Monday, April 30, 2012

A Book Club Like No Other

Lisa Wright has started a (fantastic, unbelievably amazing) book club!

(My book from the side)

Before you read any further, I feel it is my responsibility to issue the following WARNING:

This post contains graphic images of a very messy book and  may not be suitable for the faint of heart (or for book lovers who couldn't possibly dream of "cracking a spine").

(my own personal intro)

Inside my head there lives a tyrant who believes that perfection is the only way.  My tyrant is aggressive and loud and loves to tell me that I am not good enough and that I would be foolish to share my imperfect creations with the world.

I have struggled for many years to get out from under the overbearing bully... through this book, I hope to overthrow the oppressive dictator that has reigned supreme for so many years.

(Even as I write this intro, the tyrant says, "Why bother?  You're a hopeless case.")

I sure hope not!

I started out by opening to a random page and doodling with a ballpoint pen...  My "inner tyrant/perfectionist" showed up right on schedule with a rant about how I couldn't possibly show this to anyone because it was "bad".

Well, I ignored my oppressor and shared it with the members of my very adventurous and creative book club.  I received lots of support and at the suggestion of our fearless leader, Lisa, I got down and dirty...

(this pic was taken after the mud dried)

By heading for the nearest mud puddle!

It started raining the morning after Lisa suggested I stomp on my book in muddy shoes.  So, I jumped out of bed, threw a coat on over my nightgown, put on some boots, and headed outside... Between the bed-head and the bare legs, I was totally rockin' the "crazy flasher" look (my title as the "neighborhood eccentric" is definitely sealed)!

Normally, a snowstorm at the end of April would cause me great distress, but when I heard one was headed our way I saw it as a chance to experiment...

I colored a very quick beach scene with watercolor crayons and pencils, and set it outside as the snow started to fall.

Not much happened to the pages I colored.  After the snow melted I discovered that I was simply left with a very wet book... Oh, and the cover fell off.

I did manage to take advantage of it's soggy state by working on an exercise that required wet pages.

But, since it was completely soaked and I couldn't wait for it to dry, I did what any sensible completely cracked person would do...

I threw it in the dryer!
(45 minutes, medium heat)

After it was dry, I revisited my beach pages and drew on them with my toes (using a Pitt pen).

Ever since I put my book in the dryer it keeps opening to this page... I guess that's what's next!

One of my book club friends said that "it's like therapy", and it really is!  If you're interested in making a mess and exorcising some demons, it's not too late to join the fun!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

You Are Amazing! (Yes, YOU!)

Wow.  I'm not really even sure how to start this post...
I've always known that the friends I've made online are caring and supportive folks, but I have to say that I was absolutely blown away by the outpouring of kindness I received after my last post!

Thank you!

As a token of my appreciation for all of the love, support, and virtual hugs, I have turned the painting at the top of this post into a free, downloadable, and printable pdf.
(You can get it here.)

May this gift be a reminder of the beautiful and kind person you are.  Take it, print it, share it, enjoy it!  Because...

You are Amazing!

p.s. This gift was made possible because of my friend, Karen.  She created the original background paper that inspired this painting (and she kindly gave me permission to turn it into a free pdf).

p.p.s. If you are interested in the creation of this painting, click here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Change In Perspective Can Make All The Difference In The World

(A collaboration with Tyler)

"No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made.  
Destiny is made known silently."
- Agnes de Mille

There are times in my life when I see or read something and I know as a result I will be changed forever.  It isn't always a grand event, actually more often than not it is a simple moment that causes a shift in my thinking.

Last month I had one of those moments.

For those of you that are regular readers of my blog, I'm sure you have noticed the sparse posting.  The truth is that I have been facing some unavoidable sadness that has led to what I previously would have called a series of "bad days".  I try to keep things on the blog fun and light-hearted, so I hope you will forgive this frank admission.  (If you keep reading it gets better - I promise.)

In March, while reading the blog of one of my favorite inspirational people, Liv Lane, I felt like I had been given a very special gift... A change in perspective.  In her post she wrote about sadness and "bad days", but also shared a fresh way of dealing with hard times.  That post was a game changer.  

Sure, I have been experiencing many sad and sometimes seemingly overwhelming moments lately - it is a situation that is out of my control.  But, what I have learned as a result of Liv's life changing post, is that my "bad moments" don't have to make a "bad day"... I can control how I choose to let the negative moments affect the other parts of my life.  It doesn't mean I won't feel sadness, because I surely will.  It just means that I will embrace and savor the simple joyful moments that are also a part of my daily life.

Thank you, Liv.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


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