Sunday, March 25, 2012

GPP Street Team Crusade # 61–Restraining Order

Well, I had to join in !

I did so under the wire, but just in time.

GPP C61 due date

The awesome and incredibly talented Michelle Ward is hosting the last of her fine Green Pepper Press Street Team Crusades and I had to take part.

In the past, I used to do these great prompts every month.

They inspired my journal pages and also connected me to a great community of artists all over the globe. Michelle would link us all on the GPP Street Team blog, and we could visit one another, see how each artist had interpreted the great prompts and get feedback on our own entries from the other Crusaders.

I don’t have any excuses as to why I stopped doing the Crusades. Life just changed things…

But when I read that Michelle was ending the project after 61 months worth of projects, I wanted to join in one last time and pay a little homage to something that brought me many treasures over the years.

Crusade # 61 is entitled “Restraining Order” and our prompt was to create a journal page while focusing on avoiding clutter or overfilling the page and paying attention to composition a little more. Trying to leave some space, some open air for the eye to rest a little.


I knew I wanted to do a bit of a self-portrait piece for my art journal.

This week, the question of what “success” is came up several times in conversation and in thought.

I realized that to some people on the outside, I may not seem conventionally “successful”.

Upon some pondering though, I actually concluded that to my own sense of what is success is measured by, I am a very successful person.

I believe success should be measured by how close you are to achieving the goals of your Heart & Soul, and not so much what society or your bank account may reflect.


My Heart and Soul goals are to love strongly and fiercely and to make a difference in the world in my own little way.

I do this.

Most days, I do this very, very well !

When I go to bed at night and I can say, “Today, I loved. Today, I was loved back. Today, I saw beauty. Today, I created a bit of beauty of my own.” When I can say those things, that has been a good day !

A successful day.

A successful life lived.


For my minimal journal page, I created a colorful background with spray inks, Golden fluid acrylics and Twinkle H2O watercolors.

Then I took a copy of a photo of myself and trimmed it with some decorative deckle edged scissors.

I added a piece of torn piece of ledger paper to the center of the page, tapped down with some polka dot Smashbook paper tape.

I stamped my phrase out with rubber alphabet stamps on some white tape.

It reads : “I live a simple little life.”

I think the simple composition works well with the message of this page.

It was a challenge for me to keep it this simple. I wanted to add more pen work, etc or maybe some scribble, maybe use some stencils to add more to the background, etc

but in the end, I love how it turned out.


I live a simple ordinary extraordinary little big successful sweet life.

And for that I am extremely grateful.



As I contribute this post for the final GPP Street Team Crusades, I am also grateful for the wonderful treats that this project has brought me.

I made so many awesome artist blog friends through the Crusades.

I got to “know” Michelle and her fabulous heart, and contribute to some amazing projects offering special help to the community that she has lead.

I also learned the value of creating art work and sharing it with other artists, the best kind of audience and the best kind of support for the creative process.

So thank you, Michelle, for all the things you have contributed to the on-line art blog community ! You Rock, Lady !!!

And thank you to my fellow Crusaders who have shared their art and their hearts along the way ! Keep on rocking it, Crusaders !


Olivia said...

I like My Queen's definition of success very much. I think that this definition will one that will be meaningful now and even more so on your death bed, unlike society's definition or other superficial definitions.

I like the simple journal page you did very much. Your goodnight prayer is one that is most meaningful. I know that if I could say that, I would feel as though I'd had a successful day, and with a collection of them, a successful life.

Your life and authenticity are an inspiration to me, My Queen. xoO

Mary said...

This is brilliant in it's simplicity.
Simply beautiful!

jgr said...

Lovely page and self portrait! Beautiful insights and yes: you are a total success--dear Queen,
Happy Spring to you!

rachel awes said...

+ i love your dear simple life.

Linda Esterley said...

your life may be simple - simple-y fantastic! your Life (capital "L") radiates out and ripples across, touching this one and that one, who then pass it on. you are endlessly thoughtful, and not afraid to break through being uncomfortable with a situation to do what needs to be done.

Sueann said...

Love your piece!! Rock on hun...rock on!!

Kim Mailhot said...


Sherry said...

A departure for you in not adding all the things that make your art what is so special to you -- pens, inks, doodles, and usually very bright colour. So you kept it simple even in the colour department and you focused on the part that was most important - you. On how you view your life and your success and my friend, if more people rated success the way that you do, the world would be a much kinder, gentler place. I agree completely with your definition of success.


K J D said...

I love your page and I so enjoyed reading your post... I love to try and keep things simple in life... it's not always easy.... but I still like to try :)

Corrine said...

Wonderful "restraint" here. I love your words and your thoughts on what it means to have a successful life. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for being the big heart you are. xox Corrine

michelle ward said...

So I was just toggling through blogs and wondered, "what is my rock fairy up to lately?" and i landed on this post. *smacks head* i must have missed your comment on the team blog with this link....but it was actually way more fun to stumble upon it.

first, thanks for coming back to play with us. you have always been an enthusiastic team player by sharing both the vibrant art you make and reflective thoughts you offer AND the comments you leave for other players, cheering them on and celebrating the connections we have made.

second, i love this piece. it is such a great self portrait, your face i have come to know as though you live down the street, and the message pebbles that are so YOU (i cast my eyes on the gifted ones in my home daily), and the riot of color. i appreciate that you admit it was a challenge to keep this simple, but it looks like it was perfectly planned, and is just enough. the 'space' you leave is filled with color, that says alot without a narrative. success!

*blows kisses*

Jess said...

A beautiful journal page. :)
Jess xx

Ross said...


Yes! You get to define what success looks like to you and my perspective you are wildly successful. You love deeply and are loved back by many.

You have such a loving and kind heart and you share that with a world that needs it so much.

Rock on my amazing and wildly successful friend!

PocketSize said...

Love this! I like the layers, and the tight focus of the photo that makes it look like you're peering through a small window, either into or out of some place we can't see the rest of. In a way, it gives it a bigger feel, like there's a world that you can see but we are left to imagine.

I agree with you that Michelle has been a great influence. I wish I had participated in more of the crusades, but at least I've gotten to play in these last two.

Corrine said...

Hi Kim,

I have tagged you as I have been tagged. Go see the post at and if you want to play please do, if not, that's cool oh big heart.

Anonymous said...

May you continue to be perfectly successful on your own terms :-) I can think of nothing better.
I always enjoy my "end of month, and the newspaper's finished blog cruise 'n comment" time. It's been lovely to meet you and your work via the Crusades. Thanks for sharing what you do with everyone. May the rest of 2012 be filled with creative happiness for you.

Michelle said...

Lovely layout! Great idea to add the personal picture as well.

Terri Corona said...

How beautiful to truly know what makes you happy and successful, and have it be something so profoundly important - I think most people probably don't know that these are the truly important things until the end of their lives...LOVE your page...

Karenliz Henderson said...

Wonderful pages. I love your self portrait and your post. Beautiful!

TJ said...

Your page is very cool... I am a big fan of self portraits, and I love how you are holding up the rock message, like a reflection to yourself!
Best wishes, tj

lena-dailyscrap said...

Looking great! i really like the idea of a self portrait. why is it so hard to show a face? sorry for the GPP street team. will miss that part of my life!I feel happy for you who can claim that you live a successful sweet life!
best wishes!

Diana Taylor said...

You are truly an inspiring artist - I love your message, and the restraint you used in creating your page has worked so, so well - it is perfect as it is and needed no more. A big THANK YOU for sharing this!

Daphne said...

I absolutely love your take on Success....fantastic! And also your take on the Crusade. thanks for sharing so much insight with us.

Anonymous said...

we share a love for those fab red shoes...i have mine on as we speak!

hope you had a wonderful weekend, was nice to learn MORE about you.

Parabolic Muse said...

The colors are amazing. I'm so glad you revisited the Team. You always bring colorful richness!

Karen Isaacson said...

I love your definition of success. I think I need to start saying those words to myself at bedtime to keep in touch with the most important things. and I love that restraint can still come in all those fabulous colors!