Where @Etsy meets Realness. @annatfabulous and her Craftie Robot Messenger Bag by @robotgeek76

GOD, I LOVE ETSY.  Along with blogging, it has opened the world to artists.  I love posting on my ETSY shop, filling orders and spending hours discovering other artists.

When I discovered this Hunter S. Thompson messenger bag on the ETSY shop, Craftie Robot, I knew my daughter needed to have it.  Was I right?  WOW!

Anna T Fabulous at Daytime Realness, San Francisco, April 15, 2012

Get yours at:

All bags are made with 100% cotton canvas construction unless otherwise stated. For the bags I use high quality professional transfers heat pressed with a commercial heat press machine onto the messengers/laptop bags. The heat press allows the transfer to bond deep into the fabric and will last a very long time. The messenger/laptop bags are the perfect size to fit your laptop or several big, heavy books with a little room left for little knick knacks. Its a great messenger bag, book bag, diaper bag, laptop bag, backpack, or whatever other use you can think of. There is also a nice little zippered pocked found on the inside of the bag. Perfect to put your wallet, keys and cellphone. – CRAFTIE ROBOT

Make sure to also visit:

Drawing on 50… journaling series Part 2. Dream participant: Maud!

My best friend, Maud, sent me the most wonderful email from Sweden yesterday!  Her color choices and capslock always inspires me and illustrates her exuberant spirit!  I think we should all write our emails like this!

Today’s dream statement:

I will have this extraordinary woman as part of my upcoming project/ women’s conference [details down the road].  Can you imagine?  I can!

Gathering inspiration

I found these two sketches of Maud in my 1984 journal during a visit to Sweden.  I have no recollection of drawing them.  28 years ago… OMG.

Read wonderful blog entries about Maud visiting my daughter in SF at:

See also:

Drawing on 50 Part 1: dream collaboration

San Francisco Journal: Portrait #6 @annatfabulous

Watching my children grow into spectacular, fulfilled beings pursuing their passions is the greatest feeling.  If I ever doubt myself, I just have to remember “wow, look at them.  I was part of that.”

No matter how others doubted my methods, no matter that my children will have personal struggles as they continue to develop and grow, in this moment– we can feel content and whole knowing that the three of us are doing pretty fucking good!   We ENJOY each other.  And that is success.

So visiting my daughter in San Francisco, witnessing her in the midst of a beautiful family of friends, with her career and life blossoming, was EMPOWERING!  I learn so much from how Anna walks her life.

I put Anna in Alexander McQueen PreFall 2009. I call it "the missed phonecall."

See also:

2010 visit to SFMOMA

San Francisco Portrait #1 Honey Mahogany

San Francisco Craft Project Series Part 1: Sockshop on Haight

Brunch at Brenda’s

San Francisco Portrait #2 Tony

San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Portraits 3 and 4: TC and David

San Francisco Journal: Doc Martens

San Francisco Craft Project Series Part 2: sock bunny

San Francisco Journal: The Tote Bag Book

San Francisco Craft Project Series Part 3: Happy Birthday, Twitter!

San Francisco Craft Project Series Part 4: Sock Goddess

San Francisco Journal: Joseph

I will continue to share my incredible weekend in San Francisco (that I spent with my daughter and her friends) through a series of portraits and journal entries over the next few days.

This one’s for Anna:

San Francisco Journal: Portrait #5 Joseph @killian #deepchats

I will continue to share my incredible weekend in San Francisco (that I spent with my daughter and her friends) through a series of portraits and journal entries over the next week or so.

One of my main reason for traveling to San Francisco was to have deep chats with Joseph.


And I’m pleased to say, we had a good start.  But only a start.  SO MANY MORE CHATS NEEDED!

Here are just a few highlights of my weekend with my second son.  You can tell how much he and Anna love each other!


Brunch at Brenda’s

Saturday dinner at Joseph's house with an extraordinary feast by Diana and Elizabeth in honor of Chinese New Years! 18 guests, full bellies, happy hearts!

See Anna’s post about the Ice Cream Bar!

With Joseph, Anna and Alex at the Ice Cream Bar!

See also:

2010 visit to SFMOMA

San Francisco Portrait #1 Honey Mahogany

San Francisco Craft Project Series Part 1: Sockshop on Haight

Brunch at Brenda’s

San Francisco Portrait #2 Tony

San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Portraits 3 and 4: TC and David

San Francisco Journal: Doc Martens

San Francisco Craft Project Series Part 2: sock bunny

San Francisco Journal: The Tote Bag Book

Happy Birthday, Twitter!

One of my fave pics I took of Anna and Joseph (from July 27, 2011 in Seattle)

San Francisco Journal: my new Doc Martens! @drmartens

I will continue to share my incredible weekend in San Francisco (that I spent with my daughter and her friends) through a series of portraits and journal entries over the next few weeks.


I wore my old docs to San Francisco, knowing (hoping) I would finally be buying new ones at the Doc Martens store on Haight.

The store itself is MARVELOUS!


And ahhhhhhh, I am so satisfied.  I now have power shoes in which I can feel like myself.

Of course, I still love my old ones:

My daughter also got a pair!

And my son just bought some in Seattle!

Family feets accompli!

Take a peek at my Doc Martens Pinterest Board:

Update April 10, 2012:

I’m absolutely in love with them and they are so comfortable! No breaking in needed!

See also:

San Francisco Portrait #1 Honey Mahogany

Sockshop on Haight

Brunch at Brenda’s

San Francisco Portrait #2 Tony

San Francisco Ballet

San Francisco Portraits 3 and 4: TC and David


Weekly artist series: Week 9 Part 2 SUE COE: A mother dying

Week 9 Part 2 Sue Coe

The Last 11 Days is a group of charcoal drawings Sue Coe created from July 20 to 31, 1995 depicting her mother as she lay dying with cancer. The drawings reveal Coe’s private struggle with her mother’s illness and eventual death. [source]

I’m not a big fan of the word “resonate.”  The meaning is OK, but the word irritates me for many reasons.  But I have to use it when describing Sue Coe’s drawing of her dying mother.  These pieces resonate with me as I feel such connection to my own experience.

From the series ; Charcoal on paper; 11 x 13 in.; Gift of Patti Cadby Birch; © Galerie St. Etienne, New York


Unlike her other work, The Last 11 Days were created without the intention of being shown and reveal Coe’s private struggle with her mother’s illness and eventual death. Sue Coe is inspiring in every form, supporting issues that plague the world and refusing to sit quietly in their wake. She continues to be a magnetic force in the complex world of contemporary women artists.

One day, I will revisit  and draw from the photos of my mother‘s declining body and the photo after she passed, but not yet.

What do you want to process eventually?

I know the process of drawing mom in her last weeks will be an important and necessary one for me personally.  I hold onto her purse, her wallet, her phone, her trinkets, her perfume, even her last umbrella.

Before I went to San Francisco, I visited mom’s memorial leaf and just cried and cried.  It’s not about needing to work on something unfinished.  I’m working.  It’s about not shying away from the processes of life.  I don’t want to shy away.

My daughter can feel the presence of “Mormor” in her daily life in San Francisco.  We often talk about how Mormor flew right down to Anna in San Francisco when she left her body.

Anna sees Mormor at the SFMOMA in the portrait by Matisse.  I love that Mom also had green eyes.

The Girl with Green Eyes, 1908
Henri Matisse

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 Parts 1-4 deKOONING

Weekly artist series Week 8 Parts 1-3: OTTO DIX

Weekly artist series Week 9 Part 1: SUE COE Life in a Day

Mom's parrot, Asterix, lives with me now. I love when he does her belly laugh and answers the phone in her Swedish accent.

San Francisco Journal Excerpt: Portraits 3 and 4: TC and David

I will continue to share my incredible weekend in San Francisco (that I spent with my daughter and her friends) through a series of portraits and journal entries over the next few weeks.

On March 10, I finally met Anna’s besties Tony and David.

David and Tony

See Anna’s fabulous blog post about our first meeting on Saturday morning March 10!

At Chanel!
At Bottega Veneta!

I have been in love with these two through the ether for a while now, and to finally meet them in person was a true delight!  I was blessed to spend two days with them.

David and Tony interacting with my art! (Portrait of Joseph)
David brought us apples from Napa Valley. Delicious!



See also:

San Francisco Portrait #1 Honey Mahogany

Sockshop on Haight

Brunch at Brenda’s

San Francisco Portrait #2 Tony

San Francisco Ballet

Part 23 daily journal workshop. GYPSY. #arttherapy

gypsy One inclined to a nomadic, unconventional way of life.

You need not travel to be a gypsy.  You need not be forced to.  You can embrace the gypsy spirit through unconventionality.  I once wrote: “the greatest sin is timidity.”  I referred to myself holding back.  Restraining myself.

So cut the fucking cord and fly.  Even while in your pj pants.

Draw what gypsy means to you.  I’m hopping into my bed with a coffee and my journal and seeing where the pen takes me:

Shirley MacLaine, Bob Fosse and the broadway dancer have always epitomized gypsy to me.


This post is dedicated to annatfabulous, mystictaint and all their gypsy friends and ways.  They remind me everyday about the beauty of freedom within and unbridled living without.

Daily Journal Workshop:



Part 3 HEART











Part 14 BE THE MAP


Part 16 COMICS!

Part 17 ALTER


Part 19 CANCER

Part 20 WORTH



The letters of Frida Kahlo and how my daughter @AnnaTFabulous blurred art and reality.

My friend, Desmond Reid, surprised me with a DELICIOUS Frida Kahlo book the other day:

My child, I really should not complain about anything that happens to me in life, so long as you love me…

“Her writings reveal her precociousness, the intensity of her feelings, and her enduring physical distress: they unveil her personality as no biography could.” – Martha Zamora

And my daughter surprised me BEYOND last week with her Frida Kahlo outfit at SFMOMA’s Now Playing Event:

He was following me.  Like my shadow, blameless and light.

In the night, a song sobbed…

He followed me.

I ended up crying, isolated in the porch of the parish church,

protected by my bolita shawl, drenched with my tears.


Visual input, planning and a visit from producer, @annatfabulous #graphicnovel #Vancouver

MOLLY- the graphic novel

As I work on finding the ultimate way to present the drawings in my graphic novel and juggling how much or how little I want to use text, I continue the creative process by sketching and visiting, photographing and soaking in location shots.

Anna Thorsen, my daughter and project producer, is up from San Francisco for Canadian Thanksgiving.  As the new year approaches we will be planning a later Spring 2012 art event to launch our self-published small run of the book.  The event will feature interactive art and the original drawings and the night will centre around a a 40s theme:

Jay Fisher consults with Anna then works his magic to create an inspiring retro look!


Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful and very helpful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can donate via PAYPAL by clicking DONATE

“Molly” model: Jocelyn Louise, styled by Jay Fisher

Updates on #Molly, the #graphic novel! @Kickstarter @annatfabulous


MOLLY- the graphic novel


1. I will be contacting backers soon for their info so I can fulfill the rewards.

2. Supplies have been purchased, including a shoulder-strapped portfolio, so I can work on the novel downtown in situ at various story locations like Stanley Park, the Vancouver Police Museum and Mountain View Cemetery.

3. The medium will be china marker on newsprint for this look:


4. Regular updates will be posted on the Kickstarter site and this blog.  Please let me know what kind of updates you are looking for as well!  Feel free to comment here or on the Kickstarter site, or Email me!

5. Art event planning will happen in the new year as we approach self-publication!

6. More on-location photoshoots for illustration resources will be scheduled soon!

7. Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the project.  That’s wonderful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can do donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE

Thank you for making my dream come true via KICKSTARTER!

Funding successful!!! THANK YOU EVERYONE INVOLVED FOR YOUR SUPPORT! @Kickstarter @annatfabulous


As of this moment we’re 100% funded!  WOW!!!


So, the research is done.  Funding is in place.  Now it’s time to start  the illustration and writing process and apply for more funding grants as we go along!

I will update you regularly both here and on the Kickstarter site!  And I look forward to sending out the rewards!

Spring 2010 will be launch party and art event time, hosted by none other than project producer,


The original drawings will be displayed.  There will be interactive art, auction, presentation, book signing etc!

Thank you!  Love, Katarina

To help fund this graphic novel go to KICKSTARTER!

“OMG! I love it!” says @annatfabulous about her PHOTO ON CANVAS!

I’ve been dying to give my daughter, Anna, her present and she finally came home to receive it!  It’s a pic of our beloved pup, Tobey (now almost 12!) when he was digging in the garden at my father‘s residential care centre.  I ordered the photo transfer onto canvas from PHOTO-CANVAS awhile back and the quality is amazing (soft cotton cloth feeling).  It is beautifully stretched onto a wood frame.  The company offers many other products and I can’t wait to order some for my art events!!!!!


Ready to tell the story… A Vancouver mystery. @kickstarter

I was born to tell Molly’s story.  The research phase, started in 2003,  is complete.  And now… onto the next chapter begins as we launch our Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for my graphic novel!  I am elated to partner up with my daughter, Anna, to see the project to its fruition.

Note: Backers who donate $100 and above will receive a signed copy of the book when it is published!

It is truly a mother-daughter project as my mom and I worked on the research together, travelling around to all the locations in Vancouver, voraciously discussing details and maintaining memorials.

My mother passed away in 2008 and it devastates me that she was not able to see the book completed.  But as I now partner up with my daughter Anna, we can feel Mom’s spirit and guidance and ENTHUSIASM.

Karin Kristina Thorsen (née Orwald), 1957

The fundraising campaign runs until September 11, 2011, and I will be posting daily until then lots of story details and tidbits!

This project is dedicated to my mom and to the two little boys found in Stanley Park in 1953.

Vancouver BC, looking North, 1940's

Let’s revive the discussion around this important Vancouver story.

Teaser #2 for June 23 interactive art event “heroes with heART.” Poster features @annatfabulous

The original pencil drawing of Anna T Fabulous (11″ x 17″ on acid-free bristol board ) will be raffled off at the event!

The interactive part of the evening will feature portraits of heroes with heART- I start the portraits, you finish them with the subject!  The finished portraits will be donated to Vancouver Friends For Life!  There will also be 3-5 finished portraits in the lobby that will go up for auction!  Part of proceeds go to Intersection Media Film Program for At-Risk Youth!

***UPDATE! We’ve decided to auction off the 40″ x 60″ interactive portraits THE NIGHT of heroes with heART: Katarina Thorsen’s Interactive Portrait Event! Proceeds from these pieces go to Vancouver Friends For Life! About 5 of my smaller portraits will also be auctioned off during the evening, with part of proceeds benefiting Intersections Media as well as Kat’s youth at-risk art therapy program!

The list of portrait subjects includes Tommy-D, Rebecca Rawlinson, Joan-EJonny Staub, Tracey Bell, Linda Fillmore, Barb Snelgrove, Velvet Steele, Fred Lee, Charmaine Crooks, Ryan Steele, Peter Breeze, Adam Dreaddy, Mia More, Jocelyn Louise, Jay Fisher and MORE!  OMG!

For more info go to:

The portrait of @annatfabulous stage two. “I scribbled, drew shoes…” – Alexander Wang

The original portrait of my daughter, Anna, was started at my March 26, 2011 art event at Holt Renfrew.


Tonight I added to it, matured the face and added a very appropriate quote by Alexander Wang (it could have been written by Anna herself):


Oil pastel, linseed oil on birch wood panel FROM OPUS


This post is dedicated to Anna's first trip to NEW YORK! Here she is in NY with the amazing Joseph Killian!

The first photo of Anna out of NEW YORK!

And so it goes… “I Can’t Live Without… Art” portrait event at Holt Renfrew


On Saturday March 26 I did a live art event at Holt Renfrew Vancouver displaying some of my original arts and crafts and doing live portraits of Anna T Fabulous and Jocelyn Louise as well as body painting on Jocelyn.  A unusual place to set up but why not?!
Jocelyn and Rebecca Rawlinson helped with set up!

I did a portrait of Jocelyn, and painted on her, but what was most exciting for me was the fact that Jocelyn worked on her own piece as well! (Oil pastel with linseed oil on foam board)

My daughter came to town and it was SO GOOD to have a few precious minutes with her while doing her portrait!  I will finish her portrait later today.

• A HUGE THANK YOU to HOLT RENFREW, Kimberly Newton, Scott Mckeown, and REBECCA RAWLINSON for this opportunity!

• Thank you to all those who came by to chat and visit and to CC for grabbing my phone to snap pictures!

• Thank you Julia Kozlov for coming by to photograph and for the following kind words:

“Kat Thorsen is just amazing. The amount of things she makes and makes and makes, people she gets involved, youth she inspires – visiting her site [SOCK MONKEY MONTHLYis like being in the perfect world of love, art, community and sock monkeys.”

“Every time I come to witness something your part of or see something you create, I just get overwhelmed by the level of craftsmanship and presentation of your work. It is incredibly inspiring and heart warming to witness you at work and to even see your work. Today at the Holts Live Painting for example I loved the way you created an artisticly cohesive atmosphere around your work – i loved the set up for the portrait paintings – the super creative and fun sock monkeys – images of inspiration and so much more. Just amazing! And I love how focused you are on your work when you make it – and the amount of work you are able to generate. I am just always speechless after being a guest to a Kat Thorsen event!”

I look forward to working with Julia in the future!


Let’s talk portraits this Saturday! Holt Renfrew #Vancouver 2-6 PM! See this piece live!

Anna T Fabulous and Syren (china marker, acrylic on foam board)

On Saturday March 26 I will be doing a live art event at Holt Renfrew Vancouver between 2 and 6 PM!  I will be displaying some of my original arts and crafts.  I will also be doing live portraits of Anna T Fabulous and Jocelyn Louise as well as body painting on Jocelyn!  See the piece above (of Anna and Syren) in person!

A HUGE THANK YOU to HOLT RENFREW, Kimberly Newton, Scott Mckeown, and REBECCA RAWLINSON for this opportunity!

Sneak peek at portrait in progress of Anna T Fabulous and Syren. See finished piece this Saturday!

On Saturday March 26 I will be doing a live art event at Holt Renfrew Vancouver between 2 and 6 PM!  I will be displaying some of my original arts and crafts.  I will also be doing live portraits of Anna T Fabulous and Jocelyn Louise as well as body painting on Jocelyn!

The following piece (subjects Anna T Fabulous and Syren) is in progress and the finished product will be displayed on Saturday!  It foreshadows my next big art event coming up around the end of May 2011!  Details coming soon!!!  Let’s just say the event will be FIT FOR A QUEEN!

Love letter to my son (August 1987)

I found out I was pregnant with my son, Julian, on May 20, 1987.  You gotta love journals with their details.  I was 25 when I wrote and drew these images in my journal on August 10, 1987.  I addressed every entry after that to the baby until he was born.  I recall my daughter singing to my belly every day.

I’m a mother of two!  Contemplating Anna’s sisterhood…

Ultrasound today and we met BABY!  Just one baby!  2 legs, 2 arms, a spine, a head, a stomach, a bladder, an umbilical cord and a beating heart!  You kicked.  You sucked your thumb?  You held your arm behind your head.  I cried.  It was an overwhelming and wonderful experience.  It is so amazing.


Also see Love Letter to My Daughter

Love letter to my daughter (March 1985)

I was about to turn 23 when I drew and wrote this in my journal 26 years ago.  I was 4.5 months pregnant with my daughter.  I always referred to her as Felix.  It wasn’t until the moment she was born and I saw her, that I yelled out, ANNA!  I “recognized” her immediately.

March 1985

Dear Felix,

I don’t know how else to communicate with you… I want to talk to you, touch you, hold you.  I feel like I’m enclosed in a womb also.  Why else would I rather sit here with you, than to pick up the phone and call old friends?  Do I want them to share this experience with me?  Does pregnancy have to mean…

Drawing this has made me realize that it is not only you Felix, who is crouched in the fetal position in a warm and isolated environment.  I feel like I have drawn myself rather than my baby.  Then again you are me… Can you read my thoughts, Felix?

Why do I not have the energy to seek out other friends?  I guess my gestation period isn’t over yet.

Felix… I will always be your oasis of warmth, love, peace.

Birth will be a coming out for [me]… My desire to discover all that life has to offer will be revitalized.  Pregnancy is so incredible that the wonder over all the processes going on in my body overrides other interests.  Will the opening of the cervix set me “free” as it will set you free, Felix?  We are free already, but we must keep protected and warm.

… Is it possible for love to keep getting stronger and stronger?  Yes, it is.  “God natt, min ängel.”

PS.  Please be healthy.  I hope my selfish ways haven’t harmed you.  I saw death at the cancer clinic today [checkups after treatment].  You in my belly got me through it.  But I think I will cry now.

And thou shalt in thy daughter see,
This picture, once, resembled thee.
~Ambrose Philips

Also see Love Letter to My Son

Anna T Fabulous- the legacy of the Bergström women.

My daughter, Annaeats, sleeps, breathes, devours, obsesses, demands, wants and needs FASHION.  I see the spirits of her Swedish female ancestors carrying on through her.

My great grandmother, Brita Bergström, was obsessed with the latest fashion trends of her time but having 12 children and little money she had to improvise.   Brita would look in store windows, memorize the style and material, head home and weave the textiles on her large loom and sew the clothing for her kids.  The children were always stylish and were the only kids in their school to have gym strips.

My grandmother, Stina Bergström (Orwald), read Vogue religiously and was reknowned in her small home town of Hudiksvall for her beauty, style and humble personality.  Anna’s over-the-top personality likens my great Aunt, Helga Bergström, who was fiercely independent and outspoken.   She never married and loved every minute of her single fiesty life!

Anna's great grandmother, Stina Bergström

My mother, Karin Orwald (Thorsen), Anna’s grandmother AKA “Mormor,” was ALWAYS stylish and so clean and fresh, with a lovely air of Estée Lauder floating around her.  She taught Anna the importance of the crisp white shirt and the essential accessory- the shoulder pad.


Fashion = shoulders back! Lessons from @annatfabulous and @RebeccaRaw




These 2 incredible young women share with the world their passion for the art of fashion.

But what they TEACH ME is that fashion is truly about:






Anna and Rebecca in my 5-minute portraits

LIVE EVENT HAPPENING SOON: Live portrait of Rebecca by me, interactive art stations, new portraits of fabulous people in my life, food, drinks and silent-auction event of my art!  YES- I’M CLEARING OUT THE VAULT!  STAY TUNED!


Sometimes you have to stay home and cry. #Grief and #TheSketchbookProject pages 13/14


Theme: And Then There Was None

Incoherent stream of consciousness ramblings…

Page 13 Transcript

November 19/20, 2010

The end is not the end.  It is a transition.


Fort Langley

My regular pilgrimage to Fort Langley to connect with mom and rituals we loved doing together.  Coming out by myself is good for me.  That it is OK to go out on your own without the need for other company.  LONELINESS is not part of ALONE TIME and I feel cozy as the hermit usually tend to be… Just ordered a large in house cappuccino and a scone at the local café.  I used to get nervous sitting by myself.  I recall the panic attack I had, pregnant with Anna in 1985.  I left my uneaten sandwich at the Sunshine Diner and fled.  It’s funny cause I never seek out friendships.  They happen if they happen but I do not go out of my way to connect, it seems.  Unless the friendship is somehow connected to my work/art, I’m afraid I couldn’t be bothered to maintain it or seek new ones cause I am so busy and pulled in so many directions that friendship has to equal multitasking… Ramblings of a weirdo… IKEA next.

Page 14 Transcript

November 22, 2010

Sometimes you have to stay home and cry.  Let me pick up two Stephen Levine books that have helped my through unbearable times.  Where does “Who Cares?” fall open to?  OMG- I just wrote “Who Cares?”  when the title is “Who Dies?”  [Wow].  It falls open to p. 147.  “We are each in a process of awakening.  Becoming fully born so that we may die each moment past our fear and isolation.  The illusion of separateness dies to reveal the deathlessness of our essential nature.”  “A Year to Live” falls open to p. 68.  “And offering me her shoulder she whispered, when a thousand people look at the moon there are a thousand moons.”

Today I take the day to recupe- to dare to take care of myself as I take care of my home.  I took apart Mormor’s (my mom’s mom) old bench to reveal the old cloth and stuffing.  Daring to look into the interior to face the loss of that time.

This was a grieving exercise for me today, as I battle dark feelings and instead decide to take some precious hours to think about mom.  I was raised with that little bench which sat for years at our summerhouse in Värmland.  It has been with me for years now and my father-in-law, Ralph, fixed the leg years ago and stripped it to its natural pine.  Over the years it has kept its original cloth underneath a myriad of covering.  I pulled it apart and found this amazing original stuffing which unfortunately is not keep-able.  It fell apart and sadly I threw it out, as I wonder what stories lie inside all those nooks and crannies.

The original cloth is a beautiful worn floral piece that reminds me so much of my grandmother, Stina (my “mormor”).

On the back of the board which held the stuffing and the cloth is a pastel drawing that I have always been fascinated with.  But who is “Gunnel”?  These are those heartbreaking moments when I realize I can’t ask Mom these questions anymore…

I was going to draw mom from this amazing photo taken in 1957, but I couldn’t do it.

Karin Kristina (Orwald) Thorsen, 1957 (age 21)

See page 1 at The Sketchbook Project page 1

See page 2 at The Sketchbook Project page 2

See page 3 at The Sketchbook Project page 3

See page 4 at The Sketchbook Project page 4

See page 5 at The Sketchbook Project page 5

See page 6 at The Sketchbook Project page 6

See page 7 at The Sketchbook Project page 7

See page 8 at The Sketchbook Project page 8

See page 9 at The Sketchbook Project page 9

See page 10 at The Sketchbook Project page 10

See pages 11/12 at The Sketchbook Project page 11/12