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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Love, Art, and Cans of Pumpkin...

Mornin' everyone...

Bringing the sunshine into the studio's almost March...!

I'd like to start off with some gratitude to a quite wonderful fiance - mine!  Meet Brandon...

Bit hard to see here...
That's more like it!
Brandon is amazing person, and a creator himself!  (I have him to thank for!)
(and that's love.)
He eats almost as much as me!
My biggest joy is centering my crafting around him
These are some mixed media paintings I made for our new house:
Brandon enlarged some prints of these to hang for our engagement party, and they turned out beautifully.  
We got a bit creative for the party - learning to ballroom dance...

...and it went pretty well!

...And since red is my lucky color, I got a bit crafty with my heels...

Oh the wonders some ribbon and a glue gun can do!
My DIY Guest Book!

There is nothing like creating in the name of what you love - who, what, wherever it is!
He's got quite the collection of mixed media cards from me so far!

So Brandon, just wanna say...Thanks!

We're like eggs n' bacon - but kosher.
Finding Brandon was quite the reward after a pretty shaky road.  But, as one of my favorite quotes has reminded me over and over:  

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.”

And so to all those terrible feelings that I never thought would end, I wrote this poem:

Thank You
By Amy Oestreicher 2015

Silence bellows through the halls
Moon is still hung in the sky
Shadows casting on the walls
There’s a dread I can’t deny
Waking up for one more day
Circling through another round
Fretting as I make my way
Through my fear of staying down
When it’s rougher to zoom out
When upset’s hard to ignore
I remind myself what life’s about
And all the things I’m grateful for
Thank you, boredom, for the place
To sit with only and just me
To clear out enough empty space
To search my soul curiously
Thank you, anguish, for the pain
That brings me back to recollections
Allowing me to visit again
My past and make insightful connections
Thank you, stresses, for presenting
Challenges to overcome
Breathing you out is preventing
Me from freezing, going numb
Thank you, anxiety for bringing
Future thoughts up in a blur
Posing theories, ringing
High alert for events that could occur
Thank you, sadness for being
That tender place I’m called to care for
Because of you, I’m finally seeing
How you need me to be there for
Thanks, frustration, for activating
All emotions I don’t mention
As my stress is escalating
You force me to sit with tension
Thank you, anger, for igniting
Me with zeal and vibrant passion
You make life zip forward, lighting
Up a fire in your hot fashion
Thank you, fear, for alerting
Me of dangers in my head
You protect me from senseless hurting
Making me cautious instead
Thank you, scary emotions
For granting me the work to process
As I strive for higher notions
It’s important to sort out this mess
Every frustration serves to be
A catalyst to spark some feelings
That you suppress unconsciously
While you are yearning for true healing
So embrace those harder days
That bring up fear and doubt for you
These emotions pave you way
And point to what life’s about for you
So I’ll go to bed tonight
Grateful for the things I feel
Grateful for the pale moonlight
Shining on a world so real.

Wherever there is pain, there is a blessing somewhere.  All of my surgical scars are now just red marks - and as I said, red is my lucky color...

There are blessings everywhere - and as I mentioned, I often find gratitude in nature, most prominently in trees, who have always felt like my ancient, sacred, grandfatherly guardians.

The Hampshire campus is so beautiful in the not-winter time...
This Tree Poem by Joyce Kilmer always reminds me of the universal beauty that trees possess.  There is also a beautiful musical rendition of it here:  Tree Song

Now for the kitchen...

I had some cans of pumpkin laying around and it was perfect timing for Shabbat.

Pumpkin Challah

Pumpkin Roll
I'd say it was pumpkin well-used, but I wish I had a bit more for some of these pumpkin twists!

On another inspirational note, I love the blog from Artsy Shark.  In this feature, it interviews several artists with the wonderful question:
(Feel free to answer and post a comment here!)

I've also taken on these Fun Art Challenges - I encourage you to check out the site and try a challenge yourself - why not?  Today I picked "Personify a word"

My word was "CONNECTION"
For an inspiring read, check out Friedrich Nietzsche On How To Find Your Best Self
(Or, if Cookie Monster is more your style, he has some profound philosophical musings in this "thought shower"...)

For a bit more music, here's a video of me and my wonderfully talented brother Matt singing one of my favorite jazz standards:  Misty

Before you go, take a visual cyber-trip before getting down to business this morning and check out the 25 Most Jaw-Dropping Places In America You've Never Heard About.

And if YOU are feeling ambitious in the kitchen later, try the BEST onion rings you'll ever make in your life.  Or...if you're feeling a bit lazy, there is always the best way to microwave a chocolate chip cookie.

Bundle up and stay warm today!!!'s cold.  Even painting this made me cold.

By the way, all my blog posts are now on my My Pinterest page, for all your wonderful pin-pinning cyber list-makers out there...


  1. I love your artwork. Do you sell it on Etsy?

  2. Hi! I don't sell on Etsy right now, but am working on setting up a storefront via my website at If you are interested in purchasing anything, e-mail me directly using the contact for on - thanks!!!