Sunday, October 24, 2004

Gourd Fair LA

I love gourds, those woody shelled friends from the calabash family that serve so many functions and purposes I can't even start a list..

OK, you pulled my arm... here are a few:

  • decorative art
  • spiritual tools
  • vessels for food, water, etc
  • jewelry
  • fountains
  • drums
  • dolls
  • statues
  • masks
  • rattles
  • anything the imagination can come up with

We (as in husband, child and I)went to the Los Angeles Arboretum for Gourd Fair LA. It's a wonderful outdoor event that celebrates the incredible amazing gourd. Gourd artists from all over brought their works, growers had raw gourds just screaming to be turned into cool art, and musicians played gourd drums and even gourd flutes on the festival stage.

My introduction to gourds was several years back in a Native American ceremony. They are used in healing and treated with utmost respect. In Mexico, gourds are painted and decorated in folk art traditions, made into rattles and used the way pottery is used.

What I was told was that first came gourds. On every continent they exist, making them quite an old plant. Their bottle and canteen shapes were discovered to be ideal for carrying water and storing food. Ancient peoples used them, and when someone had the bright idea to make pottery, they copied the shapes of the gourds. Hence, we have bottles, canteens and bowls.

Gourd musical instruments developed in Africa, in the Americas and Asia. Special techniques for burning designs into the shell were developed by holding a red hot stick up to the gourd and burning the design in. Today, most people use woodburning sets, but in Peru and Africa people still use the hot stick.

When you start working with gourds, you become hooked. It is believed by many Indigenous peoples that each gourd has a spirit. I think that's why gourd enthusiasts get so into this art form. Whatever skill you had prior- painting, carving, beading, jewelry making, weaving, construction, drawing- can be used on gourds. They are easy to work with and totally addictive.

But don't take my word for it, check out these cool links:
Gourd Fair LA 2004
California Gourd Society (check out the gallery)

Support your local gourd artist and bring a bit of gourd magic into your life.

The Presidential Horror Show

My husband just sent me this link and it is soooooooooo funny. It's The Rocky Horror Picture Show meet partisan mudslinging. Absolutely brilliant:

Friday, October 22, 2004

Way Cool Locas!

The teleprogram Release Your Inner Loca just began last week and it is so great. What a wide reaching group of women. I'm very pleased with the people on the call and even got requests from clients to offer an audio only version of the course. That has turned out beautifully because several Locas weren't able to join the live class. So they listen to the class recording, have access to the private list serve and get the gargantuan 65 page workbook.

I'm wondering if I should extend that offer of the audio only program to others beyond my client circle... well, if it's meant to be I'll put a link to it here and see what happens:
Audio Only Program: Release Your Inner Loca

Speaking of audio...
Nobody knows the trouble I seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!
After taking the Audacious Audio class with Rob Schultz, I got so fired up to become an "audiopreneur" as he calls it. Actually I wanted to just feel the waters and see what would be fun to do.

Here is my current assessment:
I like to make audio available to my peeps (that means you reading this, clients, wandering weblings and ezine subscribers) but I don't like all the technical stuff like editing and converting files from wav to mp3 then uploading and writing code and all that detail work. Sorta kills the wind in my sails.

But alas, I don't want to pay someone a crazy amount to do that, so I try doing it myself.

Let's see, how many hours did I spend trying to figure out streaming audio?
And how many hours did it take to understand wav and mp3 and converting and saving and blah blah blah? Would paying a guy $100 to record my call and do all the clean up work have been worth it?

On the bright side, I learned a great deal. So that's good.
On the down side, I spent a lot of time dealing with computer stuff.
But back on the bright side, I'm that much smarter now and actually have a handle on some of this stuff.

However... when I make my big infomercial and offer my Mega Mucho Extravaganza cd set with a workbook and card deck -not-(oh please, if one more person makes freakin' card decks- these have got to be some of the most inefficient uses of paper I've seen. yes, I'll pull a card, look at a dreamy collage and suddenly my day will be set), Comadre accessories and belt buckle... what else can I throw in there???
How bout a deck of cards!
Go away you nagging voice. Be gone.

OK, I'm going into inner dialog mode. And all I wanted to do was tell you about my audio. Did I say that I finally found success and actually figured out how to do an upload of the Web Muse Teleforum? Only took me 2 weeks. Yeah, I got a Masters Degree but obviously not in something with technical applications.

I did wake up the other night thinking about that infomercial, though. My hair looked great and I didn't even high five anyone on a stage or offer to make someone a millionaire.

Friday, October 15, 2004

That's THE Reverend Doctor to you...

Back in the 70's, Rolling Stone Magazine classified ads ran a "Become A Legally Ordained Minister!" ad. For about $3.95 they'd set you up as a reverend. So I, in all my pre-pubescent wisdom, did it.

Reverend Nancy. It had a nice ring to it.

I had fantasies of performing wedding ceremonies, baptisms... you know, the usual rites of passage. Yes, weddings performed by an 11 year old. Nice idea.

Zoom ahead a few decades to the present day.

My sister calls me from work one day. Her coworker is getting married and the person who was going to perform the wedding flaked out.
"Gee, I think my sister can do that!", she told her friend.

So lo and behold, I "renewed" my credentials and was legally authorized to perform the blessed union.

We weren't able to get together for a rehearsal so we did it via conference call. (Modern technology helps in so many situations.)

The wedding was awesome. It was held on the beach near Malibu late in the afternoon. Everything was decorated with Hawaiian trimmings (the bride is Hawaiian) and the sun shone gloriously. It was absolutely beautiful.

The ceremony lasted maybe ten minutes but it was really cool. A few minutes before it started, four dolphins were spotted swimming in the waves. If that's not a blessing, I don't know what is. We stood in front of a gorgeous driftwood arch with Hawaiian greenery planted in the sand and tiki torches lining a makeshift aisle. The bride looked radiant and the groom was on cloud 9. His name was Lucky... how auspicious!

After the ceremony we ate Hawaiian food, then the bride performed a surprise bridal hula for Lucky. Her mom and aunties then got up and did a special hula for the crowd and everyone loved it. Everything was so much fun and we all had a great time.

So if you live in Southern California and are in need of a lady-of-the-cloth, look no further! I like this officiating business and can't wait to do another. I'll post a picture when I get one.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Family Pics

Citlalli throwing hay on amigo Ollin. Posted by Hello

Citlalli swimming in the hay at the Pumpkin Patch.  Posted by Hello

Fall Fun with Nancy and Citlalli

Citlalli and I just went to a Pumpkin Patch with our eccentric/eclectic playgroup. She's not big on staying still for pictures but doesn't she look like a total Loca in that leopard vest! (A gift from Grandma Bunny)
Posted by Hello

We are so lucky to know a great group of moms w/ toddlers. Each Wednesday we get together either at someone's house or at a park and just blow off steam. I look forward to these Wednesdays and so does Citlalli.

What's really cool about our group is that we're a bunch of Locas from so many persuasions. Dreadlocks, tattoos, body piercings, born again Christians, pagans... we cover the gamut, that's for sure. Where we all connect is a love for our kids, a strong belief in attachment parenting and free Wednesdays!