Friday, February 27, 2009

Its a wonderful day

I am having a wonderful day so far. My husband sang me Happy Birthday this morning. Then I started the day writing in my journal and then Yoga and made my cake. Soon I will be off to enjoy the beautiful day with my camera. Skies are blue and the sun is out.

Here is a treat for you today: Neil Gaiman reading his new book.

I spent the yesterday with my friend Kate. She wants to learn to draw faces so we had a beginning lesson. We also celebrated my birthday.

We had a wonderful lunch. I made Fettuccine Alfredo and she brought these birthday cupcakes too. Carrot cake and chocolate, they were yummy. I also had an opportunity to use my new tea cups so that was a lot of fun. I had her pick the teapot we would use and made tea the way my Irish mother taught me to. I had a feeling she was there with us.

Now what else might a girl want... well presents of course. Here is a close up of the scarf she gave me., It is really gorgeous. Thanks to Kate for making the day special.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A story for you

I saw this story on this blog about the men who rescued those dolphins that were trapped. Click here to read.

Its a heartwarming story that reminds us that there are so many good people in this world of ours and that good things still happen. I wish the news would show things like this instead of all their doom and gloom.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


As I said earlier my birthday is Friday and I have been at a loss on how to celebrate it. Last year I went out to dinner with 20 friends and it was really so much fun. I thought to do that again but started running into problems. One person can't come and the other is a on a restrictive diet until March so she wants me to wait. Sure I can celebrate in a couple weeks. That still leaves what do I do on Friday.

I was painting in the studio today and the thought came to mind well How would you like to spend the day? What would make you happy? The idea to be able to spend most of the day making Art was what came to me. If I can't have all my friends over I would love to just play with paint and paper and stamps and ink and on and on.

You are all invited over to come play with me. I have plenty of art supplies so just come as you are. Now wouldn't that be the treat if all my blogging friends could just appear. I think I will have to pretend that it going to happen.

I also decided to make my own birthday cake this year. Since my daughter left home I don't get a cake anymore. We seem to always go out to dinner and have dessert there. This year I am having a cake and I am going to enjoy every single bite.

I also have a question for you. How do you spend your birthday? I mean besides the usual with friends and family. Have you ever done anything really different or fun. I'd love to hear about it.

Don't forget to enter my drawing for the journal I am giving away. Its in the previous post.

A Birthday Gift

Its my birthday on Friday and I have 2 of these journals given to me by a friend. I thought I would give one of them away as a gift. It is spiral bound and this is the cover. The pages already have drawings on them but you could alter the page or not. They drawings are only on half of the page so there is room to write or draw or whatever you choose.

Here are what some of the pages look like.

Just leave a comment on this post and I will pick a winner in a week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CED some faces

I drew some faces while watching the Oscars the other night. I have no clue why one side of the face is darker than the other.

The other drawing I did would not photograph well so I tried a scan. The arms look funny here but not in the original and the scan looks to light. I have yet to figure a good way to photograph graphite drawings.

It seemed like I had something to say when I started and now I am at a loss for what it was. So I will either edit this later or just leave as is and do another post when my memory comes back.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Secret #7 Consulting with Guides

Its time I wrote for the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women book group. This weeks chapter was all about consulting with guides. I have created several circles of guides for myself. First the Glitter Sisters are a group of woman I met at Violette's message board. We have shared so much together and last year we created a retreat in Sedona, Arizona where we could all meet. It was a wonderful meeting of Artistic Souls that continues to this day.

I have connected with other women by just visiting their blogs and having a dialogue with them through comments and emails. I have been encouraged by others comments on my work and by seeing what they do online. Its nourished me in many ways. The bloggers who host events like drawing for a month or how to be brave or journaling for a month or creating every day have offered me opportunities for growth and community. I thank them for their efforts.

I have fewer local sources but there are still a couple women I regularly consult on ideas and plans for creative pursuits. I don't think I could continue to create without the support of other women who are artists and writers.

I truly believe in passing it on. A friend mentioned that if they could draw doing Art journal pages would be more fun. so I offered to teach them to draw. I will be passing on a little of what I know this week. I also like to share on my blog and in videos I have made. I feel sharing what supplies and tools I have used and my process of creating will help someone else.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

My broken toe

I haven't posted in afew days. No real excuses just have not felt like it. I need to post for the 12 secrets group an more but I think I will wait till I am inspired.

Having 2 cats a dog and a new kitten in the house has been challenging to say the least. I've dealt with fighting cats all week. Early I got attacked by one of them and the scratches on my neck are a reminder. I just put them outside when they fight but its getting old. Last night one tripped me when I was coming up the stairs and I did something to my big toe. Sure feels like its broke and they can't do anything for toes so I live with it. I was using the cane earlier but now I am on my own. Its just pretty painful when I put any pressure on it. There went all my plans for the day. I am just sitting so I could be doing Art but my hearts just not in it today. Maybe tomorrow things will look up.

My Writers group met yesterday and I have to say it was one of our best meetings yet. We did timed writings and then read our work. What a varied group we are, I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. We have some writers who do humor really well.

Dave wanted to show me a truck he is thinking about getting., So I ask what color, he says a light green. So I think I wonder what color it really is. He is color blind so its always interesting to find out what color he thinks things are. Yes of course the truck was not light green it was beige. He is so funny sometimes.

I got my book back from the Round Robin I participated in last year and it was well worth the wait. It is truly amazing. I will have to make a video about it soon. There are too many pages to do pictures of but I think a video will be easier too.

Ps. In the next few weeks I will be revamping the blog, so if I have removed your link its not personal so don't be offended I am just trying to come up with a new look.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A journal page of insight

I have been working on this page for days. First the black gesso and then it sat for days. Then I added the borders and still it sat I didn't know what else to do it. Then last night I started adding images and words. No I am not sure I like it at all. Maybe the images are now cohesive or something. I think sometimes when we work in an Art Journal we are expecting some great work of Art but that really isn't the point. I think its just an expression of where we are at any given time. I see lots of lessons to learn with this page

As I look at this piece now I see that it has Asian influences like Kwan Yin flags and the lotus and bodhi flowers. They could be telling me to take time to meditate. Then I have the crow and feathers and an eye. Perhaps that imagery is telling me something, something that I am not seeing. Then I have the little girl in the corner and I tend to think maybe that is me when I was young and free to play. Now the word seem to be so more more, where the images seemed scattered before I now see them as expressions of my soul and a form of guidance. It really is all about creating yourself, the self you want to be. Art tends to lead us to places that we had no attention of going to. Who knew the page would be so prophetic for me.

Do you remember the face that I painted on fabric, well I took it and made it into a tote bag. I had a series of fat quarters and I used them to make a strip pieced bag. The back is one solid color of the edging fabric. Its pretty plain so I did not take a pic of it. I put a small pocket on the inside and now I am ready to haul small projects in it. It will be my first chance to take my own art around with me. I think that will be fun.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lets Celebrate Mistake Day

Toast of the Day: Here's to the silly mistakes that turn in to creative discoveries.

As I mentioned in a previous post today is the day I get to interview the wonderful Jill Badonsky. I believe that I first encountered Jill in an issue of Somerset Studio. I was delighted by her wonderful drawings and attitude towards creativity. Then she showed up at Creativity Portal and i loved reading her articles there too. I had bought her book The Nine Modern Day Muses and a bodyguard when I first heard about it and it is wonderful. When I heard that she had written a new book I knew I would want it. When the opportunity came around to participate in her blogging book tour I jumped at the chance. If you know nothing about Jill you are in for a treat. Her new book the Awe Manac is based on the idea of the Farmers Almanac but its focus is on creativity. There is a page for everyday of the year full of ideas and fun ways to spark your creativity.

Here is my interview with Jill.

The Awe-Manac is full of wonderful ideas for every day of the year. I haven't decided what is my favorite idea yet. I have enjoyed celebrating some of the fun days like National Chocolate Cake day. Was it hard to limit the number of these offerings? This seemed like such a big project how did you break it down into manageable tasks?

Thanks for that nice compliment. It was hard to limit what was offered on each day since only so much could fit on the 6 by 9 inch pages. But I felt like I was auditioning certain events and had to accept the ones I intuitively thought would bring the most inspiration, activation of creative juices or laughter to readers. I'm hoping I get to do another issue called The Awe-manac Reloaded (I have enough information to do an Awe-manac each year for long time) where I can include some of the things that got cut.

It was actually like a puzzle to break it down to manageable tasks. I had a file for every day of the year and put events on them as I found them – the discovery of what would work was a blast. I made sure to honor people I admired and who had great quotes and events that lent themselves to creative prompts or inspiration. It was not a linear process though, I was all over the board filling in days until eventually every day was complete. It seemed endless for awhile – the key was that it was fun.

Do you have a preferred way to work with the book?

I use it according to my intuitive mood du jour. Sometimes I just read the page of the day to see what energizes me, sometimes I read ahead or review what I've already read. Sometimes I let the daily prompts be a springboard for something I'm more in the mood to do than what they suggest. I simply read the page if I have no time to dive into prompts but even five minutes or a few sentences of playing with an idea brings some new creative energy.

I often have so many ideas that sometimes it's paralyzing. What do you do to focus on just one and follow it through, Do you have any techniques you use to manage it all?

That's not uncommon in the world of creative ideas. My rule is working on three ideas at a time. I will put ideas on index cards and chose the top three that energize my body rather than using the shoulds or linearly logical rationale that sometimes comes from my mind.
Rotating three ideas at a time, even if daydreaming about one of them is all I do, seems to feed the other ideas and keep me from resistance, resentment or blandness. As you can tell, much of my style depends on my intuition but what I know from years of coaching is that changing ideas too much is a form of avoidance. Staying with an idea during the creative chaos that frequently comes up is a triumph only about 15% of us attain.

What do you do when you are creatively stuck? Do you find there is one thing that helps you every time?

Again, because my creative process is fickle, one thing does not help every time – in Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching we have 10 main solutions for creativity stuckery. But the thing that comes close to working every time is breaking things down into small, fun, adventures that encourage imperfection at the beginning and authenticity throughout.

Can you tell my readers about the Kaizen Muse Creativity Course? I have been thinking about taking this course myself and I am sure my readers would love to hear more about it.

Thanks for asking. The best way to learn about it is to beam yourself over to . The next training is in August.

What I can tell you that's not at the site is that it was invented because life coaching blocked my creativity. I wanted to provide a coaching method that was compassionate, non-linear, intuitive based, filled with tools that appealed to the kid-like spirit so vital to my creativity. It is a coaching model that includes a creative experience in every session so it's not all about accountability and being told what to do. One of the last things many of us want is another person telling us what to do and adding another activity to our overwhelming to–do list. KMCC is all about easing into creative habits through the back door and creating one of those momentums that take you with it effortlessly.. like a current of bliss. It's about accepting ourselves as splendidly imperfect souls that need to get out of own way sometimes.. it's all already there for all of us.

and a gift from Jill this is today's page from the Awe Manac. I couldn't get it to enlarge so I hope by clicking on it you will be able to read it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Secret #6 Conquering Saboteurs

This weeks secret in the blogging book group reading the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women is all about saboteurs. You know those things you do or thoughts you have about the creative process. The inner critic and other forms a gremlins that seem to sabotage our creative dreams.

We are asked to list what are saboteurs are. Well of course there is the inner critic. Those voices that say I have no talent, that no one will want to buy my art or read what I have written. Or the thoughts that say you will never be as good as...

Sometimes the saboteur is myself and I am the one telling me all those negative statements. Or one thing I do is when I am making Art that little voice says you should be writing or weaving or cleaning the house. Its a distraction that limits my ability to focus on what I am doing. When that happens I try and say no this is my time for Art and I get to focus on that now. There will be time for the other things later. I find that if I work on staying in the moment it helps.

My latest tool that I am trying is using a simple day planner. Mine lets me see the entire week and I have section for different times in the day. I find if I schedule time for painting or meditation then I tend to do those things on that given day. Blocking out time just for me seems to help me focus on the things I really want to do.

I also am adding some rituals that say, now its time to create. I have been wearing a painting shirt when I paint or sometimes an apron. I play music and I close the door to my studio. I do the same when I am weaving, since it has a separate room with a door too. When writing I like to go to a cafe but when writing at home I really don't have a set ritual other than sitting in a comfortable place and open files and just beginning. It looks like I need to come up for a ritual for that. The fact that sometimes I write on the couch and others times at a desk or table or in a cafe its not like I can just close a door and let that be the signal that says, I am writing now. I think I will try and come up with a ritual just for writing.

The one constant that I try to remember is to not wait for inspiration to come. To just show up for creative time and begin and know that the muse will come. To just be present for whatever gifts will come and to do it again the next day and the next.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Some more sketches

I managed two sketches today. One while listening to the sermon at church,

The second during a forum talk afterwards. Another sketch of a mother daughter. I think I will do several of these and then try to paint it.

Since I started using this large sketchbook and doing drawings in it I somehow feel more like an artist. When I was drawing in church the person next to me commented that she thought I was really good. It was nice to be complimented and I did say thank you but I also said that I was learning. In hindsight I think I said that to excuse any mistakes in the drawing but on the other hand its true I am learning I am teaching myself to draw by drawing more. So maybe I did own myself as an artist today.

I have been watching a series called the Impressionists and it tells the story of Claude Monet and his contemporaries Renoir, Bazille, Manet and Degas. It is really fascinating to see what they had to go through for their art. They were so ridiculed for their styles. I have seen episode 1 and 2 and look forward to the rest.

Sacred Life Sunday - Housework

I have been on a whirlwind cleaning binge and its just about done. This morning I have washed the kitchen floors, dusted, bathroom floors, bathroom sink toilet and all the yucky parts too, washed mirrors door jams and more. Its been a flowing experience. So I am thinking housework when you are in the zone can really be sacred. Its like I am getting the house ready for the week. after this I can devote time to other things like art and writing and weaving. A great way to start the week.

I am off to church now, we are having a forum to discuss the book My stroke of Insight. Should be fascinating.

I hope you have a day filled with Sacred moments.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Stop what you are doing and go out and see this movie. It is so incredibly awesome that I can't believe it. I have been following Neil Gaiman on twitter and he had said it will only be available in 3d for the next 2 weeks. That is due to another movie coming out. I figured I had better get to the theater right away. Having read the book and being fan of his other books too I wanted to see it. I was stunned visually. The 3d aspects are so amazing that they are even hard to describe. I think the movie will still be wonderful in 2d but you will be missing out on some amazing footage. The creativity in this piece is boundless. On top of all this it is truly a visual treat for all artists. Of course I love the idea that the heroine is a girl with smarts who has to save the day.

Here is another interesting tidbit. The sweaters in the film were knit by a woman sorry I don't know her name. She specializes in micro knitting and had a blog about it. The producers found her on the web and that's how she got the job. The star sweater that Coraline wears took 2 weeks to knit and she had to make 14 of them. Here is a fun clip with Teri Hatcher who plays the mom.

Friday, February 13, 2009

CED - some sketches and a painted face

My entries for Creative Every Day this week. the first was done in a moleskine journal.

... the second an artist sketchbook. I have been looking to try new poses so I have been using paintings of other artists as inspiration.

... and this one I did using some of Sharons work as inspiration. I am trying to do the 2 women she did as friends as more a mother and daughter look. I find it hard to show age on a face. Do you think one looks younger? I think I will do another sketch and try to have the mother have her arm around the daughter.

I decided to paint another face in my journal
trying out a new fluid color for the background. for a shade of purple I think it is more magenta like.

and a picture of the kitten for my daughter.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One World One Heart Winner

... and the winner is Miri at My Child Diary Congratulations an email has been sent requesting your address. A special thanks to all of you who took the time to comment. Its been nice meeting all of you. Its amazing to me that my prize is going all the was to Israel. It truly in One world One Heart. A special thanks to Lisa for hosting this wonderful event.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Last day for One World One heart

It the last day to enter my drawing for the One World One Heart event. Go here for the original post and information on how to enter. You have until midnight(mountain time) tonight(feb 11). Good Luck everyone.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Fires in Australia

I know many of you know about the disaster going on in Australia. Its really heartbreaking to hear the stories and all the loss of life. To all my Australian friends I hope you are ok. My thoughts are with you. To find out more and ways you can help go here .

What am I willing to give up

i have been thinking about writing a lot lately. just what it means to me and what i am willing to do for it. this morning i recalled what heather sellers who wrote Chapter after Chapter,said about finishing a novel. you are going to need to give something up to finish. now just what am i willing to give up to finish a book. to think that in my current life i wouldn't need to give anything up is being naive. to truly come up with a good list i need to take a look at what i spend my time doing

here's my list

1. TV
2. weaving
3. spinning
4. limit time on the phone,
5. Art
6. blogging
7. reading blogs
8. reading books
9. email groups, classes

now some of these I would be willing to give up for a certain duration but others i would have to consider limiting the time spent on them. Of all these i most likely can not give up art or blogging but i could reduce the time spent on their activities.

i made the decision last night to start revising the first novel i wrote for nanowrimo, its a mystery set at a fiber festival in the world of weavers and spinners. its the closest thing i have to completion so its time for a second draft. i also committed to working on it every day, the amount of time doesn't matter just as long as i am working on it. the one thing that nanowrimo teaches is to consistently write everyday. its time i got back to that.

what are you willing to give up to make your dreams come true...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Secret # 5 Committing to Self Focus

We are on to Secret #5 in the blogging booking group facilitated by Jamie Riddler

In this chapter the focus is on self focus. At times I find I let others interrupt my creative time. Or I don't even set up a creative time but try to grab it here and there, which is not very successful. I would have to say I am my own worst enemy. I talk myself out of creative time by taking that time to do something else, it may be talking on the phone, meeting someone for lunch, doing another volunteer job and so on and on.

Since there are so many creative things that I like to do I have started setting aside days to focus on one thing. I have been able to devote Tuesdays to writing. I seem to change the date for Art some weeks its Monday and others its Wednesday. The day doesn't matter just the fact that I do it does. On those days when I do stay home the challenge for me is to stay focused on the creativity and not let the internet or household chores interfere. That is a constant struggle for me. I guess I need to just make the choice to put my creative pursuits first, like they are my job. When I was working with my grandparents letters the job was so big that I ended up having to treat it like I was working on a thesis and worked on it every day. That technique seemed to work. I may need to try that again.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Getting back to Art

in my attempt to come back to normal i took my sketchbook to town with me. i sat along the river and sketched this lady. it was really satisfying to do and reminded me that i love to draw and need to work it back into my life.

... later that evening i decided to try painting on fabric. in kelli rae's book Taking Flight she does a little exercise on this in her section featuring dj pettit. earlier i had taken muslin and fused it to some interfacing to stabilize it. i added a layer of clear gesso and let it dry.
my first attempt was just sloshing paint on the fabric in a random matter. i trimmed the piece with pinking shears.

and here i decided to try a face. painting on fabric is different for sure. i was using golden fluid acrylics and perhaps heavy bodied would be better. i will try that next time. i used titan buff as my skin tone base and i liked using it instead of titanium white. it gave a different shade to the skin, i will play with this some more. i am not sure what i will do with her, perhaps make a bag with some fabrics around the face to make the panel bigger. i know she was fun to do and i can't wait to try some more fabric painting. sometimes trying something new will get you back in the groove.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Gray is my color these days

moods and feelings are funny things. i have been up and motivated all week in fact for several weeks. then last night i found myself in such a despair about my writing goals and aspirations. i am ready to just give it all up again. one thing i realized is that i have been here before. i traveled down this road at the writers spa in taos, i came out of it stronger and i do hope that happens again. sometimes i wonder why do i want to be a writer anyway, it is so hard. where did this idea come from in the first place... i have been trying to remember that line from the alchemist "When you want something all the universe conspires to help you achieve it" ...part of me keeps saying ok universe get to conspiring because I am just not feeling it lately.

when i was at the writers spa the meltdown occurred when i put too high of expectations on myself. its the same project that is causing all the trauma... is this a sign to let it go and move on to something else or is it just giving me one more opportunity to work through it all. sometimes its hard to know where your next step should be.

i have not been doing any art at all so this gray page was a way to start again and dump my feelings on to the page once more in hope i will soon come out on the other side. i decided earlier that i would go take photographs but the weather is not cooperating at all. so i will head to town for an artist date of sorts, maybe a trip to an art store or a museum, i need some way to get out of the space i am in.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Zoe' is my muse

Jessie from Diary of a self-portrait did a post on the Muse and I had commented about not really feeling connected with a muse. She kindly wrote me back and suggested a dialogue to discover my muse. So I did this little free writing exercise.

My Muse

I have always liked the idea that Sharon had a muse named Norah and that she regularly had dialogue with her. I wasn't sure if I had a muse at all. Sure I have those creative urges but is that my muse. I have decided that is what it is. Now yesterday I spent the day on weaving projects. I finished up the red shawl and I wound a new warp and even started on weaving on my rug. I seemed to flow from one of those projects to the next. Having done the journaling last month I needed a break from that daily commitment. I have not done really any art in February and it is already the 5th of the month. Yesterday I recall my inner voice saying "I am ready to do some art" I now think this was my muse talking to me. I am wanting to do some new paintings and I did end up in the library looking at Art books as reference materials. Maybe it was my muse that sent me there. I looked at Hastings last night too. Neither one of those excursions gave me what I needed. I have been thinking maybe some Dover books would have female styles and figures that I am looking for. I have not been to Barnes and Noble yet. Or perhaps the Internet will have some ideas for me. All these urgings are really my muse preparing me for the Art I am gong to be making next. Ok then since I have now firmly established my muse's existence just what is her name. I know it’s a she of that I am certain. Its just that no name seems to be popping in my head. Ok my lovely muse just who are you? Still a blank, ok I will do a little mini meditation. What names have I been drawn to before, I always like those French and exotic names like Chloe, Sophie, Collette, Celeste, Carmen, Zoe. Hmm maybe her name is Zoe. I have been using Claire a lot in my writing so maybe she is Claire. No I keep getting Zoe in my head that is if that is how its spelled. Zoe has the .. Over the e but I do not know how to do that on the keyboard, so I will just do it like this Zoe' and that will have to do.

Now after doing this little exercise I am finding that I am connecting with Zoe. I think she is my inner bohemian gypsy girl. I may have to draw or paint her now. She wears those flowing skirts and shawls and sometimes is found with paint on her nose. Long curly red hair is held in place by a colorful babushka. I am beginning to see her more clearly now. She is the one that takes me out to play. Oh what fun this has been.

If you are doubting you ave a muse just try this little exercise and see what happens, that is all I did and I am having a blast with it.

Some Photography

My assignment for photo class this week was an animal or wildlife. Thought I would share some of those photos here too.

Here is a shot of Flynn that shows his ever lovable cuteness.

This is Tommie the cat who is living in our barn, she is just crying for some food. Dave named the cat Tommy before checking the sex and of course she turned out to be a girl so we just changed the spelling of her name.

Here Flynn is intently watching the sheep while I am feeding them.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Create Every Day - Its finished

I haven't really posted anything for creative every day this year. Although I have only one post this project entailed several days work. It is a mixed warp shawl, it came out long so its more like those Mexican Rebozo shawls, especially with all the reds and rust in the warp. The weft or horizontal threads was a fine grey wool, while the warp was a combination of wools. These are all handspun yarns, some I dyed and some I did not. I like the way it turned out.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

End of January journaling

Here is my last page for January. i was sitting watching TV so I did a simple page. I covered the paper with soft pastels and then blended them. I used markers to draw lines and shadowed it all with charcoal pencil. I made a list of all that I had accomplished in the month. It was fun to see all I have done.

Others are continuing with journaling in February but only posting on Wednesdays. I know I will continue with daily posts on this but perhaps once a week is doable. I have let some things slide and these daily posts and pages took a lot of time.

I am looking forward to other kinds of Art in February. Here's to a glorious new month.