Friday, November 28, 2008
Holy Moly - I've been a beading fool these last couple of weeks. I am way behind in just about everything and instead of tackling "the list", I bead beautiful, whimsical things and I feel happy and safe and calm in a world that does not feel familiar to me. Our times seem uncertain, volitle and troubled and yet, when I sit quietly and create for the sole sake of creative expression, I am Ok. This is my reprive, my repose, my oasis. (smile) Thank God.
I have updated my Etsy Shop with most of the new items although I have a few more to photograph. I have also set aside a couple of pieces for Christmas gifts.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
My graphic design class was awesome this last week. We created hand made books. I LOVE this method and will be doing more for Christmas gifts as mini albums.
Here are the instructions. It is a really fun project and they turn out great!
Inside Pages (the pages will all be connected by tiling – taped together to form an accordion fold):
• 2 pieces of chipboard- each piece is size 6" wide x 9.5" high
• 2 pieces of cover weight paper, patterned or solid color, one for the vertical front cover and one for the vertical back cover (recycle anything colorful including calendars, posters, magazine covers, or any cover weight decorative paper); each piece is size 6" wide x 17.5" high
• 2 pieces of text weight paper, patterned or solid color, one for the horizontal front cover and one for the horizontal back cover (for contrast, pick something different from the vertical cover materials above); each piece is size 10" wide x 9.5" high
Other tools/supplies needed:
- cutting mat
- X-acto knife with spare blades
- double stick tape
This last assignment - you know the "challenge" I spoke of was super intimidating at first but it quickly transformed into a delight. I can't describe the "high" I got from drawing. It felt amazing to live in that part of my brain. It recharged my batteries and after a session of drawing I had so much more to give to my kids and I was totally present for my life. I LOVE ART!
The drawing is a two week assignment. I think it is coming along but after stepping away from it, I can see I have some troubled areas to work out. The chin needs to be extended out on the right. The nose is the wrong angle and is not wide enough. The ball at the tip needs to be enlarged. The eyes are too close together and I think the ear may need to go to the right providing a little more area on the right cheek. Also, the hair is off, but those are final rendering details. The BIG bummer here is that I used my charcoal pencil so I may not be able to erase. I'm posting it in the workshop so I can get some tips on how to move things with the least amount of reconstruction. I'm nervous that I may have to start all over - but then again, it was so fun the first time that if I have to, I'm OK with it.
I made my first payment towards Inspired this week. Thank you to those who have contributed to my fund!!! I am thrilled that I get to attend again this year. I'll be roomies with my fellow art school student and the woman who started me on my adventure - the talented and skinny Heather. You can see her amazing work at Runs with Trimmer. We were in the same group at last April's Inspired and she kept me in stitches the whole time. Among her many talents (including a pilots license lol) she has the best sense of humor! Sooz and Aimee just signed up too so I think Jen is our only WASSIMA sis who hasn't enrolled. We are crossing our fingers!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This is my latest homework assignment for my Analysis of Form class. Draw Einstein (or is this Walter Matthau playing Einstein?) from a black and white photograph and bring the piece to life with your own voice. An interesting drawing assignment right? Now look at this...
Yes, he is up-side-down on purpose - I'm supposed to draw him this way. Yea - I'm going to have to call this one as a challenge. I know that this is a commen technique used to train an artist to see the lines and values rather than the picture as a whole, but this guy starts out with an IQ of 180 and has the mug to match. I'm thinking, if I have to use my voice to bring him to life, I'm going to need my mind to see the whole picture, right? Well, we'll just have to see....
I know one thing for sure. If I approach it as "an opportunity to learn" rater than "a challange", I'm bound to do better. It is that glass-half-empty vs. glass-half-full thing. (sigh...another challenge - having a positive attitude.)
Monday, November 10, 2008
I obviously did not stick to my original plan of pockets and 4 x 6 pages. I blame it on the rain. The down pour on Saturday night gave me a great excuse to get lost in my supplies and the next thing I knew I had the 20 inside pages started. I have not made my front cover yet but when I do it will read I AM GRATEFUL FOR... Each tab has a number on it so I elected not to put numbers by my captions. This is the raw cut - I will probably go back and add a few embellishments when time permits. I'm anxious to see everyone else's so please leave a comment when you've posted your pages!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Day 7 - I am grateful for:
- The internet and how it has helped me stay in touch with so many INCREDIBLE woman
- my baseball cap
- the drive created my fascination
- that I can visit the snow and the ocean in a matter of hours
- the new produce market that just opened up next to Trader Joe's "Real Produce"
- crossing guards
- my moral compass
- that I get to work from home
- central heating
- the clean laundry I discovered this morning because my husband stayed up late to do it
- caller ID
- hot baths
- freecycle and craig's list
- that feeling of love that makes your heart swell and your blood warm up just a little.
- My life, the good, the bad and the ugly...
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Day 6 - I am grateful for...
- that feeling you get when you do spontaneously do something kind for someone
- feeling a part of
- motivation even though I am pooped out and grumpy
- my warm jacket
- my white get pen
- a good cup of coffee
- my body and all it does for me
- the way music makes me feel
- grilled cheese sandwiches
- friends that know me and like me anyway
- warm days in February
- the amazing infrastructure in my city, state, country and beyond that allows us to communicate, travel orderly, safely and quickly, removes hazards and responds when there is a breakdown or interruption in service.
- the library
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
These daily gratitude lists have been so good for my outlook on life that I thought of a fun challenge! I’ve designed it to be really low maintenance because most of us have a lot going on already… I hope you will join me in this celebration of the good things in life.
- Buy or make a 4 x 6 mini album (or whatever size you want) with 22 pages (11 pages because we’ll need front and back covers plus 10 inside pages using both front and back) The album can be made of chipboard, card stock, or you can purchase an album made from acrylic, envelopes, vinyl or just plain paper.
- Each day for the next 20 days take a picture of something you are grateful for. It can be a person, place or thing. It can be a metaphor for something or a photo that captures a feeling. This book is for you so you are the only one who has to understand what the picture means. If you miss a day or five or 20 – don’t sweat it, you can make up by taking multiple pictures in one day or pulling from pictures you already have. The point of a picture a day is to keep you thinking about the things you are grateful for each day for the next 20 days, not to make you feel stressed or guilty.
- Take a minute to jot down the significance/ meaning of each photo. What is in this picture that expresses what you are grateful for? It can be a word, a phrase or a journal entry – it is totally up to you. Be sure to number it so that you have numbers 1 – 20 for the book and an entry beside it. We’ll incorporate this list at the end.
- Next comes formatting your pictures. You can totally leave them exactly as they are or you can format them to punctuate the thing that you are grateful for. I am going to use Ali Edwards as my influence because I just love how she crops and scales pictures so that they are down right poetic (click here for example). If you have Photoshop or something equivalent, you can use the program to write the number and word(s) stating what you are grateful for right on the photo.
- Print your photos – you can do one each day on your own printer or have all 20 developed when you are finished. It is up to you.
- Adhere your photos to the album. I am going to adhere each photo around 3 sides so that it becomes a pocket. Some pockets will open at the top and some will open at the side. Later, I am going to place tags tied with ribbon, twine, and other embellishments in each pocket (more on that in a minute).
- Adhere or write your numbered gratitude list (1 for each photo) on each page. You can do this directly on your photo or if your album is larger, on the page. I will be printing out my list then cutting each line item and gluing it on the photo. I will then write how this photo represents the thing I am grateful for or the specific memory of that photo on a tag and tuck it in the pocket behind the photo. Get creative or keep it simple. The point is that you have a photo and a coordinating label that expresses what you are grateful for.
- Lastly, decorate your cover. You can adhere chipboard letters or stickers that say “I’m grateful for…” or “my gratitude list 2008…” or you can use embellishments to decorate it. It is totally up to you.
I will post pictures as I progress with the project
Day 5 gratitude list..
- the warmth of morning sunshine on my back
- redwood trees
- the sound of crickets on a hot summer night
- uninhibited dancing with my kids
- my right to vote (today!) and being a part of something so much bigger than my little world
- those moments of clarity when everything is just as it should be ( i just had one )
- St. Timothy's school and everyone there who is helping us raise our children
- the sound of the ocean
- swimming holes
- to have food in my cupboards
- that we have medical insurance
- helpful people
- opportunities to be in service to others
- that force inside me that keeps me from saying things I don't really mean when I get mad
- all of the utilities that come straight into our home and the trash service that never misses a week
- human contact
- the SPCA
- my washing machine
- hair conditioner
Monday, November 3, 2008
- drive through banking
- farmers markets
- garage sales
- Trager and the amazing woman who administers it (I can't wait until Wednesday!)
- the sound of silence
- a smile from a stranger
- Billybob and 12 x 2 plus all the trimmings
- uninterrupted deep sleep
- the incredible bond I feel with my kids
- I do not live with anger inside of me
- the generosity of others
- those that lead by example and make great sacrifices to improve conditions for others
- the many, many times I "dodged a bullet" disguised as a breakup, failure or rejection
- Those individuals that protect and serve - our armed forces, police, firefighters, the legal system and all the support staff that defend our freedom, rights, safety and way of life.
- a grocery store, post office, hardware store, several restaurants and numerous other conveniences are within a mile of my home. Many, many people around the world do not enjoy that luxury.
- I am healthy
Sunday, November 2, 2008
- my artistic talent
- my mommy skills
- my ability to multi-task
- my culinary skills
- ability to make a home for my family
- my computer aptitude
- my sense of humor
- my metabolism
- knack for stretching a dollar
- my enthusiasm
- that I get to be so involved in my kids school
- that I have so many wonderful friendships in my life
- that my family lives so close by and that I get to see them so often
- I can share my spirituality with my loved ones
- my clients, especially Lauren
- I got to go to Inspired last May
- my husband is so helpful around the house and with the kids
- I have so many resources available to me
- I live in Northern CA
- I did so much traveling before I started a family
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I'm suffering from I-want-it-all-itis so I'm volunteering at my kids school, in Art school and busy with three clients plus trying to keep up a house, marriage and some kind of self care. The net-net, is that I fall short on many of the things - mostly neglecting the tasks that aren't visable to others focusing most of my energy on ego based or guilt preventing activities (i.e.- working at the school, art school and work). The good news is that I'm getting a lot of great feedback in those areas which makes me feel good about myself, provides us with financial resources and most of all, makes my kids happy. The bad news is that I'm not taking care of myself, my home, my personal responsibilities and my most importent relationship - with my spouse. Those shortcomings eat at me and today I felt it. I have no idea how to resolve this dilema but I do know that it is an inside job. So this gratitude list is dedicated to healing my current state of discomfort.
I am grateful for:
- second chances
- rainy days that make being completely lazy with my family really easy
- the support we get from our parents
- my husband and I can squawck at each other and be totally fine 5 minutes later
- that I have my whole life to work on being the best me I can be
- I don't struggle with saying that I am sorry
- my community
- pay per view
- the Dave Matthews band
- my art room and studio
- children's tylonal
- Random Acts of kindnrss
- that my family gives me time to do art
- hot showers
- I don't have any desire to be the prettiest girl in the room
- I have my problems versus the problems millions of others have around the world (starvation, disease, lack of freedom)
- That my fears have nothing to do with my personal safety or my family's.