Archive for home

Sun in Virgo

Posted in design, family, film, projects with tags , , , on September 19, 2011 by darcyarts

I love the Sun’s yearly trip through Virgo. It gives me extra energy and drive to clean the nooks and crannies, to clear the decks.

The Sun passing through Virgo may drive the garbage collectors a little mad. I imagine trashed items are popping out of waste containers all over town.

We are preparing for a warm house full of welcome visitors. My son is already here and my daughter will soon will be. That has added to my desire to tidy up the elements of home.

These pix were  taken in morning light with the aid of a tripod and a longer exposure. It is a very dark room after the scant morning light has traveled west.

Styling isn’t too snazzy. This room is a rectangle with a fireplace and the front door at one end, a wall of windows on the east side, and west wall, with the stereo, is aligned with the walking space to the rest of the house.  The furniture has to be placed in a space in the middle of the room between and closer to the windows on the east wall.

Through most of the day this room is rather dark. Though we resisted putting a video screen in this room for years (less temptation to veg out when one could be working ) we’ve given in and made this a media room. We can watch documentaries, Breaking Bad repeats or Akira Kurosawa movies in the middle of the day. That is my next pleasure-based goal. A private and lengthy Akira Kurosawa film festival. The Criterion Collection has 25 Kurosawa films!

Everything needs to be about function and flow. I need to  be able to move from one thing for another, to switch hats from artist/maker to caretaker, from blogger to film fanatic. Working at home, I must address multiple projects and responsibilities everyday.Life has taught me to be flexible. I am lucky to be able to take small bits of time for myself in the midst of all the demands.

Color at Home!

Posted in constructions, esoterica, family, finds, food, shopping with tags , , on May 3, 2010 by darcyarts

Color is one of the most important elements in any environment I create. Everything is a set to be designed usually with inexpensive or found pieces.

Discards and thrift store items are liberally used in the decor.

The chair closest to the door, a nice comfy old rocker, was left at the curb by neighbors. The wingback chair was a $12 find at the Discovery Shop. They are draped in pink jersey bedding that I bought on sale at Target but didn’t like on the bed.

There are small paintings from my pink period on the wall with a floor lamp with pink shades from Target, on sale, $19.

In the kitchen vegetables provide a  blast of changing color, too. Nature’s color and design is inspiring.

I love beets.

I want to use them to dye something someday. Maybe I’ll try some on my hair.

Yellow beets look great sitting in the produce section. Subtle yellow, pale green, a bit of brown in the root ends that look so like rat tails.

Look at the patterns on this sliced yellow beet. Beautiful.

Sometimes I long to live in a less well-groomed landscape.

I would love to throw all the beautiful scraps in a compost pile.

As I’ve said before, the grounds belong to the landlady and she does not appreciated our laissez faire gardening tendencies. So, we keep the plants in the buckets on the patio and let the gardener care for the big spread of lawn. Noplace for compost or free range chickens. Dang. Next time.

Sometimes the particularly attractive bits of vegetables end up drying on the spice rack.

I love this life that Frank and I have built together — simple pleasures, odd creations, deep delights.

It’s so comfortable and full of color.

Getting Home

Posted in nature, socialization with tags , , on November 2, 2008 by darcyarts

It was sometime in the 70’s. I had been visiting my grandparents at their mobile home in Hemet. The had a space across from the park’s man-made lake. it was quiet and serene.

When it came time for me to leave my grandmother suggested I get a lift back to Orange County with my father, Jim. He’d stopped by for a visit, too.

I never experienced Jim as a real dad. He occasionally visited his parents, my grandparents, starting about the time I hit my teen years. It was always weird. His self-absorbtion dripped off him like sweat.

I took the ride. Bad idea.

One of the least pleasant things about my father was his love of playing mind games with people.

Mental power-tripping was no doubt something he learned while incarcerated.

He’ s the one who said of Charles Manson: “I knew Charlie before he was a heppie.”

I climbed into Jim’s station wagon with his wife and small children. We hit the back road that cut through what them was lonely, desert territory. Jim decided to take a side trip deep into the scrub. Probably wanted to guzzle a couple more beers, stretch his legs, strike fear into the hearts of the innocent.

We all got out and stretched. I was anxious to get back to town but beggars can’t be choosers.

It wasn’t long before he began his routine.

“I could shoot you all and bury you out here in the desert. Nobody would ever find you,” said Jim.

This was before CSI and the modern technological improvements in forensics. They’d definitely find some part of us now, eventually.

The desert preserves. Time and the desert are old friends. The heat and the wind work a body until it’s just dry bone.

It was a chilling thought. He could shoot us all. It was true.

He had a shotgun with him. It was definitely within the realm of possibility. He probably had a little brain damage by this time, what with the previous two decades on a near constant diet of bennies, reds, pot and Thunderbird. I had no real idea where he drew his boundaries.

I might look back on this stunt a bit more kindly if he had some sort of point. If it had behind it was some weird lesson I could only learn from being shocked out of my normal senses, like a Zen thing. But it was just bullying. He wasn’t trying to enlighten anyone. His wife and her young daughter were along for the tide too. Just another cheap power trip.

I wish I had more charitable things to say. I guess he was kind of funny sometimes.

I wish he could have taken himself more seriously and found a way to be freaky without attaching his rebellion to criminality and cheap thrills.

His conscience ached a little in his last years but probably not much. I think life was joke to him and he wasn’t going to be a chump.

I don’t believe Jim would feel bad about my revelations. He enjoyed notoriety and I know he consciously sought at various times to be infamous. I don’t think he ever grew up. Sometimes that’s a good thing. If you’re stuck in the pulling-the-wings-off-flies stage of masculine development it’s not.

Unicorn for the Next Little Soul

Posted in dreams, nature, socialization with tags , , , on August 20, 2008 by darcyarts

There has been a pillow propped up in a tiny rocking chair in my home for the last two years.

The pillow was covered with an embroidered slip cover decorated with tiny mirrors.It may have been made in India or maybe Pakistan. It was made in colors I love — black, red and yellow orange.

I walked into the front room and noticed the pillow beneath the cover. I pulled the loose slip cover aside and noticed a beautiful embroidery on it.

 I removed the cover. It was worn and tattered. Now this pretty little unicorn waits for the child who will sit in the tiny rocker.

Once upon a time there was a little girl . . .

I’m not sure of the origin of this pillow.

It’s not a family heirloom.

Still I think it was my daughter who brought it home and I want her to know that I will keep it safe for the next little soul that finds their way to my house.

I came home from a training session at my job yesterday to find that my son had taken his leave, back to Santa Rosa, to complete his latest undertaking.

I was really sad that I didn’t get to see him off. It’s okay. I hate to say goodbye.

Here is B’s latest myspace picture.

I believe John Adams, yes, that John Adams,

played brilliantly by Paul Giamatti, has inspired B to study law. I know that Whatever he turns his true heart towards will blossom.

Sometimes it takes a long while to grow into your true self. I’m still doing it after all these years.

Alcatraz, My Friend

Posted in Art, dreams, socialization with tags , , , , on July 25, 2008 by darcyarts

This building sits near the  prison on Alcatraz Island. It looks a lot like something from one of my dreams. 

I had dreamed that Frank and I were driving down a street in San Francisco. We were looking for a hotel and didn’t want to spend too much money. We passed this place (see sketch) and it was called “Home.” It was very charming and seemed a good choice. We drove on and passed a similar one called “Friend.” 

 It is not so unusual to have conjured a building near a federal prison. I was raised by my grandparents and our “family vacations” were often visits to places where my dad or uncle were incarcerated. We traveled to San Francisco once to visit my uncle Pat. He was doing 15 years in San Quentin, which is actually in Marin County.

This is my sister Colleen and I on that trip to the cold north. It must be  about 1958. I don’t look too happy about to be there.

It’s always freaky to visit places that your closest relatives are embarrassed to talk about. You’re in the midst of doing the shit and no one’s saying much. I’m sure, as small children, we must have inquired about our destination repeatedly. I wish I remembered their replies. 

We actually went camping and stuff, too.

It was a strange childhood. Most of it was pretty calm, safe, sunny-southern-California suburban but we always knew something was fishy.

The whole hush hush routine is a joke. Kid’s have a built-in bullshit detector.

The real contradictions didn’t start until the imprisoned pigeons came home to roost. That made the 60s even more interesting and at time frightening than you might imagine.

Ever see that Alfred Hitchcock film “Shadow of a Doubt” with Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright?

I’ll explain about all this in more depth later.

On the positive side my dream sketch also resembles this sweet house in Bernal Heights.

 I’ve decided I’m meant to retire to Bernal Heights and that somehow by some amazing trick of fate or goodwill from all the spirit beings who care for me, some stranger will walk up to me one day when I least expect it and offer to let me live in this beautiful neighborhood.

I dream and dream.

More buildings and gardens in San Francisco can be found in this great blog Whoreticulture.  It has a nice post on a place to find cool old recovered building materials in S.F.

This person’s bio is also very inviting. It was written by a male, chuck b., a chemist and a garden lover. It looks like chuck routinely takes photographic tours of great environments. Check it out. Here’s his new blog – My back 40.

I have decided to get to work on a portrait of Charles Manson for a blog post I have coming up. 

I’m not trying to freak you out. Honest.

I better get to work.

Dream of Painted Eyes

Posted in Art, dreams, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 2, 2008 by darcyarts

I dreamed this morning of moving between settings or places. I made my way, at one point, to the warehouse home of a man who seemed a combination of David Hildalgo and Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos).

The man was in his late thirties or early forties. I was recovering from some torment and was drawn to him. I went to see him even though I knew he was married and later wondered if it was not  a completely cool thing to be hanging out with him.

He was gentle and strong. I figured he would set the tone for our encounter.

On my arrival I was a little apprehensive about being accepted but I needed his energy to calm me.  He was living a cool alterna life on a level that appealed to my aesthetic sensibilities. There were interesting things in his environment and it was a personal, authentic style that he had built around himself.

Aside: What do I mean by that? I have been in the homes of some people, not often but on occasion, where all the decor is completely removed from thier essense or personality. Nothing in their home speaks of them and the seem to have assembled things by rote. I think you know what I mean. I love entering a space that speaks of the person. A space rich with things that tell you something about them.

Back to the dream.

This man’s home was low key but deep with meaning.

At one point the man’s wife came by. She didn’t seem upset and it didn’t seem she even noticed my presence. I slipped out the large open warehouse side door and went elsewhere.

Later I was going to a gathering. It was in a place with two or three floors all open and intertwined with open staircases and landings.

I noticed, at once seeing myself as if in a mirror, that I had beautifully decorated eyes. Though the painted portions were actually the surface of my eye balls it did not seem at all strange to me. I thought the look was quite entrancing. I gave myself quick non-ego centered props.

I had gone to the gathering expecting to see the man. There was another man who was more of an authority figure standing on one of the staircases. He was trying to explain something to me. He seemed sort of like a police investigator but there was none of the self-important, control-freak elements that can be found in law enforcement peeps.

I woke up shortly after arriving at this place. I wanted to return to sleep but the morning light had broken the dream spell.

Here is a rude approximation of the eye design:

In the dream the eyes did not look startled and of course the design was sublime. They did have design elements above and below the corneas. In dreams things are very different and often contradict physical reality.

I love dreaming.



I could launch into an examination of home interiors from here. I am fascinated by interior design and by cool personalized spaces.

I’m going hunting for some inspiration. If I don’t find pictures of the type of thing I’m talking about. I’ll start a project of my own taking pix of really cool rooms.

Anybody want to volunteer their space?

Here are really cool refrigerators.