Entries from: July 2007

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July 31st, 2007, Comments (10)

Firstly, I've got some new art up at the Blue Tree blog, so go check it out.

Secondly, I f**kin hate mosquitoes. Why do they love me so much? Ack!

Thirdly, I'm putting together some blank greeting cards with my art on the front for my website.  Are there any pieces in particular that you'd like to see as a card? Feel free to browse on the website to get some ideas.

Fourthly, speaking of greeting cards, there's a super cool contest involving cards at Holly's site, Decor8. I love this contest idea. I was just writing and I seem to always be writing that inspiration comes from everywhere. My inspiration book is full of images of fabric, furniture, and fireplaces, but the mix of colors I make by putting random images together and whatnot makes me happy. Take your inspiration wherever it comes from.  I think every artist should also have art they do just for them. It keeps you playful and loose and that's exceedingly important, in my humble opinion. :-)

Moon Poem

July 30th, 2007, Comments (26)

"Moon Under Water", 8"x8", paper collage and acrylic paint on a cradled wood board.

I had a dream about the moon being underwater. I was playing in an inspiration book I keep near my bed (a combination of magazine images of furnishings and colors and patterns collaged together, words, sketches, etc...) and drew the sketch that became the image above. I was inspired to write a poem about it which seemed fitting as Illustration Friday at the time was "poem" and I think there was an Inspire Me Thursday about the moon (no, I just made that up...the moon was the theme for something...I think. Update: Ok, I'm a nut. It was an IF theme, but this week's IMT theme is open, so there ya go.) Of course, there was the wedding dinosaur and although this painting was started ages ago, it wasn't finished up until today. I can't seem to get on a proper schedule or keep up with much of anything, but ah well. Things are slowly falling into place and I'm finding my rhythm again. It's all good. Here's the poem I wrote in my sketchbook. It makes me smile.

I dreamt last night
that the moon was under water,
not the whole of it,
just half,
as if she was too hot for this summer night
and decided to take a dip.
Finding it bracingly cold
and frighteningly vast in its darkness,
she kept her face dry and safe
above the water line.
But just the legs of the moon
were enough to give the ocean
an ethereal glow
that startled the fish from their slumber
which caused the waves to ripple and dance.
And when the stars moved in
for a better view
the surface lit up like a discoteque
and the air hummed
like a refridgerator late at night.
On a distant shore the waves lapped, lapped
on the rocks
marking the thumping heartbeat
of the skinny dipping moon,
shivering and alive.

I’m Melting!

July 29th, 2007, Comments (6)

I don't do too well in high heat and humidity. My mind turns to mush, I lose my appetite along with desire to do anything. My hair gets all crazy, my cheeks flushed, the undersides of my knees are sweaty. It's not pretty. Combine the heat with yesterday's bridal shower for my future s-i-l and I'm so drained. Times like this, I long for a pool, a river, something watery to sit in all day long (the shower just isn't fun and the bathtub isn't big enough for me (which is saying something considering how small I am.)

Weddingy things are getting checked off the list...invitations, flowers, favors (thanks for your input!)

My mom would say, if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. And since I'm feeling rather like a big complainicus, I'll stop while I'm ahead.

By the way, if you have Comcast On Demand and HBO there are two really funny specials on there, sure to make you laugh, even if you're an overheated baby like me. One is Assume the Position 201 with Robert Wuhl which takes a really funny look at American history and the other I watched this morning, a comedy special with Bill Maher called "the Decider." Many good hearty laughs were had watching this one.

The Hungry Wedding Dinosaur

July 26th, 2007, Comments (15)

Dinosaur_2 Geez Louise, where has the week gone. Wait, never mind, I know where it's gone. It was eaten by the wedding dinosaur. Chomp, chomp! It's my fault for procrastinating about a bunch of things or not simply procrastinating, but adding more and more options and having the worst time figuring out how to create some random, perfect *fill in the blank* (invitation, flowers, centerpiece, etc) that will fit in with my creative, romantic idea that represents who we are as a couple and ahhh! Then add a weekend full of well-meaning, but crazy-making parents including the fiansor's parents visiting from NY and by the end of it, I was seriously considering eloping.

Yesterday we met with our venue coordinator to go over food choices and timing and she was so together that it made us both feel good about the wedding again. I've come around to the philosophy that nothing is ever perfect and I'll feel better if I just make choices and move on. There's plenty to do still, but things are coming together. Oy. I would never, ever, ever, be a wedding planner. This is so not my thing. A lot of it has fallen to me to take care of and I'm getting through it, but boy oh boy, I'm looking forward to the planning being over, so I can enjoy the actual day!

I got some art together to ship out today and worked on invitation wording and ran some errands. I do have some art that I've been working on slowly, so I'll have that done and up soon. I've been reading, but I'm not quite caught up on all the blogs I love to read and I've bookmarked a ton that I want to comment on, I've fallen behind and it's hard to catch up! I had to squeeze in some late night hours of reading the final Harry Potter book too (I'm so sad it's over!) I've got a meeting with the florist on Friday and I'm "hosting" (at my mom's house) a bridal shower for my future sister-in-law on Saturday, so there's more wedding craziness ahead, but hopefully in the next week I won't feel quite so crazed and I'll be able to fit in more art!

Speaking of art, has anyone ever used a product called "Sheer Heaven." It sounds dirty doesn't it? Maybe that's just my mind, but it's just a vellum-like paper. 

Other randomness: What do you think about a tree as a favor? Would you rather have food? I love the look of this "tree in a box".

p.s. I got the dinosaur image from this page of dino clip art. Feel free to save it, print it and color it in on a rainy day. :-)

p.s.s. I once won a hat decorating contest in 5th grade for covering a top hat with plastic dinosaurs (all from my little sister's collection. She was a big dino fan.)

Color Me Up

July 17th, 2007, Comments (23)

Ah, it's a beautiful day. I had a rough start; woke up with a killer migraine, stumbling to the bathroom to get some medicine I stubbed my toe on an old bureau and a chunk of wood got lodged in my toe. Owie. Got an explanation for my migraine (got my period) and went back to bed with my hair over my eyes to block out any light and worked on breathing through the nausea. After I fell back to sleep, I woke to snuggly kitties surrounding me and happy birthday messages from family and friends on my phone and email. I had some leftover ice cream from a sundae brought to me by the fiansor last night and puttered around before a dancing and singing in the shower session. Now, I'm off to make the most of the rest of my day. I think I'll get some art supplies to play with, have an art picnic, and maybe take a walk in the woods. I hope your day is a colorful one! To help you along, here's a fun web-page from Pantone called Colorstrology. They list a pantone color and characteristics for each day of the year that tell about the people born on that day. Today's color is Iris with the words Interesting, Private and Provocative and this description: "There is always something unusual and provocative about people born on this day. You are your own person and you like to do things in your own way. You are not the type to follow others. You can be seductive and controlling when you want to be. Your personal color helps you connect with others while dissolving feelings of isolation. Wearing, meditating or surrounding yourself with Iris allows ease and flexibility as you move through obstacles." Heh, kinda fun, eh? Oh, the word seductive just reminded me that I have a coupon for a free bottle of personalized perfume from Aveda. Yum. I think I'll go pick that up today.

Introvert + Extrovert = Lots of Learning!

July 16th, 2007, Comments (11)

I am a classic introvert and the fiansor is a classic extrovert. Through all of our talking over the 6 plus years we've been together, we've learned how to communicate with each other pretty effectively. We've taught each other about our differences and in the process we've learned more about ourselves. When I read The Introvert Advantage awhile back, I laughed in recognition at my behaviors written out and felt much validation along with getting some great tips on how to work with my personality. I shared a lot of that book with the fiansor who found it helpful in understanding me a little better. (Incidentally, the author of this book recently put out a book about introverts and extroverts in relationships which looks interesting.)

Recently, The Happy Introvert was recommended to me and I picked it up. I began to read it over the weekend and this very different book provided more info, including a lot more about introverts and extroverts in relationships together. I brought the book out to the living room and on the couch, the fiansor and I read through most of the book together, finding some really helpful insights that led to further discussions. We laughed at how certain lists of behaviors were so spot on.

Here are some characteristics of introverts and extroverts from The Happy Introvert. Do you find yourself in these descriptions? I've marked introverts with an  (I) and extroverts with an (E).

  • You usually like being with people (no too many at once) for no longer than an hour or two at a time (I) (almost always true for me.)
  • You generally prefer being with others or talking on the phone to being alone. (E)
  • In group discussions, the topic being discussed sometimes changes by the time you have collected your thoughts and are ready to speak. (I) (Yep, that's why blogs are so great! I have plenty of time to think and then respond.)
  • You have a lot of energy, your voice is usually strong and confident, and you speak with little or no hesitation. (E) (This is the fiansor to a T.)
  • You sometimes procrastinate when you want to avoid interacting with people. (I) (ahem. yeah. I'm noticing I do this more and more now.)
  • Some people see you as being on a power trip, artificially optimistic, or overly dramatic. (E)
  • You tend to think out loud so what you say isn't always fully thought out and in general you are fast more than accurate. (E)
  • You like to concentrate in depth when doing a project and you are often content to be alone with your thoughts, feelings and activities. (I)
  • You often prefer that others make reservations, announcements, phone calls and introductions. (I) (The fiansor laughed at this one as he knows how much I hate to make phone calls when we order out.)
  • You like to buy on impulse and you frequently seek outside stimulation. (E)
  • Your style of speech tends to be calm and quiet and your ability to remember names is average to low. (I) (This one about the names was really interesting to me and very true.)
  • You want to make an impact on your community. (E) (This one made me laugh because I know the fiansor feels this way and we had just talked about how my desire to make a contribution is there, but quite different and how his desire is much larger and very ingrained. Very interesting stuff!)

At the end of the book there was a big discussion about personality types using the Myers-Briggs system. The fiansor's type was very easy to determine (ENFP), mine not so much. I'm still not sure. But it's further info that's helpful and interesting. We both have characteristics of introversion and extroversion in us too. It's never so clear cut, but knowing where we're coming from is helpful as we grow as a couple and as people. I've found all this particularly interesting because extroversion is so celebrated in our culture that introverts are often made to feel they are strange and abnormal. In general, I'm quite content in my introverted ways. I'm quite good at entertaining myself for hours on end. But on the other hand, it's good for me to push the envelope a bit sometimes and be more social as it often leads to wonderful things. Balance, balance.

Tomorrow's my birthday! I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet, but during the day, I plan to follow my whims and make it a fun, relaxing, and playful day. I hope your week is a wonderfully creative one!

The Pleiades and further Synchronicity

July 14th, 2007, Comments (8)

Here's the piece of art that I mentioned yesterday, "Dreaming of the Seven Sisters":

With the Inspire Me Thursday theme of 7 last week, I popped around at the response of others and over at Bee Creative, I read about the Seven Sisters constellation (the Pleiades.) I did a little more research about them and the story just stuck in my head. In the Greek myth, seven beautiful sisters were pursued by Orion. Zeus helps them to escape by turning them into seven doves. You can read more about what I discovered in researching this story and see some details of the painting over at the Blue Tree Blog.

I had a very cool bit of synchronicity as I discovered last night that among the names that the constellation was given in different cultures, it was also called "Freya's hens." This cracked me up after all that I wrote about Freya and Friday the 13th yesterday. Hehe. Circles and circles and circles again.

Unlucky or Lucky 13?

July 13th, 2007, Comments (2)

I always thought the superstition regarding Friday the 13th was kind of odd. And I was amazed to learn about some of the reasons why 13 and Friday were seen as unlucky when doing some reading about it a few years ago. 13 was considered lucky in many cultures, including among the ancient Egyptians. In pagan times, 13 was associated with the 13 months of the pagan calendar (relating the the approximately 13 cycles of the moon each year). Friday was also once considered quite lucky. It was associated with the goddess Freya (for whom Friday was named) who was associated with fertility and love. In Christian times, all things feminine were made out to be dangerous and evil, therefore the number 13 became very unlucky and even unluckier on the luckiest of pagan days, Friday. Incidentally, Freya was also associated with cats which is why crossing the path of a black cat is now considered unlucky (it used to be considered lucky!) So, if you get all spooked around Friday the 13th, take a breath or even celebrate it!! Ever since reading about the history behind the 13th, I've taken a special liking to it. The poor day has taken a lot of flack. :-)

I'm feeling loads better today. Thank you for the well wishes!! I spent the day doing some cleaning and organizing, sanding and gessoing, and working on a painting that I really like. I'll get it up here once it's dry.

Last night, the fiansor was out taking his employees out for their monthly dinner excursion, so I got cozied up in bed with my sketchbook and pencils and paper and all sorts of other stuff. And I ended up getting to work on my own special life binder. I mentioned earlier how I'd been wanting to create one. Well, on the plane to Boulder (plane rides are a wonderful place to brainstorm I've found), I sketched all sorts of ideas of how I wanted it to function. I determined some of the categories to separate my binder into (art ideas, business ideas, blog ideas, calendar with to-do lists, quotes, misc) and how I wanted to make my calendar (weekly spreads with room for to-do lists and inspirations as they arrive), and what other things should be included (a plastic sleeve for business cards), a folder for each category, and a plastic sleeve for bits and pieces that would fall out of an open folder, etc... I happened to have these colorful dividers and folders left over from massage school, so I emptied out my old notes and filled the sections instead with various types of paper that I punched holes in. It still needs some work. I'm currently using post-its as tabs to find the sections as the current tabs, while colorful, all kind of blend together. I used it today and it was great for catching and organizing the random thoughts I was having. I didn't have to track down the five thousand places I normally write little notes to myself when I was trying to remember what I was going to do next or the different sketch books I put art ideas in when I sat down to paint. So far so good. We'll see how it goes.

p.s. As a reminder, the Angels for Brianna auction ends tomorrow, the 14th, at 6:30 p.m. PST. 

Shopping, Travels and Inspirations

July 12th, 2007, Comments (4)

My tummy is super upset today. I woke up in the middle of the night with awful pain and then well, I won't go into any more details than that. Yucko. I feel a little better today, but not great. I've felt kind of tired and drained all week actually. I'm sure it will turn around soon. I think all the traveling over the weekend threw my body for a loop.

While we were in Boulder, I really enjoyed walking through this one area full of shops. The fiansor commented that it was like this place was made for me. All the colors and designs and funky hand-made products were so up my alley. It was some serious eye-candy. I also stopped in a wonderful interior design store-front that made me ooh and ahh, a bunch of galleries, and a couple antique stores. The only place I got some things at was a little shop called Bliss, just off the Pearl Street Mall area. I would give you a link to it if they had one. How can a store not have a website? Arg! But it was such a cute store full of all sorts of goodies that I just loved. I even got to see a bunch of Anahata Katkin's cards in person, which I'd never seen before. While there, I got a pair of sunglasses (I crushed mine on the plane ride trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in on the plane), a new wallet, two adorably painted tin birds on ribbon, and a silky headband. Here's a pic of the outside of the shop from jessicagonacha's flickr photostream:


I enjoyed some of the galleries we visited and was struck by the art of Maria Neary in particular. Again, no website to share for her alone, but I did find this video of her speaking about her art which is very cool. It's the third video from the top. Turns out she used to be an animator, but I'll let you listen for yourself. I also found some of her work displayed at the Blink Gallery website here. While searching for art by her I came upon an ad that someone was selling a print of hers for a great price, so I scooped it up. Since I'm working for myself now I don't feel like I have the luxury of buying too much for myself. I'm not depriving myself or anything. I'm just trying to keep a more careful reign on my spending habits. (Those items I got from Bliss, were all a gift from the sweet fiansor). There is so much great art out there I'd like to purchase! All in good time.

I've got a new post up at the Blue Tree Blog. While writing it I had a funny bit of synchronicity around the image, chakras, and lotus flowers. I love synchronicity. I do, I do. The Lotus Heart painting is now up in the shop here. Shortly, I'm going to cozy up with some art materials and fuzzy kitties and watch my not-so-guilty pleasure of the summer, "So You Think You Can Dance."

Angel Update

July 11th, 2007, Comments (1)

Wowzers! Some beautiful art has been donated for the Angels for Brianna auction. I got an email this morning saying that the total raised so far is $11,164.00, including cash donations of $2,670. Isn't that amazing?! This is an example of how beautiful the internet can be and the wonderful things it can do. It holds the power to unite and bring people together in such wonderful ways. Here's my art for the auction, an angel just barely touching the surface of the ground, surrounded by butterflies (which are messengers of spirit.) It's 8"x10" on cradled clayboard and is ready to hang.


There were some problems with the website yesterday, but they're all fixed now, so if you checked it before, be sure to stop by again and check out the diverse range of art. The auction ends this Saturday at 6:30 PST. You can read more about Brianna's story here.