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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Paper Challenge Day #28 (or not!) and Green Frogs…

I’ve pretty much fallen down on the job as far as my Paper Challenge goes. Life has gotten away from me again, and my efforts to get into the scary room have met with little success. I THINK about it a lot, I just don’t quite make the transition from thought to action.

It’s not that I don’t have a lot of ideas or interest in doing it, because I do. I just can’t make myself get in there. Part of it is the overwhelming lack of organization (read: MESS!) I need a couple of solid days to basically gut it and start over, but I don’t have that kind of time. Life (the FUN stuff!) keeps me from dedicating a couple of straight days to working on it.

One weekend we were up in Mt. Shasta, moving the last of our stuff out of our old house. Last weekend it was birthday celebrations, this weekend it will going down to L.A. to visit my sister, the weekend after that she’ll be up here with me and we’re going to take a little trip to San Francisco…It’s all good stuff. Stuff I WANT to do. But it keeps me from restoring the order I seem to need in order to get in there to create!

So, my mind is wandering toward my next challenge, and I think I’ve figured out what I want to do.

July is going to be primarily “Green Frog Month.”

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You’ve heard the saying “If you eat a green frog the first thing every day, nothing worse can happen the rest of the day…” So, a green frog is my metaphor for not only the unpleasant things I need to do, but things I’m just dragging my feet on. I will be identifying those green frogs laying around the rest of this month, then July will be my month for disposing of them. “Disposing of them” may mean finishing projects, tossing unfinished ones that no longer interest me, making repairs as needed, AND getting that scary room cleaned up at least to the point where it’s usable!

Maybe once the weight of all these frogs are off my back, I’ll be able to get back to producing!

 

 

Let’s Talk About Walls

Do you ever surf around the internet and come across something that smacks you upside the head? I do often.

This is my most recent find.

 

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It’s making me wonder yet again if I am building walls that are keeping me from pursuing the things I really want.

I seriously do not understand this. I am settling into the idea that my creativity needs to be something I do to enhance my family’s life/well-being rather than something I do as a business. And it feels pretty good. I am not craving the approval of others that comes from having people plunk down money to own my art. I am watching as my artsy pals struggle with getting their businesses off the ground, and I think from time to time that I am grateful that I am not facing those struggles.

So why is it that when I see things like this, I find myself thrown back into the internal struggle with myself?

No matter how often I tell myself I have made the decision, and I’m going to stick with it, there is still that occasional yearning.  And signs like this bring it on. A part of me says that I shouldn’t give up on something I can’t stop thinking about. The other that I had my shot, it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, and it’s time to move on.

It’s not making me quite as crazy as usual this time, so maybe in time, the quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) yearning will go away. But I guess I need to be open to the possibility that somehow, some way, some opportunity might appear that makes sense in my world. Maybe things popping up like this are just little reminders to stay open to that possibility.

I think I may be okay with that. Nothing needs to be carved in stone. I don’t need to swear to myself I will NEVER own another creative business. All I need to do is promise myself that if I do, it will not be one that consumes my life. And, I don’t need to be searching for it, just open to the idea should it present itself.

Okay. I think I can live with that.

 

The Internet, Prayer and Sisterhood = POWER

I was a small part of a very exciting episode of sisterhood – networking – in action today. It speaks to the power of the internet, the power of prayer, and the power of women to make things happen.

As most of you know, I am part of an art group we lovingly call our fly tribe. A group of women originally brought together by our love of art, and our attempts to make a business out of it. But over the past nearly 2 years it has grown into a group who have supported each other through all the things that women experience – divorce, illness, unruly teenagers, death, losses of all kinds, old age, marital problems, and of course the happy times as well. Were it not for the internet, and specifically facebook, we never would have met, let alone developed close relationships.

Well, one of our sisters was in trouble. Without getting into details, she had gotten into a bad relationship, which had turned dangerous, and ultimately found herself (and her dog) with no means of support, and literally days away from being alone and on the street.

She came to the group asking for suggestions. She was without money, or family support, and estranged from all her real world friends since moving away from her longtime home to be with this guy. We’d all been praying for her for weeks, and although we wracked our brains, were at a loss. One of the girls thought she might have a room for her, but it fell through, and we were grasping at straws. The situation was really getting dire. I was afraid we weren’t thinking far enough outside the box and put up a message on my wall asking for suggestions.

Another artist in a different group saw my post and asked for details, which I shared (via message, not on the main post) and she said she had a room available a few states away and would like to offer it to my friend AND her pooch and what worldly possessions she had left.

Within hours, pledges for financial help in getting her from where she is to the state where the room is, were in from the group and a plan made. She’ll be moving the end of the week. It’s not a permanent fix, but it’s a safe place to lay her head while she figures out where to go from here. An amazing blessing.

We are all ecstatic!  What was an almost hopeless situation turned into the beginnings of a new start in life in a very short time, through the power of the internet, prayer and sisterhood.

This story has many lessons in it, not the least of which is that if you need help, you need to ask for it. The worst thing the universe can say is “sorry, can’t help you.” But more likely is that someone, somewhere can help, you just have to find them.

I am so proud of my fly tribe for sticking by our sister, and donating so unselfishly, and extremely grateful for the wonderful, caring, compassionate woman who stepped up when she didn’t need to and saved a fellow woman (and her dog!) from the horrors of living on the street.

As I close my eyes tonight, I’ll be offering up a little prayer of thanksgiving. He was with us today, putting the right people in the right places at the right time to make this happen. I am just sure of it.

It’s been a tiring, but extremely uplifting day, and I just wanted to share it with you.

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Challenge Day #25 – Stampington

I put myself on Stampington restriction awhile back.

Stampington. Just in case you aren’t familiar with the name, it is an umbrella company for over a dozen magazines that cover everything artistic. Art Journaling, Scrapbooking, Doll Making, Altered Clothing, Apron Making, Mixed Media, Parties, Artful Blogging, Purses, Green Crafts, Primitives, Creative Workspaces, Cooking, Holidays – the list goes on and on.

These are not normal, everyday magazines. They are practically works of art on their own. The pages are thick, and full of the most luscious photographs. And they are incredibly addictive. Once you have them, they are nearly impossible to let go of. Cutting them up would be practically sacrilegious. And they are not cheap. But then, you get what you pay for, I guess.

The point is, with so many to choose from, and how expensive they are, and you have to have a means of storing them, I really have to prioritize. I can’t have every single one. No matter how much I want to.

But I was on restriction, so how can I now be the proud owner of 6 more issues. How did THAT happen?

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I went into Barnes and Noble to buy ONE issue. And I have a really good excuse. One of my artsy girlies (Lindsay Ostrom) has a 7 page layout in in Art Journals. So I really HAD to have it.

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The other 5? I just couldn’t help myself. Once you’ve seen them, you’ll understand.

I want so badly to say I’m ashamed of myself, but I am woefully unrepentant. And SOOOOOOOOO looking forward to hours of joyous submersion in all things Stampington…

Paper Challenge Day #24 – Scrapbooking and Washi!

Busy family day, but I found time to work on a project this evening!

I did a post a few days ago titled “61 Random Things I Love At 61” and I’m taking those words and doing a scrapbook layout for my birthday.

I haven’t decided on the pictures I’ll be using yet, but I got the title and the “61 things” laid out.

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When I get going on a page like this, I have so much fun it makes me wonder why I have such a hard time getting up for working on my scrapbooks!

ESPECIALLY when I have new toys to play with.

A few days ago my friend Lori, fellow mixed media artist, was raving about a wonderful place she’d found to order washi tape. Have you heard of it? I’ve worked with paper ribbon before, but not washi, which is kind of an upscale paper ribbon. The designs are classier, and the washi tape is a little easier to work with.

ANYWAY, I TRIED to resist, I really did. I have SO many supplies I need to use up. But, I made the mistake of going to the Etsy store she ordered from just to “look.” Yeah, right! As I was “looking” a bunch of rolls jumped into my cart. What’s a girl to do? Once they were there I felt obligated to complete the purchase. Oh, they are soooooo yummy.

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Now I just have to figure out what the best use is for my little treasures.

 

Paper Challenge Day #23 -I Can Read!

I kinda got side-tracked from my paper projects with my birthday posts, so I’m thinking I need to get back to it.

I worked on several things today.

First, I got out the “cinch” machine I bought a few months ago, and put away without using it. I played around and taught myself to use it, ultimately punching all the pages for my Radical Wellness class in preparation for binding them when I’m done.

It’s a pretty cool little machine. It punches the holes, then cinches down the spiral wire to make a book.

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Last week I got the 2 little ones going on their “learn to read” books. I did one for Hannah when I was teaching her to read, and Bea and Josh want their own, which just tickles me. I waited until Hannah had a lot of words learned before coming up with the idea.

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The little ones are working on their flash cards for the “dolce” sight words.

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Then as they learn them, I do a little few word page for them using the words, and they illustrate them. I’m starting earlier – with just a few words under their belts, so the stories will be simpler to begin with. Today I got the holes punched on their completed pages, and got the books started. The covers still need some decoration and to be laminated.

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Neither one of them could wait to show their parents that they could actually READ a little story!

Age Gracefully? I Think Not.

I considered it, as I sat around in my recliner recovering from my numerous ailments that were seemingly conspiring to make me an old lady before my time. But I don’t think it’s for me.

I see these perfectly coiffed, elegantly dressed elderly ladies from time to time, and wonder what it would be like to be like that. Then I laugh. It’s so not me. I’ve never been perfectly coiffed or elegant a day in my life, and I see no reason to start now.

Nor am I going to dawn a housecoat or hide out in a mumu or cut my hair short and let it go gray or hang out at the senior center and play bingo.

I’ve already embraced skinny jeans, now I’ve gotten my first short-ish flouncy skirt that I’m wearing with either cute sandals or sassy cowgirl boots! I’m loving’ it. Yeah, my legs could stand to be a little thinner (as could the rest of me!) but ya know what? I’m not getting any younger – and I’m not waiting any longer. I want to wear cute clothes, and I’m going to do it. I’m through worrying about whether or not “people” think my choices are age appropriate or not.

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Coincidentally, as a part of the Radical Wellness class I’m taking, our fearless leader suggested that one of the things we really need to consider doing as we’re working our way through the class, is to start “dressing up” and it resonated with me. So, as I’m thinking about getting on with dressing to please myself, it comes up in my class…I love it when validation like that pops up!

But this goes beyond just dressing up. It’s an attitude.

I’m not going to allow myself to curl up and get old. I’m going to continue to think young and act young – I’m going to squeeze as much outta this life as I possibly can, and I’m not going to do it from a recliner. I may have to succumb to old age some day, but I’ll be goin’ down kicking and screaming.

She says bravely! Yowza!

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