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  • Writer's pictureHelena Tiainen

Small Adventures

First of all, I wish to apologize for posting this blog later than I expected. You see, my computer crashed yesterday and we have not been able to recover it so far. I am now posting this blog with Greg's computer, which I am not familiar with until today. Lately we have been experiencing a lot of issues with computers but I hope my machine can be reset without losing the data on it. We will need to take it to an expert to find out what can be done. Anyway, this blog is about more than crashing computers.

This past weekend I had a chance to take a short trip to the Mendocino coast to check out the current art scene over there. To my surprise, galleries were open until 8 PM on First Fridays in Fort Bragg, with mask requirements and no refreshments, of course. And in the town of Mendocino, I got a chance to check out the Mendocino Art Center on Saturday. I am thinking of applying for membership there. I love the county of Mendocino and Greg and I think we would rather live there than in the immediate Bay Area, which has gotten so very crowded. And although Berkeley used to be very progressive, it no longer seems to be so for whatever reasons.

In Fort Bragg I particularly liked the Edgewater Gallery on Main Street. They had a nice assortment of very colorful and innovative but also eccentric works by numerous artists. I felt like my art would fit well in with what they have to offer. But this, like so many other galleries in the area, is a collective, and unfortunately I am not a local Mendocino artist at this point.

I have a lot of research ahead of me, since I now feel like I might benefit from having gallery presentation as well as selling my art online, so, I am not looking for exclusive contracts with anyone, but perhaps the more venues, the better. We shall see...

On this trip we also visited MacKerricher State Park. The Pacific Ocean over there is always awesome and this park is a great spot to get some very fresh air with a gorgeous view or to take a nice walk along the coastline. We hope one day to camp at MacKerricher, which is just north of Fort Bragg. This would be one of those rare camping experiences where one can get a great pizza from D'Aurelio and Sons Italian Restaurant and bring it to the campsite to enjoy. The city of Fort Bragg is within only 10 minutes from the park.

On our way back home on Saturday, we of course stopped to picnic at Paul Dimmick Campground in the beautiful Navarro River Redwoods. Although the river is now very low and full of algae, the redwoods seemed to be faring fairly well and so it seems also with our friendly clan of Steller's jays who inhabit these woods. Greg and I have been going camping here on and off since 2002 and simply love this place. After a break of nearly two years, it was great to visit this sanctuary. We hope to camp here again in near future.

To our surprise, the Indian Creek Campground in Philo is now also open again. When driving on California 128 up to Fort Bragg on Thursday night the sign at the gate stated "no camping", but on our way back on Saturday afternoon, the campground had reopened. They had finally found a new host after a long time looking! This also makes us very happy because this is another charming spot in the redwoods.

We needed to get out of town. Nearly 18 months of mainly staying home and only going out for necessities until this past mid July had given us a very bad case of cabin fever. Seeing the redwoods and Pacific Ocean and other beautiful and awesome California nature was very healing and inspiring.

Now to my current artworks. I have recently completed two more paintings in my The Joy of Design Series, which I am sharing with you here: The Joy of Design LXVI and The Joy of Design LXVII. You can also find these works in The Joy of Design Series Gallery and if you click on the links here, you will be transported to these images on FAA/Pixels, where you can buy customizable print-on-demand products with these and more. I have also completed a pencil and ink drawing that works in all four directions and am currently working on another drawing that more than likely will only stand in one direction. Besides these, I am as well working on a number of paintings that are yet to be deemed done. I will publish and share all of these with you later, when the time is right.

I am disappointed to say that so far all of my attempts to try and find a puzzle maker for my The Joy of Design Mandala Series Puzzles and TJOD arrangements/compilations have not produced results. The concept of having square tiles and not jigsaw tiles seems to be an issue. All the existing puzzle makers that make customized puzzles use the jigsaw format. Perhaps a Lego like design with just the bottom of the tiles locking onto a board might be the way to go. I might have to pursue this project from scratch since it seems to be a design concept with no predecessors, at least none that I have found so far. The only square tiles I found are woodblocks with numbers or alphabets for small kids. My concepts are way more complex than these and likely mainly of more interest to teens and grown-ups. If you happen to have any ideas on who I could turn to in order to realize this project, please contact me or leave a comment here with any info you wish to share with me. Thank you! In order to find funding I will need to have some concept of what this might cost, which is currently a complete unknown to me. Even if I finance a prototype myself, the rest is still a complete mystery. Should I be talking about this with someone other than puzzle makers? If you have any ideas, please, share! Thank you.

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Aug 17, 2021

Dear Helena, thank you for sharing about your trip! It made feel that I was in California (I have been there only a few times and I love it!!!). Much like you I feel the cabin fever too and it is nice to imagine other landscapes and places than the ones we see time and again these past months. If I come up with any idea to solve your square puzzle challenge I will let you know. It is thrilling to see how the designs look in your textile products. Good luck!!!

Helena Tiainen
Helena Tiainen
Aug 17, 2021
Replying to

Thank you so much, Adriana! Your beautiful comments and sentiments are very much appreciated. Yes, please, if you have any ideas about the puzzles, do share! Thank you again!!!😍

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