The time of year for school gala and auctions is slowly creeping upon us. I am coordinating my son's class art project, a labor of love in a mosaic water fountain. I've never created a water feature before but lots of mosaic pots so this is going to be an interesting adventure for sure. If I plan it right, all the kids have to do is stick on a few broken tiles in designated spots and then I'll fill it all in with colored grout. Fool proof, right! Ha! Hoping it turns out fantastic!
How about you? Have your ever participated in group art projects?
Forty Rocks logo ideas for a 40th birthday extravaganza. Entering your forties is such a tumultuous event but once you reach that milestone, you realize there is such freedom in being 40. So far, I have to say, this has been my favorite decade. It far surpasses my thirties in every way even though some pretty major things have happened in these few short years.
How about you? What has been your favorite decade so far?
I am so grateful for confirmation on a big decision. Sometimes I am so fearful of making the wrong decision and little positivereinforcements along the path of worry help out so much.
In honor of Valentine's Day, I ordered this coffee mug with my love design on it. I am so loving these colors right now. I actually ordered an extra one and will be having a Valentine's Give Away starting today and ending Wednesday Feb. 3rd. If you'd like one of these mugs, leave a comment on this post or one in the coming week and you will be entered automatically. It should look just like the one pictured above, fingers crossed!
Thoughts in my head:
I went on a lovely walk through Balboa Park with a dear friend yesterday and during our talk, we were discussing moving through the motions of life even though the feelings don't match the action at the time. I don't know if you ever feel that way but I know I do. Sometimes I have to just get up and do something even if I don't feel like it.
There will always be something in life that we have to do whether we feel like it or not such as making lunches, walking the dog in the rain, putting gas in the car late at night, etc. Then there are things that normally we like to do but for some reason or another just don't feel like it, for example exercising, socializing, volunteering, etc. Sometimes we just get in a little funk. But, let me pose the question, "What if this is the best we will ever feel for the rest of our lives?" Maybe we just won't ever feel perfect or 100% again. Are we going to just sit there and wait it out? . . . No. . . I didn't think so.
So with that thought, if this is the best we will feel, get on with it and get out there. Just do it anyway. Who knows, maybe getting out and active will make ya feel better. . . sometimes the feelings just are a few steps behind and will catch up eventually.
How about you? Do you just get up and do it anyway or do you pull the covers back over your head?
I am so grateful for a nice conversation today with a long lost friend.
Painting in a room full of people is a daunting task, especially when you bring your critic with you. After learning how miserable it is to have a mean spirited critic sitting on your shoulder at my last painting class, I firmly instructed my critic to remain outside. In the rain. However, my easel ended up being right next to the window (and the sugary treats that another student brought in) so I did catch glimpses of my critic looking quite pitiful outside. In the rain. She wasn't allowed inside the entire evening and it felt much better that way. This is my angel painting that I haven't worked on in two weeks. She's made a little progress this evening but there are many more layers to go before I can actually call her an angel.
On another note:
The FedEx truck stopped by today with a large box of samples of my canvas prints that are in Target right now. The second order has arrived at the stores and rumor has it, they are still flying off the shelves. Yipee! I'll be having a little Give-Away soon for one of these. . .
I am so grateful for a lovely walk through the hidden parts of Balboa Park today with a good friend.
I felt like this turtle today, arching for the sun on my back while out in the cool, cool breeze. San Diego is simply splendid in January! (This photo was taken at the Aquarium in Denver Colorado by me with a simple point and shoot camera. It's one of my favorites.)
These little houses are for a Christmas project coming up at the end of this year. It's in the later stages of presentation so I am praying and hoping it all goes as planned. I probably won't get to talk about it until right before it hits the stores though. . . only a year to wait. Good problem to have though so there are no complaints around here.
On another note:
This afternoon, I picked up the kid early from school to play hooky at the Zoo. The world famous San Diego Zoo no less. We live about 4 miles from the Zoo and used to go all the time but somehow it got off the radar of important must do's and we haven't been for quite a few months. It sure was good to be back today, visiting all the crazy creatures I'd like to call family. He-he.
I like the part of parenting when I get to do something out of the ordinary with my ultra cool kid. It makes my heart sing to keep things interesting and not mundane and hopefully his little heart is busting out a tune here and there as well.
How about you? If you were to play hooky, where would you find yourself?
While visiting with our furry friends, I happened upon this children's book from one of my very favorite illustrators, Melissa Sweet. It is a gorgeous book, rich in color with delightfully endearing animal characters. I so wish I could paint and draw like her. . . truly, truly amazing!
I am so grateful to be finished with the very last part of a 2010 Christmas project and the proud owner of a lovely new children's book.
Trying to get my boy to use some of my illustrations for his class valentines this year but he will have none of it. Sadly, I've come to realize, my boy prefers Spongebob over my cute little animal drawings. Yes, the yellow square wearing pants does have some appeal I must admit, but come on. . .
On another note:
A dear friend of mine recommended this easy read with several books in the series. Sometimes brainless, easy reading is just what is needed. I read 204 pages in Friday night and I'm staying up tonight until I finish this. . . only 88 more pages to go. There's just something about vampires!
How about you? Do you like to escape into a quick read once in a while?
Quote of the Day:
It doesn't matter what other people say or do. What matters is how you choose to react and what you choose to believe about yourself.- Louise Hay
They say, be kind to yourself. They say, be gentle. They say, go easy. Since doing the opposite hasn't been the right path lately, I have followed directions. I've been kind to myself. I've been gentle and I've gone easy. It's all part of the "simplify" plan for this year.
Um, sadly, no.
When I think I am being kind to myself, I let myself be a slacker. I don't return phone calls, I watch TV, I eat ice cream, I don't make myself be creative when I don't feel like it, I buy things I don't need. When I think I am being gentle, I don't exercise, I sit around more and sometimes even crawl into bed to pull the covers over my head. When I think I am being easy on myself, I stop setting goals, I don't challenge myself, I lean into the thought that I don't have to do much of anything. But, when I do all these things. . . I end up feeling badly about the time gone by filled with being kind, easy and gentle.
I am not sure I've got the right idea about being these things. I think it's better when I am kind by letting myself drink some coffee, go out walking in fresh air, painting a lot, picking up the phone and returning phone calls, setting some goals, eating healthy food that is good for me, and challenging myself because all of that makes me feel alive. This is being kind, being easy, being gentle. I think I just had it wrong.
How about you? How are you kind, gentle and easy on yourself?
I am so grateful for the opportunity to volunteer at my son's school.
This is page one of my new art journal. Been wanting to create one for a long time, somehow that darn critic keeps me too busy to get started. So, while the critic was out getting lunch, I jumped right in and slapped on one of my favorite colors of paint, found some text that said what I had in mind, stamped, glued and scribbled all before lunch arrived. That's how it's supposed to go, right? Just sort of wingin' it to see where it takes you. Me likey.
The text reads: "When someone believes in you, you can do amazing things. Listen to what you tell yourself. What are you waiting for?"
I am so grateful for the gumption to finally put the Christmas decorations away. Whew.
Happy, happy belated birthday to the very best friend and soul sister a girl could ever ask for. I have been blessed with 24 years of friendship with you, my friend and my heart is full when I think of you. This is going to be a really great year, Lisa! Love, love, love you.
I am so grateful for very good friends, a fun dinner out with two of the finest and I am ever so grateful for this fantastic rain storm to sprinkle on San Diego.
Yesterday, in my post, I mentioned realizing my childhood was not what I thought it was all these years. Yes, that indeed is true. But, I didn't mention that although I am questioning the so called facade, I have many happy memories as a child and most of them contain my twin sister. We laughed a lot as children, even when things weren't that great. I wouldn't trade my childhood for anything because the good parts and the difficult parts helped make me who I am today.
I only talk about personal things like the above because I am realizing that many of us have stories that we don't talk about, we keep them inside. Sometimes we think someone else may not understand or we are embarrassed or we are afraid of truth. If we can get over that hurdle, well, we have something to share and exchange with one another. Sometimes it's easier to just read something that someone else has written and see a tiny bit of resemblance or glimmer of hurt to know that we are not alone. That is why I write some of these personal things.
I know for a fact I don't write them to complain, or hurt certain people. I write them to explore ideas and sudden bits of knowledge that have slapped me across the face. Because really, I am just trying to figure all of this out. Secrets and truths of life that is. I like to share because just maybe someone will realize that it's OK to share the vulnerable parts. . . if I can do that for just one person then I have had a really good day.
Mostly what I was trying to convey about realizing my childhood was different than my memories was that there is someone in my life that should have shown up during really difficult times last year and sadly, they didn't. They turned and ran in the other direction. That shocked me to my core. I didn't understand why. Careful observation and inquiring has led me to understand because now I realize it's been that way for most of my life and I just never saw that. I didn't want to see it because frankly, that really hurts. Time has gifted me with forgiveness in my heart but the trust. . . oh, it's gone. And that is too bad. But rest assured, I am a show up kind of girl. If you need me. . . I will show up. And that's all I wanted to say. . .
How about you? Have you been shocked by family behaviors?
I am so grateful for a day home with my son. He's the shiniest, brightest star in the universe.
There is love in the air. . . wouldn't these be cute stickers for Valentine's Day?
I was having an interesting conversation with my son's friend's mom today. We were talking about being adults, parenting differently than our own parents and having an awakening of sorts about what we thought our childhood was and what it really was looking back as an adult.
It's funny, I've been struggling with some ideas about my own childhood and what I thought it was for a very long time. Then when my sister died, a light was directed onto the facade and I could clearly see the reality that somehow blended with ideas of how I thought it should have been. I didn't need to buy the dream anymore. The dream never quite sat right with me, it was a tad uncomfortable and itchy. There were parts that brought up emotions that made me feel badly. So, I've realized I really don't have to buy the imitation dream anymore. It's not that I like the reality any better because, seriously, I don't. But I figure, that's life though. Seeing things little by little, just when we can handle the truth.
How about you? Do you like what you see when you look back in time?
I am so grateful for a really tedious project to be almost out the door.
Sunday. I look forward to Sundays. I have a grief class I go to, get to run a few errands by myself and the day usually holds some sort of creative adventure. Like this pillow I made for my son. (Well, it's really for me but I told him it's for him except he can't leave the house with it.) The little squares are cut outs from his baby clothes that I've been hanging onto for about 8 years. Finally had the motivation to finish this project. Along with a few more camera strap covers for other people and some photo editing on a catalog project that came up suddenly. Full day. Good day. Good night.
(Oh, I must say that I'm not even embarrassed that my Christmas tree is still up, you can see it in the background. Yup, the twinkle lights are still twinkling around here. Maybe I'll leave it up all year. ha-ha.)
How about you? What does your Sunday's hold for you?
I am so grateful for gobs of compassionate, caring people in my life. I am blessed.
Ahhh, Saturday. Should be a nice relaxing day. . . it's part of the weekend and everyone and their brother loves weekends, right? Not today. . . I assembled this today WITHOUT instructions. Should have walked away but I didn't. Instead, I insisted on finishing this dear little project and afterwards, walked away frustrated. Tomorrow, I'll be very happy I don't have to paint on a rickety, wobbly, old easel but today this little beauty is SMIRKING at me from across the room.
Tonight, we have dinner plans with very kind friends so the easel frustration will be a very distant memory. Maybe, with a turn of fate, I'll be eating one of these selections. . . Yum!
How about you? Are you able to not get frustrated by complicated assembly of an item?
I am so grateful I am working today. Not necessarily because I want to work on a Saturday but I'm very grateful to have work to do!
Just trying to get into the spirit of the up-coming holiday. You know. . . Valentine's Day. The day of love and sugar and sticky sweetness. I bought some Valentines for my nieces so that has put me in the mood.
These are spreads from the little Love book that didn't quite make it here. I still think it's cute and worth sharing so tonight I will share and then move on. I've heard the publishing world is full of disappointments, wasn't quite expecting one on my first go around. There is a die cut on each page with an animated image that isn't shown and the last page is supposed to have a mirror. (You can click on each image for a closer look if it's too small.) Hope you enjoy it...
I am so grateful for really nice people in my life.
Had my painting class last night and I made the mistake of bringing along someone who made my experience miserable. After we worked on a color project, out came our canvases. . . our big, blank canvases. The time was here to begin our projects. Gulp.
I froze. I was paralyzed. The someone I brought to class, whispered in my ear that I couldn't do it. I was a fake. Who was I to think I could paint? That someone was my inner critic and she didn't belong here. But what could I do? We were already invested in the class, there were other students to consider, I just had to proceed and just try to ignore this unwanted guest, as mean and awful as she was. By the time I left the class, I had a scratchy dark cloud hanging over my head with my horrible canvas tucked under my arm.
When I woke today though, the critic was gone and in her place was this lovely canvas. Just a start but a promise of something interesting. Hope she stays away for good!
Today I found out that my little book I illustrated for Valentine's Day is not going to be offered here in the states. It is being printed in Portuguese. What? This makes me a little sad but still glad it's being published. Hopefully some little Portuguese child will find the little kitty enthralling and giggle at the little surprise at the end of the story. I'll post the spreads so you can see the whole story tomorrow. For now, this day has got to end!
I went to Border's bookstore today to see if my book is out for Valentine's Day and I couldn't find it. I'm a little sad because it's really cute, simple but very cute. If anyone happens to see it, this is the cover, please let me know. The anticipation is killing me.
Thoughts in my head:
Do you have someone in your life that should be there for you in all the good times and the bad times but just can't seem to make it when you need them? Are you mad at this person because of the constant failures and short comings, especially because you have been there for them and have shown them what "being there" looks like? I do.
I have someone like this in my life and have been quite angry for some of their inexcusable behaviors for several months. But as of recently, I've been enlightened that maybe this person is never going to be able to step up because they just can't. Just cannot. The reasons are either for mental limitations, emotional baggage or even a lack of caring. And the funny thing is that they have no idea they aren't able to step up. . . completely. . . and. . . utterly. . . clueless.
I've discovered the way to walk past the anger, in my situation, is called acceptance. Completely accepting people for who they are, not for who you want them to be or wish they would be. This not so new train of thought, has helped me let go. Just let go. Let go of anger that doesn't do anyone any good nor will ever change the situation. So letting go has brought peace. Not the person back into my life but a more welcome friend called peace. This peace is all part of the "simplifying" plan and I feel good about it. Yes to acceptance. No to anger.
I am so grateful for days that don't go my way, so I can appreciate the days that do.
I am so grateful for a day at Balboa Park, one of my favorite places on earth.
Drum roll. . . we have some winners for the Valentine's cards Give Away! If you find your name listed below and haven't heard from me yet, please email me your address so I can mail the cards to you. Here's the list:
Congratulations! I am sure your recipients will be quite pleased. ; )
Foxy Loxy is looking for change . . . she's used up all the quarters found in the couch cushions.
I want to change my blog look but am afraid I'll lose everything. Does anyone have any suggestions for backing up a blog and implementing new layouts that are outside of Blogger? For being quite good with computers for so long, I still find I can be very inept at some things technical. Sigh.
How about you? Are you a techno wiz?
Great Quote for the Day:
"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."- Michael Jordan
I am so grateful for seeing a movie with my friend, even though it brought me down. (The movie that is, not my friend.)
My friend Pam over at Doodlestreet blog just got a new camera so I made her this custom camera strap to protect her neck. She is a very talented photographer so this strap cover will come in handy! Now, I need one!
How about you? Do you like to customize your equipment?
Bliss. Another painting day for a very special project. The big presentation is next week. . . hope it all goes through. I hope, I hope, I hope...
I've been thinking about the "simplify" word and how to exactly apply that to life. It must be ingrained in my head because I find myself unusually calm ever since the new year began. I realized today that I had been holding my breath the entire month of December, wishing so badly the year would end, wishing so badly to completely embrace the holiday, wishing so badly my Target deal would happen and be successful, wishing so badly there weren't holes in my family, wishing so badly for an escape only to realize there is none.
Then January came. January with her fresh outlook and whispers of hopeful promises. I found my exhale and have been able to breathe. Just the simple change of a month, a year, a decade brought forgiveness, peace and air. For this, I am very grateful. That's my Thursday's gratitude.
How about you? What has this year promised you so far?
Quote of the day:
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."- John Wooden