Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fine Thin Line

Sometimes when I sit down with my morning cup 'o joe, I will randomly grab one of the  many books I have going and simply let it fall open and then read what is on the page. Somedays the words I discover are quite revealing and become my random thought for the day. So this morning I grabbed Letters on Life by Rainer Maria Rilke; this is the paragraph that stood out on the page that fell open.

"You are wrong to think of yourself as 'weak'...you have this impression because you are permanently stretched thin and every day find yourself poised to accommodate the hundreds of things that your life both gives and takes from you, without anything really staying there."

I sat back in my chair and wondered at how the simplest things can so easily represent what is going on in our reality. How anothers thoughts and words offer itself to us so we can lean into the day and accept what it might hold and what things we will do to figure it all out, cuz in my world, some days none of it makes any sense so I do my best to hang on.

So I finished my coffee and leaned into the day. I took out some paint and journal pages and just made a mess. No thinking allowed. No game plan. Just movement. I felt like I needed the release of unstrained, uncontrolled actions. The above journal page is part of the end result. It is simply the palette paper I used to brayer paint from, then wanting to write the words big, I grabbed an empty squirt bottle intended for frosting cakes; it's really squishy plastic like the kind ketchup comes in at little diners and cafes and decided if I put black paint in it I could write with the paint right out of the bottle and that is what I did. And then after I photographed the paper and paint collaged mess, I turned it upside down on a piece of canvas I had used to protect my art table, allowing paint to platter wherever it ended up, basically martyring the journal page. Some things are not meant to be permanent just markers for us to move our life along; keep us afloat, guide us to the place we need to get to next.

These are a couple of pics of parts of the canvas I was using to mess around on and what happened after I over turned my 'fine thin line' temporary journal page over onto the canvas. I will continue to add more paint layers to this and see where it ends up.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Visual journaling has always been my chosen voice. A place to allow whatever needs to spill out, to do so without fear of personal judgements, without the the voice of my all too familiar inner critic, looking on over my shoulder and telling me that all of THIS is a waste of time and the arguement always ends up with me shouting back, that all of this is necessary, all of this 'stuff' keeps me centered when everything else that is going on and is spinning away in so many directions that I can't keep track of myself or my life and the people in it. At those times I reach for those things I know I can rely on, that are right in front of me. I try and not censor what I create or what I write. It would not be an aunthentic expression of what I am feeling if I did. If I don't allow myself to be open, to be bare-naked, then the inner critic wins. So I go forward, flaws and all; exposed, to anyone who cares to look.

Today I have been writing and painting in my journals and taking time out to discover what others are up to; visiting blogs, taking in others bare-naked thoughts. In my wanderings I found this blog. And as happens every once in awhile, I find that someone else is dealing with life in a likewise manner. That happened to me today. The journal prompt shared here, was shadowing exactly what I had been thinking about. I get a funny, little chill when that happens. I feel connected to the 'big picture' and it feels right and true. 

i have 'un'finished and 'un'resolved issues with certain people in my past. i wish i could go back and undo all the pain and damage they brought to my heart. i guess the smart thing to do would be to let it all go and call it a day but i gave so much of myself away to people who never really cared, it feels like if i let go i am letting go of even more of myself. if i keep fading away at this rate, i will become invisible. unseen. unheard. I feel as tho I am disappearing one tiny piece at a time.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Random Journal Pages & Random Thoughts

I've been creating journal pages today and allowing my mind to simply wander wherever it wishes to go, trying not to direct my thoughts in any one particular direction and seeing what happens. I'm trying to observe myself without getting in my own way, which is about as easy as avoiding an elephant in the middle of the room.

I continue to add more layers to this page and wondering if it represents all the hidden, unexplored parts of my heart...I have pretty much entirely covered up the original background, which began as a page of typewritten text from an old zine. Is it about covering up and protecting something or is it about exposing what might be hiding???? I often wonder about all the subliminal messages that are discovered after the moment of creativity has passed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Time & Place

hard to see what's happening inside
so she feels a need to give complete
reports whenever someone asks
Brian Andreas

Over the weekend a friend of ours was tragically killed in a hit and run accident. I still can't wrap my mind around any of it. The family is taking this loss very hard, as anyone would. He died at the scene; his wife never even had a chance to say good-bye. To me, that is the most difficult part. Her life changed in just the matter of a few seconds time. He was only 39. He has 3 young daughters. He was sadly in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The past few days I have had people ask me for details and I am at a loss for what to tell them other than the family is hurting and their pain is beyond understanding, that what they might see on the outside is only a mere shadow of what is going on inside their hearts.

I made a small painting for her yesterday, wanting her to know that she is not alone and that someone understands how her world has so abruptly stopped. I didn't photograph it simply because I want it to remain a private, unshared, piece but I used a Brian Andreas poem about loss that made me cry as soon as I read it:

wanting him to come back
before anyone notices
a part of her world
has not moved since he left

I so wish this had not happened to her, the kids, their families. It is this kind of loss that always hits the hardest. Death without any kind of warning, leaving behind so many emotions, unfinished lives, unfullfilled moments; a void, an emptiness, where a life should be. Where his laughter and smile could fill an entire room.  Why does life have to be this difficult and so unfair.

Please take a moment of this day, to tell those that you care about that they are important to you, that they are appreciated and that they are loved. Hug them and hold them close. Sometimes the moment in front of you, right now, may be the most important one you have. Make it the right time and the right place. Make it matter.  

Friday, March 19, 2010


Grow. Bloom. Thrive.
Another flower has bloomed.

Go Out and Play

Remember when you were little, hints of spring dappled here and there; the first robin, the last bits of winter fading away as quickly as the sun could melt the remaing traces of snow and your Mom would announce, "GO OUT AND PLAY". Well it's cloudy today, the sun is playing hide and seek and the clouds are winning, a chilly wind is blowing but still I say "GO OUT AND PLAY" and for me, today, that translates to, GO MAKE ART. I have been playing happily all afternoon.

Last evening I was taking my daily tour of my favorite blogs and among others I stopped by Roben-Marie's and she had posted a delightful tutorial for this charming, shabby flower. Today I made one and plan on making more.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A 'Precious' Heart

I created the above 9 by 12 inch canvas last spring. I had shared it on my old blog so some of you may have already seen it. My apologies. It is hanging on a wall above my art table. The piece is about my own personal history, about surviving a childhood, but never having one. I sometimes feel very fragile, like my life will fall apart at the slightest touch, however when I remember what I lived with growing up, what I was faced with every day, I know I was strong. I know I still am. There are days I ask myself, 'why me'? I cannot bear anymore. I am tired. ENOUGH. But every day, I get up, look my life straight in the eye and tell myself 3 things:
Embrace imperfection.
Love and live huge.
Be Brave. 
Those words provide me a great deal of encouragement, even on those days when I feel most alone on this big 'ole planet we share. Admittedly some days I toss in the towel and just say 'what the hell?' but thankfully, they are few. Most days I feel pretty lucky, old baggage and all painful as it was.

   We had a movie night tonight; myself, the hubby, DD's (Britt and Meg.) It's been a long time since we watched a movie together. We chose Precious. It is a brutal, yet sensitive movie. My emotions went from anger, fear, and frustration, to hope, triumph and joy. Miz Monique earned that Oscar she was awarded last Sunday, hands down.

 It is not an easy film to watch. Our world can be a cruel, hard and difficult place. In fact there are moments when the pain of what Precious is faced with daily, is so strong that it fills the room. It becomes unbearable. You wonder how could anyone survive such abuse? Who does those things to a child? It happens every day, behind closed doors and in the dark; somewhere tonight, a child is hurting, crying and alone.

There are parts of this film that take us into the private sanctuary of her imagination, where she is loved, cherished, is beautiful, famous, and popular, where nothing and everything matter and where her dreams always come true.
In the end she makes HER life, HER dream.  

My daughter's know they are loved. They know they are safe. Having them watch this movie was sending them a silent, yet powerful message. Your life is not charmed; but it is not hell either. Don't take it granted. Not for one second. I am tempted to create something 'precious' just to serve as a reminder. The movie touched a 'creative' nerve.

My 16 year old daughter; with an attitude that sometimes makes me crazy, knows that we will never turn our back on her. She has an unbreakable spirit and never gives up on anything she does and always jumps in with her whole heart, it is all or nothing with her.

My 14 year old daughter; who I would describe as an emotional firecracker as of late, better know as puberty, has days when every word she utters is a complaint or some other blend of negativity, however when she laughs, she laughs with her whole, entire being. She lights up the room.

After watching the movie, I happened to glance at the piece I shared at the start of this post and thought, emotional trauma is experienced alone and when someone is brave enough to open that door, to expose that pain; let someone else see it, that is when the healing begins. Someone else will understand. Someone else has been there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

the immediate future

Storypeople quote for the day:
hoping there'll be time
for a future he likes,
but pretty well settled on
the future he's got already.

My immediate future is going to be busy blinging. That means spending alot of my time with a lot of tiny gems and a stud setter* (wishing that meant something else) LOL! but sadly it doesn't. VBG.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Creative Collision

Storypeople quote for the day:

Destiny? there's only your time
and then there's not your time, she said.
All the rest is made up to keep you busy.

Today my destiny seems to reside under a stack of papers, fabric, trims, scattered bits of this and that and a Paper Source catalog that came in yesterday's mail. So what happens when all these things just happens to be in the same place, at the same time; a creative mess. This is what my art table looks like right now at 2:35pm CST Sunday March, 7 2010.

And then just for the heck of it, throw in the sewing machine.  What emerged was a pile of little 'scrappy note's.

I hosted a 'main street' themed mini wood block swap on In This House and Garden group. I am in the process of swapping out the blocks and wanted to include a little something in each box. I found the perfect Brian Andreas quote that suits the theme and lo and behold my 'scrappy' notes will be just the right bit of extra magic added to each package.

As I was grabbing the various bits to be sewn down on the scraps of cardstock I was using as the base papers, they reminded me very much of 'Remains of the day' journal pages. Mary Ann Moss's muse strikes again.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Two Journals Ready for the World

Two 'remains of the day' journals ready for the world
and all bundled up for the journey with a scrappy tie and bow.

These two journals were so refreshing to make. I LOVE making things that I know are going out into the world to be enjoyed by someone else. It is a validating feeling as an artist. I send them away with the same feeling I get when I watch my daughter's head out the door into another day. Trusting that they will be safe, knowing that whatever adventures lay ahead; that they will be open to them and embrace thier lives so full of promise.

Here are more pages that were completed in the second of the two journals; the one on the bottom.