Monday, December 28, 2009

Be Humble

I just purchased this book over the holidays called Be: Life is Here and It Is Now to jumpstart the upcoming new year with some positive thoughts and good vibes. Each left hand page in the book has a "be" statement(like beAmazed, beResourseful, etc) coupled with a quote on the right hand page. I've had a set of three long rectangular canvases that I've been wanting to make a set of related pieces out of so I thought I'd do three quotes from the book. This is the first one in my "series" for Be Humble:

(I got this sweet little birdkeeper girl image from an Anahata card I found in the same store as the book.)

This quote is a reminder to me of forces in the universe that are bigger than myself. Wonderous miracles occur; wishes manifest themselves in our lives; new people enter our lives, always with a purpose. These are some of the amazing things happening all around us, leading us toward peacefulness, a sense of calm, new adventures, clarity, personal growth, and a realization of our fullest potential. I try to think about the purpose behind the things that occur in my life and trust that even if I don't understand them now, their purpose will become apparent to me at some point down the road...along my journey of life.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All Through the House

It's looking jolly and bright! What is it about Christmas decorations that just brighten your mood and lighten your spirit? Like most of us would say, holiday ornaments and decorations remind us of Christmases past and memories of special times with our family and friends. They also remind me of the fun times I've had creating many of the mini photo albums and ornaments and of the people who so thoughtfully made some of them for me as well!!!
Here's a cute little Frosty created by Jennifer Murphy...oh, how I wish I could create with fabric and pom-poms as skillfully as she can!!
Here are the bottles I normally have sitting on my mantle. I recently saw a banner on a blog (maybe Rebecca Sower's?) in which they inserted little hints of this and that in each of their bottles to give it some holiday flair. I thought I'd try it this year and I like how it turned out!

Wishing all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas filled with warm spirits, love, and hope.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Angels Around Us

Jump over to Kim Hesson's blog and etsy store to check out some great wood cut ornaments! Here is one of them... a sweet little angel. She also has samples of a different angel cut out, a gingerbread man, and some miniature gingerbread houses.

The angel "spirit" of this cute darling must have been watching over me yesterday!! Sometimes it's when you experience something so scary it shakes you to the core that you realize the strength of faith and the comfort of guardian angels. I found this short poem today about what our angels do for us, especially in our hour of need...(author is unknown):

May angels rest beside your door,
May you hear their voices sing,
May you feel their loving care for you,
May you hear their peace bells ring.
May angels always care for you,
And not let you trip and fall,
May they bear you up on angel's wings,
May they keep you standing tall.
May they whisper wisdom in your ear,
May they touch you when you need,
May they remove from you each trace of fear,
May they keep you from feeling greed.
May they fill you with their presence,
May they show you love untold,
May they always stand beside you
And make you ever bold.

Take a minute to thank all your guardian angels out there...they're watching over you, keeping you strong, maintaining your faith, and sustaining your hope.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Crafting and Feelin' Groovy

I recently finished another project using one of Kim's wooden pieces...this time a wooden box. I have needed something cute to put my CDs in that I listen to while creating. As luck would have it, this box is the exact same width as a CD case! Given the purpose of the box, I then decided to decorate it with a sort "peace, love and rock n' roll" style. I used some images from Papaya to decorate the sides and give it some grooviness.

Speaking of music, I'm in need of some fresh tunes to groove to while in my studio. Does anyone out there have any recommendations of music they've been listening to lately??
Have a great week ahead...if you're here in southern CA, be sure to stay dry!!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

Christmas, of course!! I can't believe it's already the holiday season! Lots to be thankful for this, friends, good health, a home full of love, and other small miracles! And it wouldn't be the holiday season without some Christmas cookie baking! I'm in a cookie exchange this next weekend so I'm going to be making an old-fashioned recipe from my grandmother...almond raspberry cookies. You know- one of those standards that you can probably find in a Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1940s, but those are the best because they stand the test of time. I also have to make a recipe page for each of the gals in the group so we can walk away with a book of cookie recipes. Here are some June Cleaver look-alikes that I am going to incorporate into my pages. I sure wish all of these housewife fembots could help me bake the 90 cookies I need!!! Wish me luck- I'm off to start mixing!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall Projects

Happy Fall!!! Sorry that I have been a bad blogger this past month! Work and fatigue and life in general has momentarily interrupted the creative flow, but hopefully we will be back to our regularly scheduled creating soon!
What I wanted to share is some news about the exciting projects being showcased over on Kim Hesson's blog! As many of you know, Kim does the most amazing wood cut outs, by hand! There is no shape she cannot conquer!! I am lucky enough to be on her new design team along with two other amazingly creative souls!! Bonus: we get to play with fun new shapes each month and let our imaginations run wild with all the possibilities.
This past month, I was sent this large plaque shape and maple leaf. Below is what I came up with:

I thought this could be a great way of adding something fresh to a seasonal project each year by having the option of creating new tags yearly. Plus, everyone in the family can participate by making their own tag!

This is only one of many projects featured on Kim's blog so head over and check it out!!! You are sure to be inspired!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Just Bloom

In the middle of some dreary, cloudy, and cool southern California weather, I thought a colorful bouquet of blooming flowers from the local farmer's market would chase away the blues. Life has been really busy lately with hardly a minute to catch my breath. I found this quote to bring me back to what's important...

"The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers."

When we surround ourselves with those who really understand our spiritual and emotional needs, we really do bloom and become better because of that love or friendship. I can name lots of people who have helped me to bloom...I can only hope that I have done the same for them!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The City of Angels

I recently got a new second-hand camera... so hubby and I decided to take a day trip to practice getting some good photos. What better place to find sources of inspiration than Los Angeles?
We found this cute little park near Beverly Hills that was a peaceful green oasis in the middle of city blocks of cement.

Next stop was Amoeba Music, which is a superstore of any type of music imagineable!! It is like a real life iTunes, but in an actual building! The entire outside of the building is covered with murals of music legends. Here is Billie Holiday.....
Next up was a trip to the neighborhood called Los Feliz. This is the old theater in the middle of town.
The highlight of the trip was my first ever trip to!!! I was so hoping that it would live up to my expectations and it did not disappoint!!! I chose the newest flavor, coconut tart. Even though all this luscious fruit was available to choose from, I was naughty and had my yogurt topped with fresh coconut and dark chocolate bites. Delicious!!!!
Our lunch choice was an authentic French cafe that had the most scrumptious buttery croissants topped with a sweet glaze. We also enjoyed a tasty sandwich, salad, and fresh lemonade, but two more croissants made their way home with us!!
All in all, a really fun day filled with lots of places I had never really visited, even though I've been to Los Angeles several times. Goes to show that there are sources of inspiration everywhere around us if only we take some time to notice!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Cherry on Top!

Here is the last part of the weekend which I promised to show... a close up of the canvas that my partner, Jessi, created. Love it!!! It is going to look so bright and cheerful against my bubblegum pink studio walls!!
The quote is a little hard to read in the picture, but it says, "Just put your ear down next to your soul and listen hard." I especially like some of the elements she used because she included a real branch she found while out on a walk one day...which is one of the ways I think many of us get some alone time to ourselves to listen to our inner voice, the voice of our soul. Lots of times that voice is critical, negative, or just downright irrational. Right now that voice of my soul is saying, "You don't need to get one more productive thing done today...just sit with your thoughts and let them still you." I try to listen to that voice because it usually speaks the truth of what I ache for- not what my head tells me I should believe, but what my heart tells me really is. If you get a still moment today or tomorrow, what truths will your soul speak to you?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Art- Part 2

As promised, here are some more highlights from Artistic Affaire L'Automne.....Of course, the projects were the highlight of the day! First up was Lisa Kettell's class in which we created little dragonfly ballerinas out of clay. Here is a snapshot of some ballerinas created during the class- how cute!!!!

Here is the dragonfly I made (sorry- bad lighting on the picture). I think that mine turned out more like a sweet little bathing beauty than a ballerina but I love her anyway!! Not sure how I'm going to finish the project off yet, but it will involve more PINK!
The last class of the day was taught by the amazing Ruth Rae. I've been waiting a long time to take a class from her- especially utilizing some sort of fiber arts!! We made fabric cuff bracelets using all sorts of fabric scraps and pieces of muslin we stamped images onto. Here is mine so far...not quite finished. I like the earthy nature feel that it has.
One more post tomorrow should just about finish up all the highlights of the day. See you back here then!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Got Art?

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend Artistic Affaire L'Automne, hosted by the wonderful Kim Caldwell! I can't say enough about how fabulous and inspiring these events are for me! At one time I was just a lonely crafter, making little creations at my cramped kitchen table in my 700 sq. ft apartment. Since attending her events, I have found so many other amazing women who share the same passions as me, get equally as excited about a yard of aged vintage lace, and will do anything to escape the day-to-day rigor for a weekend getaway of crafting!! I will post more about the projects later this week. However, I can tell you that the day was filled with a beautiful atmosphere....

sweet friends...... (here I am with the very talented Holly, who also sold some beautiful handmade pieces at the Market Soiree)
and fabulously fun swaps!! Jessi was my swap partner for the Soul Inspired Canvas Swap and I absolutely LOVE the piece she made for me....just perfect!!! Thanks, Jessi!!! This picture doesn't quite do it justice so I will post a close-up tomorrow.
I am re-inspired with new ideas and techniques and ready to go forth and create!!!! See you tomorrow for some more highlights!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Butterflies in My Garden

This morning, as I watered my butterfly plant, I caught sight of what seemed to be tens of tiny yellow bugs on my plant.  Frustrated that I thought something was eating my plant, I bent down to take a closer look.  That's when I came eye to eye with these two friends...monarch butterfly caterpillars!! How beautiful!! I then realized that what I thought were yellow bugs were actually newly hatched butterfly eggs.  I cannot wait to see if they spin themselves a chrysalis and transform into beautiful butterflies.  How ironic...I've been thinking a lot lately about the changes I'll make to preserve time for what's important to me and here is nature's example of transformation, change, and the beauty of what's to be right in my own backyard!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bonus Swap Treat

I've been busy working on some of the swap projects for this event in another week...can't believe it's almost here!!! I am so excited to soon be hanging out with many of my friends whom I haven't seen since the summer or since Kim's last event in May.  Of course, I'm also looking forward to the awesome classes with some great artists from whom I've long been wanting to learn some new techniques.  

I am hosting a Soul Inspired Canvas swap at the event where participants make an artistic canvas for their partner with a quote of their partner's choosing.  Since I have a small group of participants, I decided to create a little thank you for their participation.

Hope they like them!!!!  I had lots of fun creating these!  I'm also looking forward to swapping canvases with my sweet partner, Jessi!  She made me the most amazing decorated vintage bottle over the summer, which she now sells in her etsy shop.  Check them out!  I'm off to add some finishing details to her canvas....have a great Friday!! 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

While adjusting to all the business of getting into the first full week back at work, I worked on this journal page--a little each night.  This page was important to me because it symbolized the commitment I made to myself this summer that I would try to do something creative each day, even if it was only for twenty or thirty minutes a day.  I also made a commitment that I would start doing more art for myself.  Don't get me wrong, I love love love participating in swaps and making extra special things to brighten someone's difficult day, but when I look around my studio, I realize that I have not been doing a whole lot of art to enjoy for myself.  This is when the art journal idea seemed perfect!  I've been nourishing that important part of myself that needs to express itself creatively.  Plus, the time spent working on each page nourishes the part of me that simply needs that little bit of quiet time to be with myself, when there are no deadlines to meet and there are no people knocking on my office door.  I know that if you're reading this, you can probably tick off about ten other things a day that fit this qualification. 

I know that if I don't "nourish" important parts of my soul, I will not be mentally and emotionally as available to commit to all the other important things in my day/life...sort of like watering my own garden.  

What do you need to "nourish" so you can be present for all the other parts of your life?  I hope you find a moment for some sunshine and water to your soul this weekend!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Art Journaling

This is what I've been up to this week...working on some small pieces of art in my journal.  Since I've returned to work, it's easier right now to journal because it's like creating mini pieces of artwork--plus, I can still get in a little creative time and see it through to the end.  This first piece is actually done on a piece of canvas paper.  I've used this paper in various classes and had a pad of it sitting in my closet for the longest time (I'm sure we could all attach that phrase to a quarter of our art supplies!).  I created a base with various scraps of paper left over from other projects.  I almost scrapped the whole thing in the beginning because I didn't like the color scheme, but I was determined to see it through.  After layering other paint colors over the "base", I was happier and moved forward with the images.  Of course, those of you who know me, know I love anything with Mary so here she is!

These next two pieces are in my art journal.  As you can see, I'm into the rays coming out of things right now.  I cut out the flower from an article in body + soul magazine.  The theme for July was "Let yourself flow" so that was the jumping off point for the page.
This last one was inspired by a quote I liked about the need to develop a strong inner spirit to help you deal more easily with the day to day things that usually consume and frustrate you.  
Hoping your week ahead is filled with good things and a peaceful moment sandwiched in there somewhere!! 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Life Defined

I love this "quotables" line- especially the cards and magnets!!  This is my newest addition just in time to return to work....

After a relaxing summer of taking time to do all the things I love: time to reflect, time to create, time to slow down, time to take in the little pleasures of life- I thought this magnet would remind me to keep in perspective what is truly important to me.  I recently saw this other quote by Annie Dilliard:  "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." This got me thinking about how I should value my days more for what they are rather than as a means to some end, i.e. "getting through them" to get to something getting through the week to get to the weekend.  After all, how we spend our moments, our days, and our lives is often defined by what is most important to us...what we value.   I've been thinking that I need to embrace the day to day more often, even when it's stressful, crazy, unpredictable.  If I'm living to "get through" my days, then I'm really just "getting through" life and what kind of living is that?  Take a moment sometime this week to reflect on what is most important to you. If it's a person, tell them.  If it's doing something, do it.  Live your days!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A few more snapshots

Just a few more pictures of my project that I posted about on Thursday.  I'm going to find a spot to hang it in my studio today.  

Wishing you a blissfully inspired weekend!!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Inspiration Revealed

I finally finished the project I've been working on using the lamp shade frame I spray painted turquoise.  If I had to name the finished product, I would call it "Inspiration Unleashed".  I used a bunch of postcards, greeting cards, and clip art from Anahata to make the "tags".  I also used some digital words of inspiration that I downloaded from Rhonna Farrer.  I thought that the two went together well.  I altered the postcards with rub-ons and stickles and glued the digital art words from Rhonna on tags where they fit.  I also added some favorite quotes for a personal touch.  Last, I tied the smaller tags around the top of the frame and the larger tags along the bottom of the frame.  I also had silver glittered stars on wire that I twisted around parts of the lampshade.  To give it some movement, I hung butterfly mobiles vertically down the center of it and attached chandelier crystals to the bottoms of the strings.  I have a few more pics of some of the other tags that I will post tomorrow.
Until then...I will leave you with these:  

Isn't the possibility of something greater, different, calmer, more meaningful, more adventurous, or even more daring what really keeps us going from day to day?  Think about the endless possibilities and do one thing today toward making one of those possibilities happen!  

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer hues

Just soaking in the colors of summer before they're all gone!  We got up early today and drove north to Crystal Cove in Laguna.  If you have never visited this beach, it is a must see!  There is a tiny historic village of beach cottages that families would stay in each summer.  All of the cottages are now too old to live in, but visiting them is like stepping back in time. There is a restaurant situated right on the beach that is great place to eat at while soaking in the smells and sounds of the sea.  I love to come here to practice my picture taking skills (which need much refinement) as there are a lot of colorful sources of inspiration.  

As I walked through the surf, I thought about how another summer has come and gone, just like the tide coming in and out.  Each summer, I get time to myself to rest and revisit all that is important in my life and honor the parts of my spirit that make!  I purchased this cute little quote book today called "Spirit" and my favorite quote in the book is this:

There comes a time in the spiritual journey when you start making choices from a very different place.  And if a choice lines up so that it supports truth, health, happiness, wisdom, and love, it's the right choice.     -Angeles Arrien

I think it's important to reevaluate from time to time where our choices are coming from.  Sometimes choices are made out of necessity and other times out of love and sacrifice.  Each fall, as I return to the business and chaos of work, I try to remind myself that I must stay true to myself and make choices throughout the year that honor my spirit, which ultimately honors who I a woman, a wife, an artist, a creative being.