HER-story:

With words and images, I am telling my story. Through art, through sculpture, I am remembering HERstory...
CASIMIRA

Monday, December 31

2008: peace, laughter, love


The day has come to bid adieu to 2007...

...it has been quite a year...

so much learning...

so much growing...

I give thanks for everything and everyone that came my way in 2007, releasing all expectations and any regrets.

My prayers for 2008 are:

PEACE

LAUGHTER

LOVE

...please be safe tonight...

be responsible and respectful of our fragile human bodies...

Sunday, December 30

human judges

mixed media
Human beings judge all of the time.

We judge other human beings.

We judge politicians and actors – similar professions.

We judge restaurants and fashion.

We judge books and artists.

He is an excellent judge of character.
She is an awful judge of character.

She is overweight and must be depressed.
She is underweight and must be anorexic.

He is lazy.
He is a bohemian dreamer.

The baby is so cute.
What, are you having a fourth, fifth baby?
What, you’ve been married how long and no babies?

How many languages does your child speak?
Only one, barely one…why?

You don’t go to church.
God will punish you.
Shame on you.

She has had many lovers.
She is a whore.
She is confused.

He has had many lovers.
He is a healthy, virile man.
He celebrates his manhood.

She is a virgin.
She is a pious nerd.

He is a virgin.
He is gay, perhaps in the closet.

Human beings judge all of the time, when perhaps we should LOVE all of the time...

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
- Mother Teresa

Saturday, December 29

entitlement

mixed media
The grandmother pushed the baby stroller in the middle of the street, oblivious to drivers.

The soccer mom in her SUV loaded with kids, stopped all traffic in order to chitchat and laugh with another soccer mom...SUV to SUV.

Does parenthood come with a sense of entitlement?

Friday, December 28

coral dream

one of my coral & turquoise treasures
At the edge of the sea with my feet in the sand, fiery red treasures appeared.

The ancient coral had traveled hundreds of feet up to the surface to meet me from the depths of Mother Ocean’s womb.

I gathered several large nuggets of the protective amulet, symbolic of rebirth, healing and wisdom.

excerpt from last night's dreams

Thursday, December 27

the world she wants

mixed media, circa 1990's
"How wrong it is for a woman to expect
the man to build the world she wants,
rather than to create it herself."

- Anaïs Nin


...and how SAD for that woman...giving up her power to man...
giving up her creativity on deMANd...

Wednesday, December 26

the best

2007 mixed media, Untitled
Last night, before going to sleep I was thinking about the best in people.

Seeing the best in everyone.

The secret is understanding that "the best" changes moment to moment...

I suppose the secret is compassion.

Tuesday, December 25

christmas greetings

vintage greeting card, circa 1972
Grand Mother seemed to save everything.

She was a sentimental soul, much like me.

This little greeting card was the first I ever gave her...or rather my parents gave in my name...I was barely two months old on December 25, 1972.

Christmas Greetings
Filled with good wishes for the
Christmas Season and the New Year

Grand Mother saved this card for me to one day read and treasure, remembering her with so much love and gratitude...

Monday, December 24

noche buena

vintage photo from Grandparents' home, circa 1970s
Tonight families gather to celebrate each other and to honor the Eve of Christ’s birth.

Those who are far away are missed more than ever.

Those who have passed away are always remembered.

A feast is prepared and enjoyed amidst laughter and song.

At midnight, bells ring to announce La Misa del Gallo, midnight mass with choir and candlelight.


Esta noche es Noche-Buena
Y no es noche de dormir.
– old Spanish verse

Sunday, December 23

more than gold

detail from amber, citrine & jade piece, circa 2004-2005
Remember

This December,

That love weighs more than gold!

~Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

Let us not go crazy attempting to shop until we drop. A piece of paper with LOVE scribbled on it is more valuable than any other gift, even gold. A relaxed and peaceful state of being is more appreciated than a tired, stressed out state.

Take a nap instead of wrapping those last ten gifts...

Sip a cup of tea and contemplate the true meaning of the season...

Remember

This December,

That love weighs more than gold!

~Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

Saturday, December 22

winter solstice & Sri Gurudev

Sri Gurudev playing with me, circa 1973
The circle calls to me.

The sun has not risen, but I have.

His Holiness Sri Swami Satchidananda was born
on December 22nd in 1914.

The sun stands still.

The wheel has been set in motion again for the New Year.

I am entering a new phase of my life...
...and it is time to celebrate the light.

I celebrate beloved Gurudev, today and always.

Friday, December 21

queen casimira

2007 mixed media, self-portrait
In every woman there is a Queen.

Speak to the Queen and the Queen will answer.

- Norwegian Proverb

She does not believe in failure, only obstacles which make her stronger.

Her kingdom is her imagination.

Her loyal subjects are her talents.

I love the queen in me...I respect and honor her...

I also fear her just a bit...

Thursday, December 20

no dancing 7-foot santa

quick sketch of my HOLIDAY ALTAR
I have yet to ever purchase a Christmas tree. It seems rather selfish and cruel to uproot a perfectly good living creature, sheer its branches into shape and bring it indoors to watch it slowly dry and die within a couple of weeks. I do dislike anything fake, especially plants and flowers. Plus, I don’t believe I would enjoy vacuuming pine needles.

So after gathering a few discarded bare branches from last Sunday’s windstorm I arranged them in three lacquered red vessels and hung holiday greetings from family and friends. No little flashing lights, no store-bought mass-produced ornaments...certainly no 7-foot dancing santa or singing reindeer with talking elves...that sort of display is best reserved for Disney World or public amusement parks.

The true spirit of Christmas risks being lost amidst lights, trees and decorations, packages and ribbons, gifts and last-minute shopping...

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a bit more!"

- GRINCH from Dr. Seuss circa 1957

Wednesday, December 19

goddess or grinch?

2007 mixed media
As the year continues to die,
I continue to ask questions.

Where am I headed?
How do I avoid making the same mistakes?
What have I learned?
Who do I need to forgive before the year ends?
How can I forgive myself?

It has been a long month for me.
I have been exposed to countless strangers and energies.
I opened up and bared my soul.
I am trying not to have any regrets, but it is not easy.

Part of me feels like escaping...running away from holidays, away from friends, away from family...going to HAWAII with Luis...

...away from ALL THE QUESTIONS I AM ASKING...
away from ALL the questions THEY are ASKING...

I am dreading merry happy holidays to you and you and you and you and you and you and you too...who-who-who...ha-ha-ha...fa-la-la-la...more eggnog? Why, yes, thank you my dear. You are working hard I hear. How was your show? How did it go? Midnight mass with cheer. More gifts for the spoiled materialistic little brats who deserve Halloween rats. Am I related to The Grinch? At the moment, I believe he was completely misunderstood...
I wish to be inside a cocoon, until my wings feel strong again.

I crave silence and solitude.

"God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there's no turning back." Gloria Steinem

No turning back...

Tuesday, December 18

messages

detail from one of the messages
Have you ever had on odd day?
Or rather a day filled with odd messages from strangers?

Yesterday, while purchasing stamps, the post office clerk proclaimed:

Madonna? I have been giving out more Madonnas...
The Blessed Mother...I need blessings today!

An older gentleman in the stairway was kneeling and moaning. At first I thought he had fallen and was hurt, but then he smiled and in delightful broken English invited me:

Coomeee eh preye wit mi...preye wit meeeee...eh...eh...


I smiled back and decided to take the elevator, where a courier looked me in the eye and declared:

I wish I could get drunk, but I can’t...know what I mean?


The woman with a brand new bicycle, yelled from across the street:

I am getting my daughter on the road!


Finally, as I sorted junk mail at the end of the day, I encountered the following quote:

Rejoice in hope, be patient under trial, persevere in prayer.” – Romans 12:12

A glorious orange sun is rising as I type this morning...I shall REJOICE in HOPE...I shall be PATIENT under TRIAL...I shall PRESEVERE in PRAYER...the Blessed Mother shall bless me...I will pray with others who invite me...I won't give into my temptations...and perhaps I will get myself on the road...

Monday, December 17

fertility with emerald eyes

"FERTILITY with EMERALD EYES"
Since childhood, dreams have brought messages to me.
In dreams, questions are answered. Suspicions confirmed.
I often dream many of my sculptures before they are materialized.

Last night I dreamt of volcanoes.
I also dreamt with my sculpture Fertility with Emerald Eyes...

Sunday, December 16

nieta de Guillermo Sevilla-Sacasa

2007 mixed media series inspired by Andy Warhol
nací siendo la nieta, quizás la predilecta de
Guillermo Sevilla-Sacasa
mi bello Popo de colonias y cuentos


Popo quien me enseño a dibujar
a jugar con palabras
a platicar con seguridad


a ser una verdadera pavo-real-la
de plumas blancas y plateadas como las de las hadas


Popo, siempre impecable y notable
un genio genial y jovial
de medallas y honores
Popo de mis amores


siento su mirada noche y día
escucho sus consejos
segura que nos encontramos en mis sueños

Saturday, December 15

so many questions

a few of my stones & components
People are curious. Curiosity is a good thing, usually.

Where do you buy your stones?

How long does it take you to make a necklace?

What is your cost - not your wholesale - your material cost?

Where did you have your boxes made?

How much money did you make at the show?

How many pieces can you make in a week? In a month?

People are curious about my art. This is a compliment, usually.

From all over the world: flea markets, auctions, gem shows, estate sales. Many are gifts from generous traveling friends who send packages monthly.

A neckpiece can take up to a month to complete - sometimes more - sometimes less. Art is never rushed or timed...

Cost - my cost has no price...my soul is price-less...

The boxes were chosen by my husband. I prefer not to deal with vendors.

I have no idea how much money was made. I leave numbers and math up to my accountants.

I don't know how many pieces I can make in a week, much less a month. I have never timed myself and believe that might take the joy out of it for me. Each piece is created in a peaceful environment - free of stress - free of time - free of any expectations...

Friday, December 14

mi alma desnuda

2007 mixed media, quite possibly an Untitled self-portrait
A gorgeous poem entitled: I Give You My Naked/Undressed Soul which is so powerful in Spanish, I best not attempt to translate...

TE DOY MI ALMA DESNUDA

" Te doy mi alma desnuda,
como estatua a la cual ningún cendal escuda.

Desnuda con el puro impudor
de un fruto, de una estrella o una flor;
de todas esas cosas que tienen la infinita
serenidad de Eva antes de ser maldita.

De todas esas cosas,
frutos, astros y rosas,
que no sienten vergüenza del sexo sin celajes
y a quienes nadie osara fabricarles ropajes.

Sin velos, como el cuerpo de una diosa serena
¡que tuviera una intensa blancura de azucena!

Desnuda, y toda abierta de par en par
¡por el ansia del amar! "

Juana de Ibarbourou (1892 – 1929)

Every time I write, I offer my undressed soul. With every sculpture I create, I offer my undressed soul. Shame-less?..YES...my SOUL is WITHOUT SHAME...

Thursday, December 13

men & women

2007 mixed media study for sculpture
Men and Women.
Women and Men.

Why does the word “men” appear within the word “women”?

Is it because we biblically sprang from Adam’s rib?

When does a little boy grow up into a man?

Or is a part of him always a little boy when Mother is around?

I have been postponing motherhood for years...still don’t feel ready to dedicate my entire life to such a great responsibility...perhaps I am selfish...perhaps I am realistic...perhaps I have been a mother in too many lifetimes before. Perhaps I shall never be sure and never feel ready.

Men and Women.
Women and Men.

Wednesday, December 12

dancing mean reds












The holidays are full of "the mean reds" as Holly Golightly states in Truman Capote's Breakfast At Tiffany's.

Time is racing by. Another year gone - GONE - and exactly what did I accomplish? Did I lose those extra five, ten pounds? Did I publish that famous novel? Did I finally commit to having a baby? Did I clean out my storage? Will I ever....

"Listen...you know those days when you get the mean reds?" --Holly.

"The mean reds? You mean like the blues?" --Fred (Paul).

"No... the blues are because you're getting fat or because it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?" --Holly.

"Sure." --Fred (Paul).

"When I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump into a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away." --Holly.

What gets me OUT of the "mean reds" is DANCING...and then MORE DANCING...just shaking it all out - all the fear, all the regret...dance it all away...

Tuesday, December 11

wise women

2007 detail from print
Who are the wise women in your life?

When do you seek their counsel?

The wise women speak to me through dreams and symbols.

There are no coincidences...I am being guided, moment by moment.

"In the ancient way of being, the earth not only creates, feels, and protects life, but like a mother, whispers through natural signs and images the secret knowledge of how body, mind, emotions and spirit work upon each other in an intricate, invisible weaving." - Johanna Lambert from "Wise Women of the Dreamtime"

Monday, December 10

story written within petals

detail from "BLOOM" 2008 collection
There is a story written within your petals.

What is your soul whispering?

What is your body shouting?

Quiet your mind and listen...

Sunday, December 9

beauty & beasts

The animals prepared to feast. Each dressed in its best, surely wanting to impress. Once-A-Great-Beauty lured them into the haunted castle holding secrets and ghosts. She would stuff them with sugar and carbohydrates until their stomachs almost burst. The sweets were laced with judgment and mockery. It had all become a game of appearance and denial. Both Beauty and Beasts had lost sight of what is important in life...

excerpt from a fairy tale in progress

Saturday, December 8

La Purisima

2007 mixed media featuring the interior of León's cathedral
Who causes so much happiness?

This is the cry of millions of Nicaraguans during the December 7th “La Griteria” (The Shouting) celebration of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. An elaborate altar is set up with fresh flowers, lights, candles and more. Celebrants gather to sing prayerful hymns to Mother Mary. After the singing, massive amounts of food are distributed. Everything from oranges with little paper flags, candies made of condensed milk and coconut, tamales wrapped in dark green plantain leaves and a sweet pink drink made of corn. The tradition began somewhere between the 18th–19th century in the majestic colonial city of León, Nicaragua.

I have always seen “La Purisima” (The Purest) as a fascinating pagan-like ritual, one of my favorite parts of growing up Catholic. As a child, I believed we were honoring all the mothers, all the women and not just a statue of a pretty white lady dressed in blue draping gowns. Even more so today, I like to believe the songs, the prayers and food honor and celebrate the goddess in every woman...

Friday, December 7

Monet's message from Paris

2007 mixed media self-portrait
I have come to realize that CASIMIRA is not for everybody, at least not yet and perhaps not ever. A dear friend in Paris sent me a message from Claude Monet...

"People discuss my art and pretend to understand as if it were necessary to understand, when it's simply necessary to love."
- Claude Monet
Monsieur Monet would have loved my sculptures...

Thursday, December 6

water

detail from a 2008 piece already in private collection
we float in the womb
our mother’s water breaks and we emerge
the human body is mostly water

ocean water renews
rain baptizes
tears of joy & sorrow

water changes shape & transforms herself

fertile waters
healing waters
purifying waters

“I noticed something at your show...there was a lot of water involved...the first snow of the year (como avisando que se avecina algo mágico)...la nevera de agua con hielo que se cayó debajo de la mesa...que para mi es buena señal...señal de cambio...de algo fresco, nuevo y limpio...”

-Catalina Checa de Stawski

water IS life

Wednesday, December 5

my tribe

2007 mixed media journal
we are loud

we laugh a lot

we celebrate life

we multiply in an instant

we take over

we never apologize for who we are...

my tribe...my family...always loving and supporting me...

G R A C I A S....!!!

Tuesday, December 4

mermaid

detail from 2008 collection
I dreamed I was a mermaid...wearing many necklaces of shell...

Monday, December 3

three little words

detail from one of my pieces
I had spent all day working in my studio.

After yoga, I showered and got ready.

I dreaded seeing so many women all at once, but I figured it could only help prepare me for Tuesday and Wednesday.

I felt beautiful...simple, elegant and timeless without trying too hard.

I felt beautiful until she uttered three little words:

...te veo gordita...

Why should the opinion of another affect me so much? Is it because I am overweight? Is it because the truth hurts?

It has everything to do with me, and absolutely nothing to do with her. I have an issue with my weight. A rebellious side of me refuses to join the popular club of Underweight Hungry Women.

I am more than what I weigh.

I am more than my beautiful body.

I am more...three little words...I AM MORE...

Sunday, December 2

SHE

from 2008 collection
S H E

mother earth

vessel of creativity

we each sprang from a female womb

powerful protector

Saturday, December 1

arrowhead amulets

one of a series of amulets featuring arrowheads, each one is different
the shaman handed me a bag of carved arrowheads
and instructed me to create protective amulets...

Friday, November 30

ageless souls soar

our 2007 holiday greeting
he kissed me
13 years ago
today

he married me
5 years ago
today

his kiss still makes me blush...

Thursday, November 29

being grateful

2007 detail from one of my newest pieces, part of 2008 collection
During my yoga this morning, I was struck by how grateful I am to life, to God. Gratitude is healing.

"I thank God for all the things I don't have."
St. Teresa of Avila

Wednesday, November 28

forest song

a favorite photo of my beloved bangles in the forest
My wearable sculpture is inspired by nature...it is a tribute to nature.

As I walk through the forest, I listen to my soul.

The forest song is sung by every branch and by each delicate leaf.

Nature is healing...

excerpts from my journals

Tuesday, November 27

Musa Matriarcal

my beloved Grand Mother Maria
Madre Mía

Santa María

Luz de Cada Día

Santa Mujer

Madre María

Musa Matriarcal
hoy te sueño
hoy te siento
a mi lado, siempre amando...

celebrating the birth of my Matriarcal Muse

Monday, November 26

vida verde - green life

detail from "VIDA VERDE" sterling & turquoise CASIMIRA
The first time I wore VIDA VERDE was in Seattle, at a party of actors - intellectual theatre performers. One blue-eyed professor recited RUMI to me and concluded that I was born to be on stage.

The turquoise stones are from a vintage necklace I found in a little London boutique...years ago. I remember it was raining and grey, deliciously romantic.

Seattle and London have very similar weather.

Sunday, November 25

brad pitt & my wedding

2007 sketch
Last night I dreamed with Brad Pitt. It's not the first time. Always, he is wearing a CASIMIRA...

Fame is a strange phenomenon. Earlier today I was shocked to discover a photograph from my very private wedding on a very public YOU-TUBE video...and no, Brad Pitt did not attend my wedding.

Saturday, November 24

mother ocean's womb

components inspiring a sculpture
I often dream with Mother Ocean. Her salt waters and waves. Her sandy beaches. After swimming in her womb, I feel refreshed and cleansed, truly renewed and reborn. One of these days I will live on the beach...and swim by moonlight...

Friday, November 23

over stimulation

the fortunate candle that witnessed our showering & dressing

The power went out this afternoon. While our neighbors fretted over raw turkeys in ovens, we showered and dressed by candlelight.

Stepping into the hospital, I began perceiving gloomy ghosts desperate to communicate. We sat with him for an hour, his white beard growing while the clock tick-tocked. He may be going home tomorrow.

A precious baby boy greeted us, his angelic smile filling us with the freshness of new life. I held him, silently giving thanks to his parents, to him, to God. I breathed in his purity and peace. He recognized me and spoke with his eyes.

A broken man embraced me and I almost broke down. I hope I was able to transfer a bit of peace to him.

I ate a few bites of tortellini pasta and salad, afraid of undercooked turkey. I listened to the nightmares of a beautiful girl. I tasted a decadent chocolate mousse. I said I would see all of them tomorrow. He dropped me off and would meet me later on.

She looked gloriously young on her birthday. She wore two CASIMIRA pieces with unsurpassed style and glamour. I ate a bit of turkey breast (their power never went out) and Nicaraguan stuffing. I left four raisins on my plate and drank a glass of chilled white wine. There were six desserts not including birthday cake. My favorite was his bread pudding made from churros and drizzled buttered brandy.

The art critic arrived after me and had to eat while others watched. He did not touch the turkey, but enjoyed the ham.

Ava Gardner arrived late but lovely. She seemed tired and a bit sad. I need to spend more time with her.

The diplomatic chef and famous surgeon disappeared. Perhaps they went to watch Grey’s Anatomy?

I received a dedicated Coco Chanel book, a belated birthday gift. Coco and Carolina Herrera are two of my favorite designers.

Conversation fluttered between art and sex. At one point, circumcised penises where sketched on paper napkins while a forest green linen napkin became a visual aide. She claimed not to know about kundalini or penises and is terrified of snakes. As a paparazzo played with his new equipment I began to understand Sean Penn.

We discussed the possibility of publishing a book dedicated to celebrating the life of a great man.

I spontaneously took one of the sculptures off my neck and gave it to him. He was so happy and so was I.

While driving our friend home, we saw deer and foxes. Good omens. We are blessed, truly blessed...

It was a very full evening...I would love not to have to see another human being for the next 48 hours...over stimulation of the senses, especially my sixth sense...

a few Thanksgiving highlights

Thursday, November 22

ANOTHER holiday

2007 study for sculpture
Charlie Brown:
We've got ANOTHER holiday to worry about.
It seems Thanksgiving Day is upon us.

Sally Brown:
I haven't even finished eating all of my Halloween candy.

excerpt from “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” circa 1973

Wednesday, November 21

how great how happy - really?

2007 "Her Head in the Clouds" mixed media
Everyone kept saying how great she looked. They seemed to ignore the far-away gaze in her once-vibrant eyes. She smiled; she had become an excellent actress. Everyone kept saying how happy she looked. She grinned when in reality she wanted to scream at the top of her lungs. In the middle of the party she discretely stepped outside to smoke another cigarette and to telephone her lover.

excerpt from a short story written in 1999

Tuesday, November 20

an ex-president & cuff links

collection inspiring a sculpture & a story...
I had a very strange dream last night. My dreams are often strange, prophetic and layered with symbolism and meaning. This was a VERY strange dream, however.

An ex-president - I won't mention names or countries - was attempting to take off on a hot air balloon while eating a hamburger.

I was shopping in a supermarket and bumped into all kinds of interesting people from the past.

Before waking up, I received a fabulous design for men's cuff links - just fabulous - many of my sculpture designs originate in dreams.

Monday, November 19

figs & diamonds

study for sculpture
Given the choice between receiving a fig or a diamond as a gift, which would you prefer? He asked.

The fig, of course. She answered.

I thought you would prefer the diamond – a fig-sized one – still rough with vibrant earth energies, unpolished and raw. He challenged her.

A diamond does not nourish my body yet has the power to harm my soul. She replied.

How can a diamond hurt your soul? He wondered.

It is not the actual diamond, but what it represents. Today, a diamond represents wealth and poverty -- the wealth of earthly possessions and the poverty of spiritual enlightenment. A diamond represents ego and attachment to the material world. She bit into one of her breakfast figs.

Are you saying you will never use diamonds in your sculptures? He smiled.

On the contrary, I will use diamonds just not make them the center of attention. Plus, you asked what I would prefer YOU give ME as a GIFT. She laughed.

Sunday, November 18

memory soup

painted silk, turquoise nugget and notes on my desk
recipe for memory soup:

zip-car

goya-girls

mylar bone landscape

fourteen-thousand dollar photographs

planning an exhibit

greek feud

caressing hair

tank top strap

laryngitis necklace

tar-tar-NOT

black olive

déjà vu

fold-up-tables

las tremendas tetas

el nica viejo y vulgar

the temptation top

travel writing

fertility clock

dreaming of babies

can't always get what you want

dancing

reading coffee cup: volcanic mountain of ghosts

¿por qué no te callas?