Thursday, April 30, 2009

I feel a change coming

Since I did not write on Tuesday I set up a writing date with my writing buddy Kate. We met at the Villa at 10:00. Unfortunetly I brought my frustrated writer self with me. I can always figure out other peoples problems and help them see what is wrong and what they need to do so why can't I do that for myself. OK I thought I will try and pretend I am helping someone else. What questions would I ask this imaginary person. After some thought I came up with a series of questions. This was my list.

* Why do you want to write?
* What are your themes?
* What Is compelling to you about each story that you are considering?
* What would make your main character more interesting?
* What is it about the plot that is compelling to you?
* Why do you feel you need to write this story?
* Name ten ideas that you think are interesting to write about?
- Would these ideas work better as a short story or a novel?
* If you never finished either of these stories can you let go of the ideas and
move on to something else ?
* What is it that is really frustrating you?
* If you came up with a plan and a schedule would that work? Would you be willing
to follow a schedule?
* Would stepping away from the novel and writing a short story help you focus on
technique better?
* Would hiring a personal coach be the motivation you need?

Now several things resulted from this. I have been toying with the coach idea but really couldn't afford it before. I have some funds from my income tax return that I could devote to this. The only thing holding me back really is fear. So I proceeded to look at some of my favorite coaches sites and make a decision. I decided to do a free session with Jamie Ridler. I got to know her a little better when I did the 12 secrets book club and I seem to resonate with her. So I have scheduled an introductory session with her and then we'll decide if we are a good match. If so I will do a month of coaching and see where we go from there. After I made the decision I knew it was right, I had tears of joy as evidence. It was as though something was released from me. I see good things happening because of this decision

I continued on and started answering some of my own questions and came up with 2 short story ideas that I am excited about. So I think this asking your own questions of yourself can be a profound and motivating exercise. If you find you are stuck you might like to try this yourself.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

SP - what do my eyes see

I almost forgot it was Wednesday and that means bloggers all over are doing self portraits. This one is really too close but better than all the others I did so its what you get. I think this one is all about the eyes. Just what do your eyes see.
I know that sometimes I see the world with hope and promise and I am excited to just begin the day and then on other days frustration seems to reign. Here's to a day of hope.

I just signed up for Julie Prichard's Layer Love Class. Class starts May 18 and it looks like it is going to be a good one. Check out her blog for more details.

Speaking of classes the great stencil and spray paint classes I have been taking with Mary Ann Moss is going to be offered again in August. I think its one of the best online classes I have taken. Her blog will also have more details.

Lynn asked what a mask was so here is my simple explanation. When you cut a stencil, usually out of plastic, most times you have the image you cut out intact, this is a mask. When you place the mask down and spray paint around it the mask covers what was in the background and that is what the image will look like. When you use a stencil, the color paint that you choose is the color the image will be. With both these techniques you can get 2 different looks using the same image. I hope that clears it up a little bit.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stenciling Experiments

My hand is better but still not 100%. Its been quite a journey in one short week. Many of you said to relax and just enjoy the break. I found not being able to use my hand to be real torture. Sure I loved the excuse that I couldn't wash pans but not to be able to do Art or knit or weave or any of the things that I do to express my creative soul was really hard. I can do some things but cutting a stencil is hard, I can draw but my hand gets sore if I do too much. So I find I can still be creative but there are limits that I have to live by. The redeeming part is that I know its getting better every day. My stenciling class continues so I will share some of my latest experiments.

I put my portfolio together, added some initials and highlighted them with white gel pen.

This is a mask I bought of trees. You lay the piece down and spray around it so you can have many different effects depending on the background. In one I sprayed black and in another I sprayed white paint.

Here is another tree I tried, I like the colors in this one.

This is a mask I made from a magazine image. I just repeated it several times.

More playing with masks.

Playing with initials and more papers. The scroll is a mask from Tim Holtz.

This was my first try at cutting a face stencil, you may recognize Amelie. That movie is such a delight. I kept redoing the corner stencil, I still don't like it but perhaps I will journal over it.

This is full of experiments including stencils masks and a stencil of my profile picture. I think that is enough for now

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 3

I feel much better today. Got to take a shower and wash my hair and the big bandage came off. It is amazing how sometimes the simplest things can make you feel so much better. I got all the staining off my fingers, I could sear it looked like nikel azo gold paint. The mark made on my finger with permanent marker will take a little longer to come off. Each day I have a little bit more mobility so that feels good.

Thanks to all of you who left kind wishes for me, I really do appreciate it.

Dave was home so we went out to breakfast and then to Market Lake. I got to see a baby owl(great horned) in its nest. That was so cool. I wish that I had a picture of that for you. By the time D got to my location the baby owl had moved. Sometimes its only a moment in time. I have the picture in my head but that is all. It was so neat to see that. We also saw some snow geese, grebes, white faced ibis, sand hill cranes and various ducks including cinnamon teal and shoveler's. It was a nice morning.

I hope you had a chance to see some of the earth's beauty today.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Self Portrait Wednesday

I found it a tad different taking a pic with my left hand but here are shots from my life today. I know not too exciting but at least I can now type a little.

It is the most beautiful day out today. I am not supposed to drive for 24 hours or I'd be down at the river. Instead I spent time sitting in my swing in the back yard enjoying the sun.

I hope you had some time with Mother Earth today. Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


My surgery went well, but typing this with one hand is a little slow. I think its time for another nap.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thats what its all about

Well I have tried blogging all day and blogger refuses to upload my images and my post is useless without them so I guess I will leave that post for another time.

I had a great weekend, the weather is finally nice. I have been enjoying it by taking walks with Flynn. On Friday I attended a healing circle and then a reiki session. I haven't done reiki in a long time so this felt really great. On Saturday I had my writers group meeting and then I went to a Poetry Slam. It was lots of fun. I ended the evening at Chili's with a drink and conversation with a good friend. You can't beat that.

On Sunday at church we had a musical guest from Montana named Judy Fjell and she is always fun. I bet you didn't know that the Hoky Poky originated in the Jewish tradition of getting ready for the sabbath. It was a time when you had a weekly bath on Saturday. You put your right toe in to check the bath water temperature, then you shake it all around and so forth till its right and you put your whole self in. So I am sure that I am the only person you know who has done the hoky poky in church. What fun we had that day. I ended up staying after and visiting with people I have not seen in awhile so it was a great day.

Today I did a little stenciling and then ran to town to do some errands and found some more papers that will make great stencils. I stopped in at Lowes to look at their spray paint and that found out that they had a teal color I had been looking for and some colors that were being discontinued so now I have a light blue, teal and watermelon pink added to my already bursting collection of spray paint colors. I have started cutting some stencils too. I did some work with masks but you will have to wait for pictures at another time.

My surgery is at 10:00 tomorrow. So I will be back here blogging again as soon as I can type again.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Finally some time for Stencil work

The wind dyed so I could get to the garage to do these. Its still cold but I managed to play a little.

Some of these I really liked and other not but I figured these are just backgrounds and other things will be put on top so that is ok. The crow is a stencil I cut. I like how it looks.

This was my attempts at a brighter color and I like it.

The dragonfly didn't come out too well but that alright, who knows maybe I will collage over it.

Not much to say about this one, just playing with different colors

This one had all these blotches of gold paint but I still added to it.

This one was a combination of reds and blacks. The frustrating thing is the colors look so much better in person than I can seem to photograph.

As you can see I had a little bit of difficulty stopping. This is really so much fun. Now I want more stencils and more colors of paint. I think I am hooked on this technique.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Taking off my practical hat

I had one of those days where its hard to get motivated. Now the weather did not help much, rain and snow again. I will be glad when this storm has passed on by. I ended up having a nice lunch with my friend Kate and her Mom. On my way home I took a detour to Barnes and Noble. Unfortunetly I did not hear the Danger Danger Kate Robertson Danger warning. So I came home with these.

I will have some good reading material for next week when I have my hand surgery. I looked at these several times in the store and figured I had better get my copies before they are all gone.

Then I discovered I could get this lovely number for just 4.95 if I bought 2 things in the store. I already had the magazines so I now have a pretty tote to carry things in. The older I get the more I seem to want pretty things for those everyday events. In some ways its all about celebrating the little things. I am learning more an more to take off my practical hat and go for the fun stuff.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Shrines are in

I was in a matchbox shrine swap and these are the shrines I recieved. I think they are awesome. Artists are Pam, Kai, Mahala Ninnie and Sheryl.

This is what they look like inside. They are really incredible.

This is the one that I sent out. I didn't make one for myself or I would have grouped it with the other pictures.

Here are some journal pages from last week.

I am planning on having surgery on my hand next week. It is what is commonly known as trigger finger. A simple procedure but I figure not to have full use of my hand for a week or two. My posts will definetly be shorter if I am typing left handed.

This past weekend I had spinning friends over for the day. I was spinning white cotton and then ran into difficulty and switched to some dyed blue and lavender and oh I am loving spinning it. I am hooked again. I will show a skein when its finished which may be awhile since it take a long time to spin. I picked up this shawl I had been knitting which has been a problem but I am determined to figure it out and finish it. Its nice to be reacquainted with old projects. Its almost like connecting with old friends.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spray Paint and Stencils

I am taking this stencil/spray paint class with Mary Ann Moss and we had our first class today. All I can say is wow! Its just incredible. We are making covers for our stencil portfolios. Here is my front cover.

and the inside front cover. I used many things as stencils, a plastic placemat, cake doilies, great papers sent to me by Janet. I used black, silver, white, blue, green, lt turquoise and purple on my pages so far.

Here is my back cover, I also used lace and pieces of lace fabric and some hand cut stencils.

and the inside of the back cover. I definetly found that Mary Ann makes it look so easy. I had problem with the spray paint dripping blobs of paint that I did not like. I just blotted it and painted over it. I think these pages are ok for my first try at it. Plus I may but putting more things on these covers after they sit for a little while. This class is sure going to be fun.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Finishing a Scarf

It took me awhile to finish this scarf, I just set it aside and forgot about it for some reason. So as I watched LOST last night I twisted fringe, it took several hours but I washed the scarf this morning and this is the result.

I am putting another scarf on the loom while I spend the time figuring out how to do my color sample fabric. Its another chenille one. It will be black with some lines of blues to make a window pane check. It was a warp I wound years ago and forgot about. I seem to be finding things lately and bringing them back to the forefront. Not sure what that means but it can't be a bad thing. The last time it was art supplies and this time weaving, hmm I wonder what will be next.

Last night I had writers dreams, first I there was the dream about Neil Gaiman(no ladies not that kind of dream). I met him somewhere and at first he was at the table and I wasn't aloud to go approach him or talk to him. A restriction was put on me. Then later we are having a conversation. When I mentioned that I was a writer and a weaver and a mixed media artist he was interested in talking to me. I guess I was not one of those hapless writers looking for advice or perhaps its the whole me that was interesting. Then I had a dream about Laini Taylor and it was something about being at a venue with her. I went and touched her hair and said wow your hair really is pink. Yes it was a stupid thing to say, but this is a dream. I think that was a result of reading her blog lately. She had been at some writers event and looks like she was having a blast with a whole group of other writers. Perhaps its something I want to experience.

I loved this question and answer on Neil Gaiman's blog today.

"What do you think is the best way to start writing a novel?"

I think the best way to start writing a novel is to start writing a novel.

I got a chuckle at that one because it is so true. We spend so much time thinking about doing it instead of just doing it. On that note I think I will go do some writing.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

New books to inspire

This is my friend Kate who I talk about a lot. I took her up to Market Lake to see the nesting Owls. The day was beautiful and we had a wonderful time. We saw Swans and Great Horned Owls, coots, bohemian waxwings and lots of Canadian Geese and Ring billed gulls but no Snow geese. Later on we had a nice lunch. I like simple days like that.

My books came in the mail, I have been anxiously awaiting these two wonderful books. I had not see this book on Vision Boards in person but it had been mentioned on many blogs so I ordered sight unseen. It is so much more than I ever expected. I think this will take my vision boards and my life to the next level.

I often browse through all the new mixed media books out there. There are so many new ones it is almost a glut on the market. Most are I wonderful but I decide that I don't really need them. I thought different when I saw this one. Creative Awakenings is so different, more than just a show and tell project book. It comes with its own deck of transformation cards plus instructions on making your own. I really love these. Then there are wonderful projects and insights. I am so looking forward to working with the ideas in this book. There is also a ning site for this book. Ning sites are communities on line where you connect with others doing the same thing. I really like the format. Many of the online classes I have taken have been in this format.

Today's journal page I did at 2 in the morning when I couldn't sleep. I just love that tape on the right side. I found it in a drawer the other day when I was looking for something else. I completely forgot about it. The background was done with water soluble oil crayons. I hadn't used them in awhile so it was fun playing with them again. I am slowly trying to take the ideas from Kelly Kilmer's class and incorporating other mediums and techniques of my own. It fun to see where that will take me next.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Working on Balance

Today's Journal Page is a result of the little challenge at Goddess Leonie's site She has taken her word or intention for the year and made a painting of it. I plan to do that but this journal page was a faster way to do it at least for today. I need to find a canvas to do a word painting or maybe I will just use watercolor paper. My plan is to hang it in my studio as a reminder.

I was reading blogs and Collage Diva did this post on maps and personal map making and I just loved it. Here is the link if you are interested.

I spent the day at Market Lake with Kate. It was just beautiful out. We saw Owls and swans and ducks galore. Then we had a nice lunch at Applebees. I came home to take the cat to the vet only top find out she is being Houdini. I still haven't found her. It turns out our appointment was for tomorrow at 4. So I get to play the game again tomorrow. So after moving the couches looking for the cat and discovering all the dirt behind them I am now vacuuming, what a mess. I hope you all had a fun filled day.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


It was snowing this day and I really felt like being out in some beautiful spring weather but it was not to be. Soon I hope to be out on the river again.

I like how this page evolved. First I had this really different background that I kept tweaking with. Since it had a pink tinge to it I decided to look for a kids image and then it seemed all about friends. Our girlfriend are the glue that holds us together. I salute all of you with this page.

I am happy to report that I finally got a crown that had no problems. So I do not have to visit the dentist for another six months. YES......

The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women book group concluded with a celebration call that was wonderful. Jamie Ridler who is just the best facilitator/coach has put together a package of all the inspiring interviews from the 12 weeks plus some added pdf's. Goddess Leonie has a special pdf included that I love. She is wonderful reminds me a lot of SARK. Check out her site it is wonderful. These interviews are really awesome, I know that when I need a pick me up I will be listening to them again and again.

One of the things on the call was to celebrate everything. I have just been moving from project to project not really taking the time to celebrate the accomplishment. Its time to change that. I had just taken that scarf of the loom and even tough it needs some finishing done I was already putting something new on. I decided to step back a little and enjoy the accomplishment of this piece at least for a day or so. As soon as I have the fringe prepared and washed then I will be able to post it and celebrate it with all of you. Celebrating is important and I will now make it part of my creative process.

How do you celebrate your projects, accomplishments, life? If you don't I think its time you started too!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Using Precious Supplies

I am continuing with the journaling every day. I was struck by this image, the ladies appear to be having so much fun. I wish it were warm enough to sit in my hammock but alas it is snowing again.

This one is started in my new journal that I made last week. I really am ready for a road trip. I went to Sedona this time last year and sure wish I could go back. It was a lovely trip. I met wonderful bloggers and the scenery is so fantastic. Wat a trip that was.

I am weaving on my scarf today and starting to think about my next project. In the past five years I have had several weaving and spinning friends die and as their fibers are passed on to me I think how sad it is that they never got around to using something they bought and loved. We never know how long we have in this life and I decided at that point that I was the one who is going to use my stash.

I was looking at this yarn the other day remembering how excited I was when I bought it. That was over ten years ago and I haven't used it yet because I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with it. The yarn was so expensive that I didn't want to ruin it. I could use all the colors and make fabric, do a series of scarves, towels or a vest. I could weave it in plain weave or a twill or a lace weave. There are lots of decisions to make. I plan to go through old weaving magazines for ideas and then just choose something. So it will be my next project.

Is there something in your collection that you've been afraid to use, like the fabric that is so exquisite you are afraid to cut it, or the journal with the handmade paper in it, or the expensive yarn you bought on vacation. Pull it out and work with it, enjoy it and have fun with it.