Entries Tagged as: cats


December 16th, 2008, Comments (30)

The time leading up to Christmas tends to put me a little on edge. There are things that I love (the lights, cocoa, cookies, giving special gifts, quality time with family, decorating the tree), but there's a bit of stress in there that wipes me out. I do my best to stay healthy and upbeat. We've all got to remember how important self-care is during all the craziness!

Fortunately, this image that the hubster put together for our holiday cards is just the sort of thing to brighten my mood. Hehe. I used double stick tape to put this picture on our holiday cards. Last night, the hubster and I put them together, wrote out the addresses on envelopes, and messages inside, while listening to cheesey holiday tunes, and then I sent them off today. I'd love to send one out to all you, so consider this your holiday card from me, the hubster, and our four kitties.


The hubster and I were both raised by parents of different religions, so we incorporated a Jewish yarmulke on one of the kitties, so our Jewish relatives wouldn't feel left out by the Rudolf theme. I think he did a phenomenal job. Hopefully all our relatives will find it funny. Heh. We sent out a few non-picture cards to family members who are a little more old-fashioned just in case. Ha! I'm laughing again, looking at it!

Ahem, anyways, I'm getting very excited for Creative Every Day 2009. I'll be letting you in on the theme for January very soon. In the meantime, happy holidays to you and yours!

Sniffles and Holiday Craftiness

December 4th, 2008, Comments (13)

Sadieblanket If I were a cat, that would be me over the last few days, under the covers like my cute Sadie. My head feels better resting as it is heavy with mucus. Gross! O.k., I'm going to try not to to get into the less than pretty details of my cold. My bff reminded me today that it's been awhile since I've been sick and that's quite true! I used to get colds far too often and it's been a long time, so I'm pleased that it's been a long stretch in between. Hopefully, this cold will pass quickly.

I managed to get out to the grocery store which was not so fun, but I had a craving for butternut squash and I needed tissues, so I went out and it was quite nice out. I also got some beautiful new art postcards in the mail and I'll be sending one out to everyone who orders a calendar. They feature the Lady of the Lake painting and have lovely rounded corners which I'm just loving at the moment.

I'm wishing I felt better because I'm bursting with ideas, just low on energy. Re-thinking the Creative Every Day Challenge has me super excited and I know it will be a great year, full of creativity and great connections, inspiration and lots of fun. And PLAY! Yes, play. More on that later.

Perhaps this cold is my body's way of telling me to take a little rest after the rush of AEDM. It can be hard to relax this time of year. Despite the fact that I feel like the holidays are about family and not the gifts, it can be stressful thinking about how to handle gifts, especially in a large family. And all the travel and family time, while wonderful, can be draining for my introverted self. How do you make the holidays a fun and relaxing time? I totally love this fabric advent calendar that my bff created. She had family members create items to put in the little pockets by having them draw on shrinky dink plastic. What a cool idea!! I love to see crafts that families can work on together. Although this isn't a holiday piece, how amazing is this family-decorated IKEA chair from Our Artful Life?! Love it! And if you're looking for something eco-friendly, check out this diy re-cycled shopping bag turned into a bow on Creature Comforts! The Tar-jay bag makes for a great Christmas-y decoration too.

There are so many great holiday crafts out there. I'm particularly drawn to garlands made from paper or felt at the moment. How bout you?

Cat Stackers

November 25th, 2008, Comments (19)

Catstack Tonight I decided to do a fun drawing. I used a nib pen and brown ink to bring to life a little sketch I had in my sketchbook. I had called them "Cat Stackers" when I showed the original sketch to the hubster, but he said it was more like a stack of pancats. Either way. :-)

It was so dark and gloomy all day, so I felt the need for my art to be fun and light. I ran a bunch of errands in the rain and it was pleasant to be in the cozy car, listening to an audiobook on cd, warming my bum on the butt-warmer seats, feeling cozy and dry while stuck in traffic. I didn't mind going slow or waiting. Running from car to store with packages and umbrella and purse was a little less fun and little more comical, especially when a big box I bought to ship art in, nearly flew away from me in the wind.

Today in Soul Coaching, the focus was partly on how you carry yourself. I know that making a decision to carry yourself a certain way can make a huge difference. There was also an exercise about taking some time to truly relax and even though I didn't do it multiple times during the day, I did take a nice long rest after a yoga session with a purring cat on my chest, just breathing and melting into the floor. And that felt fabulous.

Some of the AEDM-ers are eager to continue with the project. And although I can't commit to posting art every day beyond this month, I will still have the Creative Every Day 2008 project going. And I think I'll start using the linking widget for the weekly CED posts too. I'm loving that widget. Widget is also a fun word to say. Widget, widget, widget. O.k., I'm tuckered out. Sweet dreams, you creative geniuses!

Red Balloon

November 17th, 2008, Comments (23)

I've been busy, busy all day, putting together a 2009 calendar of my artwork (I'll let you know as soon as it's ready!) In the process, I've also prepped some more artwork for prints which I hope to have up on my art website soon. These things always take longer than I expect them to, but I feel good about the progress I've made nonetheless.

Taking a break from the computer this afternoon, I set to painting in a completely intuitive fashion, upon a 12"x16" piece of watercolor paper. I wet the paper, letting some paint flow into the water, creating shapes and lines in a fluid way. Things were flowing again, unlike yesterday, which was a relief. When I stepped back, I saw what was the woman's hair and started bringing that out, eventually seeing that she was wearing a grand red dress and holding a red balloon which is why I'm calling "Red Balloon." I used some ink in the end to draw in her face and give some highlights to the dress and the feather headpiece in her hair. It was fun to play with paint, with no particular end in mind.

This playful method fit right in with one of the focuses of Soul Coaching today, which was to find ways to experience more fun and joy. I plan on having a lovely, fun night to myself this evening while the hubster is out. Heck, it's fun just thinking about the variety of things I can do to make it a fun evening!

In need of a laugh? It's perhaps my love of all things cat, but I find this incredibly funny. It makes me laugh out loud every time. So, if you need a giggle, be sure to check out Guster's a cappella "Carol of the Meows."

Thanks to Wendy for pointing out that AEDM got mentioned on the Liz Massey's blog, Creative Liberty. Liz also mentioned the amazingly talented, Tammy Vitale in the same post. And I have to mention that Tammy created a drawing named after me, called Leah Dancing as part of AEDM, that I just totally love. I've never had a piece of art named for me before. What an honor! It made me all giddy. :-)


November 14th, 2008, Comments (24)

I came up for the general idea for this last night. I was moving between rooms and saw the remnants of a cut-out silhouette on my work table. I randomly picked it up and put it against a gessoed panel that I had out and liked the way it looked. I fiddled with it occasionally whenever I happened back in the room. And then before bed, I grabbed my sketchbook and was drawing and began to play with sketches that looked somewhat like this one. I was imagining a woman's thoughts being elsewhere, so I'm calling it "Elsewhere." It's about 6"x6" with acrylic, collage, and ink on a cradled wood panel.

Today in Soul Coaching was all about gratitude and I really enjoyed this focus. In the morning I woke up with a migraine. Denise Linn suggests turning around the things you don't feel grateful for and finding the parts that you are grateful for. So, I took my feeling of annoyance at my migraine and turned it around to feeling grateful that my migraine had woken me up early enough to get up and then come back to bed where I enjoyed an especially sweet snuggle with the hubster and my cat, Sadie. Then I turned around my feelings about the gloomy weather into a feeling of gratitude that I was inside, warm, cozy and dry. It's so good to remember the things we're grateful for and I am incredibly grateful for my life. I'm one blessed girl, I'll tell ya.

Well, the hubster is home from work, so I'm off for now. Hope you all have an amazingly creative weekend!

A Golden Thought

November 9th, 2008, Comments (27)

I drew an image like this one in my sketchbook and someone suggested I make it into a painting, so I saved it for AEDM. And today, using a 6"x6" wood panel that I'd prepped with gesso last week, I painted the image in acrylic and used ink for the gold accents. When I drew the image it was spontaneous. It made me think of a person having an idea that formed the shape of a bird. I'd forgotten about that interpretation until I finished the painting today and the title popped into my head "A Golden Thought." I love how the most random things can pop into your mind at any moment. Well, sometimes it's annoying and distracting.

In Soul Coaching, Denise Linn talks about how the mental clutter can weigh us down. There's something different though, it's not quite mental clutter when ideas pop in. Perhaps it's the clutter that keeps the ideas from appearing. When I'm able to clear my mind and let it wander freely, that is when ideas come. And it seems that art is my way in. When I doodle in sketchbooks or play with paint, the part of my mind that is cluttered gets distracted. It seems I can only do so many things at once, no matter how good I am at multi-tasking. So, when I'm creating, the volume turns down on the unimportant buzzing which gives room for the little golden thought birds to fly into my line of sight.

Yesterday in Soul Coaching, we were asked to begin defining our life's mission statement. Well, that's no easy task, is it? How do you know? She suggested we just start writing and see what comes up. I started writing about how my mission in life is to inspire, to infuse my life and the lives of others with creativity, love, and light. And then I just started writing words: be creative, be, create, inspire. Then on the following page I drew a woman with a big speaking bubble, like in a cartoon, and in the bubble I wrote, "My purpose in life is to create, inspire, support, love, and encourage. My purpose is to grow, to be gentle, to be joyous, to wonder at all the beauty around me and express it in my own voice, to follow my intuition and dreams, to live and just be." Another task involved creating a life statement collage, but since I've recently created a vision board, I just took it out and put it in a prominent place. It already contains images of many of the values I pin-pointed in one of the exercises from last week.

This week's theme is water, so my mostly blue painting seems very fitting. There is also a focus on emotion and we were asked to think about the turning points in my life. My turning points are fairly clear to me. Many times they were brought about by something tragic or difficult and other times they were brought about by something exciting and wonderful. But in every case, I learned a lot about myself in the process, in each case I found that I was capable of more than I realized, and stronger too.

A few random notes to share:

  • A few people have asked where I'm getting the quotes that I'm sharing at the bottom of each day's AEDM post. I make those posts the night before and I find my quotes in a variety of places. In some cases I've just typed "creativity quotes" into google and looked around until I found one that I liked, in other cases I used quotes that I have tucked away (I love inspiring quotes!), and other times I've pulled down a random book from my bookshelf and found a quote there. Today's quote was found in "The Nine Modern Day Muses" by Jill Badonsky.
  • Julia at Red Otter, had the great idea of sharing self-portraits created by taking photos of 5-10 of your most treasured possessions. How cool! Julia is going to share hers this week and has invited others to share there's by contacting her through her blog.
  • Journals with kitty faces on the cover are irresistible. 

AAA: Animals, Art, and AEDM

October 31st, 2008, Comments (13)

Happy Halloween! I saw these tampon ghosts on the whip-up blog and cracked up. Ew, I just thought about putting ketchup on them, like they were bloody ghosts. Ha! Gross!

Um, so, anyways, I'm not one to dress up my pets, but it can be rather funny to see animals in costume. South Park's latest two-part episode made fun of the movie Cloverfield. The plot involved Peruvian flute bands and the monsters they protected the world from. It was all pretty silly, but what absolutely killed me was that the "monsters" were live-action guinea pigs that were made to look enormous. They were SO cute! The plot continues and other monsters arrive, such as giant bees...which turn out to be guinea pigs in bumble bee costumes. I was laughing so hard watching it that I nearly cried. Here's a link to a pic of "the most horrible monster of all," the guinea pirate.

Speaking of ridiculously cute, I can't help but share some kitty pics today. I realize I've been sharing a lot of cat pics and videos lately. No particular reason, just feeling the kitty love. So, this is my oldest cat, Sadie who is a wonder-snuggler, monster-purrer, super love bug. Sadie, like many cats, loves bags. She enjoyed making a nest in this one, above. And here's my big boy, Tabbers, who teaches me how to be completely and totally relaxed. In this pic, he's sleeping on our new Angela Adams duvet cover that the hubster and I are totally loving right now.

O.k. enough of this kitty business. I'm working on two sketchbook swap projects at once at the moment. For the first one, I recently did some ink blots (with acrylic paint) that I planned to create something from. Here are the first two ink blots. What do you see in them? I've already done something with one and I'll share that later.

Sketchbookswapgoldpurple      Sketchbookswapredblue

For the second swap, I'm doing something in a journal for the "Do Not Leave Unattended" sketchbook project. I created this drawing which I'll be putting into the journal. I'd been doodling octopuses and then imagining them as umbrellas.

The paper I drew on was from a late 19th century journal where it appears that quotes and poetry where written in German. I love the look of the script.

Art Every Day Month (AEDM) begins tomorrow and I'm so excited about it! I've put the AEDM participants up in the sidebar to the right (just above the CED participants), so if you've joined in, please double check that I have you up there. I may have left you off the list entirely by accident, so just let me know if you should be up there or if you've decided to join in, let me know that too by commenting or emailing me (my email link is in the top left sidebar.) Also, feel free to join in the AEDM flickr group to share pictures of your creations!

I'm working away on a painting. The purple painting from this week has completely transformed and continues to do so. Perhaps I'll share it with you tomorrow. In the meantime, have a safe evening. And I'll be seeing you tomorrow for the start of AEDM! Hooray!


October 23rd, 2008, Comments (29)

I've read a few posts lately regarding blogging, being authentic, being vulnerable. What came up for me is how human we all are. We all have these big hearts that get hurt, that open up and shut down, that want connection and are afraid of rejection. We are all so very beautiful and real and creative and lovely.

I've felt jealous, left out, separate. And I've also felt loved, connected, and joy-filled. I've felt these ways in the blogging world and outside of it. I don't think it's particularly unique to blogging. Blogging certainly brings it's own particular bliss and challenges. Fortunately, for me, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

In the past, I've made the mistake of thinking that those I see as "successful" or "popular" aren't experiencing that vulnerability, that feeling of being left out, or conflicting feelings about blogging. But it's all relative isn't it? Silly me. I want to show you that I'm smiling, but that can be hard to do with just words on a screen or even the symbol. :-) I want to say in a silly voice, "Duh! We're all human!" But sometimes it can be hard to get that across.

Melba, who has a brand-spankin-new blog, asked me this morning about whether or not I made any conscious changes to my blog since I started selling my art. Yes and no. I don't think the overall feel of my blog changed. I still share my process, my ups and downs. There are times I'm more open and other times I'm more closed. I'm like that in my real life and on my blog. There is a push-pull of what's private and what's not for me sometimes. And I think that anyone who blogs experiences that. 

There are some things I don't share anymore. At one point, under another name, I blogged about a deeply personal and private situation I was going through. I needed to get it out and the support I received was so helpful, it was like therapy. But as that situation closed. I healed, and I wanted to move on to a place where I used my real name. So I shut that space down and started over. I still blog about things that some people may think too private to share in an open forum. I'll blog about my experiences with depression, for example, because I think that it might be helpful to others and it's helpful to for me to write it out. And then there are other things that I don't blog about online and they're things that I wouldn't talk about with just anyone in my face-to-face life either. I don't think it's about being inauthentic in this case, it's just what makes sense for me. I don't like to blog about my family because I don't think it's fair to them. And I would never want them to find and misinterpret my writing. So, I keep that separate. I find that I still have plenty to talk about anyways. My main interests online are connecting with others, inspiring creativity, and sharing my artwork. I share my vulnerabilities and insecurities along the way because that's part of the journey of being a creative person. And often when we share these parts of our journey, we find we are far from alone. 

There are some gray areas in there. I haven't discussed much regarding politics on my blog. Mainly, I don't want to alienate anyone because while this is a personal blog, it's also a place where I encourage others to be creative through challenges like AEDM and CED2008 and I want everyone to feel safe and welcome to join in. I don't want anyone to feel judged because their beliefs are different than mine. I've wondered recently, if that was the truth, if I was just anxious about being liked or sparking a debate that I didn't want to hold here. I think my intentions were good, but I'm re-thinking my position on how I go about it.

One of the things that came up in some other blog posts and comments was about the act of commenting on blogs, how some comments are too sickly sweet and how some people are more lurkers unless they have something substantial to say. I think many of us have wondered about the commenting practices of ourselves and others. We may wonder: What's the best way to respond to a comment? Do you write a response in the comments? What if they don't come back to see it? Do you email them? Does every comment need a response? Do you need to visit every person who has commented on your blog? Does it really matter? Who the heck knows! There are no rules. We make them up as we go. I don't have a very consistent way of responding to comments. For a time, I responded to every one. Sometimes a comment doesn't really need a response. Sometimes, it depends on my mood. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and get terribly behind and even when I really do want to respond, I just have to let it go and move on. I never want to hurt anyone's feelings. It may happen. We put ourselves out there. We may hurt someone. We may get hurt. We try our best. I try to remember that when my feelings get hurt. We're all trying our best.

I was just listening to a Craftcast podcast where Alison Lee was talking about riding horses and how she had to sit up, put her shoulders back, and open up her chest, which opens her heart. She noted how we should be this way not just on a horse, but in our everyday lives as much as we can, even though sometimes we may not be able to; sometimes we may be more hunched over, protecting our hearts. It was such a lovely synchronicity to hear this as I was thinking all this over and beginning this post. In the end, that is what I want to do here on this blog and in my day-to-day life. I want to open my heart as much I can, as often as I can. Some days I may not be able to and that's o.k., but I can keep reminding myself to put my shoulders back and open up again and again.

That was a bit long and rambling! It always cracks me up when people apologize for a long comment. I love to read long comments! I'm not always in the mood to make long comments, but I always love to read them, so no apologizing necessary! :-)   I'll leave you with a picture of my cat, Tabbers, who is a master-napper and has a huge kitty heart.

Back from the Big Apple

October 20th, 2008, Comments (9)

We had a great weekend in NYC, visiting the hubster's family and then heading into the city to surprise my brother for his 29th birthday. I snapped this picture on the way into town with my iphone. Didn't quite work, but you'll have to trust me when I say that the city was looking spectacular all lit up. That green smudge up top is not a U.F.O., but the empire state building. Somewhere in the outskirts we saw a building that had "Vote Obama" in gigantic lit up letters taking up one entire side.That was cool.

After a weekend full of travel and socializing I was seriously exhausted when we got home last night and today felt like a day of introvert-style recovery. This evening I followed my urge to draw by sketching out faces I saw on television, in magazines and online for fun. Here's one of them (above.)

I used a new journal (decorated with kitty faces) to draw faces in. I plan to use this journal while reading Denise Linn's Soul Coaching which I'll be doing along with Jamie's online book group. If you're interested in joining in, you can check out all the details here. I think the book will be helpful as I do Art Every Day Month next month and I'm looking forward to both challenges!

Speaking of AEDM, I'm enjoying visiting the blogs of some of the folks who signed up to participate and wanted to share some of the fabulous things I found!

I'm off to relax and then catch some z's. Hope you had a wonderfully creative weekend!

Assorted Goods

October 17th, 2008, Comments (10)

Jenn has shared the link of my chat with the Co-Active coaches Creative Artists group and you can listen to it right here. I talk a bit about Art Every Day Month (AEDM), ways to get creative when you're feeling uninspired, and also lead an intuitive art exercise at the end of the call. I thoroughly enjoyed being on the call and chatting with like-minded souls about being creative every day.

One of the things that came up on the call was the difference between the Creative Every Day 2008 challenge (CED2008) and AEDM and I don't think I did a fabulous job at describing the difference then, so I wanted to address it quickly here.

CED2008 was born out of wanting to continue the sense of community and commitment to creativity that I felt with AEDM. Both challenges are very loose and flexible, so that anyone can feel good about joining in, so the two challenges really do overlap. If you're already doing CED2008, then technically you could be doing AEDM too. For me, because AEDM is a short-term challenge, just going for the month of November, I feel good about committing to creating and posting something every day (this is not required for folks doing AEDM, but it is what I commit to doing). I created CED2008 as a way to continue the commitment to creativity and for me that meant simply focusing in on my creativity and recognizing it without necessarily posting something every single day. That was how I approached the challenges, but I left it open for others to interpret however it felt good for them. Hopefully that makes the difference clear enough. Feel free to ask any questions though!

On to other things! I mentioned getting a sample of Golden's new Open Acrylics, three little tubes of titanium white, alazrin crimson, and blue. I'd turned off the Red Sox game because they were down 7-0 in the 7th and I just couldn't bear to watch anymore, well, go figure, they ended up coming back to with 8-7 in just two innings! I should know better than to count them out! So, I was all hyped up when I found out they won and decided to pull out those paints and just play while I watched highlights. I put out some red paint which turned into a mermaid (so many mermaids lately!) and later just started doodling what became two octopuses.

Open Acrylics are a new line of paints that are water-based, but have a much longer drying time. So, they're not like your typical acrylic paint. They stay open to manipulation longer, like oils. It was interesting to play with them. I'm used to the fast-dry of acrylic, so sometimes going back to paint over something was frustrating because the paint underneath wasn't totally dry. But being able to re-manipulate something with a bit of water was very cool. I'm kind of an impatient painter, so I'm not sure I'd use them on a regular basis, but I could see how they'd be very fun to play with.

Yesterday afternoon, I was feeling a bit rattled after reading far too many political articles about the weird and lame claims about voter fraud in Ohio and I needed some cheering up. This video totally did the trick for me. Thank you ninja cat! :-)