Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What I've learned...

Well, it's the end of another year; time to close the books on 2008. Another year come and (almost) gone; another year of my life has whooshed by at the speed of light.

I've learned so much this year...about life, myself and about art; about what I'm truly capable of, emotionally and creatively.

I have been happy and joyous and I've felt lost and mourned for things and people lost; I've reached some goals and I've lost out on reaching others (for the time being); I've loved and I have been loved; I've learned the true power and freedom of the word "NO"; I've began learning how to be my true self without apologies.

I have been helpful to those I can help and I have been helped by those who had the ability and desire to help me; I've seen sunrises and sunsets, easy days and tough ones, stormy times and calm waters; I've learned to let go and play and that it's not just okay but it's fabulously wonderful to be a kid again.

In this year I have aged and grown and learned.

It has truly been a year.

But now we are on the cusp of a brand new year, bright and shining, just waiting to bestow every good and precious gift upon us, there for the taking. Nothing is impossible; it is all within our reach...all our hopes and dreams are there...

In the New Year.

No resolutions for me, goals maybe but no resolutions...they only serve to get broken. Goals are for me to strive for, whereas resolutions are difinitive lines drawn in the sand and they only make me feel like a failure when I don't succeed at them. Goals are much more fruitful.

May your 2009 be full of all things bright and beautiful and full of joy for you.

Until next time, next year...Happy Creating!!!

With Much Peace & Love,


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Monday, December 29, 2008

Book Heaven!

Yes, I am in total and complete book heaven!!!

I won a fabulous (much lusted after) book giveaway from the wonderful Supria on her blog and received my terrific book in the mail today.


OMG!

Is this fantastic or what?

This awesome work of art in book form written by the ever fabulous Ricë Freeman-Zachary (and you've got to check out her blog, Voodoo Cafe).  She is a great art/creativity writer (not to mention just how ingeniously creative she is herself) and, in addition to her books-this being her 3rd-she writes often for many of my favorite art/craft magazines.

If you don't have this book, you MUST get a copy! She is wonderful and her work is unbelievable!

Thank you, dear Supria, for answering my call of one of the most wanted items from my wishlist and thank you, Ricë, for writing such a great book, so full of creativity for me, to want and now for me to devour!

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Friday, December 26, 2008

Santa was Good to Me!

I guess the family has really embraced my love of creating art considering all the wonderful things they gave me for the holidays. Oh so many fantastic goodies and nearly all of them from my wishlist! (Gotta love having an Amazon wishlist, huh?)


Let's see, what did Santa Baby leave for lil ol' me?

First, a set of Pitt artist pens in shades of gray. OMG, I've been coveting these for a while and now I have them.

YAY!

I love doing artwork in black and white but even that needs shading and nothing can do that better than Pitt and the shades of gray series is the ultimate.They are awesome, to say the least!

Then there is the oh so lusted after Bind-it-All machine that I've wanted for what seems like forever! I love journals, art journals, books, photo albums, scrapbooks, date books, address books but I'm never totally happy with the one's you buy at the store....NOW I can make my own! YAY!!! They can be exactly what I envision in the size that I want, no more settling for what I can find at Wal-Mart or Books-a-Million, or even online. WOOT!

I was up at 2:30am last night playing with my new Bind-it-All in my studio, making my first little art journal to play in.

Oh, how I love new toys!

Then there are the wonderful books, oh how marvelous it is to get new books! I think my family must really, really love me cause they not only bought me terrific art materials but they also bought me BOOKS!


I love books about the things I am interested in so I can learn more and pick the brains, figuratively, of those who already have great knowledge on the subjects. I have devoured "Journal Revolution" (if you dont' have it, get it...it's fabulous!) and am about to start on "Collage Unleashed" tonight. "Wreck This Journal" has been on my wish list for quite a while so I am super excited to have it now and look forward to, well, wrecking it. lol I also got two different Moleskines, a large sketchbook and a large squared (gridded) notebook.

There are also a couple of magazines the I picked up from Books-a-Million with a gift card I received ("Somerset Studio, The Art of Paper and Mixed Media" and "Cloth*Paper*Scissors") and some other fabulous art supplies with a Hobby Lobby gift card, too.

WOOT!

Yes, the holiday loot was fabulous and just what I wanted...everything ART! YAY for me.

I hope your holidays have been wonderful and filled with love and joy and peace.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Monday, December 22, 2008

The Impact of Art

It seems like most of my creativity lately has been in doing Holiday gifts. I am taking two art classes online but have had to push them to the side to complete my holiday gifts on time (and I hate missing my assignments!)

I haven't talked a trenendous amount about my family here but I have a wonderful husband, two grown daughters (19 & 21), an unbelievable soon-to-be son-in-law that I adore, a great 13 y/o step-son and a beautiful 4 y/o grandson.

Doing Holiday gifts for everyone in the family is pretty easy (I've done a bracelet for my oldest daughter, a necklace for my youngest daughter, a tshirt for our son-in-law, a jacket for the grandboy, a collage for the hubby) but my step-son, as wonderful as he is, can be tough. Chad has autism. He is high functioning and goes to regular school but there is no doubt that he is autistic and he has little or no wants that he conveys to us.

He loves Barney the dinosaur like you wouldn't believe. He also enjoys the computer and can spend hours browsing youtube.com for Barney videos, looking at Barney items on ebay and Amazon...anything and everything Barney. We've bought it all. He has every Barney video twice over, every Barney plush toy, talking toy, and every other thing Barney ever made...so what do you get a kid who's only wants involve Barney?

Well, if you're me, you MAKE him something Barney that he'd never find any other place. It's all we could think of to give him so that's what we settled on for Chad's big gift this year instead of some toy he'd never play with...a painting of Barney, done by me, for him to have and hang in his room.

Now, I've been working on painting pretty girls in my class with Suzi Blu so Barney is not my subject of choice personally and not something I have any experience with but there is nothing wrong with stretching our creative wings and that's what this was for me...a stretch. But I was so excited to do it.

An original Barney of his very own.

Because my oldest daughter is moving back to Arkansas tomorrow, we did our Holiday gift opening tonight and when Chad opened his Barney painting his eyes lit up like he'd just received the crown jewels! (We had no idea how he'd react...would he love it or would it just be another something thrown to the side?)

The way he smiled and stared at that painting, the way he touched each and every part of it, his fingers sliding across the smooth areas and touching on the glittery parts...his eyes wide as he soaked in every bit of that painting, there was no doubt that he loved this gift.

The hours I spent on making this Barney the very best Barney I could make him were more worth it than any other time I've ever spent creating anything. To see this wonderful boy who spends his life locked in his own little world, barely, if ever, able to communicate his most basic of human needs...to see him glow with excitement was the most joyous feelings I've felt in forever.

We all watched him as he absorbed HIS Barney and all of us had tears well up in our eyes. He just seemed so amazed.

Then his Dad told him, "Barbara painted that Barney for you, Chad" and Chad's reply? "A very special gift", then he hugged the painting and kissed Barney on the face and giggled. He loves that it has the Radio City Music Hall sign on it, too...he adores the "Barney Live in New York City" video and talks often about going to Yaddio City Music Hall so I had to include that in there.

It hasn't left his sight since he opened it.

We took him home later this evening and about an hour later we got a call from his mother to let us know that Chad refused to bathe without Barney watching over him from the bathroom vanity and he was now fast asleep, with Barney laying in the bed right next to him, sharing his pillow.

Now, if that doesn't tell you what an impact art can have on someone, I don't know what will.

I love knowing something I did through my art has impacted this wonderful child in such a positive way. My heart is happy.

Happy Holidays, everyone.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,




PS. I got some amazing gifts already, including a NICE gift card from my oldest daughter and grandboy to Hobby Lobby where I will be purchasing my Bind-It-All tomorrow along with a slew of other art supply goodies...and from our youngest daughter and son-in-law a TWO HOUR deep tissue MASSAGE! How awesome are those wonderful goodies? And there is more gift giving to come on christmas eve. YAY!, it's a great Holiday season already.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Little of This...

a little of that. 

You know, kind of a schmorgasboard. lol

I've done a little more art journaling in the past few days.  This page, based on the Goddess Artemis, was done for a workshop I'm taking from Suzi Blu called "Be.Devine." It's all about learning to love your inner goddess(es), each individual part of yourself.

And I am really loving it!

Suzi never fails to make her workshops/classes fun, informative, entertaining, and I learn so very much from her...and from the assignments she gives us.

This class is certainly no exception.

I have another page started featuring the Goddess Hespia. I've also got to get started on a "sculpture" of sorts. I am so looking forward to that assignment, it's just finding the time to do it with Christmas and my oldest daughter moving all happening right now.

Whew! I feel like my plate is so full right now and creating my art seems to be my only refuge from all the stress and hoopla of these busy days.

In this massively busy season that has me feeling pressured to no end, I have managed to  finish ALL of my holiday shopping (we're doing it much lighter this year, with more handmade items) so that's one thing I can mark off of my endless list of things to-do. YAY! I do still have a few handmade items to finish up but even those won't take me too awful long.

I do try to etch out at least an hour a day to be creative and just go off into "my zone"...if I don't do that I'm afraid I'll completely lose my sanity.

This is my latest Pretty Girl I'm working on for my "Les Petite Dolls" class I'm taking.  The photo is a few days old so I've made some progress from what you see here.  Her wings look totally different and I've done more layers, too.

I'm really liking her...pink hair and all.

I wish I could work on her and my journals more than I'm able but in a week, when we've gotten my oldest daughter packed and moved back to Arkansas (which is a good thing for me stress-wise but also makes me a bit sad, too), things around our house will calm down tremendously and I believe I will begin to feel better.  When my stress level is high, my creativity is affected terribly so I am looking forward to having some peace around here.

Lots of creating I want to do.  I feel the sewing machine calling out to me lately and would really love to get my art studio re-arranged and organized, not to mention all of the assignments I feel like I'm behind on.  Lots of things I look forward to doing...I just need some peace to get any of it done.

And peace is just around the corner.

OH, how could I forget...I've won some GREAT contests on some of my favorite blogs in the past few days.  OMG at the great stuff.  I won a copy of Ricë Freeman-Zachary's "StampArtistry" directly from the author (whom I ADORE!) at her fun, funky and just fabulous website, Notes from the Voodoo Cafe. Then I won a copy of Ricë's latest book, "Living the Creative Life," that I've been dying for (but forbidden from buying because it's the holidays and my kids told me NOT to buy any new books or anything else until after we open gifts...BAH!)  But no one said I couldn't win a copy...and I did! (YAY, go me!) I won it from the wonderful Supria at Encaustic Musings.

How cool is that?

I am just a happy camper, I tell ya. I never win anything and here I am winning not one book that I have lusted over but TWO of them, all in a week.

Then there is the great set of rubber stamps and Distress ink I won last week from Anne at Gaal Creative.

I just had to share my good fortune. Things like this don't happen to me, especially not cool stuff like these wonderful goodies and never so many at one time.  Maybe I should start playing the lottery, huh? lol

I guess I should try to work on some of the handmade gifts I need to finish up.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Art for Art's Sake

I've been creating lately but it's all been for me, not for outside human consumption. Just creating for the sake of creating...Art for art's sake, if you will. Sometimes that just feels good...not for show or for sale, just because it's fun and it's what I like to do.

I'm really getting into art journaling. I never knew of all the creative outlets there are out there until I began really searching them out and OH MY at the wonderful things I've come across. I find myself just wanting to try everything! Altering books, collages, encaustics, art journaling, fabric mixed media (especially using quilting as a base), so many different mediums and each one is beautiful and creative and just..just wonderful!

These are a few of the journal pages I've done lately...just creative outlets for my thoughts and my art, all tied up into one.

Romance and love on one and being a tender, sensitive woman while still maintaining my  autonomy and strength on another.  There are tons more, just a couple that I kinda like.

I think working on my way of thinking is and probably will continue to affect and expand my mind as well as my creative side.  My art changes all the time.

It's strange now that I've allowed myself to become immersed in my creative soul how often I will be doing something like folding a load of towels and *BAM*, an idea will hit me like a brick and I have to stop what I'm doing and go mix that layer of paint (or whatever the idea was) and put it on that painting I've been working on.  It just amazes me that these ideas come out of me sometimes.

I'm also amazed at the work of others that I come across.  Original ideas and not some canned version or mimicry of someone elses work but true original ideas and art.  I love all that I'm seeing and learning and just feeling these days.

It is truly a new world to me.  A world I like.

Art for art's sake.

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Art & Healing

I tend to keep everything in this blog art related for the most part.

But all of life affects our art...the way we feel in the morning  when we wake up, our surroundings, our state of mind, our physical selves, our family and friends, even our choice of music can affect what we create.  Sometimes our art reflects those things and sometimes our art is an escape from them.

But, in my opinion, it is really my state of mind that most affects what comes out of me creatively. My state of mind has not been great lately...I have been very stressed with so much chaos going on around me so diving deeply into my art has been my escape.  It has helped me to avoid some of the stresses that plague me so deeply at this point in my life...one of those things (the main one) is my oldest daughter and her over the top, outrageous behavior.  She lives with us and disrupts our entire household...but there is light at the end of the tunnel...she is moving out at the New Year.

Anyway, I tell you all that for a reason...I am working very hard to turn myself and my life around.  I have a good life, don't get me wrong, but I deal with panic/anxiety disorder, depression and with an overwhelming amount of stress...I am finding ways to deal with these things and to get better.

I believe in the universe showing us what we need when we need it...it is up to us to be open enough to actually see those things as they are presented to us.  I have had not one but TWO of those wonderful epiphaneous (my made up word of the day, in case you were wondering) things happen to me in the past two days and, because I know that many artists are tortured like I am, I wanted to share what I've been learning.  Y'all know I am all about sharing, right?  lol

First, Zen.

Being in the moment...living in the moment, period.

No focusing on the past, it's done with and nothing can be done to change what has already happened in our lives...no spending countless hours worrying about the future, worry accomplishes NOTHING...live in the moment!  This moment, this very moment that I'm living in.  When I create art, I leave everything else behind and nothing else matters at that moment, just me and my creation...I'm just learning to apply this to other areas of my life.

I need to be able to forget those things while I'm doing other things like cooking dinner or playing cards or vacuuming or making love with my husband....and I'm learning.  Slowly but surely, I am learning.  And in the process of learning, I am gaining some powerful knowledge.  Really powerful stuff!  A friend of mine, Connie at Dirty Footprints (check her awesome post out HERE), even gave me a wonderful new tool in my Zen path...Japa.  Be sure to read about it...it's fabulous!

My second epiphaneous finding of the week you can see through the link at the top of my sidebar...Be Brave.  The "Be Brave" project was inspired by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:

Do
one
thing
every
day
that
scares
you.
It is so very empowering and something that, no matter what your place in life is right now, we can all use.  The "Be Brave Project"...Read about it, soak it in, think about it and see if it isn't something that can help you create a better or an even better life for yourself.

It is another tool I am using in my quest to better myself and to heal.

I hope that each of you can find something here that will speak to you the way these things have spoken to me.

Until next time...Keep on Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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Monday, December 1, 2008

Random Act of Kindness

I'm actually busy working on a new art piece so not much time to update but I did want to drop in and say Hi to everyone and give a huge thank you out to my fellow SoulJournal Artist, Christy, for the beautiful header she made me for my blog here.

Isn't it gorgeous!?!?!

Not because I asked her to make it but just as a random act of kindness...something the world could use a whole lot more of...and I wanted to thank her and encourage you all to check out her blog.  She's full of creativity, artistic goodies and a wonderful kind heart!  (What a great combination, right?)

You can find Christy here:
AverageAmericanGirl.com | GraphicThis.com

And if you haven't committed any random acts of kindness lately, try it.  It makes the recipient feel like a million bucks and it does your own heart good, too.

Thanks Christy...you are awesome!

I have some new art journal pages to photograph and share, as well as some progress pics of my latest piece but that will have to wait until tomorrow...tonight I paint!

Now, back to my artwork, I think the last layer is dry and it's time to add another layer!

Until next time...Happy Creating!!!

Peace & Love,


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