Well, I knew this day was coming.  My baby robins left the nest this week.  Today it is suddenly very quiet in my studio.  I did not realize how frequently I heard the babies chirp, chirp as Mom and Dad Robin flew in with a meal.  I found great joy in seeing the reaction of people as they walked down the street and noticed them so close to the sidewalk.  One evening a family watched for several minutes asking each other if they were “real”, and yes, “I think I saw one blink!”.  And  I found it facinating just how many people walked by oblivious to the miracle of nature just inches from their face, because they were too busy on their phone to notice.  On Monday the four little robins had gotten so big they barely fit in the nest and I knew the time was near.  I also could tell that Mom and Dad Robin knew it too.  They became pretty aggressive at “dive bombing” anyone who came too near or lingered for too long.  I was not in my studio when they took their first flights.  But I don’t believe the Mother Robin pushes them out of the nest.  No, they spent many days stretching and testing their wings.  They just finally got too big for the nest and had no other option but to fly.

I too am feeling a little like that.  Like my current nest doesn’t quite fit anymore.  So, what to do?  I just keep testing and spreading my wings.  When the time is right, I have faith,  I will be ready to FLY!  Enjoy this little video on my Facebook Page of my babies the day before they left me.  See it HERE.

And, I urge you to slow down, stop and enjoy the miracles of nature just inches from your face everyday.  It puts things in perspective and teaches lessons about life you just can’t learn on your computer and phone screens.  For a great way to learn how to do that I recommend my friend Sallie Wolf‘s book, “The Robin Makes A Laughing Sound, a birder’s journal”.  It has great lessons for watching, documenting and enjoying birds and the natural world around you.  Perfect for children (and adults!).

The Robin Makes A Laughing Sound, by Sallie Wolf




A Case For Pillow Talk

20160511_094018In his heart he said: 
     I love her so very much

In his head he said: 
     I hope she loves me too.

From his mouth he said: 
     Can we eat dinner early tomorrow? 
     I have an evening meeting.

And then he fell asleep.

In her heart she said: 
     I will love and care for him forever.

In her head she said: 
     I hope he will always care for me.

From her mouth she said: 
     Early dinner tomorrow?  Sure!

And then she fell asleep.

A Case For Pillow Talk
©2016 Pamela Penney


Inspired by a recent Broadly article, Mark My Words: The Subversive History of Women Using Thread as Ink, I transformed a couple of vintage pillow cases I acquired from my grandmother.  I am pretty sure she did the decorative stitching with the rick rack trim.  I created this piece for the group exhibit, “She Said | He Said” which opened this weekend at the new Groshek Art Gallery in Chicago.  After 30 plus years of sleeping with my husband I can attest to the fact that what comes out of the mouth is rarely the “important stuff”.  I thought the use of grandma’s pillow cases was perfect for this sentiment.  My grandparent’s were married over 70 years.  I wonder sometimes about their “pillow talk” over all of those years.
I also coincidently came across a New Yorker article from a 1996 interview with the Obama’s.  I found it sweet that our current President once said this about his wife, Michelle…..“but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.”

Tonight, before I “fall asleep” I think I’ll try to express something more important than what is planned for tomorrow, or what happened today.  I will  share from my heart, even if I can’t find the right words….

What Basket Are Your Eggs In?

Felted Shaker Eggs

Today I worked on wet-felting a dozen + a few (egg-tras in case of breakage) of my “shaker eggs”.  They are an item on my etsy.com shop (See them HERE) that a woman custom ordered this week for her daughter’s 1st birthday party to give as favors for the other children.  I filled plastic eggs with a variety of beads (so that each egg has a different sound), wrapped them in wool and then with a lot of wetting, soaping and rubbing I created these joyous sounding, rattles that I am thrilled will be adding to the fun of a child’s first party.  This was very therapeutic work today, as the last few days have been busy getting larger artwork finished for shows and deadlines.  This is a little more “mindless” and that can be good every once in a while.

Basketree by Karen Gubitz

As I rubbed and felted these eggs I stared out the window at Momma Robin sitting in the nest she and Daddy Robin made a little over a week ago.  Everyday I watch them come and go, following the calls of nature.  They picked a particularly interesting spot to set up “housekeeping”.  They chose to build their nest within a woven sculpture by artist Karen Gubitz.  She calls these works her “Basketrees”.  It is a perfect shelter for a bird’s nest.

Momma Robin warming the nest.

I want to be like the birds. They trust in their shelter. They trust there will be an adequate food supply nearby for their offspring. They trust in each other, the daddy showing up when needed to give the female her breaks from nest sitting. They trust in their environment, in this world.

Daddy Robin guards the nest while Momma takes a break.

If humans are the higher intelligent life forms, why don’t they create an environment they can trust,  a world they can trust to provide safety, sustenance, blessings, peace, and joy for themselves and their future generations?  I bless the shaker eggs as I send them off to a group of one year old children somewhere in Kansas…Maybe these eggs can be a spark to create this future world we can TRUST.  At least they will spark a little JOY.  That is the basket I put my eggs into because I don’t think that kind of world is just for the birds.

Letters from the Future

The following is a hypothetical letter.  I wrote it myself as though my sister has written it to me 26 years from now on my birthday.  I wrote it as an exercise for a Circle of transitioning Women led by Circle Tender, Susan Lucci that I am a part of.  The assignment was to imagine a celebration near the end of your life and ask some of the guests to speak on your behalf about your life and how you fulfilled your “Life’s Desires”.  In light of the issues our world is facing in the NOW this was very therapeutic for me.  Here is the hypothetical letter from my sister:

Happy Birthday Pam!  Can you believe that you are 80 years old and I am just a couple of weeks from being 79?  Who would have thought this is how the world would be in 2042?  Oh yeah, you would have!  You always believed and you were right, that the world and the humans living here would begin to transform and shift when we were in our early 50’s.  That we could overcome the issues of poverty and climate change during our lifetime.  I always loved calling you on the phone, (remember those crazy old devices necessary to communicate?)  and hearing about the books you were reading about the Unity Consciousness and our Higher Selves.  And that ET’s are Us!

Yes, I remember when you were younger that you would get frustrated and discouraged that you weren’t sure how to bring your value and implement your desires in the world.  And you were disappointed that your work didn’t really support yourself.   That you always had to rely on your husband’s income for the survival of your family.  But remember, that was back when we had the old money and banking system.  You were one of the few who believed we could find a better way to “survive”.  Oh yeah, not survive, but THRIVE and flourish.  And that abundance was a “basic right” that All Humans were born to on our planet Earth.  And you were correct.  Just see how fast that concept came to be accepted and implemented?  And your energy, faith, and creative vision were a part of our collective ascension into this new flourishing life for ALL.  You helped others SEE that this was possible.  You helped me see it, even though it meant I had to transform my own business and livelihood away from helping people file their annual income tax returns. (And pay the taxes!  Oh, remember how horrible it was for people to have to do that every year?)  The fact that there are so few people suffering and “in need” now, and that we no longer pay for WAR and military expenses as a nation has really made it so much easier for people.  And I much preferred helping people decide what to do with their abundance and decide how to best share their wealth and “pay it forward” as they used to say!

Oh, and remember that summer evening under the stars when our children were young and we were sitting around the bonfire in my backyard?  The kids were running around in the dark playing on their “walkie-talkie radios”  (Talk about old-time communications!)  You pretended to talk to them like an alien from “Planet Micro-Brew”.  A few years later micro-breweries were everywhere!  And then a few years after that the Earth made peaceful and mutually beneficial contact with Advanced Life out in the Universe.  It was like you could SEE it that night looking out at the far away stars above our fire.  You also had a way of looking into the Flames of the Fire for “Life’s Answers”, too.

I thank you so much for being my older sister, my friend, guide, mentor and visionary.  You’ve always been there when I’ve needed you.  It’s so nice now to be psychically connected so that we don’t need to worry about the phone to communicate anymore.  Now, whenever we need to we can hear, feel and KNOW how much the Other One cares and loves us.  Even when we are apart.  Oh yeah, there is no such thing as “apart”.  We are each our individual spark of the Unity that is Life.  Thank you for making the Soul Contract to be the spark that guided me into this life with you in it.  As you Know, I love you.

Your Sister, B~

Note:  I went searching in my gift card pile for the perfect card to imagine having this letter written on and I found this.  The artwork is by Helena Nelson-Reed.  The Synchronicity of this card’s message goes beyond “perfect” to DIVINE!


Happy May Day and Beltane

Happy May Day and Beltane!
Take your kids outdoors and dance in the rain.
Let them splash in the puddles, let them hear the birds chirp.
For perhaps, if you don’t our Earth may continue to wither.
And your children won’t even notice her pain.
©pamelapenney #aStitchInTimeSaves

This poem was “inspired” by reading this article today Children Lose Contact With Nature

I wanted to share a video so you can hear the birds, but my dog wanted to chime in her warning bark too. So, en~joy!