Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer Loving For the Queen...

These were all taken last year at the end of June ...

She was only just 15 months then...

and her big bro was 6.

Auntie Kimmy had a blast hanging with the kiddos down by the lake in Lac Conception, Quebec...

so we decided that we needed a repeat these year.

I am leaving tomorrow am for a nice long jaunt to my homeland, Canada.

I will be gone about 10 days.

David will be hanging out here with the Chica dog while I make the trip.

Looking forward to seeing the peeps and sharing lots of loving,

a photo shoot or two, a short visit with a Blogland/Real world friend,

and swimming in the clear crisp waters of the lakes up there.

Plus a day or two totally on my own in nature, with this book, my art journal, and some time on my hands...

Have a great beginning of July, Beautiful Ones !

I will share my adventures when I get back...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rocks, waves, rainbows and lovers...

So if you saw my post yesterday, you know my spirit was kind of low. I let a lot of negative stuff in, especially all the sadness and hopelessness about the destruction of this one planet we have to call our own.

The wonderful thing about me though, one of the things I really, really love, is that I have learned how to get myself out of that crappy place pretty quickly. I know the tools that work most of the time.

Yesterday, I used some of the tools late in the day.

The first thing I did was call a friend.

In this case, I called my very best friend. I called my sweet hubby, David.

I asked him if he felt like heading to the seacoast for a beach visit after work. He didn't hesitate to say yes. I think he could hear some of that desperation in my voice.

So at 5:30, after a stop at the post office to mail some HOPE NOTES, we headed down the 101 to Hampton Beach.

It was about 85 degrees outside, but the New England seacoast water was only about 62.
We walked along the water's edge holding hands...

Getting our toes wet...

Soaking up the smell, sights and sounds of those magnificent waves...

We saw lots of people cheating (okay, breaking the law) and bringing their dogs for a frolic after the sun worshipers and life guards had left for the day...

(You can bet that Chica is making the next after work trip to the beach with us ! It is worth the risk of a fine to me !)

We watched the surfers in their wet suits enjoying their playtime in spite of some ominous black clouds heading in and flashes of lightening far in the distance.

We hunted for the perfect heart shaped rock among the millions...

And ended up finding it close to the water's edge instead !

So perfect was this rock that it actually has two perfect hearts in it (didn't get a picture of the second one).

Two hearts beat as one, my David and I.

After sitting on a boulder for a while and brushing some of the sand from between our toes,

it felt like it was the right time to go...

On the drive back home, we had to pull over and take a shot of the one last blessing that our evening bestowed upon us...

How is that for a sign confirming you are living the right way in the moment ?

As you can imagine, most of the angst and sadness were pushed aside for thankfulness and peace after our little adventure at the beach.

The bad stuff is always there.

Tons of it...

So much crap that it is easy to feel like you are drowning in it.

But you know what ?

So is the GOOD stuff.

We just have to work a little harder to keep the focus on it, I guess.

I am so thankful that I have learned that !

(Thanks and big, huge LOVE to my man, David for taking me away and also for taking all the pix with the big gun Canon. I love you even more than raspberries, Baby ! )

I hope you get to go out and find your own rainbows today, Beautiful Ones.

Happy Friday !

A song for David...I'll love you more...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Dream of Sea Turtles Swimming...

Do you have an animal that you consider your spirit guide or that you feel particularly connected to ?

For me that animal has been the sea turtle for a long time.

When I used to have trouble sleeping

or when I feel anxious,

I would visualize swimming on the back of a sea turtle

in the undercurrents of blue under the sea.

That gentle swaying flight felt so calming and quiet. Imagining it gives me strength some how.

I also loved the image I had of the turtle carrying its home on its back.

It could travel far and wide yet always feel at home.

I just love those beings so much and the symbolism they evoke.

This morning, I read this and listened to this and saw these,

and my heart is broken a million times over.

It just makes me feel so powerless...

How could we have let this happen ?

I know there are still miraculously beautiful and wonderful things happening in this world and I really am trying to keep the focus of my life on that.

But sometimes, it is just too much...

Here is my art for today...

Black sludge is covering my heart like it is covering their fins and their eyes and their mouths...

Today, I need to cry for my dream creatures and all the inhabitants of the ocean that we are destroying.

Deep sigh....

Maybe tomorrow, HOPE will fill me up again,

and cleanse the sludge away like DAWN Dish Washing Liquid...

Thank God there is always HoPe...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hope gives you wings...

So on Monday, I was reading my friend Patti Digh's blog and saw her call to write "a hope note (or 5) today".

You see, this woman named Liz Miller volunteers with an organization called Helpmate and she has launched a project calling for some community help and support.

Now you know how I like to find was to spread the love, and that I love to find ways to use my art to touch others.

So of course, I was very inspired to make up some "hope notes" and send them off to the Asheville, NC address and help Liz and all involved in the Hope Notes project reach their goal of having as many cards are possible received by August 1, 2010.

I decided to use the technique I had so much fun with when I made some postcards for Hanna's Post Card swap a while back, and make some scrapped and sewn background papers.

Here's one sheet with blues and oranges...

and a second one with greens, some black and purple.

I glued all the bits and strips of papers down to a piece of card stock, covering the entire page.

Then I got out the sewing machine and went to town...

A little zig-zag stitch...

some crazy driving stitches...

and my paper was looking marvelous !!!!

I cut the sheets into 3.5 X 5 inch rectangles (Love my Fiskars Guillotine !).

Then I glued the rectangles onto blank 5 X 7" cardstock cards. I used rubber stamps and a couple of alphabet stencils and StazOn Black Ink to create the word "Hope" for each card.

I love how they turned out!

On the inside of each card, I hand-wrote my own little message of hope, using some lovely

quotes I had found on-line such as :

"Hope is knowing that people, like kites, are made to be lifted up." (unknown)

and signed them with my initials as the Hope Note project information suggested.

I imagined myself in the throws of a crisis and thought about what words or gestures would make me feel supported and less alone, and tried to make each note reflect that.

I will be mailing the cards off to Asheville tomorrow in a nice little package, with another note inside thanking Liz for her inspiration and for all she is doing to spread the love in her own community.

Maybe you would like to join in and send some Hope Notes of your own to Helpmates.

Or maybe someone closer to you could use a little hope note as well...

I encourage you to look for a way to touch someone else today, especially if today is a day when you feel a little helpless or blue.

It really does give your life meaning and make you feel powerful and loving.

And as this lovely quote I found says :

"What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other ?"

(George Eliot [pseudonym of Mary Anne or Marian Evans] (1819-1880).

Have a Happy Hope Day, Lovely Ones !

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mark it as DONE!

So I set out to complete every day of the two week Creativity Boot Camp that Maegan so graciously prepared for us.

And guess what ?

The Queen of Getting Things Half Done actually completed something right to the end !!!

Yay for me !!!
What was the number one thing I learned through the process ?

To :

Especially for my Self.

I actually completed the prompts two days later than Maegan, which was completely fine with me, as I was having a sweet visit from my friend Suzanne from Montreal and I didn't feel like sacrificing my time with her to complete the class.

I had to be compassionate with the part of me that felt "guilty" because I wasn't quite sticking to the two week time frame.

A little compassion and a little "shut the hell up!" did the trick ! ;)

I will share some of the work I did in the last 3 days of the prompt for the class.

(you can click on any of the photos to enlarge them)

This is Day 10 where Maegan suggested that we spend a day getting in touch with our senses as much as possible. The word prompt was "Full-Bodied."

I was lucky enough to spend that day hanging out at my friend Patti's pool. I love love love the water and the wonderful floating sensation came out in my journal page a little too.

Spending a day looking, tasting, feeling, hearing and smelling consciously is an inspiring activity. Made me feel pretty filled up !

On Day 11, we were asked to create a time line of our lives and look for events that were turning points or crossroads on our path. The word prompt was "hush".

This is the first page I did, with my windy time line...

Maegan also asked us to think about those turning point moments in terms of where they had brought us, as in "If I had never been deeply depressed, I would never have known how much my art is intrinsic to my well-being."

I wrote about these kinds of realizations on this page but kind of covered it up after. Some of them were a little hard to revisit, but it was a great activity to see how far you have come and why...

Day 12 was the hardest prompt for me. I am still figuring out why.

On this day, Maegan asked us to look at our dreams, big and small and think of little ways we can start working towards them more. The word prompt was "smooth".

I wrote a lot about how I have a hard time giving a name to my dreams right now. I have some large, unrealistic ones like having my own art retreat/studio located on the ocean somewhere, where artists will come and be free to create and play the days away with me, and even have scholarships available for those who can't pay the whole price, etc...

I know, I know, you can make your dreams come true...

But I am not sure if I really want to or if it is more of a fantasy than a dream...

Maybe I am just not there yet...

As for my little dreams, I have been working on them, baby steps, which when I look at the big picture and how I am actually making them happen, I have a real sense of accomplishment and also a lot of gratitude...

Here is my page for day 12:

I actually found quite a few sweet spots in this spread too, so while the prompt was hard, I love the way the page turned out...

And now we arrive at Day 13 - The Finale !!!

Maegan asked us to look back at the work we had done over the past two weeks and to celebrate what we had accomplished. She also suggested that we make ourselves some promises of concrete steps we can take to continue the process and nurture our creative process.

This photo doesn't quite do the page justice but I created this "In Bloom" page with Portfolio water based oil pastels. I love the vibrant colors of them. I have also learned that if I seal them with a coat of gel medium after they are dry, I can use most of my pens on top of the oiled surface.

In each of the petals, I included a promise to my Artist Self, like avoiding the critic and the green-eyed monster and to spend time with other artist who "get" it !

I think this page looks like the celebration I wanted it to!

So there you have it !

I can mark it DONE !!!!

With some compassion for that procrastinator, on the fence, Libra part of me, a little kick in the pants from the part of me that really wants to improve, and a whole lot of inspiration from the talented and supportive, Maegan and the Boot Camp Community, the Queen got it saw something through to the end !

Brava for me !

Good, Queenie, good...

Happy Monday and Happy Summer Solstice to all of us in the Northern Hemisphere ! Let the frolicking begin !

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The third Sunday in June...

Dad and Me, High School Graduation, 1983

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there !

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thankfulness Thursday, Everyday...

(me and sue - 2002)

I am off doing what I love - hanging with a really good friend, doing a little creating and being in a space and place where I can completely be myself, warts and all.

How perfect it that ?

Feeling very thankful for that today.

Just wanted to share this beautiful video this morning that I found on the Soothe Your Soul Facebook page.

Consider it from me to you, Beautiful, Lovely Ones.

You are loved.

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Into each life, a little drizzle will fall...

(Drizzle - art journal page - June 15, 2010)

Creativity Boot Camp Day 9 - For the Love of Art...

Random Prompt Word - Drizzle

Maegan encouraged us to go back to our roots in terms of creating, returning to some simple art making techniques we appreciated in our past - even back in childhood.

I just picked up a pencil and started drawing, inspired by a vision I had first thing this morning when I played with the word "drizzle" in my head.

For me, the red umbrella represents creativity and art. When life's drizzle starts to fall, and you know it will, turning to my own creativity and inner artist helps get me through.

Still pretty funky here in the realm...

That's okay though....

Just some drizzle to go through I guess...

Today is actually looking like a pretty perfect beginning of summer day, kind of what a red umbrella would feel like.

It is sunny. It is supposed to be around 79 degrees.

And I have a Arty Play Date at my friend Patti's Poolside Paradise with a bunch of art friends gathering...

As long as I don't look in the mirror when I put on my bathing suit, it should be a sweet treat of a day!

I hope you find your red umbrella today, Beautiful Ones.

Big Love !

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Weekend and a Rock Fairy Miracle...

Creativity Boot Camp Day 6 - Breaking Our Own Rules
Maegan encouraged us to think about ways to break out of the ordinary in our creative process, to break the self-imposed rules and routines that we can sometimes fall into.

I thought about how I can add in new elements to my art work, learn from techniques that others use and of course, try out some new tools every now and then !

I did some carving of some new little rubber stamps

on these little square pre-cut squares that I got from my friend Kriss's stash recently.

Then I used the stamps to create this little guy...

and glued him onto my art journal page for this day.
I also worked in our random prompt word for the day : Fluid.

I often feel like I am pretty fluid about what I do in my art making - sometimes too fluid. I don't always feel like I have discovered my style or even my medium yet...

I do like changing things up though and this Creativity Boot Camp Play is letting me do just that !

Our fearless leader, Maegan encouraged us to spend some time with our inner artist and spill our guts onto some pages in our notebooks - a la Julia Cameron's morning pages or stream of consciousness writing. She suggested 45 min. but I just went with filling up three took me about 20 minutes...

I kind of wussed-out with using the random word prompts Maegan gave us on these two days.

Fly and Ornament just kind on made onto my pages...

Another thing that Boot Camp play inspired me to do was to use some materials that I don't always use and to shake things up a bit.

I actually found 5 goals that I had set for 2010 in the very notebook I did my writing pages in and I realized that I hadn't really achieved any of them and here we are in the 6th month already !!!
So this was the perfect opportunity to check off number 5 which was paint pieces on canvas rather than always in my journal so I would have some of my own art to hang in my house.

This morning as David had a nice quiet sleep-in, I got out the acrylics, the Golden Fluids, the blending medium and this 16X8" canvas, put on the mellow morning tunes, and got to work...

When I got here, I almost stopped. How cool do these bubbly lollipop shapes look ?

But I decided to go on with the vision I had in my head and give the circles faces.
There were lots of layers here. You may see it better if you enlarge it. They had green faces, then I added the purple and even some metallics.

I kind of liked them this way but something was missing for them to feel like they were mine...

You know it ! The black India Ink !!!

Did the line work with a broad tipped dip pen and now the lollipop girls work for me

And a piece like this can hang on a wall instead of hiding out in the journal which feels good.
I pushed myself a little, enjoyed the whole process of having this quiet time with myself to create and just seeing what would come.

Ain't being an artist grand ?!

Finally, I wanted to let you in on a little secret worry I have been keeping.

About two weeks ago, David and I went to North Hampton to fill up my bucket of rocks for my Rock My World rocks.

When we got there, there were very few rocks to be found.

The beaches had taken quite a beating and sand had covered whatever rocks had been there.

I managed to collect about a quarter of a bucket but it was not like the summer before where the beach was literally covered with rocks of all sizes - where taking a bucket full didn't even show...

It made me wonder if this was a sign.

Should I stop taking those rocks at all ?Was Nature giving me a sign ?

Was it time to move on to something other than painting my precious rocks and find some other way to put my love out there ?

This weekend, David and I headed out to the Seacoast to see if we could find another beach with rocks, a new source for the Rock Fairy. I had decided I would make a decision about continuing the Rock My World project after our search.

Well, we decided to stop at North Hampton anyway, just towatch the waves for awhile, even though it was misting and gray...

here's what we saw and heard at my favorite NH beach...

The ROCKS were back !!!!

Now, I don't know if the State dumped those rocks there or what, but where there was only sand two weeks ago, there was an abundance of smooth and perfect rocks for the Rock Fairy !!!

It was a miracle !

Okay, maybe not a miracle, but I took it as a sign that I still have more work to do with these wonderful rocks of mine.

Not to mention that I had just created a special custom order for my friend Patti Digh which she provided as special memory keepsakes at her friend Celeste's funeral yesterday...
that my restaurant owner/chef friend, Tom had sent me a message while I was rock collecting that he needs a big refill of rocks at the restaurant...

Guess I am going to keep on Rocking It, Babies !!!

I hope you had a cozy and creative weekend.

Big Rocking Love to you from the Rock Fairy !