I paint silk, throw pots and collage poetry books & cards in my enchanted adobe studio in Pilar, New Mexico.

At the Sacred Heart Cafe, I make art to feed the hungry heart. Open all night, a warm place to wander and browse, savor and enjoy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I won the prize for best newlestter design on 1000 Markets!

1000 Markets ran a contest recently and I won! My newsletter design was chosen as the best, and I am so proud. It was fun to make using their new template for email newsletters, but WINNING the prize is as good as it gets! I got a $100 gift certificate for anything my heart desired at 1000 Markets. What a joy! This is prize that I have chosen from "OnSlenderThreads" http://www.1000markets.com/users/onslenderthreads, a hand knit mantle that I have been wistfully watching for months...knit with handspun merino, bamboo, and silk noils. It's soft and warm with beadrops of carnelian and carved jade that give purity, protection, vitality, and energy stabilization. Isn't she luminous and sentient?

So....then.....while I await her arrival I found these perfect leggings from DyeDianaDye's shop, and I decided to jump on them and put them in my cart, because I knew they wouldn't last long in the "Succulent Wive's Holiday Gift Guide" http://www.1000markets.com/groups/thesucculentwife/collections/16643/products/105444

Perfect right?

Then add my ruby and freshwater pearl earrings from "Izis" http://www.1000markets.com/users/izis

I am glowing just thinking about wearing these hand made, heart infused beauties. Next on my list of gifts to myself is a ruby and citrine necklace from Mannybeads, http://www.1000markets.com/users/mannybeads

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Going Within for the Holidays

With my Day of the Dead Hospice show completed, I'm looking forward to a slower pace for the upcoming holiday season. For the first time in over twenty years, I'm not doing a holiday showcase or sale, and I am jumping for JOY. It feels like a gift to myself, to focus on going within, taking time to soak in the silence. Here is my holiday wish for myself and you, dear Reader:

May this season of Silence bring us closer to the heart of Nature, closer to our Heart's Desire, closer to the spring of inspiration that nourishes our Soul. May we find solace in Simplicity, comfort in one another. May we find time to enjoy the gifts already in our lives.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Equinox Blessings and Happy Autumn

There's a crisp chill in the air and September is gone so swiftly. My garden is still pumping out tomatoes and basil and leeks and eggplant, and I'm roasting vegies for maranara ssuce for the winter.

Hello and bright fall blessings to you! I've got some news to share and an upcoming show at Hospice of San Luis Obispo

After eight years of participating in the Open Studio Tour, I have decided to take a wee break. I have been stocking my online shop at 1000 Markets with over one hundred works of art, including my pottery, painted silks, Day of the Dead festival ware, jewelry and collage. This year, since I'm not doing Open Studio, I will be setting up a gallery show of my art at Hospice for two weeks, from October 19 - November 3. I invite you all to see my work there. Follow this link for date, times and a map to Hospice of San Luis Obispo I will donate a portion of my sales to Hospice in deep gratitude for the healing work they do every day.

I have created custom art for many of you, and am available to creating your heart's desire for holiday gifts or something special for your home or office.

Drop me a note; I love hearing from you!

All the best, PattyMara

Day of the Dead Art with FREE Shipping!
About PattyMara's Sacred Heart Cafe & DolphinSmile Studio

I paint silk, throw pots, fuse glass and collage poems in my enchanted DolphinSmile Studio on the central California coast. The spirits of the land and the devas in my garden keep me company.

When it's real, art can heal! I've named my shop the Sacred Heart Cafe, because I want my art to nourish you and warm your heart, and be delicious, tasty medicine for all who see it, carry it, hang it, wear it, love it and give it away.

Please visit my shop blog

I enjoy custom orders, and have been very successful creating "heart's desire" art for my customers. Also, many of art products in my shop are made to order just for you. With this option you are invited to suggest a special color, image or message on the art I make for you. I offer gift wrapping for all of my products, and all mailings are packaged securely.

BonBons of Gratitude for finding my shop at 1000 Markets!

PattyMara's Sacred Heart Cafe & DolphinSmile Studio Policies

I am committed to creating an online gallery and shop that will delight you and give you the opportunity to purchase my art securely, with Amazon's A - Z Guarantee.

I will ship your order within three days via USPS First Class or Priority Mail with delivery confirmation. Shipping charge includes packaging and handling. Gift wrapping is available at no extra charge. Custom orders will take longer since I am making it specifically for you, and I will keep in close contact to let you know of my progress and anticipated completion date.

I do want you to be completely happy with your purchase. If you have any questions, or concerns about your purchase, please contact me. Your complete satisfaction as a customer is very important to me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Sisterhood of the Traveling DreamCoats

The talented artisans of Bohemia Esprit are collaborating on creating four Art To Wear coats. You can read about the travels of the four dreamcoats here: http://www.1000markets.com/blog_posts/8969

I have the great honor of working on the purple/bronze coat, and have begun by using a piece of silk that I had stuffed into my fabric closet after a I tried to speed up the heatset process and ended up burning the silk. It turns out that the burns added a bronze pattern to the dyed purple background which matches Diana's coat dye colors perfectly. I'm using the silk as a lining to the coat to make it reversible. The cut of the ingenious pattern created by Diana of DyeDianaDye allows for a simple lapel that folds back gracefully to reveal the inside lining.

I added a subtle new color to the silk, by wrapping and tying, then soaking in Dye-Na-Flow claret dye. I then hand painted accents of metallic bronze Lumiere fabric dye with a brush. After I heatset the additional dyes (this time I did it the safe and slow way!) I draped it onto the cotton coat and am pinning the edges and will hand sew the two layers with metallic thread.

Then I'll send the coat on to the next artisan, Kay of OnSlenderThreads. Magic is afoot!

Update #1 Two artists from Bohemia Esprit have now dreamed about the traveling coats and so I have taken to calling them "dreamcoats".

I've finished lining the coat with the silk and need to add embroider around the burn holes to stabilize the frayed silk edges. I've finished with all the sewing except for this final handwork, and decided to take her with me on a long train journey to Albuquerque, then sending her on to Kay (OnSlenderThreads), during my travels in New Mexico. When I mentioned that to Diana, she wrote: "I smile to think of the coat on the train with you, traveling to New Mexico. And what a joy it is to relax, and listen to the dreamcoats, as they give us their names and their needs, and fulfill ours."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Remembering My Emma on Summer Solstice

Today is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. It also marks the two year anniversary of my soul friend Emma's passing. This light filled day is my day for remembering the bountiful treasure of our friendship of eighteen years. Two years ago I recieved a letter from Emma's sister Judy, only a week after I'd mailed off Emma's birthday gift. I remember thinking, 'Oh, goodie, there's going to be a big party for her in Seattle, and I'm invited!" But reading the letter brought me to my knees. Judy wrote: "Emma is here beside me but only for a short time now. A few weeks ago she experienced initial symptoms of a very serious illness, which has progressed rapidly and will soon claim her life." Judy was writing from Emma's hospice room, and three days later, on the Solstice, Emma smiled, her eyes lit up, and she took one long last breath and let go.

What took her life is not important really, a rare degenerative brain disease, mysterious and always fatal. What is imp0rtant is that Emma chose the short route home, lingering less than a month from first symptom to final breath. Her community of family, friends, clients and colleagues in Seattle was a riotous group, her memorial celebration proved that. There was music and poetry and drumming and dancing, outside in one of her favorite parks where she romped with her dog Murphy for years, rain or shine.

Judy's note continued: "The 'Murphy' scarf you painted for her is hanging in her room at the hospice, at the foot of her bed. Remembering Emma playing with 'Murphs' lightens my heart." That silk scarf was one of my first attempts at silk painting (it is full of globby mistakes), and I sent it to Emma when her cocker spaniel Murphy died after being her companion for nearly twenty years. I painted him with wings, flying in the clouds, with many bones to keep him happy. Emma grieved his passing by weeping into that scarf, and she thanked me with these words: "Tears of Grief deserve to be caught by the softest silk" She always capitalized Grief, acknowledging its sacredness, that altered space in between the worlds. On one of our many visits, I took the photo of Emma with Murphy, and you can see my mischievous seven year old daughter's fingers reaching into the photo (that same daughter who was just married in New York last week).

Emma was my Muse. A teacher and therapist by trade; a poet, wordsmith, photographer, singer, drummer, circle dancer by Joy. She accompanied me through the passages of my life, as a mother of young children, struggling to find time for my artist's path. When I experimented with a new medium, I mailed her one of the first of my efforts. The silk Murphy scarf was joined by the Emma Box, where I merged my illustration with lowfire ceramics for the first time, using ceramic glaze chalks on clay. It stood on her mantle for many years, filled with white sage gathered on one of her visits to California. We never lived in the same city, she was my Seattle sister. I met her at a retreat gathering on Whidbey Island, one Winter Solstice long ago. We recognized one another at first glance.

I sent her one of my first ceramic doumbeks, a drum which was played at her memorial. I filled he home and therapist's office with the first of my flying heart silks and many more banners featuring her poetry which honored the passages of women, celebrated our bodies and our souls. She was a Soul Collage therapist and teacher, and created stunning collage cards of her own. The photographs she took of me on my visits to Seattle are luminous with the joy we felt in each others presence. I treasure one she took of me standing by a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture. The exuberance in the poppies' glow, my gesture of open arms, my soft, dazed smile reveal what being with Emma gave me. Now, each year Emma has a place on my Day of the Dead altar, her picture near the tile I made that says: "Dear Friend". I plant marigolds in her memory each June, to decorate that altar.

A few months after Emma's death, I received a box from Judy, filled with all the art I'd sent Emma: silks, ceramics, a Soul Collage card she made for me, a silver Zuni bracelet from her travels and that last birthday gift (unopened) which I'd sent her a couple of weeks before her death: a pair of fused glass earrings. I wear them now in her memory, flashing pink and green and silver sparkles, Emma's colors. All of the art in that box was covered with ashes, her ashes, which Judy had sprinkled into a raku woman sculpture that had shattered in the mail. My art has never been so blessed, so honored, so anointed.

I'll finish with one of Emma's poems, which she gave to her Spirituality and Healing students at their last ritual circle, their last day of class:

May you walk your path with love,

with courage and curiosity.

May you rest when you need and take note of the lands

through which you pass,

the grand scapes of sky and mountain

the tiny plants and stones

at your feet. Hear the birdsong,

the crickets and the distant creek.

and please do keep following

the road before you, your road.

The call that draws you on,

until you find the next Sign,

the next clue, leading to your destiny,

your destination, your heart's desire.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Here Comes the Bride!

Our daughter is getting married on June 13, and these wee mice will be perched on top of their cheese cake. Their New York wedding will be an opportunity for us to meet the groom's family who live in Ireland. Notice what the groom is holding? A pint of Guinness.

We are so proud of our daughter for her wonderful life choices. And are delighted that our family is expanding!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting Ready to Go....

I'm getting ready to go fishing in New Mexico. Poles and tackle, waders and vests have been mailed ahead, and await us in a friend's garage in Albuquerque. I've packed my bead box, wee vials of essential beads for a half dozen necklace sets, plus tools and findings. This designing "ahead" of the making is a discipline for me since I prefer to make my jewelry intuitively, choosing from my plethora of mica clay, ancient glass, gemstones and vintage beads at my fingertips. Like any process that feels unfamiliar, it is a worthy practice. So I design and choose and organize, culling it down to the essentials. Getting ready to go.

In the midst of my getting ready, my elder friend June, recovering from heart surgery in January, asked for me help when she found herself with an infection that required some big decisions on her part. For the past two days we have been dancing through her fears of returning to the hospital "prison". We waltzed and jigged and tangoed through two emergency rooms, cat scans and blood work and mighty decisions as she stood on the threshold between this life and the next.

After doctors' consults in office and on the phone, June decided to return to the hospital, but before we did, we played hookie. Yup. I took her to the beach. In our tiny coastal town Oceano, you can park in a sandy lot at the edge of the beach and gaze into forever. We got there at high tide, with the waves coming as close to our car as possible (good timing!) and sat there breathing in the salt sea sounds and aromas. June is Otter Woman, a swimmer in fresh water and salt, who swam a mile a day for decades. We sat there in the car, parked nose into the sand, and talked about what she wanted. Turns out she wanted a few simple pleasures. She hadn't been allowed to take a shower since January. She wanted to take a shower, to swim again, to immerse herself in the waters of life. A shower. Check. She wanted a window that opened to the fresh air in her room so she could feel the breeze, see the sky. Open window, sky, breeze. Check.

On our way up the coast to the hospital, almost there, she spoke longingly of a tasty lunch we had shared last year at a favorite bistro in town. On a whim, I asked her if she was hungry...and to my surprise (she had lost her appetite since her surgery) she answered YES. For what? Golden Curry Noodle Bowl! Big smile on my face, as I turned the car around and backtracked through town, and she laughed out loud "You mean NOW? Before we go to the hospital?" No time like the present, and anyway, it's lunch time. Time for some sacramental food from the Sacred Heart Cafe, which just then, was at June's favorite window booth in a tiny Thai cafe. We shared a golden curry noodle bowl with gusto, her first awakening of hunger for several months. Holy food. We spoke more, between spoonfuls, of what she wanted. Inclusion in every decision, every procedure. Check. The option to say no, if her heart said no. Check. A whole different experience than her last one there. Check. She insisted on picking up the tab. Check! And on we danced to the hospital.

In the ER, the tango began, and June knew every step, because we had practiced them beforehand.
She was met by compassionate nurses and her surgical team and more tests, more options, more decisions. Every single thing she wanted, she asked for, taking all the time she needed. Our last steps twirled her into a quiet private room, with an open window, with sun streaming onto her bed, with a nurse who remembered her and treated her with loving dignity, getting her ready. Ready for a procedure that would require frequent showers, promised by her doctor.

I'm home now, getting ready to go again, to go fishing for heart rocks and brown trout, for time together with my husband of thirty years, for time alone with my journal and bead box, for celebrating my sixtieth birthday at holy mineral springs, sinking into hot healing waters, fishing for a new place that may call us home. Getting ready to go. Check.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Our Lady of Perpetual Chocolate Shrine and Snack Bar

During late October for the past eight years I have created a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) ofrenda (altar) during my Open Studio Tour. For many of my central California coast customers, it was their first experience of this vibrant celebration remembering our beloved relatives and friends who have passed on. On my altars I place bouquets of freshly picked marigolds, "the flower with 400 lives" which I grow each year in my garden. Named cempazuchitl by the Aztec peoples, the scent of marigolds is believed to draw the souls of our loved ones back to earth, forming a welcome path for them to follow home.

Also on my ofrenda, I place photographs of my dearly departed in colorful frames, alongside an offering of their favorite food. For my Minnesota dad, a plate of snicker doodles or divinity fudge, specialties he loved when made by his mother, my stalwart Norwegian grandmother Lila. For my mama, a child of Sicilian immigrants, a glass of deep burgundy table wine. For Marya, my "other mother", it has to be chocolate, bittersweet and dark, and plenty of it.

It was in Marya's memory that I set up my first Our Lady of Perpetual Chocolate Shrine and Snack Bar. The shrine is sculpted from clay, fired, painted and gilded. I usually balance some dark chocolate kisses on her head, and surround her with organic, fair trade chocolates, bon bons and brownies, cocoa dusted almonds and butterfingers.

Guest to my Open Studio are invited to enjoy some chocolate, as well as fresh baked Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead). I bake this bread (or ask my eleven year old nephew Aiden, a fine gourmet baker to do the honors) once a year for my altar. Redolent with anise and decorated with skull and bone shapes, the oval loaves of pan de muertos fill the air with an aroma to die for! This year, the ants found one loaf and invaded it. I set it outdoors as an offering to all the ants I have killed over the years. They seemed to enjoy it very much.

Please visit our Day of the Dead Market showcasing the creative work of six unique artists:

Here is a prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Chocolate, which I wrote the year my other mother Marya passed away, suddenly and too soon.

Oh, Bountiful Mother, our Solace and Comfort. Give us this day our daily bar of dark and sweet delight. For all the children of war, transform all the bombs.....into bonbons. Where there is fear, let there appear.... a comforting cup of cocoa. For those who hunger and thirst for justice, gather us together and shower us......with fondue. When there is sickness and no desire to eat, bake us some magic brownies. For all the lonely hearts of our world, deliver a heart shaped box of......nuts & chews. Where there is bitterness in our lives, infuse it with the sweetness of.....fudge. Oh, Truffled Goddess of Delight, we yearn for your cocoa kisses. Be always present at our parties. Wrap us in your creamy arms. Melt in our mouths. Amen. Alleluia. Pass the brownies.

Monday, February 23, 2009

More Peace and Love Please

I found my peace sign necklace from the sixties recently. The leather cord is smooth with sweat, the knots tight from forty years of wear and tear. I wonder how many miles it walked with me protesting the war in the sixties and seventies? I gave it away to my cousin Jane when I left the country to live on boats and sail around the world. Twenty years later she gave it to my daughter Lauren. And when she was cleaning out her room to move to New York with her fiance', she gave it back to me.

Full circle, spinning wheels, what goes around comes around. Imagine. Imagine. Imagine. A world of peace and love, where all the children are cared for, educated, encouraged, celebrated.

I have my peace sign back, and there are still wars today to protest. Still veterans coming home wounded to welcome back. Still families grieving their lost ones. Still innocent children both in this country and across the universe in Iraq and Afganistan suffering from wars.

The PeaceLoveMarket here is a refuge for all of us who are calling for peace, dancing for love and celebrating what still holds us together. I'm working on more art for peace and love. A Sacred Heart of mica clay with a door open, crowned with the fire of chiles, burning for justice, burning for more Peace. More Love.

Friday, February 13, 2009

In the shadow of Mt. Whitney

Every year, spring or fall, I go fishing with my husband Bruce. Here we are on a recent trip to the Eastern Sierra, where we camped and fished Lone Pine Creek, below the trailhead for Mt. Whitney. Just to the right of us is the creek, teeming with rainbows. This photo is one we take every trip, me and Bruce in the same spot, surrounded by high desert sage scrub, camera on a tripod, with a timer. Bruce then plays with the photo, in photoshop. This one shows us in color, and the world around us in black and white.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Human Heart

My valentine wish for you is that your heart's wings unfold and fly.

I've been reading about the human heart. The electrical strength of the heart's signal (measured with an EKG) is sixty times stronger the brain's field (measured by an EEG). But wait! Guess how much stronger the heart's magnetic field is. As much as 5,000 times stronger than the magnetic field of our brains. Amazing knowledge from the field of quantum physics is emerging about how waves of energy (electromagnetic, like what our hearts emit) can create and change and influence not only ourselves but the world around us. Trippy, eh?

When I say "May your heart have wings" my wish for you is to feel your heart expanding inside your body, as your energetic (electromagnetic) wings unfold. And from that place of poised outstretched wings, know that we are not limited or confined by the physical barrier of skin and bones. We transmit electromagnetic waves of energy that can change matter...atoms...the physical world. WooHOO what a ride! If you want to read more about the quantum physics of the heart, read Gregg Braden's "The Spontaneous Healing of Belief".

Here is a sweet animoto valentine from me to you: http://animoto.com/play/MDcZ0MxvixxBTnkW7rMM0A/...

Love is all we need. Love is all we need. Love is all we need. This musical figment has be brought to you by our new Peace and Love Market. Come visit for a magical mystery trip back to the sixties and the seventies. http://www.1000markets.com/groups/peacelove

Update on my sweet peas: they are now about six inches tall, climbing toward the sky. I planted leeks in their bed to keep them company. Kurt Vonnegut said that mirrors are really leaks into other universes. I call leeks, those bulbous spheres of culinary delight, mirrors from other universes.

PattyMara's Sacred Heart Cafe's Fan Box

Micaceous Clay Pottery from DolphinSmile Studio

Micaceous Clay Pottery from DolphinSmile Studio
click on the photo to go to my online shop for mica clay cups, bowls, Sacred Hearts and jewelry

The Value of Play in Creativity

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves."

C. G. Jung