Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Joy of Low Key

I have not been ignoring this blog. I have just been thinking about it from afar. While I do lots of other things. The good thing is that they were fun, creative, productive things.

*Yawn* K, so it's the week of Christmas, and I've kept the hustle and bustle to a minimum. Well, at least outside home. I did all my hustling and bustling here, away from the crowded stores, running around in my socks, finishing some creative projects and pieces, shipping others, and starting still more. Anyway, today (a beautiful day) has been some of this:

And a lot of this, as the day wore on:

I'm getting some work done, but the sound of that rain getting heavier outside as dusk sets in is making me think about some of this:

And maybe a little later:

A book and a nice fire to read by could be nice, too. Okay! Back to work, lol.
But later maybe...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Creative's Collection

So, as a creative person, with all kinds of ideas and inspiration constantly running through my bean, I have been known to hoard things, both in my head and in my physical space. I'm drawn to things that have a unique beauty, and it's a bonus if they have a little story attached to them, or just a little mystery that prompts me to create my own story for them. I don't really consider myself a collector, though. In my mind, when I think of collector, I think of the people you see on t.v. with rooms and rooms of stuff that all follows a {sometimes} strange theme. I don't have anything like that, just a few treasured things that have some meaning for me. One of my favorite personal collections is my handkerchiefs. I don't have a lot of them, but I enjoy them for their pretty colors and the stories behind some of them. I inherited most of them from my grandmothers, but some of them were just gifts or lucky finds at vintage shops.

I know these are the days of kleenex purse packs, but when I remember to, I like to drop one of these in my purse to use. It's a bonus if I have one that goes with what I'm wearing.

One of my grandmothers, who was a part of the era of women who wore hats, gloves, and carried hankies on regular days. Most of these were hers.

This one is a favorite, for its color, and its cut-out leaf design. It's one of the inherited ones and was once lost, I thought forever. I had left it behind at a wedding reception, and when I realized it, I called the hotel, but no one seemed to have seen it. Over a month later, it showed up in a little white envelope that came in the mail. I was SO relieved- and I felt like Nana must have helped it find its way back to me herself, lol.

Anyway, I don't really care about adding to this collection, and I think my grandmothers would be pleased to know I'm actually using them, not letting them sit in a box somewhere, hidden. The best part of collecting is enjoying your treasures, right?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Package Envy

The designer in me has a weakness for
beautiful packaging. I admire innovative,
creative, compelling design, but who doesn't?
It's human nature to be drawn to things in pretty packages. I will admit to desiring a product (or a man, lol) solely on the merits of the package design, knowing full well I had no use for the object(s) inside. Anyway, I love to incorporate special touches in packaging my own handmade things. In my humble opinion, it's part of the fun of a unique handmade item for me, and I hope, for the customer or recipient, too. It definitely sets the tone, telling the end user, "this is something special". Here's my latest prototype, packaging for a magnifying glass and letter opener set embellished with my handmade recycled paper beads:

simple, designed to showcase the product inside
a descriptive label I designed and printed from my laserjet onto cardstock
a larger label on the back, with more details about the product
This project was something I had been meaning to get around to but didn't until a customer ordered it for an anniversary gift (possibly for their "paper" anniversary??) and requested gift wrapping. I will make some tweaks (because I'm just anal like that) to the design and use it to package more sets. Here's how the gift wrap came out:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Things I Make for Me

This is a "two-fer" today, because I'm sharing two things I made just for moi. I continue to stay happily busy creating things for my online shops and other outlets day in and day out, but, thankfully find time to make things for me. It is definitely part of the joy of creating. So, have a look. The first item is a sort of cork tile o' inspiration that I mounted in my bathroom. It's a fun thing that sorta took shape around something I was gifted. A friend gave me some of her late mother's collection of vintage buttons, which I knew I could find a use for, easy. They sat around for a while until I got the idea to glue my favorites onto brass tacks. From there I decided they were just too pretty for my regular bulletin boards. I also had these pretty, dark cork tiles doing nothing.

Then, finally I determined it was time to do something with these scraps of magazines I had lying around. I had torn out pieces with different makeup looks to try because I love to experiment with color, outside my studio, too, lol.

So this thing came from all that. Interestingly, that is how many projects come together for me, especially when I acquire something I love, or have a stray idea. I don't always know what things will become, but when I love them enough... and if I set them aside long enough, they find a purpose.

The other item is a fun tank top that was ridiculously cheap and easy.

The tank was under $5, and the shimmery peacock feather applique was, like, 50 cents. It took all of 10 minutes (if you don't count me moving it around to different spots on the top to decide where I wanted it) to iron it on. And it's adorable on. There you have it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Days, Numbers, and Times

As I inch up on my 37th (sheesh) birthday, I've been doing some reminiscing on and remembering my life so far. I have plenty to be thankful for, especially good memories. One of my favorite memories of my childhood was when I figured out how to make myself a cup of coffee, lol. I know that sounds strange, but I was a strange kid (and that has not changed much, lolol). Sometimes I think I started out a little old lady, and as I grew up, I went backwards, something like Benjamin Button. These days people seem to mistake me for someone in her twenties, not late thirties (which is totally okay with me).

Anyway, I remember my mother's old coffee percolator, with its little glass bubble on top, where I could watch the coffee gurgling up as it brewed a pot of coffee for she and my dad. And I remember having my own little Raggedy Ann cup and saucer, and a tiny folding table and chair. My mother would set up the table and chair in front of the big old television set in the living room in the mornings and I would have my hot cereal and a little bit of coffee in my cup while I watched the Rocky and Bullwinkle show.

On Saturday mornings, like most kids that age, I was usually up and ready to go long before my parents felt like being disturbed. So I would get up and quietly watch my Saturday morning cartoons. By the time I was 6, I could reach the counter in the kitchen, and one Saturday morning in particular remains in my memory. I guess I must have seen my mother and grandmother do it enough that I decided to go in and help myself. I remember putting a spoonful each of instant coffee, sugar, and creamer into my Raggedy Ann cup (I still have a fuzzy picture in my mind of the little brown and white mountains of crystals overlapping in the bottom of the cup), and I guess I added hot water from the kitchen tap. And voila! I remember how excited and grown up I felt, as I drank my coffee and watched my cartoons, lol, and how I couldn't wait for my mom to get up so I could tell her.

Anyway, savoring memories from the various stages of my life definitely causes me to look forward to those I have yet to create. We often talk about how good things "used to be", and "the good old days", missing them, wishing we could somehow recapture them, because we might appreciate them so much more. But every single day has the potential to stick out in our minds as a great time in our lives. Reminiscing this way could serve as a reminder of how important it is to live and take advantage of every single second, savor every moment, stop and notice how many good things, big and small we are blessed to experience, whatever part of our personal journey we are on. And to make now the good new days.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Trial and Error

I like trial and error. I do. It is a necessary process that elevates my understanding of various media as I learn the quirks and oddities that make up the properties of a material. Yeah, whatever. As valuable as I know trial and error to be in creating, sometimes it just iirrrrrks me so bad!

Yesterday, when I discovered a drying process gone awry on a piece I had eagerly and excitedly painted the day before, I wanted to kick something, hard. Luckily no one else was around.
Some fluke crackle effect where I didn't intend it to be.
really? GRRRRR!!!
Yeah, it's a pretty big buzz-kill on that whole fulfilling creative process thing when green dries blue, stuff warps to look stangely like crap, or a tool fails just minutes away from the completion of a major piece, all but totally destroying
weeks of work.

Seems like it happens the most on stuff I am really looking forward to finishing. I'll be cruising along, moving closer and closer to the finished product I picture, when, wham, a lil ol' monkey wrench in my plan. Most times whatever has gone wrong is fixable, and teaches me something I can use to my benefit on other projects. In fact, the errors sometimes equal happy accidents. Sometimes it will change the vision for what the finished product will be. Bring out my inner scientist when something doesn't work and I'm forced to rig- er, formulate a new method.
how many times do I have to mix paint
to get the right pink? we are not going for
pepto bismol here...
But often, it is a setback, adding additional
step(s) and an additional day or more to a project. And, who are we kidding, when you are creating for a living, the "time is money" thing definitely applies to you. In the end, I try to make myself feel better about extra time I have to spend fixing or re-doing by thinking about how much faster and more efficient I'll be able to get that same thing done the next 5 or 10 times, knowing what I know. It's awesome in the same way as getting your taxes done.
Back to the drawing board...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Feature

I've been featured! Cassandra Tomlinson of Tomlinson Photography was so kind to do a feature on her blog about me. Here's the link: Please check it out and share her blog, if you're so moved. ;o)

And please be sure to check out her studio on Artfire while you're at it- she creates some beautiful things herself!

Thanks again Cassandra!

Friday, September 30, 2011


No matter what I do, some days my simplest goal, balance, eludes me. It doesn't happen often. Yesterday I was running like a well oiled machine, going from one thing to the next, checking things off lists and savoring a sense of accomplishment as I barreled through my day, determined to maximize every moment afforded me. What made it balanced for me was that I also found time to do personal things for me. Today, however, was a dog of a different color. While I usually manage to efficiently stagger projects, starting on some while others dry, completing some things while others progress, I just couldn't get my rhythm right, couldn't seem to manage my time the same today.

Instead I ran back and forth and in circles trying to determine what needed to go first, what could wait, what was simple and could get knocked off the list quickly, etc.. My mental lists, proven steps, and internal clock just didn't sync up for me today. I decided not to be irritated, because everyday can't be like yesterday.
warrior, a new sculpture, available soon
I still have a few hours left in this day. Maybe this should be that slow down day I promised myself. It is the weekend, after all...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lucid Pursuits

Okay, so how far is just too far, lol? Not long ago I was going about my day as usual, when the memory of a dream I had had the night before came to me. You know how that happens... hours after you get up something triggers a flashback to your adventures in dreamland. Anyway, I remembered a dream where, clear as a bell, I could see some of my materials. I was looking over different components that I have in real life, and designing things. Seriously. Actually working out how stuff should be made in the dream. Great, so I found a way to get more done, even while I'm asleep, lol! And I didn't even sleepwalk (as I have been known to do). Now if I could figure out a way to harness this and decide which projects to to delegate to dream Renée... Maybe if I tucked some tools under my pillows...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Things I Make for Me

It's true, as an artist, I spend a lot of time making things for other people. But I also find time to make things just for lil' ol me. Sometimes those things go on to be copied to sell or give as gifts, but the point is, they started out made by me especially for me :o). Here's the latest item of note:
A bunch of wool I had
laying around...
Plus a bar of soap...
Equals a scrubby wool felted soap.
This little bar with its new wool jacket is great for scrubbing paint, glue, etc. off of my hands when I finish a session in my studio. No, I wouldn't make this to sell- there are oodles of folks who already do, but since I knew how, and the materials were around, why not do a lil' something just for me?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm in Love with a {Wonderful?} Soy...

natural goodness or not so much?
Okay, here's the thing.  I must be the last person to become conscious of the whole soy craze sweeping the nation, because apparently it's old news and people have been talking about switching to soy products for years.  I stumbled onto it late in the game in a search to decrease the dairy in my diet.  I am a generally healthy person who prefers preventative measures over drugs and hospitals.  I also like to try to eat and conduct my life on the healthier side, but I'm no health nut.  Anyway things like persistent sinus problems and other minor annoyances, drove me to consider what changes I could make.  Dairy it was.  I love dairy in all its cheesy, creamy, sweet, savory manifestations, but I was willing to try something different.
soy froths so nicely!
In walks soy.  It was obvious from the start that we would be close, considering that soy can be and do so many tasty things (one of my favorites being vanilla soy milk).  It sorta... got under my skin (biting my knuckles dramatically like one of those noir film ladies from the 40's talking to a Bogart type).  But then while doing some researching online, I found discussions speculating about whether soy was actually good for us, or if it was a horrible low cost government machination to fill the void in capitalism created by people who don't wish to consume hormone-laced cow's milk.  AAaarrrggghhh!  What's a girl to do, eat her corn flakes with water?!  (noir dame grabs guy's shirt dramatically, shaking him hysterically)  Anyway, the jury is still out on soy, there's more research to be done before I can decide, and I'm finding so much conflicting info all over the web ... anybody got any good advice?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thrift Score

As an artist, I see potential projects and ideas everywhere I look.  Everyday things can be transformed into art.  It's a sort of double vision I think most artists possess.  I think it has to do with how we associate shapes, textures, and colors in different contexts and subconsciously identify like qualities in different things.  ANYway, the point, lowly though it may be, is that one of the places I go for ideas and for wierd and wonderous things is my local thrift store.  I can go there and find things that can be taken apart to become parts of sculptures, rescue old books for new paper goods, find amazing furniture for refurbishing projects.  One of my most visited spots there is the "metals" aisle (for lack of a better term - I think it's got a big number 4 hanging over it, but that doesn't help you, does it?).
There I find all kinds of misfit things missing parts or just needing some love and a new purpose.  Wire baskets, brass cups, metal tripods that once held vases or bowls.  These can all become part of new pieces for me.  Today I stopped in between other errands, and while I found what I went in for, I didn't make it out with that alone, cuz walking up to the register, a few other items called out "Renée!!!  Wait!  Take me too!  Fix me and find me a new home!!!"  So here's my score:

 1. a metal tripod  2. a mini glass apothecary jar  3. an embellished
metal tripod with a cup  4. a letter or file sorter  5. a really cute top- perfect with short shorts!

I often pick up metal tripods to include as stands for sculptures I make.  They create a great finished look.  I couldn't resist the apothecary- I have a thing for pretty glass jars.  The sorter will feed my obsession with organizing and being efficient so I can get more done, and the top, well, why not?  Yeah, I'd call this a successful trip, since on top of the things I carried out in my bag, I came away with a little fresh inspiration, which is always on my list.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One Down...

Okay, so you'll act like you didn't see me slink in and start tapping on the keyboard like I haven't been otherwise occupied for weeks.  But I have a good excuse.  I've been otherwise occupied.  Meanwhile, blog posts and rants have been pressing and straining to get outta my head (or that could be my seasonal allergies taking another crack at me), dripping into lists of topics onto sticky notes laying around, waiting for me to get around to getting my two cents off my chest so I can move onto other things.  Writing is becoming like my other forms of creating- an idea or a thing just haunts the mess outta me for weeks, months, sometimes years (don't judge me), and the only way for me to get peace is to sketch, paint, sculpt, write, whatever to get it out of me. 

And lately, it seems like somebody somewhere has turned the faucet on full blast, cuz projects are just pouring outta me faster than I can jot down notes on what they will be.  No figuring out how this piece is going to be painted, or that piece is going to be assembled-- just me running back and forth, from one thing to the next, finishing things as fast as I can so I can go on to the next.  And on top of my own ideas, the blessing of commissioned projects for customers.  Things that I'm enjoying creating for them, because I know I can make what they envision a reality.

Anyway, everyday I've been saying, okay TODAY I will find 5-10 minutes while something is drying or I'm waiting on something to upload to write some of these blog entries.  Well, here I finally am, and I feel like if I had the luxury of time, I could write five, but since I got some deadlines and I need a few minutes sleep this is gonna have to hold my place for a couple of days.  Alright, whew-- till, uh... let's say Thursday ;o).

Wordless Wednesday


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hanging Back

Okay, I know, I know.  I have neglected this blog in a horrible way.  I apologize to the 2 people who actually read it, lol.  I have (now as an app on my phone, to prove how crazy things have been in the last few weeks) multiple lists of things to do, one of them a list devoted solely to blog entries I've been wanting to write.  A growing list of things I've noticed and want to type my two cents on, but haven't been able to, because I've been trapped under a big rock and couldn't reach the keyboard.  Well, not really a rock, just swept up in the wave of everyday life and things that demand attention because they are piling up and I'm the only one to address them.  To make matters even more, er, interesting, I've spent the last two months battling a heinous sinus infection (or acute sinusitis, as my now growing body of research calls it)
awaiting my return...
and juggling that with a profound sense of burnout and apathy about my creative pursuits.  The likes of which I have not experienced since one other occasion way back in highschool, when I defiantly declared that I planned to stop the art altogether and be more "normal".  
parts arranged and abandoned :o(
For all of a week, I managed to keep all of my projects and ideas closed off in a little room my parents had allowed me to use as a sort of studio.  Somehow, I ended up creeping right back in there.  Or something drew me back in there, whatever.  I couldn't stay away.  And that was the longest I had gone without drawing, painting, sculpting, etc., ever.  Until recently. 

maybe later, siiighh
Fortunately, just like back then, after allowing myself a sort of hiatus to shut off the creative machine to just rest and get well physically, and to address some things in other areas of my life, it's slowly returning, the wheels of tireless inspiration are squealing back into motion.  It's funny how after a rest, it seems to come back stronger than before, lol.  And I earnestly hope, that with it I can get back on track with 1+ entries here a week.  I think it's good for me to write this, and I really hope someone else gets a little something from it, too.  Inspired, and I wish you inspiration...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Blogger's Day of Silence

I've been a bit of a busy girl lately, tending to aspects of my life and work other than this blog, but it's been on my mind, as I looked forward to a moment to get back to it and record my latest thoughts.
Another thing that's been on my mind and in my prayers is Japan.  I don't have friends or family there, except those in my giant human family, and anything I could say about it would only be an echo of the words and feelings of disbelief that have already been floating around as people directly and indirectly affected try to sort it out.
I've been silent here and haven't been able to post as a result of everyday responsibilities, but I'm writing this short note to punctuate that with an acknowledgment of a blogger's day of silence that's happening today, Friday, to signify that the people of Japan are in our thoughts.  Something of this nature defies explanation, but demands strength, and I pray they feel us sending it.     

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Monday in Disguise

Okay, I've checked just about everything I could off my list for today, so the sane thing would be to wrap it up and go to bed.  I am going to bed.  I got plenty on my list for tomorrow.  But I couldn't go without saying what an uncharacteristically lovely day it was for a Monday.  Sure, I had lots of work to do, but I had plenty to stop and be thankful for, as well.  This morning, before things got rolling, I successfully took some quiet time to do some reading, prayer, and just being thankful for a new day wide open with opportunities.  That's big, because it's something I believe is important, but, in my crazy busy life, I have yet to be consistent with it.  But like exercise first thing in the morning, it sets an excellent tone for the day.  They say it takes 21 days of consistently doing something for it to become a habit, and it's worked for me on other stuff, so... it was a total bonus that I spent this time outside in the sunshine, where it was beautiful, quiet, and peaceful, with just a light breeze blowing and a woodpecker going at it on a nearby tree.  Siiiiiiiiiggghhh.
 Anyway, things kept on that track as I received orders and kind messages from regular customers.  People appreciating my efforts, especially the creative ones will never fail to put a smile on my face.  And the rest was just a blur of the satisfying pursuit of checking things off my list, finishing some pieces, adding to others, packing shipments, updating things online, etc..  That's how I like a week to start!  Didn't seem like a Monday at all.  Could'a been a Thursday, maybe ;o)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the Morning After

I've already blogged (on my old blog) about how I think holidays like Valentine's Day are a load of crap, and nothing but a way for card companies, jewelers, and florists to capitalize on people's disillusioned expectations, so I won't rehash all that, lol.  I will say that I had a revelation recently that folks who are not inclined to be "retail romantics" the rest of the year should actually like this capitalist imposed day, because they can provide the obligatory flourish of token gifts and gestures on this day, then spend the rest of the year relaxing on their laurels, every so often reminding their significant other of the special day they paid fo- er, created.  Just think of how making a little fuss on the one day could rack up points for the whole year!   

Wikipedia's definition doesn't seem to quantify any dollar amounts or material gain prerequisites in the formula for love (yes, I realize that in the real world, money, and the flow of it is an unavoidable thing). I maintain that I prefer a man with whom I can exchange everyday gestures that say we care: "honey, I made dinner", "babe, thanks for taking the car for an oil change", "sweetie, I scrubbed out that ring of grit you left in the tub...".  
I don't know what my male counterparts think (chime in anytime, guys!), but in my opinion, in everyday life, these things add up to more than one day of forced gift showering (course, a girl couldn't turn down an impulse "just because" token, but I want something because you thought of me and wanted to do something nice, not because you think you'd better or I'll be ticked).  

All that aside, everyday is a day for love, with people who understand what that is.  Wouldn't it 
be awesome if everyone recognized the loved ones and the "soulmates" all around them (not just their significant others), and recognized everyday as an opportunity to share and demonstrate love in their words and actions?  I am thankful to know lots of people who do.♥

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Monster in the Room

This could  make me a snob, but I have a particular loathing for gimmicks.  If you want me to shun a new movie, a product, or brand, just show me a bunch of cheesy, gimmicky advertising for it.  Corny product lines designed to maximize profits on the latest thing (action figures, bed sheets, auto ornaments - barf) are the worst!  Top it off by having the general public think it is the coolest thing since sliced bread, and it really doesn't stand a chance with me.
I'm not saying I never come around, but if and when I do, I do so grudgingly.  I was probably one of the last earthlings to see a Shrek movie, and, though it had its funny moments, after seeing one, I'm good.  So when they started hyping up the new android cell phones (and couldn't seem to give it a rest), I was saying "here we go...", and defiantly declaring my loyalty to my (not so old) faithful Blackberry.  Thus far, I had been able to accomplish everything I needed to with the apps on that phone.  My yearly credit towards a new phone had become available from my service provider, but, nope, I was sticking to my guns, no matter how much people I knew raved about their insanely capable, super smart android smart phones.  I did finally begin considering some of the newer options for future reference, but I was not going to be one of the masses programmed to run out and plunk down their hard earned moulah to snag the next big thing.  Then the unthinkable happened.  One night (not so old) Betsy gave up the ghost.  I managed to shrug it off - it said "service required" on the screen- I would take it to my provider's service outlet and have them fix 'er up and it would be fine.  Not so much.  Went to pick up my device from the service outlet, and the representative said it seemed to be working again.  But by the time I got home, I realized that it must have just been a temporary return from the great beyond, because it was kaput again. :o(  All that rep gave me was a goofy come on and a phone that still didn't work.  So I resigned myself to deciding on a new device, all the time grumbling that "big brother" musta zapped my phone so I would have to concede and get on board.   I chose a phone and used the upgrade credit I had been trying to save for later.  I've been gradually getting accustomed to it, but I refuse to be an android head, running around, obsessed with my phone and showing everyone what it can do.  It may have finally won me over the other day, though.  I had a customer in another state who had ordered a piece of jewelry and couldn't figure out, despite the instructions I sent, how to make a small adjustment to the piece to personalize it.  I was at a loss, until it occurred to me to use my phone to make a short tutorial video, then upload it so she could see it.  It worked like a charm.  The video helped, the customer was pleased, and I was pretty impressed with this device.
It had helped me provide great customer service, on top of helping me do regular administrative stuff for my business.  But we'll see.  I can still be a skeptic can't I, lol! ;o)  Ha, once it makes 3 wishes come true, then I'll really be impressed... let's see, extra money, Mr. Amazing, new levels of artistic success... hey wait, I did see some interesting apps available for download...

Monday, January 31, 2011

defeated purpose

Today in my usual chasing my own tail/knocking down walls/attempting to build Rome, I began to think my success at becoming more disciplined, focused, and calculating in getting more work done faster worked against me.  Where do I get off thinking I'm some sort of robot that can just punch things out like an assembly line?
The air was not right in the studio from the start, but I couldn't stop wrestling with it for some reason. I can joke about it now, but I was in a frustrating place, because I went in there first thing with a must do list of things I expected to finish today, once and for all, no exceptions!  But the paint, paper, glue, canvas, lighting, etc. had a different plan. I'm usually pretty balanced about these things, and when I have a day where stuff just refuses to work right, I put it all down, go off and do something else. But I think I rolled in with the wrong attitude in the first place, and that set the tone for little things to go wrong, left and right, as though something were testing me, saying, "ha- who do you think you are- you can only control so much!".
I think the issue is, that in a need for control, I am a chronic list maker. I frequently make lists, both mental lists and on paper because I want to feel that I am accomplishing things and making progress in my personal life, my creative work, and in business. I am at the point where I get a high when I can check things off, lol. It started out as a great way to get goals on track. Lists of small, doable steps are great for getting things done. But this constructive practice may just be backfiring on me. It's bad, because the more I get done, the more I need to get more done (twisted, right?). I'm like some B movie monster that's consuming cities, growing bigger, only to consume more! The point is not to make a list for the day, then have a cow when you can't check anything off! I gave myself a headache because some paint didn't dry right? What is that?!?!
Dear Me: Let it go- go watch a movie or read a book and go to bed!  Tomorrow is another day!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Happiness

Okay, on a routine cruise through the grocery store this afternoon, my eye landed on something intriguing in the produce dept. You don't wanna shop the produce department with me because I'll always find something new and odd to examine and try, lol. In a basket displaying only about 8, were these giant citrus of some sort. Sorta grapefruit-like, with the typical speckled citrus fruit skin, but closer to cantaloupe size.  Upon closer perusal I learned that the yellow green globes were called red pummelos.  I had to have one. But just to lower the risk of wasting my $2.50, I googled the exotic things while I waited in the checkout. Satisfied that they were a safe bet, I went through with it. I brought the over-sized fruit home, sliced it open for a snack, and was pleased to find the description right on.  It was like a sweet, less bitter/acidic version of a grapefruit, and it was very refreshing. I knew I'd gotten my money's worth for another reason, though- that strange piece of fruit turned into gold! Okay, not really. But looking at the newly sliced fruit, I saw a new painting. The first still life I've done in a while, but I'm excited!  Hey, it's the little things for me, cuz they add up ;o). Anyway, the unveiling  will happen soon, hopefully. Once I've found time around the 500 other projects already going, lol.

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Days

With the beginning of a new year, I look forward to clearing out old and making room for new.  It's one of my favorite ways to set the tone for a new year, and an exercise that is less painful and more cathartic than a hard and fast list of resolutions.  This new year's it sort of began involuntarily in my world, as old stuff pooped out on me and had to be replaced (my cell phone for one), and has picked up speed as I've examined different areas of my life and surroundings where tweaks were necessary.  I make it a sort of fluid, organic process, quietly going down a mental "fix, clean, ditch, donate, and/or replace" list.  I look at stuff in my home, work, social, emotional, and spiritual realms, including the people in those areas with a critical eye (considering what's helpful or a positive presence, and what's not so much), make quick, confident decisions and move on.  It feels great, and gets me on track for making my year ahead the best it can be!  The old adage, "out with the old and in with the new" could never ring truer for me, and I'm looking forward to some great new things this year...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Gift Makes a Gift

My website is undergoing renovation, but folks who stop by can see a few new things, including a short project demo for a piece I recently completed.  A link on the homepage will take you there:
the finished piece
The piece was a little gift I designed and made for my mother, in remembrance of my grandmother.  Nana passed away several years ago, but she loved hummingbirds, and at her funeral, and in encounters since then, my mom has seen real hummingbirds.  She'll go outside or look out of a window and see them sometimes.  I've often told her that Nana was sending her love, and one day the idea came to me to create this ornament as a constant reminder.
The demo shows the steps I used to make the ornament for those curious about my process.  It was a very enjoyable project, and the bonus was that mom loved it.  I invite you to take a look!