Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Needed This...

This arrived in my inbox this morning and it was exactly what I needed. I thought it might be exactly what you need too...

Brave Girls Club

Thank you Brave Girls Club.

(If you would like to receive "daily truths" directly to your inbox, you can sign up here.)

Update:  (2/1/2012)
In case you needed another reason to visit the Brave Girls Club...
Here is the amazing message from my inbox this morning:

All I can say is, "wow".
This really helps.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Blissful Paint Party Friday

"follow your bliss."   6"x6"   acrylic on paper
(text added in picnik)

I'm going to be honest, this week has been a mixed bag of emotions for me... I am in the thick of an online course that is opening my eyes to a whole new, revolutionary way of thinking about business.  But, as exciting as that is, I also find myself spending many hours at Corky's bedside as she recovers from a stroke that waylaid the wonderful rehabilitation she had gone through previously.  (She was supposed to be going home this week.)

I normally consider myself an optimistic, happy-go-lucky person, but I have to admit this latest emergent event threw me for a loop.  What I have come to realize though, is that optimism is what has been getting me through this string of medical mishaps that started over the summer... It is a beacon of light as I cling to a raft of simple joys in a sea of troubled waters.  I think that is why Liv Lane's latest feature and blog hop, "The Little Bliss List", really resonates with me, and why I feel like it is the perfect way to round out my week of focusing on kindness.

So, here it is... Things that are making me happy... 
This week's "Little Bliss List":

1. The fantastic community over at Paint Party Friday... When EVA and I created it, we never dreamed that the response would be so great... Seeing the ever-increasing group of talented and diverse painters each week makes my heart sing!

2. Creating a "Take What You Need" pdf and sharing it in my last post... Thinking of all the kindness spreading far and wide makes me smile from ear-to-ear!  (If you would like to download the pdf, you can get it here.)

3. The sound of squealing laughter as Tyler, Bob, and I ran from room to room "Scooby-Doo style".

4. A spur of the moment dinner with my boys that tasted like summer.

5. Finding a sweet spot on the street near the hospital so that I didn't have to use the ramp for one day.  (This may seem kinda silly - but it made my day!)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More Kindness... Take What You Need

I have been seeing these fliers popping up all over the internet!  Since I love this idea so, so very much I decided to create one of my own...

I can't wait to print these out and post them all over town!

I have created a PDF file if you would like to download it and spread a little love too.  (You can get it here.)

(And one more, just because it made me laugh!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Believe...

(Sidewalk Love)

...In kindness.

Since my word of the year is "Believe", I thought it might be fun to create a new weekly series where I proclaim (in a post) something I believe in.  What better way to start than with kindness?

It really seems like an obviously simple thing... And it is!  Anyone can be kind - from easy acts like letting another driver merge or holding open a door, to a grand pre-meditated gesture - any kindness will do!  It feels good for the giver and the receiver, but the greatest thing about it?

Kindness is contagious!

Sending you a great big smile...
Pass it on!

p.s.  The very kind, and always inspirational Liv Lane, has started a new series (and future  blog hop) called "The Little Bliss List" based on her word of the year ("Bliss").  Please be sure to check it out - I think it is a fabulous idea!

p.p.s. I'm curious... If you have a word of the year, how are you putting it into action?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Staying True To My 10 Year Old Self

"Uh-Oh"   22"x28"   mixed media on poster board
(A Drawing/Painting Created by Me at Age 10 or 11)

It's funny how much you can learn about yourself by looking at old drawings and paintings...

I created this drawing/painting for an "insect project" when I was 10 or 11 years old.  I remember asking my art teacher, Mr. Voelpel, if it would be okay if I created my piece from the insect's perspective.  Thankfully, Mr. Voelpel was an art teacher who believed in allowing his students to explore their creativity and develop their own artistic voices, so he said yes.

Looking at this picture, I can see themes that have carried all the way through to my artwork today...

I create art that is: whimsical, colorful, playful, humorous, and sometimes downright silly.  Looking back, it seems to be hardwired into my DNA.  That isn't to say that I don't also make "serious" art (believe me, I made more than my fair share of serious art in college).  But, what I've come to realize, is that I am happiest and most fulfilled when I am creating from a place of joy.

I'm curious... What are you happiest creating?  Has it always been that way?

Monday, January 16, 2012

What Lies Ahead...

I started a new class today and I am bubbling over with 
excitement and anticipation of things to come...

Stay tuned!

 "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, January 13, 2012

Paint Party Friday (The 13th!)

"Lucky"   15"x15"   mixed media on plywood

Just popping in with a super-quick post of a super-quick painting, in honor of Friday the 13th!  
(Not my usual style, I know... I just wanted to keep it fast and loose.)

I hope today brings you nothing but the best of luck...

Happy PPF!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Gift From The Happy Shack!

In the summer of 2010, just before I started blogging, I took Kelly Rae Roberts "Flying Lessons" e-course.  I wrote about it here and interestingly enough, the word "Believe" (my word of the year) worked itself into that post very prominently.  

I still stay in touch with the creative folks I 'met' during that course through facebook.  In December we had a holiday swap and my gift exchange partner was Kelly Warren from Happy Shack Designs.

Kelly and I sent many emails back and forth getting to know each other better - it was so much fun!  The surprise I received from her was so kind and generous... A mounted gerber daisy print (which is now prominently displayed in my studio), and a lovely handcrafted pendant created from the same photo.  Gerber daisies are my absolute favorite flowers, so this amazingly thoughtful present was perfect! 

December was the final month of a very long, tough year for me, but Kelly's wonderful gift was a beautiful bright spot...  Thank you Kelly!

You can find these fantastic gifts (and lots of other fun photo goodness) in Kelly's etsy shop.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Love-ly Treasury

I just had to share this sweet, sweet treasury my "Peace On Earth" hand painted print was featured in... Love it.

(You can get a better look here.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

The First Paint Party Friday of 2012! Hooray!

"Believe"  (My Word of the Year)

This week I've been working on more hand painted prints for my shop...


"Henry and Luigi"
(This was originally created as a gift for Tyler's teacher.)

"Dancing Elephant Topiary"

I'm so excited to be back... painting, sharing, and seeing what all of you are up to!

Happy PPF!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm Back With Fresh Perspective For A New Year!


When my dear friend Eva suggested that I choose a "Word of the Year", my first thought was "Health".  (If you read my previous post you know why.)  After giving it more thought, I came up with a new word... "Believe".

2011 was a year of (many) medical crises for my family, the worst of which was in August when my father-in-law almost died.  At the time I couldn't write about it because my emotions were much too raw.  But now, many months later, I am able to share with you how that time has changed my perspective...

Without sharing the gory details, I can simply say that he was laughing and joking over a family dinner one night, then the very next day he was in critical condition and a nurse was telling us to "prepare ourselves" because things were "very, very bad".  It continued to be a roller coaster for the following month - one minute things were looking up, then the next minute things things were critical again.

During the hardest times, when things were bleak and I was at my saddest, I kept finding pennies wherever I went.  I believed they were a sign that everything was going to be okay... And it was.  My father-in-law's recovery and return to the kind, compassionate, strong man he was at the beginning of August is astonishing.  He is a living miracle - all of his doctors and nurses have said so.

So, for 2012, my word is "Believe".

This year I am believing...
In miracles
In hard work and dedication
In hope and faith
In myself
In others
In big dreams 
In endless possibilities.

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, creative, fun-filled, miraculous New Year!


p.s.  If you've chosen a "Word of the Year" I'd love to hear what it is!


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