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holy cow.  i was totally abducted by aliens and what felt like three days “up there” was actually, roughly, 3.33 months here on earth for the rest of you.  funny how strange time is from dimension to dimension.  upon my return, i had a bit of a mid-life crisis (that is mathematically accurate if i live to be precisely 76)…

i realized that i’ve not been 110% happy, and i do think everyone should be at least THAT happy in life.  what’s to be unhappy about when you’re the mother of the best boy on earth and the wife of the hottest and kindest [younger] man in the world?  it took a wee bit to realize that my problem is that i’ve wanted to have a farm for as long as i can remember.  i want to be an artist farmer… or a farmer artist.  over the past two decades i’ve outgrown web design.  i LOVE design.  but i HATE coding.  i’m too old school for all the new school technologies.  the fam and i have been looking for a new house with room for me to have a wee farm for over a year and a half but to no avail, which has been borderline crushing.  it’s really sad to fall in love with, for example, a 1920s 7 bedroom farmhouse on 9 acres only to find out at the last minute that it’s on a flood plain and flooded the year previous.  no thanks.

two mixed media pieces, meditation, alicia caudle

but…. i’m 98% happy now!  we have decided to buy a parcel of land instead and build our own little farm house — that way the house will be perfect and not mediocre (we have picky tastes).  we’re actually looking at 60 acres in douglas county, oregon (about 3 or 4 hours south of where we currently live in portland) and another 160 acre parcel a little ways farther down the road.  yes!  i have already morphed into a temporary architect and designed our house (a real architect said my designs were fantastic — apparently i have a knack for home design).  we’re building a straw bale home, complete with solar and wind power, and hydro as well if we have a good water source, and recycled rain water system (perfect in oregon) for bathrooms and laundry, a well for drinking… totally not quite off the grid.  we’ll have internet and cell phones, of course.  heat: a huge masonry stove.  passive solar.  all the good green stuff i love.  i totally should have been born in the pioneer days ’cause that’s really my cuppa tea for some reason.

anatomical heart collage by alicia caudle

to crank the happiness notch up a bit more, we’ve decided that since it will be a couple/few years before we can buy our land/sell this house, there is no reason we can’t have a mico-farm here.  we already have a 1919 farm house… so now our entire yard is a huge garden, complete with greenhouse, cloche and all sorts of goodness.  i’ll share more about this soon for my gardening friends (have several hundred veggie starts already inside, in the greenhouse and in the cloche).  we got a little farm pup named modoc… a 10 week old lab/border collie mix and 6 chicks hatching in a couple weeks (huge chicken coop/run done and ready to go).  i’m elated!  i now get to play in the dirt (we have about 1500 square feet of garden beds which is no “farm” but it’s a fantastic start), grow things and paint every day, along with the whole home school adventure, dog potty training/stop chewing that/let’s go on a walk, etc.  it all makes me so happy!  so, for the moment, i’m an artist and an urban farm girl.  woohooo!  if you’re in the area and need some organic tomato starts let me know ’cause i have 72.  i now realize that’s far too many.

mixed media art by alicia caudle

despite my silence, i’ve been arting a lot as you can see above and below.  some of the pieces are still available on my website: http://alteredbits.com/alicia-caudle-art.php.  i’m working on some assemblages next which anyone who knows me knows i loveloveLOVE (1374% out of 100).  due to limited space at the moment (gearing up to do lots of remodeling around here) i have to work cyclically: paint/collage for awhile, then put that away to do some assemblage for a wee bit, then put that away to work on books, etc..

mixed media art by alicia caudle   mixed media art by alicia caudle

i have some other new stuff but i’ll save that for another post. this is already so long!

lines

now, to save the best for last, i got an email from seth apter this evening to inform me that i will be featured in his tell all portion of the pulse next sunday. cruise on over to the altered page and have a look and a read.  you don’t have to wait until next sunday — go over there now.  he always has such amazing posts… i could spend half my life there and would be elated to do so.  (thank you so much, seth, for all that you do!!)  i will post a reminder on sunday morning in case you forget.

seth-apter-tell-all

lines
p.s. here is a photo of our new baby.  my second son, the canine:

modoc-the-dog

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i LOVE this time of year!  art inspiration is always overflowing, the garden is growing and all is happy.  this is what i’ve been working on as of late:

i have started and/or finished around a dozen new cuffs and bracelets.  i’m wrist-adornment obsessed these days!  here is one that i used old coin charms and other ancient findings in (this is the second to the ugliest one i’ve made lately… but i like it and how in jingle-jingles when you move):

wrist cuffs and bracelets by alicia caudle of altered bits

i will post more soon, and add them to my site for sale.  i’m redesigning my site though, so it may be a minute.  or ten.  i’m a busy girl, you know.

still working away on my series of doll head assemblages.  lovelove!  some of them have fancy books inside, all have bones, some have feet, most have arms.  can’t wait to share, but it will be a bit as i am working on a series of paintings in unison.  they are ghost paintings.  can’t really show you ’cause none are done, but… well, screw it.  here is a peek.  but it’s not done.  (as if saying it twice will make you believe me more.)  i’m not good at this kind of painting but i felt compelled to try anyway and i’m enjoying myself so that’s all that matters.  typically my paintings are tiny but this is HUGE.  well, huge for me.  16×24″ i think.

ghost painting number one

last, and of course not least, the garden has taken most of my attention.  here is a peek at some of our edibles and pretties around the yard (click to enlarge, if desired):

my garden

many things eluded my lens, but you get the picture.  most of the edibles and some of the flowers were started by seed.  wooohooo for my growing capabilities!  our tomatoes are not terribly pleased (thanks to the thunder storms and 2+ inches of rain in an hour last week or so) but peppers, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, bush beans, herbs, and raspberries seem to be happy.  we have six HUGE artichokes.  isn’t this really early for them?  i’m confused.  i swear we got them in late august last year.

how does your garden grow?

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