Entries from: May 2007


May 30th, 2007, Comments (27)

I'm knee deep in website land, but oh so close to having it up and running. Wee! It's exciting! I'm happy with the way it's all coming together. The last couple days I've been working obessively, feeling the energy to be gung ho about it. I need to take advantage of the energy bursts when they come. I'm not one of those people who are always on fire...everyone knows someone like this, maybe you are someone like this, the person who can't sit still, who is always being productive, getting things done, amazing others with all they do. My last boss was like this and I was always so impressed with all she did. I'm a bit more ocean-like, I come in waves of intense storms with long lulls in between of slower, softer waves. Neither way is bad or good. I'm learning that you just have to accept your strengths and weaknesses and make them both work for you. Learning to do this, comes with age and experience I think and I'm getting to know myself better every year.

Saturday night I was on the low end of the spectrum. I felt tired and sluggish, like my body was full of mud. In the afternoon I tried to take a nap, but it wasn't happening, I was just laying there. In the evening, I realized I was itching to be creative, but I didn't have a lot of energy. I didn't really want to get all my art supplies out and set up. So, I opted to make it as cozy and comfy as I could, as easy and relaxed as possible. No need for anything extravagant. I pulled some magazines, my sketchbook, some pencils and colored pencils into bed with me. I propped up a bunch of pillows so I could lean back into them. I looked through a file of magazine images I'd torn recently for a little fun project I'm working on and then opened my sketchbook and drew for pure pleasure, imaginary spaces. When I tired of that, I started to doodle and along came a figure. She wore a scarf around her head, her hair blew back, she was on a cliff by the ocean holding a lantern. Ahh. I felt so much better. I was still tired and went to bed early that night, but after getting out this figure, I felt a million times more connected, I understood a little better where I was at, and although I can't really put into words why or how she expressed to me what she did, it's enough to just feel it. Before I went to bed that night, I read a bit in  The Book of Awakening and I laughed because it was so appropriate. It read:

Look with your sad eyes on things new to you that will give you something to do with your sadness. Your sadness is the paint. You must find the canvas.

Last night, after a full day and evening of working away at the website, mixed in with a vet appointment for Emma (whose paw is all better. yay!), I was itching to bring my woman with the lantern to life. It was pretty late at this point, probably around 10, but I started gathering supplies, figuring I could just start it. I wasn't sure how I was going to bring her to life, but I wanted to allow my intuition to guide me. So, I started collecting images from my various supplies, old books, photocopies, scraps of paper, an old Christmas card, someone's hand lettering on tracing paper, a bag from a music store, etc...I pulled an unused canvas and began to lay out the images on the canvas in a way that felt right and then started gluing them down. I showed the fiansor how I did a transfer of a photocopy of an old photo onto a piece of sheet music. He liked the transfer , but not the smell of the chartpak marker I used. The fiansor went to bed , but I stayed up. I put on an audio book took out my paint brushes and started to get the figure in. She began to develop slowly. Once I saw her face, I got all excited. I kept going, taking occasional breaks to look at the painting from across the room. The sky turned out much different than I was expecting, but I was really loving it all. I felt like I had to keep going until it was done and I worked into the wee hours of the night. It was fun and I'm pleased with the results. I included the transfer because of some inspiration from Inspire Me Thursday from last week and I'm glad I did. It adds an interesting element to her dress. As I collected images, I noticed I was collecting a lot of woman's faces. I think they are her history, her unseen supporters.


I'm calling her "The Lighthouse" and she's 12"x16" with collage and acrylic on canvas. I still need to paint her sides.

Right before I went to bed last night, I got my horoscope from Rob Brezsny in my email. It also seemed wildly appropriate:

CANCER (June 21-July 22): In her CD *Spiritual Madness: The Necessity of
Meeting God in Darkness,* Caroline Myss tells us that wading through
messy darkness is an essential part of our search for meaning. She
doesn't recommend that we avoid chaos at all costs, or even just accept
it with resignation. Rather, we should welcome it as a gift that can teach
us crucial secrets about how to become ourselves. I agree with Myss.
That's why I advise you not to resent the confusion before you. And don't
just mindlessly clean it up as fast as you can, either. Instead, dive into it.
Celebrate it. Allow it to change you into a riper, wiser, more beautiful soul.

Synchronicity abounds. :-) Have a beautiful day!

Lazy Sunday Random Bits

May 27th, 2007, Comments (7)

It's been a busy, but nice weekend with the fiansor. Friday night we were out for dinner and a movie (Pirates of the Carribean - it was fun, much better than the 2nd movie, not as good as the 1st) and yesterday we walked around a bit and later drove to Rhode Island to see a childhood friend of the fiansor's new house. The friend and his wife are both cooks and she was baking dozens and dozens of cookies for a party the next day, so we got to sample and take home some delicious cookies. The gingersnap chocolate ones were SO good! Today was a trip into town to get lunch and some errands and then driving around historic Concord. We've been visiting various towns to get a feel for where we'd like to live. Concord is beautiful, but not quite right. We walked around town a bit, peering into little shops and walked around in an old, old graveyard. I love the artwork on old gravestones from the 1700's. And now, I'm feeling totally wiped. I think a nap is in my future. I've been meaning to do this meme that I was tagged for at YogaGlamGirl's blog, so here we go:

4 jobs I have held:
1. Nanny
2. Historic House Museum Manager
3. Muralist
4. Real Estate Agent (very briefly...too much pressure.)

4 movies I can watch over and over:
1. All the Harry Potter movies
2. Amalie
3. Finding Nemo :-)
4. Goonies (hehe...from the looks of this list, looks like I'm a child at heart.)

4 places I have lived:
1. Boston, MA
2. Houston, TX
3. Saratoga Springs, NY
4. Salem, MA

4 Categories of TV programming I enjoy:
1. Good storyline: LOST
2. Creative fun: Project Runway
3. Rediculous: Family Guy
4. Guilty Pleasure: America's Next Top Model

4 Places I have been on Holiday:
1. The little island where the fiansor's father grew up in Greece
2. Venice, Italy on a 2 week class in art history in college
3. Madrid, Spain as an exchange student when I was 15
4. Joshua Tree Park with my best friend

4 of my Favorite Dishes:
1. Salmon and avocado sushi
2. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup sundae
3. My step-dad's chicken cutlets
4. Feta cheese and fresh tomatoes with a little olive oil

4 websites I visit daily:
1. Craigslist
2. Bloglines
3. ?

4 places I would rather be right now:
1. Hawaii...gonna have to wait til the honeymoon. :-)
2. I'm actually good with where I am.

I'm not in a tagging mood at the moment, so if you read this and haven't done it already and would like to, you're it! ;-)

Feelin’ Summery

May 25th, 2007, Comments (8)

I did the above art "Time Travel" a couple weeks ago in that mixed media class. It's collage and acrylic on watercolor paper. I think the teacher was disappointed that I didn't do it on wood as we had wood boards available. I could mount it on wood later. I see her point in a way though. I like working on paper because it takes some of the pressure off. If I hate it, it's nothing to toss it or rip it up to use in something else. But on wood, that's harder to do. Also on paper, there's room for change. I work somewhere within the boundaries of the paper, so that later I can crop it where it looks best. A canvas or piece of wood has fairly fixed boundaries, working with those materials, I'd need to be more clear about composition when I start. At the same time, it's true that art tends to look more professional when it's mounted in some way, whether that be built in (as in a canvas or piece of wood with the sides painted) or when a work on paper is matted and framed or even just matted. I often don't take that extra step with works on paper. I don't care for them as well as I could. I want to start taking my work, I want to say more seriously, but that's not quite it...maybe more professionally?

Woo! It's toasty out! Feels like summer! I know it happens every year like clockwork, but the amount of green that blooms in spring always takes me by surprise. Looking out the windows...well, I can barely see anything but green leaves! The trees have expanded, pregnant and full of leafyness. Birds are chirping constantly around the bedroom windows, driving our kitties batty. My car is simply unrecognizable. The trees shed more and more pollen on it everyday and I'm not driving as much, so my car seems to take on a rediculous amount of the stuff. It looks like it's camoflauged. I'm embarrassed to bring it to the car wash, it's that gross. The other day, I came out and there must have been a hundred inch worms (and I'm not exaggerating) all over it. Ack! If I don't wash it soon, I'm afraid it might drive off into the woods by itself like the car in Harry Potter. Ooo, I'm SO excited for that movie! Eeee!

Life is good. I get anxious about gatherings and changes, but it's so silly that I need to remind myself that everything is great. Yoga has been helping this week. Sometimes, I need to remember to just breathe. Speaking of which, Kathryn has a great interview with author, Eric Maisel on her blog regarding his new book, Ten Zen Seconds. I mentioned it in a comment on her blog, but I also wanted to mention here that I recently found out that Alyson Stanfield (author of the Art Biz Blog) is offering a free teleseminar with Eric Maisel regarding this book. Very cool! Hope you're all having a beautiful day!

Swap Fun!

May 24th, 2007, Comments (8)

I got the my box swap in the mail yesterday from Kelly! What a treat! I cracked up when I saw the tissue paper that it was wrapped in and what the beautiful flower was created from because I recognize it! I can't remember where I got this tissue paper. Something I bought was wrapped in it. But I also used it in some art, here!

I carefully unwrapped the package, to find this gorgeous box inside! I felt a rush of child-like joy upon opening up my box of treasure. And it was much like a treasure inside! Charms, glittery bits, tiles spelling out my name, and all sorts of goodies. Thanks so much, Kelly!

Also, I've been remiss in not sharing the pictures of the journal I got in another swap. I mentioned it earlier and how I took it with me to the river for some morning pages, but here are the pics, finally! This is the first altered journal that Nikki has ever done. Wow! It's beautiful and I love the texture.

Swapjournal  Swapjournalinside

And thanks to CAC for setting up these great swaps!

Ding Dong Bell, Fell Down the Well

May 23rd, 2007, Comments (8)

I was inspired by one of the Inspire me Thursday exercises from last Thursday to play in my art journal with the idea of dreams. I took a nightmare I had last night and pieced parts of it together here across two pages of the journal. Dreams are sometimes hard to remember in terms of sequence, partly because they're rarely logical and can freely skip around in the plot without worry about some film critic tearing it to shreds. So, here's the basics of the dream, which was very vivid: It took place in my childhood home (which we no longer own), but in present time. My sister was missing. She'd gone to get some water (I think the power was out because of a storm) and didn't come back. My mother and step-father went to look for her in a helicopter, so they could look into the forests around our home. I was on the street, running and yelling her name. I ran into the forest down a winding path and went to the water plant, (an imagined place) where I told the men there about my missing sister. And in one of the filter systems we found her baseball cap. I started crying, just bawling my eyes out. Flashes of calling my father, a funeral, feeling very angry and upset. But wait! She had rung the bell. Hadn't these men heard it? Perhaps she was still there! In the basement of our neighbor's home, the well had a bell attached to let people know if they fell down it. And she was barely holding on to the rope, helping to keep her above water, but alive. And I was so relieved. In the moments when I thought she was gone, I felt like I hadn't been as loving to her as I could have been and felt terribly. The dream ended happily anyways. My dreams are pretty wacky. I think that's why I'm tired a lot. I'm dreaming instead of really resting. I can't really shut it off though and sometimes my dreams have messages in them, sometimes bits of intuitive information, and sometimes inspiration for art. The fun thing about creating in an art journal, is the freedom to totally play without worry about needing it to serve some purpose. It's just for me. Play is so important. Go now, go play! Or keep reading a bit and then go play. Hehe.

Pink lotuses continue to show up everywhere, even in an ad for a fuel company. Ha! Perhaps they should appear in some art soon? I sketched last night for fun, all sorts of silly kitties. I've got a real silly kitty in my lap at the moment. Last night, I noticed that my kitty Emma has one claw that has curled and stuck into her paw. Poor baby! I couldn't get it out. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be hurting her, but I was hoping to take her in to the vet today and noone is picking up the phone there. Garr. Not looking forward to that visit. She already hates the vet with a burning passion. He's such a nice vet too. He only sees cats and really cares about them, but my sweet, quiet, gentle Emma, who never made a fuss at any other vet, turns into a menace at this vet's office with howls and growls. Oy. This probably won't help things.

In other news here at the zoo, our anemone has reproduced by splitting itself in two! The fiansor was all freaked out about it at first, thinking something was wrong, but I had read about it before and explained that this is a natural process. So, now we have one anemone for each clown! Our little Nemo somehow made it into the filter again this morning (oy!), but I'm getting more skilled at retreiving him and it only took a couple minutes. I guess my temporary barrier has failed. Hopefully, in time he'll get too big for these escape acts.

Ok, you can go play now. Shoo! ;-)

Click, Click, Save

May 21st, 2007, Comments (11)

Lots of clicking, re-sizing images and saving today. Baby steps, baby steps are leading the way along this seemingly endless path to my new art website. It'll happen.

The weekend was rediculously full, but we survived. One wedding, one shower and two birthday parties and a couple long drives later, we are back home and back to work. My mind is feeling a bit blank today, but I wanted to say hello. Helloooo!

Mindy over at the Wish Studio posted some inspirations today and I felt inspired to do the same! So here are some link goodies for ya:

Craft Synergy is a blog of interviews with inspiring artists. Super-duper inspirational stuff and great imagery! For more interesting art interviews, check out Indie/Pretty/Perfect.

has a forum relating to art and being an artists with loads of interesting resources.

Need a laugh? I guess this isn't supposed to be funny, but seeing cats pop a squat on the toilet is pretty darn rediculous looking. CitiKitty is a product that is supposed to help you toilet train your cat. Check out the success stories page for funny pictures of cats in different cities taking a dump. 

And on that note...I hope to be back with something more inspirational soon. :-)


May 16th, 2007, Comments (12)


A little peek at the boxes I've painted up for the swap at CAC. So much fun. I love little boxes. Today I had all sorts of plans, but a lot of them got side-railed. I was about to go out when I noticed the little clown fish was in the filter...again. It took me an hour to get him out. There's this little nook he gets into and...well, let's just say, I got pretty wet getting him out. But he's back in the tank and I set up a barrier again, so hopefully he won't go back in there.

We had thunderstorms this afternoon. I love a good thunderstorm. It made the kitties perk up their ears and the apartment got very dark and spooky. I love being inside while the skies rumble. It makes me feel oh so very cozy.

Off to watch some Lost.

Taking Good Care of Myself

May 15th, 2007, Comments (8)

Tabbers finds a cozy spot in my computer bag

Thanks guys, for your support. It really helped and I appreciate your warm thoughts and prayers. I woke today feeling a bit drained and made my focus taking it easy and doing some self-care. First, I did some yoga. Just a half hour as I'm just getting back into it. Have you seen the free yoga podcasts that Yoga Today does? They're awesome! I did one today that worked with the third chakra and awakening creativity. The third chakra's color is yellow, so today when I went to pick up some items at the store, I also picked up some yellow roses in honor of my third chakra and some purple irises. That was one of my self-care items from the list I made last week and it does feel great to have fresh flowers in the house. I took a long shower which was also lovely and later in the evening, I had a nice talk with my mom about everything and we made some plans for making appointments. And then I spent some time reading and drawing in my sketchbook.

This passage from yesterday's essay from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, turned out to be quite relevant (It's a great book!  It's linked on the left.):

Despite our efforts to be happy and not sad, to be calm and not anxious to be clear and not confused, to be understanding and not angry; despite all the ways we carve up our reactions to living and then run from one to the other; despite our fear of certain feelings, it is feeling each of them all the way through that lands us in the vibrant ache that underrides our being alive. To reach this vibrant place is often healing.

It is a hard thing, though, to lean into a sadness we don't want, to let the tremor of anxiety work its way thorugh...but what I discover, again and again, is that feeling any one feeling deeply enough - that is, thoroughly and completely - somehow opens me to the common source of all feeling. And at the source, no one feeling can last by itself. So, through our feelings, not around them, we come upon the unnamable source of all feeling that can heal us of the pain of any one mood.

So, I'm working to stay present and not let fear of what might be take over. While at the same time, I'm aware that I need to feel and acknowledge those feelings, all the way through or they just come out in other ways.

I also liked the suggestions at the end of the essay in which the author recommends breathing steadily and then allow yourself to feel one moment of sadness or anxiety that you're carrying, staying with the feeling until it begins to pass. He writes, "Note the anxiety, however slight, and call this the beginning of peace." I like that. I can start with the beginning of peace.

Mother’s Day

May 13th, 2007, Comments (19)

Today I went to visit my dad briefly in the morning. I dropped off my flowers for my step-mom who was at her son's gravesite (he died of an aneurysm, 8 years ago at the end of this month). This is an awful time of year for her and she doesn't usually like to visit with us (her step-kids) and I totally understand, but I bring flowers by anyways. My brother and I sat with my dad and checked out his new prius that he bought after seeing An Inconvenient Truth. Really cool car.

At my mom's, my step-dad cooked on the grill, my grandparents and my step-dad's mom were there along with my two brothers and sister. I've mentioned before that my grandmother has alzheimer's disease. She's at the stage where there is very, very little of her left. My grandpa is still sharp as a tack, but I can see it's taking a toll on him. The decline was fairly gradual, but at this point, she's not really there anymore. Lately, my mom has been having a lot of issues with her memory. At first it was just the usual stuff, but it's gotten a lot worse lately. It could be a number of things, it might not be alzheimer's, but I know it's on her mind as a possibility and she's scared. Last week she asked if I'd go in with her if she made an appointment to get some testing. I said of course.

Of course it's crossed my mind as well. Today we talked about it a little more after my grandma left. I've wanted to put on a strong face around her, but tonight, after dinner, I mentioned it to the fiansor and I just broke down. I'm so scared. I can't stand the thought of losing her in this way. It breaks my heart. I mean, there are other things that could be affecting her short term memory, but I know it's genetic. My insides are torn to shreds. I'm crying typing this. I was hoping to feel some release in typing it out as that sometimes helps. I don't know. Please send some positive thoughts out there for my mom and me. Thanks.


May 12th, 2007, Comments (10)

I find inspiration everywhere. The thing that needs to happen after the inspiration is to remember it (write a note to remember it or sketch it) and then make it. I have all different sizes of journals that end up catching ideas. I like to have something by my bed, a little journal in my pocketbook, and my morning pages sketchbook/journal which serves mulitple purposes. I had the inspiration for one piece when the reflection in a bottle looked like a woman's face. It became this. Something similar happened today when I saw the totem (Autumn Promise) at Tammy's website. O my, I've had so many weird synchronicities today! As I'm typing this, a show on the food network is interviewing all these different cooks about where they're inspiration comes from. One says she finds inspiration everwhere and another says he keeps a journal with notes about flavors that eventually make it in to his recipes. Teehee. Ok, so anyways, in Tammy's totem, I saw the suggestion of a figure and I sketched it in my journal and then made some art out of it and this is what it became:

"Winter Moon", about 10"x15" with collage and acrylic on paper.

My spirits have definitely lifted. I think I needed the rain. I feel so much brighter and more positive. The fiansor noted it last night. I'm not sure why these things shift when they do, but I'll take it. I've got a really busy weekend in NY this coming weekend. A birthday party, a bridal shower, and a wedding and after the wedding I need to try and meet up with my family for dinner after my brother's graduation from law school. I think it will be fun, but really exhausting and a little too much people intensive time. I know I'll be ready for a break by the time I get back, so it's an especially good week to take extra good care of myself, so that I can  approach the weekend with the best frame of mind and energy.

I've added more to my 101 in 1001 list, it's almost there. Tomorrow I've got a full day of family, but for now, I've got a cute kitty in my lap and I'm feeling cozy and content.