Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Chrissy-Missy

Being silly while bowling - serious pictures are soooo. . .boring

A bit of snuggle time with the nephew.  Nothing like sleeping with a baby!

Enjoying the last days of summer.

There is nothing like the birthday of one of your children to make you stop for a moment and reflect on your blessings. The blessings of watching a human being grow into their
own individual self; the blessing that person brings to your life by their mere presence.
My number three child was born 19 years ago today!
Her birth was a smooth and magical experience.
She entered the world at about 11:30 in the morning.
Her name was going to be Hannah. I had always wanted a little girl named Hannah.
One day, when I was in the 9th month of pregnancy - my oldest daughter, then 6 years old - put her hands on my swollen belly and said the baby will be born soon. It's a girl and her name is Christina Marie.
I thanked her for her prediction, but told her that no - if it was a girl, her name would be Hannah.
Soon after came the exciting day and we welcomed our baby girl.
As she was placed in my arms, my husband and I looked at her and said - "she is not a Hannah - she is most definitely a Christina Marie".
As Chrissy grew - she filled our home with her uniqueness -
reminding us daily to experience the little miracles and magic that occur everyday.
19 Things about Chrissy -

1. She is an amazing creative artist.
2. She has an amazing laugh - one that you cannot help but join in with when she begins to laugh.
3. She has managed to maintain her childhood innocence and reminds all around her to do the same.
4. She is very musical. She plays the piano beautifully and her singing voice makes you stop and listen.
5. Our favorite memories of her childhood involved a makebelieve alter-ego named Skipper Tiger and of her 3-year old self wearing white cowboy boots with . . .everything!
6. When she was very young she informed us that when she grew up she didn't want babies, she wanted to have puppies.
7. She has been dubbed the animal whisperer - dogs and cats are instantly attracted to her. They know she is a kindred spirit.
8. She has an amazing patience with children of all ages.
9. She has embraced her uniqueness from early on. She knows who she is.
10. She has tackled the challenges of her life head on.
11. She is a loyal friend.
12. She is open to new tastes, new experiences, new adventures.
13. She is accepting of everyone.
14. She is curious - about the world, about other's stories, about other places.
15. She is adventurous when it comes to new tastes and cultures. (She's the only one of my children who loves Indian food as much as I do!)
16. She loves the ocean and the sand. Any beach will do.
17. She loves the adventures of downtown. Hanging in a bookstore, a coffee shop or general people watching is her idea of a perfect day.
18. She loves to listen to music and her musical tastes grow larger and larger every day.
19. She loves family.

Thank you Chrissy - for choosing me to be your mommy.  I love you!

On another note . . .

a glimpse of a new stool that has just been finished for a custom order.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rock This Guitar

The above is not my work.
The above is by my daughter, Chrissy.
She finds herself a slave to paint as I do.
She has developed her own style.
She NEEDS to paint.
She needs to feel the paint on her hands. She needs to work with the colors.
She layers and "pulls" the thick liquid.
Some days that need is stronger than others - but it is there nonetheless.
The above is the body of an electric guitar that a friend of hers wanted to be more unique.
I think she accomplished the task.
It looks amazing in person - I am so proud.
If I were a "rocker" musician - I would be proud to hold this instrument in my hands.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I think I have sunshine on the brain.
As I look out the window today, the sun has made an appearance and it gives me hope.
Hope for spring.
Hope for longer days.
I know I shouldn't complain - we here in Oregon are experiencing
50 degree days while others on the other side of the country are getting below zero temperatures.
But I am longing for planting my garden, looking out my back door and seeing flowers and color
rather than brown, fires in the firepit, the smell of barbecues in the air, and lazy hours spent in my hammock.
(Insert heavy sigh here . . .)

How many more days until summer????

In the meantime - I will just keep painting my own sunshine. . .

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back to Reality

I have returned . . .
to the land of the living,
to reality,
to work,
to family. . .
to life.

I just returned from a much needed retreat.
An extended weekend at the Oregon Coast for a mini-vacation.
The first vacation in a year that wasn't associated with a sale or a project of any kind.
I spent my weekend listening to music -
the music of the waves, the music of the rain and my favorite musicians on my i-pod.
I knitted - I am working on a shawl. I don't know if or how it will turn out. Knitting is not my strongest art form - but I enjoy it and find that I am drawn to it every winter. So I am knitting because I need to. The end result is not the issue (but I am secretly hoping that it is wonderful!)
I read.
I slept.
I painted.

As I headed away on this mini-retreat, I approached it with a bit of a challenge. I usually take boxes and boxes of supplies with me. . But this time, I decided I was taking paper and paints.
That's it.
I had blank watercolor paper for painting.
My box of paints.
A few key pens and pencils.
And a few sheets of tissue paper for building up texture.
That's it!

I didn't want the pressure of projects, or commissions, or "have-tos".
I just wanted to paint and see where my ocean muse took me.

It was wonderfully freeing to have less to work with.
I created several originals that will soon be  in my Etsy shop, available as matted prints.

(This is my theme for the year!)

It offered me the permission to do whatever the moment dictated.
Sometimes that was reading, or knitting or painting -
and more than once it was sitting on the couch staring out the window and doing absolutely nothing.
I call it my "coastal coma".

I gave myself permission to totally give in to my bodies natural rhythm.
I ate when I was hungry - I slept when I felt sleepy.
I took clothes to wear each day, and found I returned home with clean clothes because I stayed in my pajamas most of the time.

I returned home on Wednesday afternoon feeling like myself again.
I was happy to be home and I awoke this morning feeling like I could face life again.

After my post last week, I received a comment from a dear friend reminding me that even Mother Nature needs a season to rest. Those words spoke to my heart.
We live in a world that sets up unrealistic expectations.
Everything operates on a 24-hour clock.
We are supposed to work more and play less.
Fortunately when I am "working" with my art - it is more like play for me. I feel lucky and blessed by that fact. But every once in a while - I even need a break from art.

Now on to new projects and custom designs.
I am excited about the things on my project board and will be sharing pictures in the near future.
Until then -
Remember to play and dream while you are awake!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My feelings for this week . . .hmmm. I don't even know how to answer this question.
I'm feeling a bit like I am lost in a vortex of some sort.
Not quite sure what I want to do - what I want to work on.

For some reason January is a difficult time for me every year.
Ever since I can remember, I have always been busy. Very, very busy.
I remember in high school having my days filled with school and extra curricular activities.
I would leave the house at 6:30 in the morning and return home at 10:00.
Go to bed.
Get up and do it again.

When I would have an occasional weekend off, I would spend it sleeping and achieving a proper vegtative state.

And then for one reason or another - the schedule would change and I would be faced with
days of free time.
Just school.
No before - no after school activities.
More than enough time to do all of the "have to's".
and the "have to's" were the last thing I wanted to do.
I would find myself in a stupor -
too much free time and not knowing what to do with it.
So I would accomplish nothing.
And that ate away at me.

I haven't changed much.

January is the same.
We are finished with the Holidays.
The decorations are put away.
I am finished with the mountain of winter shows.
I go home from my day job, make dinner for the family, we eat and then . . .
Nothing is pressing the HAS to get finished right away.
My order board has a few things on it - but nothing bearing down on me.
The 6 am - 10 pm schedule is pleasantly free.
It is a gift.
But instead of appreciating the gift - I really just want to do nothing.
And when I do nothing - I feel guilty and irresponsible.

I hate operating under the pressure of impending deadlines.
I hate the stress that accompanies that.
Yet - the irony is . . .that seems to be when I am the most productive.
My brain is firing ideas and inspirations;
my ability to produce and get it all done happens more efficiently . . .

But when my schedule is like that,  I am cranky and short tempered when I am under that kind of stress.
I don't sleep well.
I don't "rationalize" well . . .

It truly is a catch-22.

How is it that a person can be at their best when they are at their worst?

So . . .as I face this new year -
I have not posted my resolutions - even though I have been asked the question.
Until now . . .

my goal for 2011 is to
"Be a deliberate creator of my own life".
I don't want to be a victim of crazy, overbooked schedules.
I want to be concientious about asking for help when I need it.
I want to make time for fun!
I want ot make time for creativity - not production of work - but actual creativity.
I want to take some art centered classes in order to glean inspiration from others.
I want to continue to build my network of artists.
I want to step outside of my comfort zone and ask others "how?" - so that I can achieve my dreams.
I want to deliberately think about me . . .my health, my diet, my physical body and what it needs.
I want to make a point to frequently connect with friends and family.

I believe that if I can be deliberate about my life - even if time is limited - my time can be more productive and worthwhile.
Perhaps I might even be able to find some balance!

OK - now that I have that out of my system -
Let's attack 2011 with a DELIBERATE VENGENANCE!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

A new year. . .a new month. . .a new day. . .a new moment.
As I have looked around at my favorite blogs, there is a repetitive theme of the new year.
How could there now be.
As an artist and a person with creative endeavors, this is a time for reflection and planning and looking back at the things we have accomplished. What worked? What didn't? What goals were accomplished? What weren't?
We have been talking alot about those things in our home.
Changes we want to see in our creative business, our creative lives, our family. . .

In some ways, the new year fills me with feelings of hope and repurposing.
In other ways, it leaves me feeling overwhelmed.

I prefer to focus on the positive things.

This was an interesting year for our family - in many ways it was very difficult.
But in many more ways, it was filled with miracles . . .
* we added a member to our family with the birth of our first grandson and were blessed to be a part of the miracle of birth
* we watched two of our children graduate from school - one from high school and one with his associates degree
* our home grew with daughter and baby moving back in, blessing us with the ability to interact with our grandson every single day
* we attended the most fairs and festivals that we ever have - some were fabulous, others were not - but as a whole, it was a great season of art and selling
* we met new friends and rekindled relationships with old friends
* we found our products being sold in more stores and meeting some of our past goals
* we are expanding our horizons with an updated Etsy shop and looking at other opportunities as well.

I welcome the new year. I welcome the chance to attack some of my new family, artistic and professional goals.

I look at the gray skies that cover our corner of the world accompanied by rain and I welcome the chance to stay warm and cozy in our home - paint brushes in hand.

This time of year affords me the opportunity to work on different projects because we aren't gearing up for a "big" festival. I am using this as a chance to reexamine what I want out of this roller coaster ride called life.

I would love to know what other people are planning for this upcoming year. . .share your goals. Maybe we can all support one another. That is the only way to make the ride worthwhile!