Thursday, February 27, 2014

Friday Ramblings: Permission

I am happily participating in Kelly Rae Robert's Hello Soul, Hello Mantra class.
Which, in my humble opinion is providential.

This week has continued to be a doozy.
My bi-annual colonoscopy revealed that I am yet again in a flare up.
I share this because I have "met" many others who walk the road of Ulcerative Colitis through blogging and it's good to know you are NOT alone.

I needed these gentle reminders today:

It was a day for paint, play, trial and error, new colors and everything in between. 

mission accomplished.

I ruined another pair of pajama pants, listened to Lady Antebellum on Pandora,
and went at my own pace.

is it possible to love a brayer? 

The goals for the morning were simple:
Put Paint On Canvas.
Be Curious.
Put More Paint On Canvas.

I can't tell you how many times I had to refer to my little notes.
Those voices.
Never stop.

So, more paint, more curiosity...

...and a little writing on my wrist to be double sure.

and no, I am not getting a real tattoo. i like changing the words all the time.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Friday Ramblings: Friends, Coffee and Paper

A call for flowers came a few weeks ago. Could I possibly make some for an upcoming wedding for a friend's daughter? Of course! A little tweaking, a little cutting, a few texts back and forth and flowers were ready to bloom. 
Four of us had set a day this week to work on wedding plans with our friend. 
We have gathered over the years to work on so many, many different things together and this time held  the same excitement as we have had in the past.

I made a template for the flowers, hauled out the long table, set up what was needed to work and made coffee.

Once again, we gathered. 
Stopping a moment to wonder just how many times we have gathered over the years, I drew comfort from these familiar friends.

As we worked, we talked over the same subjects that we have covered a million times:
families, parents, kids, needs, hopes, prayer.

We covered new themes-wedding plans, mother of the bride dresses, how the weeks are flying by until the big day.

As we talked and worked, I could feel myself settling, breathing.
Drinking in the familiar and the safe.

Flowers were created and finished-so much accomplished! 
We went our separate ways, to pick up the business that awaited each of us, the needs calling our names.

Reflecting over the week, it doesn't seem quite so heavy because it was shared today.
Oh, sure. The unanswered questions are still there, the frustrations are still there, the tiredness hasn't gone away.
But because it was shared with friends over coffee and paper, it doesn't seem quite so monumental.
Saying the words out loud takes away some of the frustration over unanswered questions, it releases the burden those thoughts bring when kept inside.

This week, I hope you find a friend to share with, someone familiar to release words to.
If you can do it over creating and coffee-all the better!
Happy Friday.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Friday Ramblings: Finding Direction

The pros and cons of having a sick child at home.

I get a lot done in the art room.
I don't have to get dressed or wash my hair.

I don't brush my teeth and I have coffee and water for breakfast.
Unless you count a Rice Krispie treat breakfast.

I get a lot done in the art room.

I think my behind spread about six inches after this week.

I practiced lettering, journaling, lettering, thinking, and making coffee.

I thought too much.

I really like what I made this week.
And I played with art.

Let's see...where was I?
I thought about how I am such a dichotomy in personalities at times:
Half of me just wants to go with the breeze, see what happens, not make plans.
Half of me HAS to do RIGHT and FOLLOW the RULES.
Right now, I'd like to go with the breeze. There's too much to decide and figure out.

We don't have to get up and get out the door for school.

Brenna won't sleep in.

I got to use old maps and old paper AND my sewing machine.

Oh, who knows by now!!

I have also had time to work on re-opening my etsy shop so if you are interested in these pieces, click
HERE to visit!
It's slow going, so I'll be adding as the week goes along.

Happy Friday!

Linking to:

Monday, February 10, 2014

Anthropologie Inspired Book Garland

These days, I find myself obsessed with old book pages more than usual.

I have been looking up paper garlands in Pinterest so I can make one (or two) for my friend's daughter who is getting married in April.
There are so many beautiful options.
One I found was from Anthropologie, used in a store display.
Of course, it's a photo on flicker and not from someone's blog giving me exact directions on how to duplicate it.
Of course, this is the one I want to make.
Of course.

Can you see why?
Well, minus the tiny clothespins.

All I have to do now is get it to hang without falling apart!
So begins a lesson for the not-methodical-me.

I went to an artist's group meeting last week and the guest speaker, Aeron Brown said one of his most favorite sayings is, "Every mistake is a portal to discovery."
It's kinda life changing for me.
These seven words allow me to breath a little more and to look at what I'm doing in a different light.

I have used an entire 380 page book with this much garland. I thought it was sturdy, but every time I lift it up, it breaks apart.

It looks kinda cool laying down, but only in the photograph.
It's much better hung up.

I thought I would pass along what I have learned thus far.
Your materials are simple:
a couple of old books and a stapler or two.

Take all the pages out of the book and begin by putting two of them together.

Fold each page outward and join at the top.
I used a tiny clothespin here just so I could get a decent photo.

Next, staple the two pages together at the top.
I started out by stapling each corner, but realized later that stapling three times across gives it a little more sturdiness.
Repeat this step a thousand more times while watching the Winter Olympics.

To begin putting the garland together, insert the top of a section you have stapled into the curved bottom part of another stapled section.

Now take your stapler and staple the top into the bottom, gently fitting your stapler all the way in so you can make three staples across, again, to give it more stability.

I have to say, I am in the middle of this project and I'll have to go back to the ones I have all ready put together and try to insert a third staple to see if it holds together a little bit better.

Otherwise, I think the trick is that the garland gets pretty heavy the longer you make it, so it will need to be hung in sections.
I thought about stringing it with fishing line down the middle, but the problem would still be the same: the weight of the garland would tear the paper from the string
Makes me wonder if they SEWED the top of the two pages together.
If that's the case, I have to start all over with about 500 pieces of paper.
Which is why I'm glad I have until April.

"Every mistake is a portal to discovery".
(and I'm not so far into the project that I need to scream and then burn it and start all over, so I can say this will all gentleness and totally believe it.)

So, unless you are from the design team from Anthropologie that created this gorgeousness and can tell me the secret to hanging it, I'll be O.K. to try it this way.
No, really.
Pretty sure I'll be o.k.
It's just for one of my best friend's daughter's wedding.
No big.

Linking up with

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Friday Ramblings: "Tyranny of the Urgent"

Today, I woke up thinking about the title of the book,
 Tyranny of the Urgent, by Charles E. Hummel.

My house is in somewhat of a chaotic mess.
It's been a busy week, and I find that the piles have grown faster than I have time or energy to deal with.
Not an unusual occurrence, but one that catches up with me in a big way and I become easily overwhelmed.

I gave great consideration to burning every list in my house.

Then I thought about collaging all the lists into my art journal.

My lists are needed, but today they seem utterly ridiculous.

Making the decision to ignore them completely, 
I lit a candle, made coffee and proclaimed it a pajama day for as long as I can-or until the plumber comes to unclog my kitchen sink.
( I have been "camping" for three days now, doing dishes in a pot and tossing the water out. Or not doing dishes and letting them pile up with my lists.)

Today is a day to breathe.
Today is a day to focus on what is in front of me.
To take time to journal.
To not care how it comes out, (i.e. miss-spelled words) but to enjoy the process and to aimlessly doodle while I reflect on this verse I found in the Message version:

Matthew 11:28-30, message version

The unforced rhythms of grace.

My take on it is this:

Breathing vs. realizing I'm not breathing
being still, stopping, wasting time, focusing vs. movement
being kind to myself vs. being my own taskmaster
finishing one thing vs. multitasking
thinking about the great possibility I am working on my own strength and not on God's.

Wearing my own yoke that is too heavy. Too tight. Not taking me in the right direction. 
My yoke demands more and more.
My yoke pushes until I forget to stop and say thank you.

Learning is a a continual life process, don't you think?

You will have to excuse me, but
some weeks, to be honest, are just bat-shit crazy.
Whether full of crazy good or just crazy, sometimes they are too much to be able to find our way.

My hope is that I learn to take my yoke off and put on the yoke of Christ.
One that will mold me in tenderness like a loving Father.
With gentle hands, kind words and eyes that look at me with love and compassion;
 that teaches me that faith and trust are GOOD things.

I hope I learn through this life, that it will become easier to trust that these words are true.
Nothing like this was particularly modeled to me growing up, so find that I learn it on my own.
I practice it with my own children and gain
each time the opportunity arises.

Hands are open.
Breaths are being taken.
Thank you is being said.