collage

Upper left
Upper right

Bottom left

Bottom right

“The test of one’s decency is how much of a fight one can put up after one has stopped caring.”
 - Willa Cather


Fast Food Fix the Slow Food Way: Curly Fries

I stopped eating fast food 20 years ago (that's right, drive thru's are not a part of my life), but I still get a hankerin' for some Curly Fries, so what's a gal to do?

I make them at home!  But using all organic materials, healthy fat:  extra-virgin olive oil, Himalayan sea salt, and this spice blend (all powders):

Cayenne 1 part
Onion 1 part
Garlic 1 part
Salt 2 parts
Turmeric 2 parts
Paprika 8 parts
Starch 24 parts

By parts, I mean any unit of measurement you choose.  If you choose teaspoons, you will have a total of 39 teaspoons of spice blend, or 13 Tablespoons since there are 3 teaspoons in a Tablespoon.  If you'd like more finished product than this, then enlarge your part, maybe a Tablespoon, or if you want to make a whole lot, maybe a 1/4 c.  You choose.  And you can eyeball the measuring if you wish, or add another spice you'd like to include...no rules.  This is kitchen alchemy not rocket science.  ;)

I like to make up more than I will use at once and keep it in a jar so it's ready to go for the next time.  Being an Herbalist I buy my spices by the pound as many I also utilize medicinally, and I simply use them often and in large quantities in my cooking.  :)

The starch can be any type, I have used Tapioca or a non-GMO corn starch.  This acts as a carrier and also provides a "coating" like "crust" on the fries.

I use a Spiralizer (also works great for all those Zucchini - I make Zucchini pasta - anyone who grows them knows what I mean), but you could just cut strips by hand.  Coat the cut potatoes and the baking sheet with olive oil (I just pour some on and use my hands to mix it all up), sprinkle with salt and the spice blend to taste and bake 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, turning at least once to get them evenly crispy.

Enjoy this healthy snack!  or even make it a meal - top with avocado and mix with some steamed Kale. 

I like to make a lot at a time and have leftovers; they're great on soup or in an omelette for instance...



Ikigai is a Japanese word that translates roughly to "that which makes life worth living."
What is your Ikigai?  Creating is one of mine.  Collage is one of the ways I create.  I like that it uses waste materials - images from magazines that would get recycled - art from found materials.

Collage from the Archives, ATCs
Artist Trading Card Size:  2  1/2" x 3 1/2"

"Your life is your life, know it while you have it." - Charles Bukowski