Tuesday, October 30, 2007

yeah baby! I'm "Inspired!"

I was a really disappointed last Friday when I still hadn't received my lottery notification from Creative Escape so I started scouring the message boards to see if anyone had been notified. I found out that there had been many scrapbookers that had received the lucky email and my heart grew heavy with the knowledge that there was not much chance I would be attending CE in 2008.
But to my good fortune I stumbled onto a posting about Donna Downey's Inspired Artist Workshop so I decided to check it out and WOW! I love that there are a variety of different artists teaching and that the projects are so far outside my comfort zone. I signed up with my best scrapper pal Corvus and we've been giddy ever since. Just a couple days later I got a call from Bill Downey, Donna's husband, to welcome me and let me know that he is available to answer questions and assist in anyway. In addition to the 6 - 3 hour classes there will be optional workshops each night and Ali is attending as a student - Yeah! The icing on the cake is that one of my dearest friends in the world moved to Charlotte just a little over a year ago and I miss her soooooo much! Now I'll get a chance to see her new house and give her the big fat hug I've been saving for her all these months. I'm coming to see you Jen!

The pilgrimage

As a mother, wife, artist, friend, daughter, sister, teacher and individual being, I see my life as a pilgrimage. Like the characters in the Canterbury Tales, I follow a road towards an enlightened end and experience many adventures along the way. My fellow journeymen and women travel through many of the same places encountering the same sites, smells and characters yet each of our stories is uniquely our own. For example, the view of our home decorated in tattered Halloween spook loosely draped across the yard with abandon is much different from the 3 foot vantage point (and perspective) of my 4 year old as it is through my tired eyes as I weigh the benefit of redecorating for Oct. 31 when I will just be cleaning it all up just a day later. My son sees the current decor as perfection and feels nothing but pure excitement about tomorrow's festivities. He does not notice how the rain has soaked the cardboard figures nor how the wind has dislodged most of the props. I, on the other hand, unconsciously think the soggy spider webs and warped skeletons adorning our bushes and front porch declare a lack of commitment to my kids, laziness and poor taste. Fortunately, I walk this path with my son and thus can see this day, our home and our life through his eyes when my own perspective from my 5 feet 6 inch stance is skewed. My kids remind me that I am a pilgrim on a journey, not a part of the scenery.

And so this morning, I awoke early and I thought where will life take me today? Will it be chores, errands, guilt for what I have not accomplished and disappointment about what I did not get to do? Or will it be a day filled with adventure, passion and experience? Hmmmmm- same day, same city, same characters, yet the perspective is polarly different. If I get to choose, and I surprisingly, I do, I'm gonna have to go with adventure. Yeah - that's the one I pick. how exciting! I'm going on an adventure today! I'll let you know how it turns out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Creative Escape 2008

I am so excited that the Creative Escape planners decided to do a registration lottery for CE 2008. I can hardly wait until next week when they start drawing names and hopefully notify us that we have been selected to register. Corvus and I had the BEST time ever at CKU Anaheim last June and are already giggling about the thought of going to CE next September. I've heard nothing but fantastic feedback about last months program. For more information about Creative Escape visit http://www.creativeescapeaz.com/2008/ .

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I spent the last five days in a completely creative state. I had a zillion and one things to do but I ignored my responsibilities and played in my studio. I made a dozen adorable cards, designed a 12 x 12 album for my "Intro to Scrapbooking" class and created a weekly calendar book for my purse. I can't explain how much I enjoy the state of creativity. It is better than chocolate, infatuation or a day at the spa. Most of life's greatest pleasures come from external sources but creativity comes from the inside and thus the high is nothing less than serenity.

This morning however, I found myself in a conflicted state. Half of me buzzing from the many hours I spent in the studio and the other half, heavy with guilt. Apparently, my committee held an emergency meeting while I was asleep and decided that responsible adults should not play when there is work to be done. I awoke to the disapproving chatter of all the people who live in my head and they made it abundantly clear that I should feel an equal portion of guilt to the joy due to my lack of initiative and poor judgment. It wasn't until I crossed a dozen things off of my list that I became aware that I did not feel like I deserved to be happy until my life was in order. No smiles, or giggles, or quiet moments allowed until the beds are made, the laundry is folded and the floor is swept, don't you know! A few hours later, still wading through my chores, I realized that this rule; this belief; this absurdity; was robbing me of joyous moments. More precious than gold or diamonds, joy is too precious a commodity to squander for a clean house. I've realized how lucky I am that I can experience joy so easily through scrapbooking and other forms of artistic expression. It fills me up which helps me to give more freely of myself. And lets face it, when mommy's happy, the whole family wins.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Changes and more changes with Jilliene Designs

As most of you know, last spring Jilliene Designs was to join forces with a local art studio and expand from an on-line scrapbook boutique and custom kit provider to a brick and mortar retail store and art studio. Just weeks after opening the doors the partnership was revisited and it became clear that the original arrangement was not going to evolve as planned so I moved my inventory to my home studio, redesigned the website and Jilliene Design's offerings.

The months following this adjustment were busy with scrapbooking and art classes for Camp Gan Israel and the business of life- expensive car repairs, my computer crashing, a robbery, navigating warranties and insurance adjusters and the exciting reinvention of my home studio into a arts and crafts classroom.

I cannot tell you how much I love the new studio...my husband was so dedicated to the project and he did an amazing job creating an atmosphere of creativity and function. My clients have said nothing but fantastic things about the space and I am thrilled to have it so accessible.

The opening night crop was a blast. Many of my absolute favorite people where there making the night extra special. Everyone got so much done and I provided one-on-one instruction to anyone who needed it plus did a demo on embossing. Several people came without a project and we designed kits for them to work on together.

I am so happy with the course my life has taken. It seems that whenever things DO NOT go according to plan, I find myself just where I need to be. I have finally let go of the steering wheel and am enjoying the ride. My kids have a mom that is available (instead of a mom that says "in just a minute" all the time). My customers have a vendor they can count on (instead of a vendor that has fallen behind, trying to keep up with the demands of overhead). My husband has a wife and a friend (instead of a roommate and project manager). I get to be a human BE'ing rather than a human DO'ing which is a much bigger dream than I could have conjured up.