Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One Childhood

Daily Scrap
One 
childhood
is not
enough

Thanks to all of you who posted your thoughts on yesterday's post. I read each one with a tender and embracing heart and want you to know that your words touched me deeply. 
Life can be so rough and difficult at times and it's encouraging to to know that others understand that. Art has a way of knocking down barriers and allows us to see so much more not just within artwork but also within each other. 
I am grateful to all of the artists I've come to know by visiting their blogs and websites, seen published and in print and who I've discovered because of sites like Flickr and Pinterest. I consider the web my own personal playground; a place to explore and dig into from time to time. There is so much amazing talent out there. I encourage all of my readers to visit the blogs on my side bar and also share sites you've discovered with me. 
One childhood is never enough so why not see the the world with the eyes of a child and find wonder and delight in places most adults are too busy to really see. I think I am going on at least childhood number six or seven at this point in my life and I am savoring every minute I can get. 
Hugs to all. 
xxxoooxxx

Monday, January 30, 2012

Where Do I Belong?

Daily Scrap
I have always considered myself different from everyone else. As a little kid I was a loner. I preferred my own company over that of the neighborhood kids. I was picked on for that. When you are a kid you are expected to fit in or pay the consequences which meant being bullied, teased, sometimes even being physically beat up. It happened a very long time ago and I turned out ok. I think back on being a child and what my childhood was like. I learned to be invisible. I learned to walk on the other side of the street. I learned to avoid confrontation and live in the shadows. I learned self survival and self preservation and those skills come in handy as an adult, tho they offered no comfort as a kid. No one back then paid that much attention to the feelings of kids. Teachers and adults tended to look the other way or offer advice that rarely had any lasting effect. Trying to fit in proved futile most of the time as I couldn't be something I wasn't so why try to pretend. I didn't have pretty long hair, I didn't have the cool clothes or anything that was considered 'in' at the time. Anything I tried to attempt to be like everyone else only made me stick out even more and made things worse.
As I grew older I learned it was ok to be different. I actually liked being an outsider. I liked having my own voice. I liked that I liked stuff that other kids found odd. I felt older, wiser, and understood what life was all about more than what others thought it was. There were not going to be endless happily ever afters in my future but at least I knew that whatever my future held it would be of my own making. I was not simply going to fit in and become something I wasn't. 
As an adult I still don't fit in, friends and family still don't quite get why I do what I do. I still follow the beat of my own drummer. I was never meant to fit in. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ordinary Life

Daily Scrap

Fragments
from an
ordinary life
in no
particular order.

It is Sunday. Errands to run. Places to be.
Artwork that needs tending to.
I'd much rather be painting today.
Maybe a little later I can allow myself an hour or two 
with a paintbrush in hand. I will promise 
myself that pleasure, that sweet bliss. 
xxxoooxxx

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Inspiration

Daily scrap.

Just begin.
It does not 
take much
for the magic
to happen.

Busy Saturday. Life rolls on, all I can do is try and keep up. 
xxxoooxxxx 

Friday, January 27, 2012

What Matters To You?

This is not an easy question.
I live to
send my two 
beautiful 
daughters 
out into the world, 
so they can 
embrace 
their dreams fully.
I live to
dream out loud 
and to live 
in full color, 
to make others lives
better and broader 
with what I create.
I live with
every fiber 
of my being,
inwardly
and
outwardly.
I live to
love
embrace
let go
and love
even more.  

What matters to you?
What do you live for?
If you'd like to share your thoughts
please do. I will read each and everyone.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Breathe

Daily scrap art journal page.

Don't 
forget to 
breathe. 

Some days can be like that. 
Today the sun is shining. What little snow is on the ground is melting and it's warm enough to believe it's really spring rather than nearing the end of January. 
My mission for today is to finish up a tiny 'HuG' journal and get it into my Etsy shop. Then there is the stack of various wood pieces I want to paint and create with. I also have several new journals on the back burner that I have been neglecting and I really want to get going on those. And lastly I have dance studio projects needing my attention. I will get to those this weekend. So considering that list, my thought for today is;
don't forget to breathe. 
xxxxooooxxxx

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And Everything Fell Out

Daily Scrap

Brave love.
Heart
opened wide
and
everything 
fell out. 

Life over the past couple of weeks has been full and hard. I'm working on release. Letting go and picking up the pieces. My heart feels like it's taken more blows than a heart ever should but that pain lets me know that I love BIG and HUGE, not halfway, not just a little but love so big that it has to spill out; I can't contain it all. Easier to just let the love go where ever it needs to and hang on for the ride so I am hanging on. 

Yesterday I began a series of art journal pages I am calling my daily scrap. The  pages are from one of my 'Infinity' style journals which has 160 pages. 
The pages are 5" by 5" so they are perfect for capturing
those moments of self reflection, outward expression and spilling. I background painted and inked all the pages that I created in Roben-Marie Smith's Art Journal Conversion class which is hoot if you are looking for some seriously messy fun. I highly recommend it. It's also great way to reduce stress; throw some paint around. It's good for the soul. 
I've always loved working with paint. I love it even more when I can bring it to my journals but I also want to be braver with paint on canvas. I am going to be taking Flora Bowley's, Bloom True e-course which begins in a few weeks and I am so looking forward to it and I am thinking I am going to use a little birthday money I received to take Mindy Lacefields on-line class Paint Your Story which begins in the spring. It feels very good to be excited. 

And one last bit before I head down to the art cave. Right around the end of November I stumbled upon one of the most inspiring artists I've come to discover on the web. Her name is Mystele and her blog is loaded with free videos of her creative process. She sometimes dubs them with music and speeds up the process but other times she shares the step by step and takes you through the creation of an entire canvas. To say her site is loaded with video's is an understatement. Her archives are worth checking out.  She is also fun just to watch even if you have no desire to pick up a paint brush. I've become quite smitten with her work and style find myself wishing I could paint that effortlessly. She is an angel of INSPIRATION!!!!  You can follow her creative journey by taking a peek at her flickr site which shows, that if you have the desire to grow and nurture your skills, your creative dreams can come true. Seriously, don't wait, click on the link and head on over there. 
xxxxxoooooxxxxx


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Belonged To No-One

Daily scrap art journal page.

Her heart
belonged to 
no-one.
She kept
it well 
hidden 
and she 
sometimes
 forgot where 
she put it.

Just an ordinary kind of day around here. Messing around with scraps and bits of paper, paint and anything else comes close enough to be captured on the page.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

Release.
Sometimes we have to say good-bye 
to those we love. 
It's not easy. It is hard.
It means letting go even when we don't want to.
It will hurt. Release can be painful. 
It means we trust that no matter how much it hurts that in the end it will have been the right choice. 
Sometimes it might mean that our hearts hurt so much we believe we can't take anymore but life happens. It just keeps going. We hang on, sometimes by only a thin, thread which could break at any time. 
The sun rises, it sets and another day begins. I choose to begin over and over again, even when it hurts. 

I am still hurting over the loss of Jazz. I still find myself getting up in the morning expecting her to be waiting for me. I still expect to her to be right here, her paw reaching for my arm, that little pulling thing she did when I sat here at the computer, imploring me to pick her and hold her,  wanting to be petted, hugged, held, those small acts, it took her a good, 3 solid years to trust and to want those things, for her to know in her little pup heart that we loved her no matter what. When she learned that, she changed from a scared animal, into an amazing, sweet and loving member of the family. She let go of her distrust of us. She let us in. She set her fears aside. She loved. Some people believe that animals don't know emotion. I say BULL to that. Animals are smarter than we think. They feel sadness, hurt, pain, and happiness. They give unconditional love and companionship that knows no boundaries, animals tend to get it right when the rest of us are clueless. I know that this sadness will be with me for awhile. I know I must move forward and I am, little by little my heart is on the mend. I am trying to get back into the rhythm  of my life and bit by bit I am pushing forward. 
This song has been with me for awhile. The video really fits. I am working my way back, doing busy work to keep me focused. This weekend my goal is to spend some time creating props for the dance studio, it is not my artwork, but it is projects on a dead line and I am obligated to meet them and I will. Tonight I went shopping for all the stuff I need to get the job done. The spirit of this song, is enough for me right now. Brighter days are on the way. My heart is lifted just a wee bit higher. I am working my way back. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Sweet Jazz


This is my sweet Jazz, asleep on her favorite pillow in the corner of my art room. Our 10 year old Jack Russell who survived life in cage at a puppy mill for 5 years until we adopted her from the rescue organization. She's has been the best companion. She has been a member of our family the last 5 years. I am very heart broken to share that we had to have her put down today. It all happened very fast; last week her appetite began to wane, then came the constant thirst and then came the kidney failure. Today we said our good-byes.  It was not an easy choice but there was nothing we could do for her. She was bright and sweet up until the end. That made it so much harder for us but so much better for her. She did not suffer.  

She was such a sweet, sweet girl. Her behavior could light up a room, she was funny, and goofy and made us laugh and smile all of the time. She took to us and we took to her completely. Love at first sight. Caring for a rescued dog is not easy. Jazz required a great deal of extra tender care and attention the first few months we had her, dealing with her fears, her distrust that she would be hurt again. We just poured on the love. We made sure every moment of her life with us was filled with lots of gentle care, kindness, and love; every happiness a dog could ever hope for. She completely bonded with us and this past year especially, showing us just how cute and amazing she could be. She was a very calm and content Jack Russell and loved nothing more than to be lazy and pampered and so well behaved. Her manners were impeccable considering her early years. She rarely barked, was kind to our guinea pig Summer, waited patiently for her walks, greeted us with lots of love when we'd come home, bark when strangers knocked on the door and never jumped on friends or family when they visited, she'd wait to be invited to do so. Her personality; bright, happy and content. I thought we'd have many more years with her. She was healthy in every other way so her kidney failure caught us completely off guard. The cause might have been related to her having been over bred. It was not certain how many litters she had been forced to have before the rescue disbanded the puppy mill she was removed from.  I know that we gave her the very best of the 5 years she had with us. Right now my heart can't wrap itself around not having her under foot, snuggled up close, leaning on my leg to let me know she's there, following me from room to room. We will miss watching her sleep so peacefully, head curled under her paws; one ear always cocked up at a crazy angle so as not to miss anything important. The first few months we had her, she'd sleep with her head up. She couldn't relax. She was afraid of so many things her first few months. We just loved her and loved her some more. We will miss her excitement when it was time to go for her daily walk, under any conditions. She loved her walks; just not during thunderstorms, nope, best to be safe indoors on someone's lap when it thundered. She was my sweet Jazz. My sweet, sweet girl. I miss her so much.

Asleep on my fabric on top of a bin.
"who me?" Busted.
Jazz. We will miss you.
XXXXXXXOOOOOOXXXXXX


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Capture and Release

Released.
Moving into another year. For the last few years I have been picking a word or a phrase to focus on through out the new year. I've been thinking what I'd like to see for myself in 2012 and a few words bobbed to the surface but they really didn't capture my heart or soul. For awhile I almost decided to skip it this year but last night the words presented themselves. I am going with 'capture' and 'release'. To attempt to capture those things that often present themselves to me in unconventional ways. Those things that I might not think are really important and those things that challenge me to catch them and hold on to them as long as it takes to learn from them. Those life lessons that are sometimes hard and difficult and not always fun but need to happen for growth to take place.

Release, I have a great deal of baggage in my life and I want to let it go. I'm tired of allowing it to drag me under. It's not something that happens all of the time but every so often; I will find myself in a bad patch and all that baggage comes crashing down on my head. I am going to work at the process of letting go. 'Release' what I don't need. 'Capture' what I do need. We will see how that goes.

And to start the new year off with a bang and really fully immerse myself in my chosen words, I made a decision that I've spent many nights, days and weekends thinking about for several months which was to move my art area from my corner of our living room, down to the family room in our basement. 

I've slowly out grown the space I've been creating in for the last 12 years, so to say I felt comfortable in it is an understatement; it was my creative nest as well as the place I retreated to when life felt unbearable. I poured my heart and soul out in that little corner of my world through my artwork. Choosing to relocate was not easy for me. In the past few weeks, I kept thinking more and more about how much unused space was down in that room, how I could make use of the entire room rather than just a corner of it. I could have an area for painting, an area for sewing and a big table for journaling and another area for whatever it needed to be at any given time. And so MUCH MORE storage space. I could get everything off the floor that was always under my feet. 

And so over the weekend I committed myself to the move after discussing it with the girls and DH. They gained access to our entire living room which is now so roomy it almost looks barren. They had gotten used to being clumped into one side of the room, now they feel like they are watching tv in a room that feels like the size of a foot ball field. The family room has always been designated for the girls. It was the place they held parties, watched movies in, played video games and when they were little it was their play room. They are all grown up now. Britt is 18 and Meg is 16 edging ever closer to their own lives as adults, reminding me that they are growing too.  DH would watch sports down there if the girls and I were watching a show he had no interest in. He still does.  In the last few years it's been used less and less so in choosing to move downward I knew  some stuff had to go. When I made the choice I knew it was going to take several days to make the transition. We moved out an old table we'd gotten for free and gave it away for free. One of our neighbors took that. A chair that we got from my brother was long over due on being tossed; was removed, along with an end table and very dated lamp which also found new homes. Once that was done; I began moving my stuff downward. It's been a group effort. The holidays meant I would have DH and the girls around to help me. They did. I love them for how readily they are willing to accept my need for change and their flexibility since it affects them too. In the last few days I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff. I found a few things I had forgotten I had and let go of some stuff that I know I won't ever use. There is still a great deal I will be letting go of. I may just have to do a few giveaways on my blog. In fact I am quite sure of it. 

Fast forward to right now. I am simply giddy with excitement. I have my very own art studio. I've been wanting to say that for so long. I love my new space. It does lack natural light because there is only one tiny window down there that faces south, but I've made good use of the lamps that I was already using so it's very well lit. I have so much room and everything is off the floor and is now on shelves. Last night I even got to spend some time working down there. I LOVE IT!!!! I am still moving stuff around and figuring out exactly the best place for everything so that it works with my creative flow but I am looking forward to stretching myself artfully into the new year as well as expanding on some of the things I want to do more of which is paint; now I have room for the easel I was given as a gift so many years ago. 
Before.
After
You can still see I saved a place for DH to watch tv when I am not down there and what you can't see in this photo and that is just to my right are two monstrous shelf units that are at the bottom of the steps leading into the room which are holding bins of fabric, papers and my supplies. I am looking forward to creating and making this my special place in 2012.