Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spitting to Ward Off the Evil Eye

So you know in the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" when Toula walks down the aisle and all the Greek guests starts spitting on her as she goes by ? Did you know that the reason they spit is to ward off evil ? Three spits calls on the Holy Trinity to keep evil away. (For more, check it out at The Greek Adventure) .

Just imagine what evils a spit like this will help avoid :

This picture just cracks me up !!! Katie Cupcake, the Brave Spitter, Evil Banisher Extraordinaire !!!

So why this picture ?

I saw on Rosie's blog that she had been tagged with the "6th Photo" tag. I wasn't tagged but you know how I like these little games !

- Go to the 6th folder in your Pictures files and choose the 6th photo in that folder and post about it !

Figures that mine would be shot of my favorite subject in the world to photograph !!! On my way to see her next week ! It has been since Christmas (imagine that was only a month ago!!!!) since I saw her and I am having withdrawals big time !!! Apparantly she is a crawling fool now !

Tag, you're it ! (if you feel like playing along !)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A New Year's Gift !

So yesterday was Chinese New Year's - The Year of the Ox, or the year of OX (hugs and kisses) as Michelle Ward noticed and shared on her blog ! According to the zodiac forecast, the Snake (that's me) is the best friend of the Ox and 2009 is supposed to be a really good year for the Snake in career and in love !

Well, my Chinese New Year already started off right ! Yesterday afternoon I received a lovely gift from my friend Gina (Joyful Purpose) in California ! If you don't know the very talented Gina, she has a beautiful blog where she showcases her amazing art, her incredible digital self-portrait pieces and lovely words of wisdom from her favorite inspirational authors and poems.
So here is the thoughtful gift that Gina sent :

all of this was inside the envelope !

sweet little candies tucked inside a lovely red flowered envelope,

a gorgeous purple tissue paper banner with the ox/dragon printed on it,

this funky postcard (Miso Pretty) and moo card,

and a pink bag with this sweet spiral inside...

What is the spiral , you ask ?

Why it is the lovely crochet scarflette that Gina made for me ! In my favorite color too ! I took this picture of me to show how it looks on ! So cool ! I love the little metal charms that hang at the ends !

Thank you, thank you, Gina for your lovely gift ! I made me feel so very touched ! All of the love and care you put into that one package made me feel really special and cared for ! Please know how very much your sweet gesture is appreciated !

Ahhh, life and love are good ! I am truly blessed...and I know it ! ;-)

Happy New Year everyone !

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pick-an-Emotion - Any Emotion !

So I have offically joined Leah's Creative Every Day Challenge. I have played along many times but never posted directly to her link page. I felt like it was time for me to commit to something, and I know I will appreciate being part of a group of artists all working towards making creativity a part of their daily lives in whatever form ! Leah is a wonderful guide through the experience and has even recently added in some loose themes to follow along with each month.
I wanted to make my committment to my creative time official and to celebrate how much my creativity and my play time help me feel, help me heal and help me live my life more fully. Appropriately, Leah's theme this month is "play" !
I have also been enjoying seeing the art work that is resulting from the art journal prompts Misty Mawn has been posting everyday for the month of January. I haven't been doing them every day as many have, but there is a lot of inspiration there for me.
This week, Misty encourages us to think about our emotions as we create our pages and to put our emotions into the work. This kind of happens naturally for me - it is what I use my journal for most of the time- to pour out my feelings or sometimes, to try and change my feelings.
Here are two recent pages I have done that definitely both have a lot of my emotion in them.
The first one is called "Gross Gordon" :

"Gross Gordon" was created when I was feeling angry, frustrated and disgusted. I was mad at how some people who have been very hurt in their lives choose to take it out on others, to" pluck their wings off", so to speak. As a person who tends to turn my hurt inwards instead of out (not a good thing either !!!), I have a very hard time forgiving, and definitely cannot excuse people who hurt people who don't deserve it by putting them down, chipping away at their confidence and just being generally mean for no reason ! Especially when the person they attack is weaker than them!!

Oh, oh, Gross Gordon is getting to me again ! Better go make another anger piece ! ;-)

Anyway, I think the anger shows in the color scheme - very limited for me and the grey and black with that wash of red say anger to me. So do the "teeth" surrounding the picture.

The second piece is about a similar theme but a very different emotion. This one is called : "little bird says" (it was made this morning) :

I had great fun doing this page. It was really play time ! It was definitely a many stepped process to create the background. I used all kinds of toys for that ! Stamps, stencils, black gesso, multiple layers of paint, etc. I love the blues, purples and turquoises of the back ground. The little bird door is made of some painted paper glued to pink card stock. It is attached with turquoise duct tape and even has little sequins in the corners and a strip of pink ribbon. I stamped little bird's door and her secret with my favorite alphabet stamps.

The emotion that I think shines through this piece is Hope ! I have been feeling a lot more hopeful for the last few days and I think the piece shows that in the colors, the message and even the use of the little bird...hope that the darkness that has been plaguing me for a while is definitely clearing and that with a little more self-love, a little more "nest" time, I will soon be ready to push myself out of the nest and use those wings as they were intended !

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Float" - Created through Play

So if you read my last post , you know that this week I experienced a perfect moment...ahhhh...

What does and artist try and do when they experience a perfect moment ? They try and capture it somehow in a piece of art.

So yesterday, I tried to recapture my perfect moment in an art journal page :

ICK!!!! Ya, the background was okay. I like my trees made with a stencil I cut out myself. The spatter of snow is alright too - used a tooth brush with pearl paint - my entire table and all its contents have "glitter snow" on them now. But the GIRL ?!!!

So sweet she makes my teeth hurt ! I love her shape - I copied the pose from a dancer in a magazine. I always wanted long red hair, so I thought, I'm the artist, I can have the hair if I want it! But she is just too...sweet. Period.

Unhappy with the page, I decided to do the fearless artist thing and start to play ! First, I tore the page out of my journal, and sliced it up !!!

Then I glued in down in a bizarre order in another bigger journal.

Hmm, this was a little more interesting... could be a funky background for something else or...

I could cover the page with some black gesso - using a skewer and rolling some gesso on as well as one of my favorite hand cut stamps - the "points", and a rag in some spots.

Now this is getting somewhere fun - check out the texture ! Oh, you can still see "sweet" Kim hanging upside down in the corner !

I liked the black and white contrast. I thought about stopping there but then, the play time bug said "Just keep going !" So I did.

Here's a wash of watered down navy blue over the page :

I liked how the blue absorbed more in some spots than others. Here is a close- up shot that shows some sweet textures once again but this time in blue :

Then, I took a break for a couple of hours. I came back to the page after surfing for awhile. During my blogland travels, I saw a list of journaling ideas at Misty Mawn's Journal Page a Day in January project. I have seen so many people working on this, and have wanted to jump in but have been feeling like I can't commit to anything everyday - especially in January !!! But nothing was preventing me from jumping on from where I am right now, right ? Friday's prompt was to do a page inspired by your favorite artist. I have so many favs but some how Teesha Moore has been in my head lately - the whole black, Zentangles, gothic look, kind of goes with my early January frame of mind I guess ! ;-)

So with that in mind, here's where "Sweet Kim" ended up after about an hour, using Faber Castell Pitt pens (Manga Set), a Sakura Gelly Roll pen in white, a Figgy Pudding rubber stamp (the birdie) and one small collage element (see if you can find it !):

(click to enlarge)


(I see Teesha in here, but also Chagall...)

(And even some Leah Piken Kolidas....)

But most of all, instead of "sweet Kim", I see "Fearless Artist Kim" , who took a chance and played....

(Inner Critic's last word : I am sorry about the quality of some of the photos here ! I am still learning the amazingly powerful Rebel and also in the winter in the studio - lighting is an issue. Anyhow, David and I are taking a photography class starting tomorrow morning so I will hopefully improve my close-up shots soon with a little more practice ! "Float" ROCKS though - that is this critic's opinion !!!)

(ARTIST'S LAST WORD : no way the Critic is getting the last word !!! The collage element is the hand ! I wish I could draw that well ! ;-))

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Hate Winter But....

Today, I went for a walk outside to this lovely little wooded park nearby where the walking path surrounds a little frozen pond. This has been a very rare occurrence this winter. First of all, I really don't like winter much. Actually, I kind of hate it ! I especially hate the extreme cold. That and the fact that I have been stuck in a sucky, yucky dark place for a while now, meant that January walks were not the norm !!!

I was planing on heading to the gym to walk on the tread mill - I am trying to move this hibernating bear butt of mine before it becomes permanently glued to my desk chair ! But I have also been neglecting my sweet yellow lab Chica since before Christmas ! So when she saw me putting on my coat and got so excited thinking she was coming with me, I had to change my plans and bite the bullet !

Plus the sun was out, and the icicles on the side of the house seemed to be melting so I figured I would bundle up, push myself and make the dog so happy !

It was pretty damn cold on one side of the lake path ! I started off walking, grumbling to myself -the temp in the car did say it was only 21 degrees - it looked warmer when I was just looking out of my window !

But when I got to the other side of the pond, it was much more wooded, less windy and the sun was shining very bright. All of sudden, the walk actually became kind of pleasant. The wind kept blowing crystal glitter off the trees, leftovers from the snowfall two days ago. It sparkled in waves in the sunshine. It sprinkled me gently in the face and made me smile. I let my dog off leash for awhile even though I can’t always trust her to come back – especially when she hasn’t been let wild for a while. I went for it anyway. She, of course, took off for a run, chasing a squirrel , but she came right back to me, grinning (yes, Labs do that !) and running like mad, when I called for her. I gave her a big rub with my mittened hands and even said "Thanks, sweet Cheeks !", very grateful that she decided to be on her best behaviour. We continued the rest of the way on the path together, Chica running ahead a bit and then doubling back as I trudged along behind on the crispy snow.

Suddenly, in that very instant, with another sprinkle of that winter icy glitter, I felt absolutely and completely happy. I looked up at the tree tops, letting the sun kiss my rosy cheeks and then I actually had the thought “If all the shit in the world hits the fan tomorrow, it is okay, I will be able to handle it. Because, I have had this moment and, in this very moment, everything is absolutely perfect.”

I think things may just be looking up around here, my friends ! When was the last time you had a moment of complete joy and gratitude like I did ? If it has been awhile, I wish it for you A.S.A.P. ! We all deserve moments like that, after all.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One World-One Heart - Right When I need it !

Well, That's all folks ! Comments are now closed at 210 comments ! How wonderful to have had all these talented and generous people visit my blog home ! Good luck to all the participants and off the numbers go to the Random Generator !!! Stayed tuned for the winners ! Yay!

Please Note that this wonderful OWOH adventure will be ending tomorrow, February 12, 2009 ! I will accept entries to my giveaway until 9:00pm EST tonight, February 11th. Thanks for all the wonderful comments and visits ! This has been a sweet ride on the Gypsy Caravan !


So this oceandreamer Lisa started this great, great event ! Have you heard of it ? One World One Heart is an event meant to bring all our hearts together in Blogland and in our world in general. The idea is that you offer part of yourself, your talents, your heart on your blog any time from January 19 through February 12 in the form of a give away. Whatever kind of give-away you want and then you let people know it is part of the OneWorld-One Heart Event. Hundreds of bloggers have taken part in this even in the past and it seems the same for this year ! Can you imagine all the great loving energy that hundreds of bloggers sharing the love can bring ? Not only that but it brings the whole blogging community together and allows you to find some new great blogs out there that you never knew about ! A lovely positive event all over !

Again, the Universe always brings you what you need when you need it ! When you're feeling mucked down by your own problems and crap, what do you do ? Do something good for someone else ! It always, always works to make you feel better !

So here I go ! Joining the One World-One Heart phenomenon !

I have two things to give away right now. The first are these sweet Love Magnets full of Queen of Arts Love:

and the second is a bag of "Rock My World " rocks that you can use to spread the love around even more :

This giveaway is open to any blogger in the US or Canada (these items are just too heavy to send across oceans right now ! I will try and come up with a lighter giveaway a little later for my overseas friends - I do love you guys too !!!). Just leave a comment on this post (make sure you leave your email address so I can reach you if you win !)) and I will do a random drawing for each of these two items ! The winner will be announced on the 12th of February !

Now get out there and visit some of the great bloggers participating in the lovefest ! (after you leave a comment here, or course !)

One World - One Heart ! Go to it !

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Handing it to Michelle - GPP Street Team CRUSADE No. 27 ~ Shape Up!

So I have to HAND it to Michelle at the GPP Street Team.

As you may have noticed by the tone of my posts these days, the Queen is stuck in some pretty deep dark blahs (she is working on getting unstuck but the program is slow going !!!!). She hasn't had her usual zest for creative play ! In fact, a lot of the time, even looking at all the wonderful things going on in blogland made her feel overwhelmed and inadequate instead of the usual inspired and motivated !
(Enough of this talking about myself in the third person !!!!)

When I saw the new crusade posted a couple of weeks ago, I so wanted to get excited like I usually would. Usually I jump right in and I am one of the first ones to post my adventures ! But instead, I was just not feeling it.

Don't get me wrong ! Michelle, as always, had presented a fantastic idea for us to play with ! Choose a shape, preferably a new shape that you haven't explored too much before, and revisit some of the old challenges like creating stamps, stencils, playing with size, color, etc...and create a whole new set of tools and lots of play time for yourself ! How great does that sound ? Especially as a way to launch a new year of art making ?

But I was struggling...short attention span, lack of creative drive, feeling like I was a bad know, the usual bluesy whine !!!

Then this morning, the shape I wanted to explore just kind of came to me ! The snow was falling down really heavily so there was no where to go but the studio. I headed in there and got down to it - it was Kim Time !!!!

When I looked at the time again, 2 hours had passed. I had played for two hours - lost myself, played with materials, and color, and texture, and listened to old music and sang, and just enjoyed life. For two whole hours ! This was really something for me in my deep dark blah state, believe me ! This morning, thanks to Michelle and to my artist's soul, I had a vacation from the blahs !!!

So I have to HAND it to Michelle for encouraging us in our creative play ! She started the GPP Street Team crusades to encourage us to take the time to create, to be in the moment of art creation and then to share our experiences with other artists. What a gift she gives us each month ! Thank you, Rockin' Michelle !

So without further ado - check this out, Baby !

Shape Up - Hands On !!!!
Yup ! I chose HANDS as the shape I was going to run with this morning!

First thing I did was print out a whole bunch of different hands onto cardstock. I got the images from Printshop 21, from copy-right free images I have collected along the way etc...

Then I carved a couple of different HAND stamps - right hand, left hand, little hand...

Then I created a stencil with the same Hand shape which gave me a stencil and a mask :

I have done some pages in my art journal tracing my own hand or making a monoprint of my own hand. Why not a stencil and mask that can be used over and over without getting paint under the finger nails ?

My own hand cut out of an acetate using a stencil burner ! Cuts like butta !

The mask used on a background painted in my art journal :

Then just to get a little fancier, I cut out these stencils of a pointing hand with a flourish cuff - I used a graphic from Printshop as a design.

I tried out these stencils in my journal too.

The bigger hand on another background (My favorite sweet spot of the day !) :

As you can see, it was a productive and satisfying two hours in the shop today ! It made me remember the joy of creating, not just the have to. It made me feel like an artist again when my visions started to come together. And best of all, it beat the crap out of those bloody blahs and made the Queen mighty thankful for this Sunday morning !

Onwards, Crusaders ! Banish the blahs ! Create, create create !!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankfulness Thursday - Trust the Path

(2008 journal page)

"You can Trust the Path unfolding Before You."

(Jen Lemen Trust Card this morning)

I was thirty-one when I got my driver's license. I lived in a big city all my life with a great transport system and I had friends and boyfriends with cars. I just didn't need it until then.

When it was time to take my my practical driving test , I had "the Mean Tester Guy". You know the one you see coming in with young girls and guys crying behind him because he had just failed them ? I said to my friend while we were waiting "I hope I don't get him !", knowing in my soul that I was absolutely going to get him as my tester ! No doubt at all!

That Tester Guy was a lean, mean, keen testing machine. I drove, he watched, took notes, made no comments, not a word of encouragement, not a cracked smile, nothing. Then when I had done my parallel parking and we had stopped, he asked me if he could ask me something. At this point, I just wanted to know if I had passed or failed since I had had no reaction from him the whole way through. I said, "Yes?" kind of impatiently. He asked :

"Why do you drive like someone is chasing you ? Do you live like that too ?"

At the time, I was so annoyed, and I had had enough of "Mean Tester Guy" ! Who did this Guy think he was ! So I replied "What, did I go too fast somewhere ? Did I fail ?????". MTG kind of sighed and then said "No, you got 89% - you pass.". With that, our lovely time together was over and we walked back into the license bureau to complete the paperwork. At least I wasn't crying like the last three people he had walked in with !

But you know what ? Mean Tester Guy's words still ring in my head to this day - 12 years later. He is so right - he saw it so clearly after being with me for those twenty minutes in that car. I am so very often running through life like someone is chasing me! I drive that way (not fast, but like I need to move out of the way, like someone is watching and judging, always questioning if I am driving the "right" way, wanting to be the "Good" driver) because I live that way most of the time !

I think whatever has been chasing me is catching up. This is a good thing. I am tired of trying to outrun it, so very tired. Being human means facing messy human life stuff - this is one of my times in life to do that, I guess.

How I face it is the stuff of Spirit. I can face it by looking only at the dark side or I can face it with my spirit turned upwards, asking for help, guidance, love and support from the light within and around. That's how I am trying to do it, face this deep dark stuff by shining a big fat light on it.

Just like Mean Tester Guy, the hard stuff is here to teach me. I am still figuring out what this lesson is all about but I will get there, I think. And for these lessons, my Soul is truly grateful.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Your Heart Light Is Showing !!!

"Beauty is not in the face. Beauty is a light in the heart."
Kahlil Gibran

This is an art journal page I finished this morning. Parts of me feel vulnerable and shaky and bruised but my Heart Light is strong.

Susan sent me a gift in the form of this sentence this morning :

"There simply is no greater healing force than love."

Needed that reminder. Now I am working that love voodoo on myself !

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Be alert for attitudinal shifts.


Pick up the nearest book.

Right now.*

Go to page 56.*

Find the 5th sentence.*

Write that sentence in your Title.*

Copy these instructions as a comment on your Title.*

Don't get your favourite book or the best one, but the closest to you right now.

Hope you have a happy and playful Sunday !

Friday, January 9, 2009

Taking The Edge Off VS Going Off the Edge

So Olivia at happyluau gave me a gift today. She had a link to author, Brene Brown, and her blog Ordinary Courage. Through reading a couple of posts and checking out her book "I thought It Was Just Me(but it isn't) : Telling The Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power" on Amazon, I think I have found a very important tool in my work with my 2009 word - Release.

" Hi, I am Kim, the Queen of Arts, and I am a Take-the-edge-off-aholic." They say that admitting the problem is the first step to healing. I have admitted this problem for a long, long time.

(Two page spread in my art journal - January 9, 2009)

I know all about what things (all legal, some prescribed, some even necessary to our survival) to use to try and "take the edge off" :

None of them really work !!! The edge is there for a reason. Now I want to release the need for those old, bad habits that haven't brought me anything but more edgy-ness and hurt and depression and self-criticism.

(On Jan.18, it will be six months since I gave up my edge-dulling cigarettes! - Talk about release !!! No wonder things are feeling so edgy ! Do you know how huge that was for me ???? )

And find the self-love, compassion for myself, and the deep-soul courage I need to walk bravely towards the edge ...

And leap....

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Balancing Act

So yesterday wasn't such a good day....

Yesterday pretty much sucked the big one.

Today is already better than yesterday, but that's not hard to do, 'cause like I said, yesterday weren't too hot at all.

While I am sometimes completely devastated by how low I can go, I am infinitely amazed and grateful and humbled by my spirit's ability to pull me back up.

Yay Spirit!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Prime Time Affirmations

So JennLui at a trinket treasury has a lovely way to start each week. Every Monday evening she posts an affirmation card for Mantra Mondays. It is always something inspiring and well, affirming, ;-) and gives a focus for the week ahead. Jenn also encourages others to play along, to make their own affirmation cards or to share the messages they get from cards they play with (ie: angel cards, tarot cards, etc).

I have been wanting to play along with the mantra fun but like everything else right now, it had to wait until Kim Time felt right. Even now, my Mantra Monday ended up to be Mantra Tuesday ! But I guess that is just how it is ! Accept it and move on, Kimbo ! (Release, right ;-))
As I mentioned yesterday, I have been loving my moments with Jen Lemen's Trust Cards and I decided to use those as an inspiration for my mantra this week. The card this morning read :

You CAN take your Time.

How cool is that ? Fits right in with the whole Kim Time, Prime Time (what I am calling this period of doing "nothink"), doing things when the time feels right, etc...Thing ! Perfect ! Love it when the Universe confirms things for me oh so well !

Here's my journal page affirmation from this morning :

Nothing fancy - just a quickie page to reinforce the message in my mind.

So Jennlui and I invite you to come an play along with Mantra Mondays. If you don't feel like making your own affirmation, you can always just go check out the mantras from others and adopt one for your week.

Focusing on the positive is like play time or doing "nothink" - prime it and it will flow...