Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On My Desk

I apologize for being MIA last week. We were on vacation and I had every intention of posting on Friday, but I was completely and utterly absorbed with our days...in a way I haven't been in a long, long time. More on that THIS Friday!

Today, I sat down to my desk and found ants. This is NOT, NOT, NOT my favorite way to begin the day. Just a few of them, but pesky none the less. Particularly when they dodge and hide in my computer keys. 

Like usual, I have a pile on my desk that needs to be put away and a list for the upcoming months to prepare for art-wise.

 I'm still determined to learn some Photoshop and take the second half of the Make Art That Sells class. Summer days make it very hard for me to concentrate and I do a lot of procrastinating. The last thing I want to do this week is over tax my summer brain with learning Photoshop, so maybe next week.
Besides, I am so loving my summer mornings.
I begin with my coffee and summer fruit, sitting at the art table.

I read Jesus Calling, work a bit in my small art journal and sometime later, Brenna wanders downstairs and I get my daily dose of snuffling around her neck for the smell of freshly woken up child.

This week, the entry for July 29 in Jesus Calling struck a chord. It talked about Jesus being the Anchor of our soul.  Being adrift, needing an anchor, feeling grounded, solid, being confident all resonates in my heart with this entry.
I will be pondering the message of "living deeply" this week and see how it comes through in my art.

I especially love this verse from the Message version:

28 And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we’ll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.

Brenna watches some t.v., and I putter in the art room, gathering ideas and beginning projects. We have breakfast together and so begins the day.

I have experimented making my own stencils the last couple of months. It's tough to get smooth lines with a razor and I saw on Instagram that some folks use a Versa-Tool.

I'm going to give it a whirl after breakfast today, using Quilter's Template Plastic.
Has anyone else tried this?
I'll post the results next week!

Someone is asking for food, so I'll sign off for now.
Have a great day~

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Friday Ramblings

Yesterday, I went to visit my friend, Paula. I noticed a sweet little nest in the alcove above her front door, complete with a little baby bird. He looked ready to be done with the nest and only had a couple of downy feathers left on his head.
My friend answered her door and I commented on how great the nest was right there, and she looked very sad and before she could say anything more, the bird began to flap and fly...
to no avail.
Over and over and over, he would struggle out of his nest, only to be held down by something that was used in the materials of the nest. My friend, Paula, said she had watched this for three or four days. Now, Paula, being Paula, would have been up in that alcove in a hot second to help that little bird. Her heart is the tenderest I have seen toward animals. But Paula has been stuck herself. She is battling back problems and I have watched her over and over to try and break free herself. Her husband wasn't due home until late that night, but Paula had a plan and was I interested in helping?

You may or may not remember, but I'm fairly ummmm...well versed in bird catching/saving, as told in tthis post.

The plan was to get a ladder, gloves, scissors, broom and towel. I would climb up the ladder and knock down the nest into the towel that Paula was holding.

First off, let me tell you that birds are very industrious. How in the heck they make that nest stick the way they did is beyond me! I ended up poking and poking...and while blowing dirt off our faces, down it came-right past the towel and onto the sidewalk.

No fear....our new little friend was as sturdy as his nest. Paula held him and talked to him while I figured out where to cut the string that was holding him to his home. 
Yes, I did panic for just a split second that I would cut in the wrong place, but at the first snip, he was free and flapped away onto the ground to hide in the bushes.

As you can imagine, his little heart was beating hard and he didn't move a whole lot. I would imagine he was pretty tired after his ordeal. Paula brought a little container of water and seed and set it by him.

So, here is what I'm thinking little bird taught me:
Sometimes we can flap and strain and flap and strain, but in the end we need help from someone else.
We so need each other. We need to be independent, but we NEED each other.

Some days, we can flap and strain all we want, but it just needs to be a day where we are quiet and patient. That day can turn into many, many long days for some people. Don't forget them. Check on them. Love on them.

When you are not stuck...be thankful! It doesn't have to be for anything big. Maybe a sunset, a good book, a quiet hour, but being thankful is an amazing attribute to develop.
 (FYI-being sleep deprived makes it much, much harder to develop this. I'm just saying...)

Funny how in my journal page the last two days, I came up with these pages. Time, flight and being brave are a running theme these days for me. I'm glad I have people to share it with.

A line in the new song by Sara Bareilles called Brave. So good.

When I left later that morning, little bird was gone. He found his strength and stretched his wings.
Can you imagine how good it felt to be free?!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On My Desk

One last submission for the Lilla Rogers Studio, for the Global Talent Search.
I have no expectations for this submission except to be able to learn more from the process and have fun remembering!
The them is playground and I went scouring for photos of vintage playground equipment.
I started with the multi-colored round spinny thing.
Then I found a photo of an old horse on a spring and knew that would be what I would use.
I layered the background with lots of gesso and super wet watercolor and searched some old children's books for the right colors to fill in the horse in a collage style. 

I was fairly obsessed with horses as a kid.
The ones outside of K-Mart, ones at the fairs, merry-go-rounds, on T.V., in books, I had a collection of them, well, you get the picture! 
A little known fact:
I spent the better part of a year on my hands and knees as a kid with my friend down the street, pretending we WERE horses. I had a wicked neigh.

When I was ten, I was convinced we could keep one in the front yard and he could just graze away and our life would be so good.
My horse would be so gentle and strong! He would be my best friend, and I would tell him all about my day and he wouldn't be any trouble at all. 
Never mind the fact that I lived in a tract home that was up against the freeway.
About five years ago, my husband gave me horse riding lessons for my birthday. As obsessed as I was about horses, I think I had been on a real one a grand total of two times.
I had a blast for about six months, and it was a dream come true. Yes, I did get to the point of thinking about owning one, but realized it still wasn't going to be in the cards. As a kid, you don't realize the actual cost of owning and caring for such a large animal. That, and our housing association won't allow them in the front yard.

That's what went into my "journal cover" this week.
I could have added hats or banners, or doodles, but I ended up liking the feeling of the little boy springing away, in his own make-believe world.

Anything going on at your desk this week? 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Friday Ramblings

I'm gonna start writing this post again.
The first go around I sounded like a whiny baby.

Life is funny, isn't it?
Some weeks are full of camp and fun:

my husband and I spent the 4th at Balboa Island on a bike and visited my old arcade hangout

my favorite picture of the summer so far.

Some weeks are full of art and completing assignments for the Make Art That Sells class:

Some weeks are not.
When we brought Brenna home from camp, this ended up being her welcome home package:

This is where I previously scratched most of my last post.
While life is not all summer camp and 24 hour fun, it's not horrible. 

Well, some days are horrible, but not horrific.
There, that's better.
Brenna and I both had fabulous times at our "camps". Unfortunately for B, she came home with a whopper sinus infection.
Popsicles help.

Writing letters to your counselor helps as well.

notes to a camp counselor help....

Brenna and I have still had long, lazy days...they are just filled with kleenex and eye drops.
I've finished the Make Art That Sells class this week as well.
You would THINK I have used these last few days to create and create.
I have learned a good lesson:
I create well under pressure or when I have an assignment.
When left with having to give myself an assignment and too many days cooped up in the house, I flounder.

The assignment I gave myself was to learn PhotoShop or Illustrator and take part B of the Make Art That Sells class in October.

Enter whining and having too much time to think things through.

I'm too old.
Whatever is left of my brainpower will be GONE if I learned PhotoShop.
Do I want to expand my art?
Do I just want to continue doing shows?
Do I have the courage to submit my art to different companies?
Do I have the courage to face "no's" and get better enough to hear a yes?

My friend reminded me of one of our favorite Anne Lamott quotes:
"My mind is like a bad neighborhood I try not to go in alone."
It fits right now with the dichotomy of our summer weeks, the end of a class, sinus infections, and rain of all things today. (whining...)

So.....I put together a short list of what made me happy or laugh this week, in the midst of nose sprays, cough syrup and enough kleenex to sail to the New World.

Summer nights on our back patio, reading underneath the twinkle lights.

 Frozen yogurt helps.
Especially late at night under the twinkle lights.

Summer fruit.

Watching Netflix with Brenna. I'm hooked on Malcom In The Middle.
 It makes me laugh SO.HARD. 
I think it's because I can relate to so much dysfunction and grew up with a very strange sense of humor. A very strange part of me wishes I grew up in their house. I would totally know how to function, but it would be way, way more fun because the DYSfunction isn't fueled by alcohol. The other part wishes I could have grown up getting in so much trouble but having a blast doing it.
I know, it's t.v.
But it sure is funny.

this always makes me happy

Here's a confession:
I love going to the drugstore, especially in the summer.
I read in a magazine that a beauty secret is to wear black eyeliner on top of your eyelid and brown on the bottom of your eye. I forget why, but I decided to try it anyway. Just because it's fun buying something in a drugstore, especially new makeup.

 I felt a little like a zebra, but I thinks it's just me. I'm sure it makes me look ten years younger or something like that.
Good thing I don't do everything I read in those beauty secrets.
What ding-dong has decreed it wrong for any woman over the age of 35 to wear face powder?

Last but not least,
Gluten free Snickerdoodles.
Not quite like the real deal, but close enough.

Put a list together for yourself of what makes you happy.
Then go DO it!
And share it with us in the comments..I like adding to my list!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Early Friday Ramblings

Brenna is at camp this week. Mamma is at camp this week. The end.
See you all next week!