Happy Hallows and All Souls! Days of the Dead~Art & Altars

It’s not too late to create your Day of the Dead altar; a warm place to welcome traveling souls who return to visit when the veil between worlds is thinnest.

We’ve enjoyed our first day of real rain here, even pouring over San Francisco’s World Series Parade this morning ;).
And I’ve particularly enjoyed the creative rush that first rains bring; new song Muses and a few teasers for more new jewelry (coming this weekend).  I just hope the clouds linger, stay all weekend long. For now, some newly discovered Day of the Dead Art favs…

il_570xN.384265604_92cjSource: Red Hydrant Press

il_570xN.513711285_7gjzSource: Vintage Galleria, skirts, dresses, aprons.
And a little Deviant Moon Tarot imagery for All Hallows. Check out the new deck that Sir Patrick is cooking up ( TRIONFI della LUNA).

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And one of my all time favorite Day of the Dead Tarot decks, Tarot of the Dead by Monica Knighton.

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And it’s not too late to create your Day of the Dead altar; a warm place to welcome traveling souls who return to visit when the veil between worlds is thinnest.

DodAltar-2052

I usually keep my altar up for a couple of weeks into November, or longer, in case some souls decide to take the scenic route home ;). In Oaxaca, altars are most commonly built on October 30th and October 31st in the homes of the Oaxacan people.  Be sure to have something for visiting souls to eat and drink!

“It is an old belief that the dead, after their long pilgrimage from the other life, arrive on earth tired and thirsty. Because of this belief, a gourd or glass filled with water is placed on the altar for them, as well as the other food offerings. The dead are welcome and expected to bask in the essence of this splendid fervor.” Mocadventures.com

Check out this  great article on putting your Day of the Dead altar together, with descriptions of the most traditional items, and ways to include family in commemorating loved ones who have passed- by Etsy Artisan Yreina Flores Ortiz.

I hope to visit the community ofrendas/altars that our Oakland Museum sponsors this weekend.  So check back.

Meantime, here are some fun Day of the Dead links to enjoy from other sources:

Celebrating Days of the Dead: Traditions, coloring books, baking bread

Celebrations 2014 in Oaxaco, Mexico

Myths about Day of the Dead : Previously posted to this blog.

DodVivalaMuerte3355San Antonio, TX Gallery: Artist unknown

Poet Rescues Song: Abducts Musician

I’m writing lyrics now for at least 5 of our new songs, and wasn’t quiet finished with 3 of them by last night. This is ONE fun thing about writing poetry (and one great thing about writing more often in April): As a poet, you get into the habit of seeing poetry everywhere…

Last night, I did something fun.  I played a small show, our first in Oakland, with new project “Fistful of Stars”.  We’ve played radio spots, making ready.  We go on tour next month to Europe- so it’s all coming together fast.

I’m writing lyrics now for at least 5 of our new songs, and wasn’t quiet finished with 3 of them by last night.  This is ONE fun thing about writing poetry (and one great thing about writing more often in April): As a poet, you get into the habit of seeing poetry everywhere; in couples drinking coffee, overheard conversation, positing scenarios from across the room, and just plain imagining things. And if you don’t have that gene for remembering lyrics (I don’t), or you haven’t quite finished the words-no worries: Poet-in-You will deliver, often taking you utterly over, hijacking your body, setting sail in your soul, borrowing  your lips to say things you never dreamed before ;). This is pure bliss, of course.

Last night, for one amazing song written by guitarist Rafael- that I didn’t quite finish lyrics to- I called it Mesa Song, and strung together all of the poem pieces for my one poem called “Unravel”. I read/talked the words as a single poem over the verses instead of singing. For the choruses, I sang (moaned) like the wind. Yes, Unravel– the poem pieces I haven’t yet posted all here, beyond the first because I didn’t think they were finished enough. 😉  Surprisingly, friends said that Mesa Song was their favorite of the night: it had a story they said, some mystery, and they got lost in the poem. Yay!  I promise to post another piece of Unravel for my next  poem post. Not tomorrow though- off to a Pow-wow.

So- I usually do a wrap-up post for NaPoWriMo.  I have to say, this year, I wasn’t as engaged in publicly participating as in past years. In fact, if there was one word to sum things up for me this year, it would be a verb:

 

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 This time, I was loathe to do anything on cue. And I didn’t want to follow anyone’s prompts. Hahaha!  But I still wrote lots. AND best of all, I don’t want to stop!! And so I won’t. Yet another good rule to break.

 

You held us last night-

soft woods, laughter,

warm arms that offered sweet

champagne and love.  We drank it all

down, and from across the room

 I gave you a poem 

like a kiss.

taralinda c.p. 2014

Shedding Light, Getting Ready~ NaPoWriMo

So, the last photo I posted apparently wasn’t such a mystery; Laura guessed it within seconds of posting; Pacific Abalone, the green spp. Although she is a CA girl, with perhaps an unfair familiarity ;), she wins. And since she already has all 4 of my CDs, I gave her another gift, besides music. The last post, and this photo- hints of what has been keeping me busy lately, beyond musica.

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And here is another~

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The great Southwest.  NV with sagebrush in the foreground and as far as the eye can see; Desert Sage. This was also a common plant and scent of much of my Arizona childhood.  It’s hard to explain, but I came home from the last tour across the Southwest, from California, Arizona, New Mexico, to Colorado– a little heartsick. I don’t know why, but it feels strangely, as if… I left my heart behind on the last tour, somewhere between Durango, CO and Joshua Tree, CA.  So I will try to explain in the next few posts, to come close in poems, starting tomorrow; shed light. All in time for April’s National Poetry Month; a poem a day, every day for 30 days. + MicroPoems on Twitter.

I’ll still be posting musings, New Inspirations, and Artist Crushes, but poems and poetic prompts will be mixed in. It’s always great to connect with the Poetry community this time of year. This always motivates me to post more. If you are  posting poems in April, leave a comment on any post this month, with a link back to your site so we can all visit/comment. It feels good to feel poets hard at work writing daily all across the globe! Great also to stop by each others sites and say ‘Hey keep on going!’    😉

New Jewelry and Bid to Benefit~ Haiyan Typhoon- Tonight

Just a little reminder that today (midnight PST) is the last day to bid on 2 pieces of jewelry, the proceeds of which will be 100% contributed non-profit CARE to assist typhoon victims of Haiyan, Philippines. Plus new designs for my shop- Three Muses!

Just a little reminder that today (midnight PST) is the last day to bid on 2 pieces of jewelry, the proceeds, 100% of which go to non-profit CARE to assist typhoon victims of   Haiyan, Philippines. Scroll down or go here to this post see what the pieces are, & where the bids stand. And be sure to leave me your email contact info!! (encrypt if you like- or contact me privately to let me know).

Creatively now, with my jewelry designs, I am following two very different Muses. But then as my shop banner shows for my Etsy shop Three Muses, this is nothing new: Muses can be poetic, musical, artistic, male, female and from all parts of the globe.

3 MusesCollage-med

Now, I  have one Muse still lingering from my recent Chaco Canyon excursion.

An image of the ruins of Pueblo Bonito in Chac...

Thus, some designs are looking like this:

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The other Muse is sashaying across the stage, sporting crystals & fringe on her 1920’s flapper dress.  And so we get some holiday bling when she passes by.

dangle designsTaraLinda

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I will be posting more of both designs to my shop every day this week! Come by and see me sometime. 😉

Courage, Integrity, Persistence: Nelson Mandela

As the world commemorates the life of Nelson Mandela today in ceremony and memorial gatherings around the world, it is amazing to see all the photos of his life, to hear stories, to hear leaders trying to summarize so magnanimous a life, a presence, a force who single-handedly changed so much in the world.

As the world commemorates the life of Nelson Mandela today in ceremony and memorial gatherings around the world, it is amazing to see all the photos of his life, to hear stories, to hear leaders trying to summarize so magnanimous a life, a presence, a force who single-handedly changed so much in the world.

nelson-mandela-African-National-Congress-sized(2)As with millions of people- Nelson Mandela’s life and example had a huge impact on me too, leading to my first social activism in school. Hard to believe, but I’m old enough, or segregation was recent enough, that I briefly attended segregated schools in the southern US. A court order required resistant all-white schools to bring in kids from other areas to balance the demographics. I was bussed from “the other side of the tracks” to a school in north Dallas. It was here, in grade school, that I experienced my first race riots, and anger so frightening, I quickly learned to hide my nationality; people assumed I was Mexican, I never talked about my true mixed heritage.

In college, with Mr. Mandela in prison, and the world looking on, courage came closer: we took our lead from others united in the anti-aparthied struggle, organizing rallies and demonstrations. With this diverse group of students from around the world, we would answer the questions: “what will I die for; what will I go to jail for?”, all of us trying to fathom a 20 year+ imprisonment, as Mr. Mandela was then living. We debated heatedly on the true effect of sanctions- divestiture and the withdrawal of the financial world from an economy- debating who actually is hurt by such actions.

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Though the success and impact or our actions seemed doubtful, we all agreed that Mr. Mandela and all of South Africa needed visible, simultaneous, global support, at key moments, from all parts of the world- to send a message of solidarity.  So on cue, over many months, we all took to the streets, took over offices, some getting arrested, closing down financial institutions, dubbing them all “World/American Banks of Apartheid”.

nelson-mandela

I remember well the leader of our protest group, a North Indian woman who educated us at every chance about the history and political climate of South Africa- her family being among the first “indentured servants” in South Africa using East Indians for labor. She told us that this was also the first multi-national issue for a young lawyer named Mahatma Ghandi.  (Write me if you want the book Ghandi in South Africa, now out of print.)

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison,” Mandela said after he was freed in 1990.

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Thank you Mr. Mandela, for showing us what it means to live with purpose, true integrity, persistent beliefs, and with every breath, fighting with courage to the very end.

Some interesting articles about Nelson Mandela’s Legacy:

Nelson Mandela Inspired Millions To Bridge Divides, Seek Peaceful Change (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)

Six things Nelson Mandela Believed that Most People Won’t Talk About

State of Mind: American Southwest I.

Just back from a southwest US desert tour~ my annual favorite~
3 weeks driving from California to Colorado-with stops in
Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, & Nevada~

NV-Valley 4137[1]

Just back from a southwest US desert tour~ my annual favorite~

3 weeks driving from California  to Colorado-with stops in

Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, & Nevada~

playing a few shows, writing new music,

seeing friends and family along the way.

It was exhilarating, this one, more downtime

off the beaten path- in the deserts, valleys, mountains and magic places, more small towns.

More weather too, as we dodged storms to make

mountain passes in time.

Now, home- beat. A bit sick, my bags still packed, thinking

I’d do it all again

next month.

Colo-4097

C0-Wolf pass-4046

deerNM4024More tomorrow…

Ribbon Cord, Ribbon Beads

Experiments in using fine rayon and silk ribbon to make cords and and ribbon beads in jewelry. New Three Muses jewelry creations!

How ’bout a Jewelry update?

Of course leave it the illogic of stress that I would schedule a jewelry trunk show for THIS weekend- smack in the middle of recording sessions. Argghhh! What was I thinking?!  New baubles for Friday’s show soon.  But for now, I want to share a break through from this summer working with textiles to make ribbon beads. Some of which you may have noticed a few of these turning up in my shop lately.

Do you collect ribbon? What to do with all of the fabric strips you’ve amassed?  For jewelry, I’ve tried varied things in design with mixed success; fabrics may fray and come apart; fine rayon and silk often snag on chunkier clay pendants that I’m so drawn to this year.

ribbonClay-WondrousFine ribbon (rayon and silk) can work nicely simply string up with single pearls, but finishing them around metal findings can be tricky for the long term life of your piece, and that matters.

While I have made my own cords covered in those gorgeous silk sari fabrics over the years, now I’m focusing on finer ribbons like those of AbbieANDEllie to make cords like the one on the right featuring a Fanciful Devices pendant.

cord

While I love the messy look of the sari silk cord wraps for some designs- as with the ‘neatness’ of the Buddhist pendant, conversely, sometimes you want a more refined wrap to contrast a rustic clay pendant. Especially where the wrap shows a color gradient.  This led to making long cords and smaller chunks of chord, using the same fine fabric ribbons– whaaa-la!   Ribbon beads…

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The left side shows sari ribbon, the right rayon and black-edged ribbon from AbbieEllie. I’ve spent a LOT of time experimenting with different materials- several adhesives (water repellent and non), and finishing products to ‘fix’ the wrapped fabric after- testing out the colorfast effects on the fabrics. The most important thing for me through all of this- seeing how the beads hold up to wear in everyday jewelry.

I’ve discovered that  waterproof matters with fabric on a necklace and especially bracelets: sometimes you just forget to take them off (i.e., I always start to wash dishes or cook before thinking of removing bangles.)  And I have clients who boast of never removing jewerelry. OK- I don’t think fabric beads will do well with daily showers!  But normal wear, they work great. In my exploration of materials- I talked to several artists and designers along the way too, including Patsy at Abby&Ellie about fabrics, and Kate of Quisnam (whose work is magical!).  My quest with Three Muses designs is to use natural materials- semi-precious stones & metals- in jewelry that lasts and that has little to no base metal. These ribbon beads and cord with fine fabrics add color and more to design with!

octopusNcklPendant: Wondrous Strange

chacoNckl8555Path of Water.  Pendant by Wondrous Strange

talisman1-31Four Corners Talisman:  My first ribbon bead features- feather, Navajo carvings, arrows, clay beads by Wondrous Strange, GreyBird, bone and deerskin.