Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ladies Do Lunch and Give A Little Bit

(Friends Journal page - 2008)

So today I went for a "ladies do lunch" get-together with my pal Lois. Don't you love doing that ? Making a plan for girlfriend time. Doing something you both love (in this case book browsing at Barnes and Noble) and then going to a yummy restaurant and having lunch and a glass of wine, all the while blabbing, and blabbing and blabbing.... Man, did I need that ! Lois and I know each other really well. We also both like to laugh at ourselves and make light of the hard stuff whenever we can. This is safe to do when you know the other person really "gets" you. Today was full of lots of belly laughs as we compared war wounds and neuro-sees, and also many gentle "I get you" nods and looks passing between us. It is just so very healing to know you have a friend who truly empathizes with you !

I seem to be celebrating friends a lot this week. That is a good thing ! Women, what would we do without our gal pals ? Here's to all the great, loving, wild woman, courageous warrior, Earth Mother, genuine, effort making, fun and funny women in my world ! I couldn't make it through without you !

Have you told your girlfriend you love and appreciate her recently ? I hope so !

On a totally different topic, I did a little gift giving today on my excursion. I brought some quickly made bookmarks along with me on my excursion to B & N. I thought about bringing Rock My World rocks, but then I thought how fun it would be to buy a book and find a message from the universe (and the Queen of Arts) inside ! Bookmarks don't make bulges in the books ! ;-)

(quickly made book marks)

I made the bookmarks from scraps of scrapbook paper - no great works of art here ! I thought about making them only about half an hour before leaving this morning. I think I will make myself a nicer, more arty batch for my next book browsing time using the Queen of Arts stamps I carved. Anyway, I plopped 10 of them in my purse before I left home and then stuck them in random books throughout the store as Lois and I browsed.

There is something so fun in leaving little messages of care for unknown people to find! I really love it, as anyone who reads my blog knows ! Harmless, doesn't damage goods in any way and I know it must make the day of anyone who find such a treasure along the way ! There is really truth to that "It is better to give than to receive" thing. Don't get me wrong - I love the gifties I receive too ! But giving out little extra bits of love fills my heart in a really special way... it kind of feels like my purpose here in this beautiful world, I guess...

Anyway, I encourage you to give a little bit whenever you have a chance to, because believe me, it will come back to you tenfold before you know it !

Happy Tuesday, and tell a friend you heart them, will ya !

Monday, March 30, 2009

Still Walking...

(Keep Walking - Journal Page March 29, 2009 - click to enlarge)

So that Rumi poem from my post the other day had such an impact on my world in so many ways. The words resonate with me so strongly right now and obviously with some others in my life too. Some of the comments I got and the connections I made with a few friends all because of that post blew me away !

So here a question for you. How do the non-bloggers in your life react when you talk about things that happen to you in Blogland or even the fact that you have a blog?

I still find myself a little sheepish when I describe how much time and effort I put into my Blogland life and also how much I get out of it. But I want to change this. This blog and my relationships with many of my fellow bloggers have brought me so much !

Where else in your life do you get told in clear, concise messages that you have truly touched someone or connected to them on a soul level ? It happens sometimes with close friends or loved ones, but certainly it is not as common as it has for me in my blogging experiences !

As I take some time to celebrate what I have accomplished in my world rather that focusing on what still needs fixing, I am celebrating my friends in Blogland today. We are a brave, open, supportive, creative and special bunch of people ! And the comfort, understanding, encouragement, compassion and love that we put into the world has a significance and an importance that we probably can't even imagine !

Here's to Us, Bloggers ! Long may we Blog !

Much love on this Monday !

A little Neil to top off the celebration !

Sunday, March 29, 2009

In My Eyes...A Sunday Morning Walk in The Rain

Want to walk with me ? Here is our soundtrack this morning....

Here is what we see along the way, in my eyes....

Bits of nature's beauty...

Raindrops on bare branches...

Flash of red Cardinal who shouts out his love song...

Branches that transform into under the sea creatures with flashes of light.

Or places where you have left your trace before,

Transformed by the elements, or time, or others,

Or all of the above...

Whatever has changed them, they look different today...

But just maybe....

It is my eyes that have changed ?

I am always alert for signs that the universe means for me. Maybe too alert...

Could this still murder hold a message ?

Or this heart-filled mandala that reminds me of friends far away...

Is the three pointed crown in the sky indicating the past, present and future of the queen ?

Is this doorway in the royal color purple here to lead me on a new path ?

Could little Humpty Dumpty Boy sitting on a wall,

be predicting a big fall, and lots of pieces to pick up ?


Are all the signs really winking at me and saying ...

Stop being so God-Damned ALERT for signs on the outside and

just enjoy the view


your eyes.

Let's keep walking, shall we...

Happy Sunday and thanks for the company ! ;-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Keep Walking...

Keep walking, though there's no place to get to.

Don't try to see the distances.

That's not for human beings.

Move within, but don't move the way fear makes you move.

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty & frightened.

Don't open the door to study and begin reading.

Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

- Rumi

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Taking Wing

So the theme right now is taking a page from Abigail's book and doing my best to :

(Abigail's Album cover - Art Journal page 2007)

Take Wing.

Witnessing this :

(The return of the Snow Birds - photos taken at Canadian Border, March 20, 2009 - 1st day of Spring !)

Creating this :

Reading and wholeheartedly recommending this :

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

And this :

Creative Awakenings: Envisioning the Life of Your Dreams Through Art by Sheri Gaynor

Letting fly a wish to win this cool Allen Designs giveaway at michelle ma belle, a great new blog I have discovered thanks to my friend carolyn.

Doing all I can to shake of the dusty cloak of winter, and use my wings to fly in the Spring sunshine !

How are you using your wings ?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Alert for Signs

"Alert for Signs of Growth" - Art Journal page

(acrylic paints, credit card drag, brayer, plastic fork, markers, white paint pens, Caran D'ache crayons, eyes from magazines)

Started off the week focused on what was right. That is where I like to be. Where I think we ought to be to take advantage of this miraculous life we have to experience.

Looks like I am ending it out of focus...looking at what is wrong, what is off, what is unclear, what is crooked. Working hard (do you ever get soul-weary tired of working so hard at it ???) to shake it off and regain a healthier perspective.

The best thing about today is that I am off to hang out with a dear friend for the weekend, where we shall focus on anything other than me ! Once I get past the 5 hour drive alone with myself, it should be clear sailing. Thank God for Audio Books and great tunes to sing along with !

May your first day of Spring and your weekend be focused on what is right, smooth and easy !

(Check out one of my favorite "driving" songs (among other things you could do to it ! ;-) ) of all time. The magical Peter Murphy - an 80's Oldie !)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sometimes You Have To Leap !

So what do you do when life puts some big obstacle across your path ?

Sometimes you need to

(Rock My World rock walk adventure - March 2009)

Have you wondered at all about the Rock My World adventures ? They are still on going, though winter has been a s l o w season for the most part. Little painted love rocks quickly get lost in the big bad white snow so there was no leaving them outside over the winter. I did give a few bags full away as gifties for Christmas. Many people I gave them to have been doing a great job of spreading the LOVE ! Tomorrow, I will give you a little Rock My World Update.

For now, it is just too beautiful a day to sit at the computer ! Off to drop a special give-away package in the mail to a Commuter friend, and then to enjoy the snow melting sun and the warm Spring weather in NH !

Happy Tuesday !

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rhapsody in Red - GPP Street Team Crusade # 29

So for this month's GPP Street Team Crusade, Michelle encouraged us to get down and dirty with our paint brushes and play around with paint effects like dry brushing, mono-printing, and a little thing she likes to call "dirty brush".

Kind of sounds a little naughty, but it is all good clean dirty fun !

One thing that I like to do periodically is have a paint play session to create a ton of painted papers that I can use later as backgrounds, in my art journal or in collages. I sometimes choose one color to concentrate on at a time, if my stock of one color is low or if I find a new color scheme I want to play with. For this play time, I chose red.

I usually get out a pile of papers, a couple of cheap chip brushes, a make-up sponge, few kinds of paint in my chosen color (ie: craft acrylics, Golden Fluids, Lumiere metallics, inks, etc), a ton of my favorite stamps and stencils and a plastic table cloth on the floor so I can just throw the wet papers down to dry in between layers.

Then I play.

This is my Rhapsody in Red :

Here is some watercolor paper with Lumiere paint in gold dry brushed over top.

This piece shows my hand carved circle stamp in the background. Then I pooled Lumiere paint in gold and some Vermillion Red Golden Fluids mixed with water on the cheap sketch book paper and let it dry for a couple of hours. Gorgeous effect, I think !

This one has a variety of tools, like hand carved stamps (the points), masks and my own flourish stencil, used both as a stencil and as a mono-print. I also used Michelle's dirty brush technique - mixing red and black on a dry chip brush and stroking the surface here and there.

This page has my hand carved leaf stamp and then my bought letter stencil used as a mono-print - apply a lot of paint to the stencil, place on top of your paper and rub.

The next couple of shots show where I tried a tip Michelle shared for mono-printing brush strokes from an acetate onto your paper :

Paint on acetate

Smeared paint around with a brush

Mono-print onto painted paper

Second mono print onto white blotter paper

What did I learn from this one ? It can be a bit of a balancing act with acrylic paint and brush stroke mono-printing. How much paint to stroke one to your acetate to get a nice print of the brush stroke, but not too much to have a "paint blob" mono-print. Also, not to rub too hard, practice a little portion control I guess, to get better "strokes" printed.

Playing with paint, brushes, paper and all the other fun tools is really my idea of perfect art time ! I lose myself in the play, not really worrying about any end results but often falling in love with what comes out of it !

It even makes great left-overs ! Check out this blotter paper, where I rubbed off all my tools, getting every last bit of paint goodness off of them !

And this veteran of my play time (see the hand prints from the Shape Up Challenge), the card board I use to cover my play table. I think it will soon be retired and added to a journal or something.

A lot of great Crusaders have had a wonderful time playing with Brush Effects. Head over to the Street Team blog to check out their links as well as the wonderful tutorials and inspiration that Michelle provides! Then join us in the challenge fun !

Onward, Crusaders ! Happy Monday !

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blogaversary Give-Away Winner !

Happy Saturday Morning to everyone ! Just a short post to announce the winner of my One Year Blogaversary give-away. The Hubby used the old Random Number Generator last night and it chose Lucky Number 13 ! Kind of appropriate since it was Friday the 13th !

And our winner is the lovely, supportive and oh so talented

JerriAnn of Commuter's Journal !!!!!

JerriAnn's comment about what she has learned from blogging is the following :

"The number one lesson I've learned through blogging -- we are all connected. And how cool is it that we've made friends not just all over the USA but all over the world?"

I think JerriAnn and I connected through the monthly GPP Street Team Crusade Challenges. Sometimes it is hard to believe that this all started only a year ago ! I do know that JerriAnn is always there for me in Blogland, leaving comments that make me laugh or make me feel genuine encouraged and appreciated. She always makes me feel connected, and I know that many others appreciate her presence as much as I do.

Yay for JerriAnn ! Send me an email with your address, Sweet Thang, and I will put the finishing touches on your Queen of Arts Package of Love and have it off to you asap !
Thanks to everyone for all the sweet Blogaversary wishes. I am so very happy to be a part of this Blogland community. It gives me so much, everyday ! Cheers !
Back tomorrow with my Brush Effects playtime stuff !

Have a great Saturday !

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Random Acts of Queen-ness - A Guerilla Artist Fairy Tale

(Just a Quick Reminder - Tomorrow is the deadline for my Blogaversary Give-Away. For details, check out my March 9th post here :)

Our story begins on a cool but beautiful day in Almost-Spring.

Our heroine is the Lovely Queen of Arts.

This Queen needed to escape the Castle. "Time for some Guerrilla Action." she thought.

"It is time to ..."

So the Queen went to the Royal Studio and played with her own hand carved "Q of A" rubber stamp and a few other toys to create these :

She came up with some Q of A quotes to adorn the backs :

She called for her loyal servant :

And off they went to commit Random Acts of Queen-ness, Guerrilla Art Style !

First stop : a tree in a local park.

The Queen tied a Royal Tag onto the tree in plain view of a local peasant sitting on the bench across the way, but she was not interrupted.

Her Majesty then found this lovely tree with bark bright red. "I must leave my mark on this magnificent tree." she thought.

And she tied another Royal Tag, this time with a quote she adored, among its boughs.

As the Queen and her loyal servant continued along their path, they came upon a sight that reminded the Queen of an Art adventure she had taken long ago.

For there on a metal pole, in the middle of the "Park With Even Less", was a remnant from a walk the Queen had taken with Tags sent to her all the way from the other side of the planet. Tags sent to the Queen by the famous Guerrilla Artist, grrl +dog, way back in October, 2008.

The season had taken its toll on the Australia Tag :

It had lost its vibrancy and the stamp grrl had put on it to the elements.

It no longer shone with its previous brilliance.

(Memory shot - October, 2008 )

The Queen was saddened to see that time had taken its toll on the Australian Tag, just as it had on her own eyes with their beginnings of crows feet and their need for bifocal lenses.

"Our youth is gone, my friend." whispered the Queen to the withered tag, quietly so the peasants did not get frightened by the fact that their Liege was talking to herself in the park.

And then the Queen's inner artist took over. Youth may be gone but in its place : Artsy Wisdom.

The Wise Queen tied two of her bright, newly created tags on to the pole, one above and one below the worn Australia one placed there so long ago.

She thought to herself : "I may be older by a season or two, but I have learned that Any Time is the right time to dress things up and have a Good Time !"

We're here for a good time

Not a long time

So have a good time

The Sun can't shine everyday.