"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic...the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." Charles de Lint

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Story as Medicine

This past semester Margie (Paul's mom) has been meeting with Alyssa, a student from the University of Southern Maine as part of a collaborative writing program with students and seniors.  The presentation of the essays was today....and Paul and I had the privilege of attending.

Over the semester Alyssa spent time interviewing Margie and listening to her stories about the important events and places in her life. Alyssa drew a literal map...and wove Margie's stories into an essay for the class.  All the essays will be published into a book called Story as Medicine, Now and Then.

Along with the other students and residents,  Alyssa presented part of her essay and Margie read a poem she wrote.

Margie did a fantastic job!  It was an honor to be there! JOY!

Can you believe she is 92 years old! 

OK...now I'm going to embarrass her further. Her hair actually used to be pure white...but is turning back to her original red color.  Maybe she's actually getting younger!  

Margie's poem will be in the book.....layered over one of her coloring pages.

Alyssa did a great job on Margie's map.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Beach and Bottles

I visited Jane today and helped her with a few projects....
and we took a little walk on the beach and around her neighborhood.

And whenever I go to Jane's house....
I fall in love again with her bottle collection in her windows.

Although I really love that wonky purple one above...

I also love the textured clear one in the middle. It's covered in little daisies!      

Sunday, April 21, 2024

What a Difference

"The secret, Alice, is to surround yourself with people who make your heart smile. It's then, only then, that you'll find Wonderland." Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

What a difference it makes to have my partner back home.  This afternoon we took a walk around Mackworth Island....it's always a bit of a wonderland.

It was a bit windy...but the views and grounds were beautiful as always.

So many spring greens and interesting textures.


I did some cleanup in my gardens this morning...and what a difference a little sun and warmth makes. So many things are up or just poking through. 

My bloodroot is about ready to bloom and I love the way the buds poke through the leaves before they unfurl. I just love watching spring emerge.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Thing to Share

I'm sharing today's Story of the Day from Flying Edna:

 "There is something to be said for living quietly and loving the things you love without any explanation."  Kia Skye  

I love this quote. Although I am good at loving the things I love...I often don't do that quietly here.  I usually have an explanation here.  But I think that's my point.

But for everything I share here that I love...there are dozens more each day that I just love quietly.  

I'm sharing this youtube video from Marian that actually made me teary. It's worth watching...this little boy really understands that what you practice you get good at....and you should practice joy.


I'm sharing the link to my Rhythm and Movement homework on my Instagram page for the Conscious Creativity course.  Although we looked for implied movement in still lines and images...I've paired many of them with actual videos of movement in my reel.

Philippa sends a personal video with feedback each week and among other things I was charged with being less literal and more abstract. 

I think I accomplished that in some cases....and I'm fairly happy with my results.   Take a look if you're interested....there's a little glimpse of the marbles and balls in motion.  


Dotty has shared examples of rhythm and movement she's noticed on her morning walks.  That brings me joy.

And finally...I'm sharing the fact that Paul gets home late this evening. 

He's been away with friends all week and I've missed him.  We are better together.  And we will have so many things to share with each other.

And I don't think the forsythia was in bloom as you enter our complex before he left...so he's in for a treat!

Friday, April 19, 2024

Is it silly?

 Is it silly that getting Wordle in just two tries makes me kind of giddy? 

I think not.

Is it silly that I celebrated the watercolor residue in the bowl yesterday before I washed up the marbles? The moment I saw the paint was leaving marks in the bowl I started swishing them around to create even more. It's that child thing again!

Is it silly that I played with this basket of found balls today?
If it adds a little joy to my day....I think not!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Child or Artist?

I had the pleasure of spending the whole afternoon with my niece Clarke.

We walked and talked...and even puttered a bit. She helped me move a few pieces of furniture and tackle a few tech projects...and I helped her dream and scheme about decorating her Chicago condo. It was a win win for both of us sort of day.

I haven't gotten out and about as much this week as I had hoped to....but I remembered that one of the things Phillipa offered up for the Conscious Creativity class this week was to create our own movement.

So after some chores and before Clarke arrived I spent some playing with marbles and paint.  I felt like both a child and an artist....and I had a blast. I wonder if this is how Jackson Pollock felt after doing a painting.

This is how I started...watercolor paper taped into a box.....a handful of marbles and a few drops of liquid watercolor paint.

Using my overhead tripod...I taped my little session.

I have the actual slow motion video of ...and the final painting that implies actual movement. Hopefully I'll be able to piece together a montage for a some of my Rhythm and Movement homework.  We'll see....tomorrow is already Friday and I'm getting together with Clarke, her boyfriend and Margie again before they head out of town.
This is what it looked like before I took the tape off....which is pretty cool on it's own!

Child...or artist? Both....I think.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024


"No one is more determined than a woman rearranging furniture by herself."  I'm not sure who said this....I can relate!

It was mostly a put things back together day in the condo and I'm discovering tasks and more cleaning that need to be done along the way. So putting things back is taking much longer than taking things out. But I'm just rolling with it.

I did forge out for a little field trip trying to interpret my Rhythm and Movement assignments....and my success is yet to be seen.

I made a quick stop at Trader Joes and was smitten with the color and texture of the artichokes. 

They leaves actually have a bit of rhythm.....so I'll take it as a win!

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Movement and Rhythm

This fuzzy pussy willow branch caught my eye on my walk today!

The large branch actually broke off in the last storm...but the buds have been opening up and I've enjoyed the close-up view. 

I raved about this sweet tomato tray yesterday but I didn't give the full view it deserved.  

I know it's just a simple cardboard tray....but for some reason I really love it.  Sometimes it's the simple things that caputre your heart.

Other than a nice visit with Margie this morning...this was mostly a "taking care of my home" day. I took advantage of Paul being away and had carpets cleaned in two bedrooms and the kitchen and entryway tile floors steam cleaned today.

That meant everything (except the big furniture) had to come out....and it also meant that it was the right time to do a good spring cleaning in those spaces. I got into the rhythm of it all....and it felt good to be taking care of our home. I'm tired...and I'll sleep good tonight.  

Speaking of rhythm....this week's Conscious Creativity lesson is all about Movement and Rhythm. Yes...it's about capturing and celebrating actual movement...but it's also about findinding implied rhythm and movement in lines and patterns. The homework is going to be challenging....but I'll do my best.  It was already a busy week!  I'll take a little field trip trip somewhere tomorrow in search of the theme.

Monday, April 15, 2024


I've been intrigued by Roben-Marie Smith's 100 day project where she's been taking scrappy bits of this and that and stitching them together using water soluble fabric. 

Roben-Margie Smith
She's been using a combination of things including paper scraps...bits of artwork....fabrics and lace. They're oddly interesting...like little stitched stories.

You can check them out on her Instagram page: 


I came across a small tray of tiny bits of a vintage quilt I deconstructed for an art class a while back and I just couldn't bear to throw them away. They seemed perfect for a little Roben-Marie inspired experiment. 

Isn't this tomato tray from Janice SO SWEET! I've got several...and use them all the time. 

The quilt scraps are fragile and tattered.......and that's why I love them so much.

They have a history....a story...and I love to imagine what that might be.

I arranged a few scraps on a small piece of water soluble fabric....

then put another piece on top and stitched a grid.

I rinsed away the soluble fabric in warm water....leaving a bit of the residue to give the piece a little stiffness when it dried.

I could have rinsed all the soluble out so it would feel more fabric like again...but I wanted some structure.  It's like a starched shirt.

Taking my cue from the tomato box...I think it's SO SWEET!

I think this could be interesting on a card or in a collage...but I think this one may end up in my art journal.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Hodge Podgy

Another Sunday of this and that.....catching up on a hodge podge of things that bring me joy.  Sometimes joy is a little hodge podgy!  

This quote from Donna Ashworth caught my attention this morning.  I think I've become a hopefulist.....sprinkled with a little joy of course.

It's been a too long since I finished my last puzzle....so I started working on these colorful marbles today. 

It's comforting for me to have one going on my table for my breakfast and coffee time...and all those in between moments here and there throughout the day. The border is done and I'm slowly sorting the pieces into my album boxes. 

And how lucky am I to have a table full of treats!  And there's my little found object arrangement still in the background. I spent the morning with my friend Marita...and she brought me tulips!

And my sister and her granddaughter Maeson sent me cards and coloring.  They spend a lot of time together doing arts and crafts together...and I hit the jackpot today!  


My niece Clarke is in town....and she brought me the fabulous frame for an early birthday present!  

Every time I talk about Clarke...I have to acknowledge that she's the one who helped me get this blog started...and continues to be my tech support.  

She'll be consulting with me later this next week.  

She's here with her boyfriend Seth...and today they did the mailboat run on Casco Bay. 

We also had a family pizza night on Friday....and for the Maine Shupe family to have a group of 7 is amazing!  We're generally a small...but mighty group.

And finally every once in a while I have to share my wordle for the day. I love it when it just works out like this in just three tries....starting with one letter...then getting three...then getting six!

There you have it...my Sunday catch up! And how can a post that includes the words hodge podgy and hopefulist not ooze joy!

And how fun is the word blimp!

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Week One Homework

After a couple days of rain we got back out for a morning walk this morning....and I was anxious to check out the scilla on Abby Lane.

The lawn is filling in...and was just beautiful in the morning light covered in raindrops.

I submitted most of my week one homework for the Conscious Creativity course, but it doesn't mean I'm done looking and seeing.  That's an ongoing thing for me...for the rest of my life!  

I spent quite a bit of time this week getting acquainted with the "unfold" app that Philippa introduced us to.  With it I can make better looking posts and reels for Instagram...and I can use the images here on the blog as well. 

I submitted my homework as a "reel" which is a short video.  You can view it here:


My Instagram home page:


The app has a limited free version (which I used) where you can choose a few different layouts, add captions and a few other things to enhance the photo experience.  Here are just a few pages from my reel that I wanted to explain a little. If you want to see all the images...use the link above.  

The cover photo above is looking up at a fire escape during my Portland field trip.  It was an interesting abstract angle.

I already shared my opposite images a few days ago with the padlocks and the fabric...and I didn't get a chance to find similar images on my field trip.

But I had taken these photos looking down into a few of the bottles and vases in my dining room window as I was doing some looking and seeing around the house.  

I was photographing just the outside of the vases and bottles at first....but then decided to see if I could photograph the inside.  Turns out I could!  And although they didn't look so similar on the outside...they certainly looked similar on the inside.  

Another thing we were looking for was "mess"....and there was a box of pressed leaves on hand that I had used on the gelli plate.  

They were covered in acrylic paint....and quite beautiful.  I may spend a bit more time photographing them in some sort of an arrangement.   


And the final image in the reel is an arrangement I did on my table with the objects I put in the bowl at the beginning of the week. It included all the objects that Paul and I found on our walks this winter...and a few others.  They're not beautiful things....but they all have a secret story and there's a little magic in not knowing what that is. I tried to arrange them in a way that told a new story.

I did a second arrangement getting rid of a some of the extras....and these ARE the found objects from the winter. 

(Again...all the homework images can be seen on my Instagram page with the link above.)