For Your Inspiration Friday

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Art is not always about pretty things. It’s about who we are, what happened to us, and how our lives are affected.

Elizabeth Brown

 

Great design is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

De Saint-Exupery

 

I feel there is nothing more artistic than loving people.

Vincent Van Gogh

 

You’re chasing after balloons that don’t even belong in your sky. Let them go.

Erin Van Vuren

 

Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.

Mark Twain

All Clean Now

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I cleaned up my office/studio space–which is also the actual office area on one side and the dining room on the other…video evidence may make you think otherwise…but I assure you–we have cleaned, organized, re-organized, thrown stuff away, donated stuff, and moved more out and about…and then organized again–which is one reason why it takes so long for me to do things…I work in circles anyway–and then add in all the critters and the kids and their clutter…and it gets even more complicated.

Cleaning can be annoying.

For one, I put things away in safe places…which means–I put them somewhere and forget where that may be…a lot…and it is always stuff I think I will absolutely know where I am putting it.  I spent three days, no joke, trying to find my three hole punch last week.  I found it, after asking my husband if I could borrow one from his work…and then I put it on the shopping list–figuring if I bought a new one, the old one would show up quickly.  Apparently, the threat of having another hole punch in the house did it–the old one showed up.

Good things come from cleaning as well.  I found some old sketchbooks and art journals.  I mean old as in before I ever took an art class, online or otherwise.

As I flipped through these journals, one thing struck me, rather loudly.  I used to have some real fun doing this stuff.  I am not saying I don’t have fun painting faces, or girls, or whatever.  I do … I am currently working on a very large canvas of a whimsical face right now…but I’ll talk more about her some other time.

Before, however, I wasn’t as concerned with … faces, shading, doing things right, shadows, outlines, perfect lines.  I doodled, a lot.  I always have, ever since I was a kid.  In these journals, I would cut stuff out of magazines or wherever, glue it in.  I would sew things to pages.  I would staple and tape.  My brain did not squinch over the whole–is it archival? thing…no, I was worried more about … being me, expressing myself, playing…and that is what I miss.

My new desktop and my printer, with me as a translator, have communication issues.  We’re working on them…but until I learn to speak the required languages and in turn, teach these two to work together…pictures of my work here are going to be few and far between.

You can follow me on instagram if you like…but I almost never post finished paintings there.  I always post works in progress.  Now, if you love knitting projects–those I post all finished and usually being worn by their happy new owner…

I may not show any new work until the finished journal flip-through videos…which may take a long time…but we’ll see…I have to come up with something here soon because I am enjoying what I am doing right now.

I took the silver leaf journal I made/bound myself…the one where I glued in questions from Brave Girls Club and then sort of traced an edge along the inside edge of the pages to make it pretty.  Today I took that journal because I am trying to get back into both a written journal and art journalling…and I wrote out my answer to the question…but I felt very quickly that there needed to be more.  So, I added some paint…and then some more because it just wasn’t covering what I had written.  I had intended to slap on some colors, maybe doodle a bit around the edges, and then write a mantra or main thought of what I wanted to happen around what I had answerer/written before the paint hit the paper.  I did that–didn’t really like it…used a black Stabilo over top of it — in one word, I summed up the entirety of what I had written and what I wanted to remember moving forward…

There is no face on this page.  I guess the word is the focal element.  There is paint, and doodling, and edging…and I really like it.  One day–I’ll show it to you.  It finally feels like me…and that feels good.

I expect to be doing a lot more work, in and out of my journals, using paint, using pens, using yarn…from here on out.

Thanks for following along.

 

What Can You Get For Five Dollars?

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I fluctuate on the family website with it being too much of me there…I pull stuff off. I rearrange stuff. I do all sorts of things. Time and time again, I think, I need to pull most of my stuff off to make it ‘more fair’ to everyone, so it won’t look like it is about me so much.

Time and time again, between friends, family members, and actual clients, I hear…whatever it is that makes me worry about my stuff being ‘too much’, I need to let go of that…so every time I think…new website…I end up letting go of it…because time and time again what everyone tells me is…I just have more to offer than the rest…and perhaps in time, the kids will have more to offer…or perhaps they will move on to their own sites…or both…but for right now, every time I turn around, the message I get is to not hide myself or my work – but to let my stuff shine…

Along these lines, letting my stuff shine, myself shine, my work shine…I have been getting lots of messages about … not discounting my older work. So, I have brought it out of the cupboards where I have hidden it away…and I am again offering it up for sale. Since it is older work, and not necessarily representative of where I am anymore, I am not going to charge the original prices…I still believe this work has value, otherwise, I would not put it out into the world again.

However, in some places, I am working on a course similar to the old one, with not just new material, but new insights, new energies, new directions…so again, not trying to devalue the old work, because I still believe there is much to be learned from it…I am just saying…new things are coming…I have expanded…I have opened up more…and the one major thing is…I have much stronger and healthier boundaries now.

I think the biggest flaw in some of my earlier work was trying to make it accessible to everyone…so there was a lot of political correctness going on to make that possible…in trying to be as inoffensive to as many people as possible, I admit that I often was offensive to my own self and to my own beliefs. It is something I have been working on…and something I continue to work on. In no way am I saying I am working to be more offensive to people. Hardly. I am simply working to be my own more authentic self—to be less offensive to my own true self.

Having said all of this…all my older work is now available for sale again…for $5 per course.

I have Older Courses available here (each one is $5).

I have Writing available here (each one is $5).

Of course, if you want more, there are plenty of additional tabs under my name under the shop tab on the website.

Keep in mind…just as I am working to bring you more courses and artwork and whatnot…I am also working on the website as well, so things may shift there without warning, although I do my best to make sure everything remains as clear as possible.

Thanks for listening.

Sharing…

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I have been more on hiatus in these past few years since my now 5-year-old was born than I want to admit…even though this has also been such an incredibly productive and creative time for me. I have taken many paths I never thought I might step foot down…and here I am, on the other side…

The interesting thing is I have become sucked into my own wind tunnel…I have been so busy doing other people’s stuff (as in taking classes, reading books, etc etc) and trying to stay sane with two teens and a little guy….and the cats, and the dogs, and the gerbil….and my poor fish…and the plants…I somehow managed to get lost in all of this.

I have been looking at my to do list…the courses I need to create, the ones I need to pull out of outline form, the things I need to test knit, the items I need to knit by request of family members, the things I need to paint, the stories I need to write, the … tails I need to chase…all these strings and things…they all add up…

I have had to admit that I have taken so much time away from me, away from my stuff, that I feel as if I am beginning at the very beginning all over again. My knitting was in such a good space when I got pregnant with my youngest…and now, I often feel that the quality of my abilities has gone down. I don’t read as much as I used to…not just because of the boy, but because my eye sight has shifted and I am still trying to find the best way to deal with that. I want bifocals or something, but the ophthalmologist doesn’t think it’s as bad as I feel it is. If I need a magnifying glass to read…it’s as bad as I feel it is…just sayin’…but I am working on it. My writing…ahhh…when I sit down to write, it feels…stilted and wrong….I have a plethora of pages in my fiction journal now that are all X-ed over…something I have done my whole life, since I was about nine years old….and I feel as if I can’t do it anymore…and that is a shame.

I started doing what I normally do in these situations…I start researching. I start reading blogs and newsletters and what books I can. I start…studying…I start looking outside…and since I am in the midst of creating courses for different things, it hit me in a particular manner that the stuff I am reading is not something I would be offering to myself if I were to create something for someone in my situation.

The truth is…I am not a beginner. I have faith in having a beginner’s mind, yes…but that is not the same as being a complete beginner. The only sources I have come upon of late are for those who are complete beginners…I am someone who is …beginning again. It’s all in there. It’s all inside me. I have to stop—and I have to be allowed to have the silence and the space to be there with myself for more than a second or two at a time—which happens to be the hardest part of all around here…and then…I need to do the work.

I don’t need someone else telling me – this is the work you need to do and this is how you need to do the work. I know what I need to do…and I know how I need to do the work in the way that is best for me…or I did…and I just need to find that space once again…my big issue is with all these voices saying….this is how you do it…don’t do it that way….do it this way.

Ok, so your way works for you…and that is a good thing. I am truly happy for you. You are not me. You are not here. You do not respond to my circumstances as I do. Only I do that. So only I can decide what way works best for me.

And that is the space I am currently in…the whole I know what used to work best for me…I know where I want to be, how I want to do things, where I want to go—it’s just in our currently very shifting paradigm here, finding that space and that quiet time to make things work for me again. It also requires me getting over my fears.

The ground beneath me has not been solid for a long time, in my eyes. In the past few months, especially the past few weeks, things have settled down. Foundations have strengthened. Healthy boundaries have been set and others are being set. The energies around me have grown closer, instead of being all these random shooting stars. I feel I am on solid ground. I have a clear focus. I have some strong goals in place. I no longer worry that these goals won’t be met, or that attaining these goals will be hindered. I feel good. Life feels good. I feel stronger.

I know it is merely a matter of time before the outer shifts come into place as these inner shifts have come.

That feels good.

So what is all this about? This is just me sharing my path with you…it’s a bumpy road…there is a lot of work to be done…but I am back on my own path…and I am doing my own work once again. I hope to start sharing more with you.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me.

Announcement

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We wanted to wait to announce it…and now we can happily announce:

We finally got married!

We had an amazing and beautiful private civil ceremony on July 12, 2017.

Now, we’re official.

Yee-haw, ya’ll!