Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rise Up and be Thankful

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." ~ Buddha

It would be so easy to give into the fear, into the worry, into the "bad" stuff. God knows, there are enough choices of bad stuff to choose from if that is where you want to go ! But to rise up and be thankful in the face of all that, that is where it takes real courage and real strength. Trisha at Boffo Panda has real courage and real strength and shows it. So many other powerful women and men I know, in BlogLand, and in my own tighter circle have it and show it.

I am going to summon all my strength and courage today and show it. I am going to rise up and find the beauty and love in this hurt world today and celebrate it and be oh so very very thankful for it.

It will take strength and it will take courage, but guess what ?

I have it in me.

And know what else ?

You have it in you too.

Talk about things to be thankful for....

Monday, September 29, 2008

Coasting...and some art journal pages.

This Monday feels like a coasting day... nothing bad or really bad, nothing good or really good. Just a coasting day... I think I am in a coasting mode in general right now. I may be feeling momentum blowing softly from a distance somewhere behind me but I have yet to get its effects.

I am working hard on just accepting the coasting, maybe even enjoying it, and ignoring the MEANIE inside that keeps saying "But what about momentum ? What about moving forward at the speed of living these days ? " Go away, Meanie ! Today, at least for this Monday, the Queen chooses to coast and enjoy it...

Here are two of my most recent journal pages made while I have been coasting.

"Lost" - the body is from a glossy fashion spread from a Montreal chic boutique ad and the head is from a vintage photo. I love this color scheme - turquoise, dark brown, beige and red.

"Gilded Lily"- I did the page and the little Lily blurb, then looked at the page in the photo and realized it has an old decorated map quality to it. Kind of fits with Lily's search for the real thing, I guess. There sure are days when I wish I had a map to get me there...wherever there is...

Hope you coasted through your Monday !

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Rock My World

So I found this little movie here at the Dancing Mermaid (don't you love this blog name !), through the wonderfully inspiring Jen Lemen's blog. It made me cry with joy and wanting and inspiration. I want to do what The Dancing Mermaid did and find a group of kids and art journal with them everyday !!! Okay, once a week would be fine.! How wonderful to think of kids learning so early on the wonder, the healing and the joy that taking time to explore and foster our own creativity gives ! There is also such a gap in so many of the school systems when it comes to art and creativity. Ah, I could go on and on about this... I have ideas about how to make it all happen but my ideas are still in the embryo or pupa stage and need some TLC and some fear-facing in order to come to fruition.
In the mean time, I had to make me some of these rocks.

I actually did this before my trip to Montreal last week. I had a bucket of stones I had collected at Hampton Beach, NH a couple of years ago with the intention of using them in some arty way some day. I covered a bunch of them with a layer of acrylic paint, or left some of them their natural stony color. I wrote my inspiring messages with a Sharpie or a gel pen, pasted on a layer of glossy water based varnish and there I had it ! A little pile of love and good wishes to send off to my fellow men and women.

I so loved the idea of someone walking by and catching a glimpse of the color, stopping and picking up the stone and knowing that that message was meant for them ! I only wish I could have been there to see it - like there proverbial fly on the wall. But that's ok. As you know if you know me at all, things have been a little rough around here lately. Words I heard somewhere (or many places) keep ringing in my head...when you are feeling dispair, reach out and help another and you will feel better. And I have to say, I did...I felt connected to my world, felt more hopeful about the strength of good over evil, and good about myself for taking the time to give a little. It just felt good to put a little love out there without any expectations...

So I scattered the rocks here and there along the way to Montreal and back again. Some were left on picnic tables at rest areas in Vermont, on flower planters in the quaint town of Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, in the coin return slot of a payphone, in a bowl of rocks at a friend's house, and just on the grey cement of the downtown sidewalk. I didn't get to witness anyone finding one but I hope that they had a smile or a sigh when they did. I had one stone left in my baggie when I got home. It was fitting that I give it to my sweet Hubby David and get a hug and kiss in return. The last stone of that trip read :

Monday, September 22, 2008

Love is the Answer to Every Question

So I went away to lick some wounds. Actually, I went away to get some healing touch therapy from my experts. Here is the Love Guru herself (Mike Myers ain't got nothing on this chick !!!):

I am telling you, one look into these wise eyes and you know the answer to every question :

You may think the answer is "Always wear a cashmere after Labor Day." (even when you look like a little egghead!!!) :

Or that the answer is "Forget the whole "Blonds have more fun" thing ! Red is the new blond !"

Or maybe even " When you don't know what to do, just stop and blow bubbles for a while."

But no, the gorgeous, hilarious and always styling Katie Cupcake told me the answer to every question over and over again :

"Silly Auntie, Love is the Answer to Every Question ! Now get over here and give me a hug !"

Lesson learned, oh sweet One. Thanks, Baby !

PS : Last Sunday, just after I left for my "Love" therapy trip to Montreal, David had a visit from Stephen, my neighbor Katherine's husband. David said he seemed ok, as well as could be expected, he thought. David let him know that we were here next door if he needed anything, the same as what we wrote in our sympathy card. But actually, Stephen came over with a delivery for me. It seems that Katherine had asked him to be sure to give me the vase that we had been using to pass flowers back and forth this summer. He filled it with flowers from an arrangement from her memorial service. David took a picture of it with my laptop's camera so I could see the flowers before they faded but the picture was very blurry so I didn't include it here. I can't tell you how touched I was....It made for a very teary drive when David, filled with tears himself, called me on the cell to give me the news of Stephen's visit and Katherine's gift to me. I already know what the vase will be filled with every summer. I think My Lady of the Blue Hydrangea would approve, don't you ?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Lady Of the Blue Hydrangea

Some of you may remember my post for the GPP Street Crusade #22 - Pay It Forward. I wrote about my neighbor Katherine and how we had been exchanging kindnesses back and forth this summer. Well, I found out today that Katherine died on September 9th, at the age of 51, after her long and brave fight with cancer.

I hadn't seen Katherine in a few weeks and I thought about stopping by every day, just to see if she needed anything. But it just didn't happen... What I didn't know was that she was in a hospice, being cared for as she went on to the next part of her soul's journey. It feels so strange to me that I didn't know she was dying and we didn't even know that she had passed on until David saw her husband coming home today with a big funeral bouquet. We checked the obituaries on line and found out she died on the 9th. Sadly, we even missed the visitation which took place yesterday. Katherine and Stephen have been our next door neighbours for four years. So strange that we lived so close to them, have a friendly over the fence relationship with them and yet when this intense life event occurs, we didn't even know...

I was remembering back to my childhood neighbourhood and thought about how we all knew our neighbors so well. I couldn't imagine my parents not knowing if Mrs. Sooter or Mrs. Olive who lived on either side of us had died. It just goes to show how isolated and disconnected from our community so many of us live. Anyways, regrets won't do much good today. I guess I have to be thankful for the connection that Katherine and I were able to share this summer. I am just so very, very sad to know that my beautiful neighbour has died.

My most crystal clear memory of her is about one day this summer when I went over to have a glass of ice tea and to say thank-you for the beautiful bouquet of blue hydrangeas she had left for me on my porch. She was fresh from the shower as her short cropped hair was wet. She was dressed in clean white from head to toe, in soft cotton pants and a flowy tunic. Though she was very thin and drawn, the first thing I thought was how beautiful and angelic she looked. I told her so, and she laughed. I don't think she was feeling that beautiful that day. But she sure did look that way to me. My neighbour Katherine, my Lady of the Blue Hydrangea. It is comforting to know that your are now free of your pain and that your beautiful spirit is free to fly again. I will always think of you when those flowers bloom...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Queen Says "Thanks !"

Today is a day that has some pretty severe sadness attached to it, doesn't it ? Thinking about the loss and sadness that so many people face every September 11th really, really makes me thankful for the good things I have in my life everyday.

One thing that really rings through today is how wonderful my Blog Community is and how much I appreciate the connections I have made even if they are only "virtual", whatever that means ! Virtual in terms of the means of communication but so real and heartfelt in terms of it's effects. Yesterday, I sent out a distress signal, posting about my "stuckness". This morning I was greeted by wonderful love, support, understanding, empathy, and a good dose of humor thrown in from my blog friends. For this added love in my life, I am truly grateful.

I am grateful too, to my "real" world friends and family who show me everyday what life and love are really about. Today, I am celebrating all of you and the special and extremely dear relationships we have.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you !

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fearless Artist VS Stuck Chicken

So I am stuck. Really stuck in my life. Not sure who to ask for help, what to take on, where I want to go, why I am here or how to get to a new place. Yep, the who, what, where, why and how of the sticky stuckness has me tightly in it's grasp ! Sigh....

And yet, this is what I did today :

"getting to know you inside and out" - journal page

(acrylic paint background - dragging paint with old credit card, white gel pen details, anatomy images found on Flickr, crowns from ArtChixs)

sweet spot from journal page

How can I be so fearless in one area of my life and so frozen in sticky, scary, stuckness in most of the rest ? To me, this journal page is fearless - no inner critic stopped me from doing anything ! I just went for whatever my inner artist wanted. I love this page. I love that I made it. I love the artist in me that is capable of it. I don't even give a crap about what you think of it...I really and truly made it for me !!!!

So, now, how do I translate this into the other things I need to do to get my life moving in a more positive, fulfilling direction ? How do I break through that paralyzing fear that holds me in place ? I know, you are all saying "Just do it!" like some crazy sports equipment commercial on high volume in stereo or surround sound !!!!

But I can't hear you. I have a sticky stuckness stuck like a banana in my ear*...

I suppose I will dig it out and face stuff eventually...but for now... where is the paint, paper and glue ?

*[the banana things is an old time reference to Ernie from Sesame Street - didn't want you to think I was crazy or anything !!! ;-)]

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Meme Rhymes with Dream - Do you know this word ?

So I was visiting Leah at Creative Every Day today and I learned a new word. The word is "meme" as in "She found a meme on another blog and she created a post with her own replies." For a pretty clear definiton of a meme, you can check here. Apparantly you can pronounce it so it rhymes with "dream" or like it is the "mem" part or "memory". I think it should be pronounce "me, me!" because whenever I read a meme, I immediately want to respond to it. Hence, "Me, me !!"
Maybe not ...
Anyway, saw this meme on Leah's post and had to reply. Like Leah said, what is it about memes that just makes you want to respond to them ? Leah finds them calming... I think I feel a sense of belonging mingled with a sense of uniqueness... What is it about memes ...?

A Meme for Sunday, September 7, 2008

Song you love : "Teach Your Children" by America

Word you love : "Smooch"...it feels like it sounds...

Academic Subject you love : Psychology

Hobby that you love : Flea Market Shopping

Type of baked good that you love : a French baguette (savory) or oatmeal with raisins (sweet)

Type of sky you love : A sunset over the ocean, a sunrise at Lac Bibitte, a starry sky at Lac Bibitte

A Beverage that you love : cappucino

A Vacation that you love : A beach lounging vacation in Mexico with a bit of sightseeing thrown in

A Restaurant that you love : the Chinese place with periwinkles in Montreal's Chinatown

A way of getting around that you love : walking or canoeing

A Person that you love : My Man

A room in your home (or your ideal home) that you love : The bedroom in both

A movie that you love : The Princess Bride

A book that you love : "Succulent Wild Women" by Sark

A city that you love : Montreal

A future plan that you love : moving from our house into a condo, less house , more travel

A form of communication you love : Touching

A junk food you love : Cadbury Fruit & Nut Bars

Happy Sunday !

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Queen's Blue Period

Picasso had a Blue Period. According to Wikipedia :

[t]he Blue Period (Spanish: Periodo Azul) of Picasso is the period between 1900 and 1904, when he painted essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. These somber works, inspired by Spain but painted in Paris, are now some of his most popular works, although he had difficulty selling them at the time.

Looks like I am going through a Blue Period myself - perhaps "la Période Bleue" in honor of my French-Canadian side ?

(journal page - "Reflections")

Somber ? Kind of. The color matches my mood. Pretty blue, kind of sad, a little stuck. Okay, maybe a lot...

(journal Page - "Living Brave" - inspired by this kelly rae 's post )

Is it okay to wallow in the Blue-ness for awhile ? Emercing myself in the color is one thing that feels really soothing during right now. Not sure what else to do to shake them blues.

(journal page - blue, prepped and ready to go)

Will my Période Bleue last four years ? Don't know... So far it has been....

(journal page - Don't forget to breathe - for InspireMe Thurdsay "Breath" theme )

... four days. Does that make a "period" ?

Then again, I did do this piece for a thank you card yesterday :

(thank you card)

Maybe the end of the Blues is in sight ?

Happy Friday !

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Carry on Wayward Son

Just in case you are too young to remember the original...I was only about 10 when the song can out myself - here is a more recent version to check out. Kind of funny !

Where Does The Time Go ?!?!?

"Lay Your Weary Head"

So it's that same old thing - chasing time ! I feel like I blinked and the summer was over. How can it be September 2nd already ??? I feel like I blinked and my nephew Tom was old enough to start kindergarten. My sister saw her baby happily take the school bus all alone this morning on his very first day of school !!! I feel like I blinked and three hours had passed as I played in the studio this morning. I sat down at 8:15 to create a journal page, finally got up to pee, looked at the clock and saw that it was 11:00 ! How did that happen ? I just don't seem to be keeping up with this crazy pace these days. I remember adults telling me when I was younger "Oh you will see. Time goes faster as you get older." but this speed is hard to take sometimes. Makes my head weary....

The journal page above was what I worked on/played with this morning as three hours of life passed by. As I looked at the photo, the words to the song "Carry on Wayward Son" by Kansas popped into my head. Talk about chasing time ! Kansas ?!?!

I do like the lyrics though...changed "son" to "one"...

I am off to try and catch up with the rest of the world now. Wish me luck ! Happy Tuesday that feels like a Monday big time !!!!!