Entries Tagged as: dis/organization

Clean and Clear

October 21st, 2008, Comments (5)

Phew! Just did a major clean and clear of the refrigerator and cleaned up the kitchen. It was a quite a job, but I'm glad it's done! And while I'm feeling a bit more clear, there are some things I've been meaning to share:

  • Recently, I noticed that my blog posts were not updating in Bloglines (which is where I attempt to keep up with loads of fabulous blogs.) I did a whole lot of trouble shooting with no luck and then all of the sudden, after about a month, it started working again. I don't know what changed, but I'm sorry for the mix-up. I found that there's a new feed through feedburner which you can subscribe to here. When the other feeds weren't being picked up by Bloglines, that one was working.
  • Denise Linn, author of Soul Coaching has a regular radio program on Hay House Radio. I listened to one today about not taking things personally (there's a link to it if you scroll down the page.) I remember reading about this same topic in The Four Agreements. And it made an impact on me. It relates also to the book I just finished, Loving What Is by Byron Katie. I've been reading Katie's book slowly, trying to digest and take it in. The ideas in it are simple in many ways, but not in others. Very powerful either way and I'll need to continue to process what I read and practice it too.
  • Speaking of coaching, I've been thinking about hiring a life coach for awhile. I know some fabulous women coaches through blogging and I know some people who have benefited from the process. If you have any recommendations or suggestions for me, let me know! 
  • Just for fun: I love I Can Has Cheezburger and all their hilarious cat photos. Browsing their site recently, I noticed that they teamed up with a curator to create a show of LOL Cat artwork! The opening is this Thursday in San Francisco and you can read more about it here and see a sneak preview of the art here.
  • I received a lovely surprise from the incredibly sweet and talented, Jennifer Lee. She sent me a gorgeous card (from my favorite animal artist, Jessie at Stray Dog Arts) and a lovely glass heart from Heart is Hot, a goodwill business that is all about sharing the love, fostering connections, and following your heart. You can also share your stories of connection and track the hearts you purchase, receive, or pass on through their website. So very cool. Thank you Jenn! I feel the love and look forward to sharing it with someone special!

Creating Space

April 17th, 2008, Comments (7)

I just took all these purty pictures of the ranunculus flowers in my office and my camera batteries died, so I'll have to share them another time. I just love those flowers though. I got a bunch of them and bunch of yellow tulips. Very spring-tastic. Been drawing away in my art journal, I think I'll go for the canvas or panel soon. Perhaps this weekend. My little brother (we're 16 years apart, so he's only 15 years old!) will be staying with me from Sunday through Friday, so it should be an interesting week. My mom says he's really loved his art classes this year, so perhaps we'll do some art-making together!

In cleaning and clearing my studio space which is also my office and storage space here (we have slim to no closet space), I decided something had to be done about my wedding dress which has stayed in it's bag, folded on a shelf that it doesn't quite fit on (so the cats won't get to it) since my wedding in October. I have no place to store it and I actually thought I'd be selling it from the start. I know some people hang on to their dress in the hopes that a future daughter or family member will wear it or just as an heirloom, but I know from seeing my mom's wedding dress (from her second wedding) that the tastes of mothers and daughters are often quite different!

As much as I'd love to wear my wedding gown around for kicks (I mean, I've never felt so pretty as I did in that dress!), I can't really wear it anywhere else. Plus taking it out would only cover it in cat hair within three seconds. So, I'm going to sell it online. I need to get it cleaned and pressed and then hopefully send it out into the world to a bride who will love it as much as I did. At first when I made the decision to sell it, I felt a little sad, but I know it's the right move.

Andrea asked what I looked like today and you can see the fanciest I've ever looked in some wedding shots (and my super cool wedding cake) that I posted here. And eventually I'll put up some more current (and ordinary) pictures of me sometime soon. It feels good to let go of things that are mentally and literally taking up space. Ahh. 

A Studio in Progress

April 16th, 2008, Comments (6)

The last couple days the spring cleaning bug hit my studio. Wee! I decided to get rid of some of my old crappy plastic drawer units, in which I stored paint and all manner of odds and ends, that were falling apart and replace them with sturdier pieces. The hubster had a small bookshelf that he was throwing out and I found an ikea rolling cart (above) that I've had my eye on on craigslist for half the price (and I so love it!).

Granted, I still have *a lot* of work to do for this space to come together, but it's already feeling more open and inspiring. I rearranged the furniture, so my desk is closer to the window and the center of the room is more open. Ahh, a change as simple as that can make such a difference. I'm totally enjoying my space again. Above you can see part of my bookshelf (which was all organized until I started moving things around again, but it's getting there), my desk, and my inspiration area (it's crept off the inspiration board onto the wall.) Below you can see my mega scanner and the where the light comes in.

The hubster and I are in a bit of weird limbo as to when we'll buy a house, so it's been hard to know how much we wanted to fix up a space that wasn't ours. But I think we've both been feeling that our space, while not our own, can be fixed up a bit to make it a more pleasant place to live. Just a little shift in thinking made a big difference there.

Oh, and I wanted to mention that I everyone at Artfest was super nice! I didn't want anyone to get the wrong impression from my post. My ugly feelings were all my own doing...it stemmed from all those insecurities that can pop up in large groups and such that can throw you for a massive loop. Plus, I just hadn't prepared myself for the intensity of the experience, the sense of overwhelm, and the exhaustion I'd feel. But, on a good note, I did come home full to the brim with inspiration and now that I'm getting my energy back, I can start to put that into practice. Speaking of retreats, this one with Kelly Rae Roberts and Mati Rose in Italy sounds amazing!

Creative Math

February 23rd, 2008, Comments (9)

Yesterday's creativity was all about math. Yes, math can be creative! People don't put math and art together too often, but they were my best subjects in school. Go figure. Now, while I liked and understood math, I never much enjoyed finances. I think I was brought up to be slightly scared of money, fear of having it and fear of losing it and I picked up a habit of avoiding looking at it altogether. I got myself into some pretty nasty debt in my mid-twenties by doing that. Well, I had to take a hard look at it eventually and I managed to get myself out of that debt.

Now that I'm working for myself, I've been finding it hard to look at my finances again. I'm not bringing in as much money as I did when I was working full time and although I'm doing fine, I have been avoiding looking at the numbers and where I stand. So, yesterday I took some time to work on my excel spreadsheets, adding up my income and expenses. I'm not finished yet, but already I feel loads better in knowing exactly what's going in and out, how much the fees are in different venues I sell with, and how much I'm bringing in each month.

As I get more comfortable with excel, I'll be able to make my spreadsheets more fun and interesting to look at. Hey, there's no need for math to be intimidating or ugly! Awhile back I started using a program called Flick! to keep track of my inventory, mainly with art I sent to galleries, so I know what's where and what it's status is. I chose Flick because it's compatible with Mac computers and I like the way it looks. So far so good.

How do you make the nitty-gritty of your financial and organizational tasks more creative?

Thanks by the way for the well wishes. I'm feeling better every day. The cough still lingers, but my energy is returning. The hubster is making a delicious dinner for us and we're cozying up and watching the first season of 24. It's so fun to watch a whole season back to back! Hope you're all having a lovely and creative weekend!

Creativity Galore

January 14th, 2008, Comments (12)

I'm having so much fun with the CED project this year. I get so excited to see what everyone is up to, the new and wonderful ways you're being creative, and sharing my own creativity. What a great energy to start of the new year with!

We got blasted with snow here in New England. The world is covered in thick, white, fluffy stuff. The power was out most of the day today where I'm staying (at my old job) and I couldn't get home anyways because there's a big tree in our driveway. I feel SO lucky that my car wasn't there last night. A big tree fell right in the spots where my neighbor and I park our cars, both of which happen to be brand new. That would have been devastating - to come out and see my shiny new car crushed! So anyways, the landlord couldn't get any help to remove the tree til tomorrow, so I'll go back to the house for a bit then and then back to my supervising role at the old job.

The power being out wasn't too bad, but it was out for over 5 hours and it was starting to get really cold and it would have been dark shortly, so I'm glad that it has returned. While the power was out, I spent a lot of time reading. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman was excellent by the way. I highly recommend it. In the afternoon, I worked on "Subway Stories" pieces, finishing up the two I've been showing you and prepping and starting new ones. It was nice to have a bit more room to spread out in and I could work on more pieces at once, sanding and gessoing and gluing and painting. The hubster and I are trying to get rid of the extra stuff (we're both kinda messy, but we do better in a cleaner space) in our apartment and I'm trying to do the same in my studio. I would love some more space to work in, but I need this to work for now. In the meantime, I just droooool over the studio spaces I see in blogland sometimes. Karin of "Karins Kreativa 2008" joined the CED 2008 challenge today. Her blog is in Swedish and I haven't been able to find a good translator for Swedish to English, but I really have enjoyed her pictures including her amazingly organized studio space. Check it out here.  I've started doing some of this kind of organizing in my own space, but the way she's put her creative supplies together gives me so many ideas. I've included a few of the photos from Karin's studio below, but do go see the rest! Thanks for the inspiration, Karin!


I got an email from Becky of Quoth the Rav in which she shared a quote from her inspirational calendar:

"When looking for a new idea, thumb through a magazine on a subject of no interest to you."
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.-
from Life's Little Instruction calendar 2008

Becky took this inspiration and ran with it, using a medical supply catalog to get ideas  and material for collage. I love that!

Janet of The Lavendar Loft has shared a great list of creativity tips (the original list is here.) I love what Janet had to say about creativity when she shared the list. I totally agree with her when she says that people often shut themselves down thinking they can't be creative, when in fact we are all creative every day. And by bringing our focus to the many ways we are creative in our everyday lives we can only bring more inspiration and creative goodness flowing in.

O.k., I'm going to get back to working on some art. I'll get my camera back tomorrow, so you can expect some pics from me then!

Day 19 – Traveling Girl

November 19th, 2007, Comments (13)

I did a doodle of this girl on a stack of suitcases in my journal before bed one night. So, today, I flipped through my journal, saw the sketch and decided to bring her to life. I thought about the different ways I could do it with collage or watercolor or acrylics or pencil...and I decided I wanted something colorful, but with sharp black lines, sort of illustration-style. She's about 5"x7" on watercolor paper with acrylic paint and ink. I love her purple suitcase with the tag hanging off it. I think this may stem from my love of boxes which can easily move into containers of all kind which make me incomprehensibly happy. In fact, even though Bridgette claimed her post wasn't exciting, her picture of her basement studio space today thrilled me. All those little compartments and boxes and containers and drawers and doors. Eee! Love it! I get totally befuddled when it comes to creating something like this for myself, but I do adore the look of it. I bought a bunch of things from the Container Store for my office/studio and it's coming along. When we buy a house (hopefully in the spring), I'll work on some organizational pieces like the one Bridgette got from IKEA, but in the meantime, I'll work with what I've got which isn't terrible by any means, just a little cramped. And hopefully less cramped when I'm done with it.

Some people have mentioned wanting to continue doing art every day after the month ends. That's awesome! I say go for it! December is usually a busy month full of family obligations (I've got a big family!), so I won't be making that commitment, but I've had something else in mind for awhile now. I'm thinking in January that I'm going to begin a year of being "creative every day." Yes! Just like my blog name! I do find ways to insert some creativity into every day, but making this my intention for the year will be an affirmation, a sign to the Universe, that hey, I'm here and I'm committed to creating. And hopefully it will help me continue to stretch and grow in ways I might otherwise procrastinate about or avoid all together. I'd make a list in the sidebar for anyone interested in joining in (just like I did for art every day month) and there could be a new flickr group to go along with it.

I don't plan to post a piece of art every day in 2008. I will simply plan to do something creative each day. I may not post every day, but I will post about my creative acts. Anyways, I wasn't planning to talk about this tonight and it just slipped out! I'm excited about it! Anyways, I will do a more thought out post in the near future with more details about how I'm planning to do this along with an invitation for anyone to join in. For now, this traveling girl, is going to relax. I need to get some quiet time in before we head to NYC for turkey day in a few days. Ciao for now!

Day 16 – New Moon Bird part II

November 16th, 2007, Comments (15)

I started this one earlier in the month and finished it up today. I did some work on it with charcoal, sealed it up, and then tried something new with this resin stuff I bought awhile back. I did my best to keep the room ventilated, covered my mouth and nose and wore gloves. I mixed the resin with a hardener (they came together in separate bottles), did a pour over the piece and then let it sit for a half hour. Then I blew on it to pop any remaining bubbles that had surfaced, put a box over it (to prevent dust...and more importantly, cat hair from getting on it while it was sticky) and put it on a shelf to dry. It's past the point of worrying about dust now (according to the directions, this part takes 7 hours), but to fully cure it's supposed to sit for 72 hours! Sheesh! I don't think I'm patient enough to do this sort of thing regularly, but it does look very cool. I've admired this process in a few different galleries and it can look really amazing with collage underneath it. The resin becomes like this thick sheet of glass over the piece, making what's underneath even more vibrant. On the box of materials, it says it's like 50 coats of varnish. One big problem with it, is that it's really hard to show what it looks like in a photograph. You can see a bit of the shine in the reflection in the lower left corner above, but that doesn't quite cut it.

Maybe you can see it a little better in this side view? Anyway, I think it's super cool in person and now that I've tried it out, I may give it another go at another time. But I've got other projects to tackle first.

I've been busy, busy adding art and prints to my store. I wish it wasn't such a process, but it's getting done, bit by bit. I'm getting back into a flow with my business. I haven't quite found the balance yet. Business is getting done, yes, but I still need to fit in more exercise and do things around the house and finish cleaning my studio (which is coming along nicely...and slowwwwly). Sometimes I feel like that turtle in the comcast commercials. Well, better to get it done slowly than not at all, right? Right. Right-o. Right-a-roonie! Have a wonderful weekend!

Digging into Defining Beliefs

November 6th, 2007, Comments (21)

No art for the day yet. I had wanted to write more last night, but posting art takes time and so, I bumped it to today, which is probably for the best as I feel so much better than I did yesterday. Yesterday was a little rough for me. I felt it was probably the day before my period (and today I found out it was), which is typically a rough day in which I feel extreme sensitivity, sadness, irritation, etc. It's a lot like how I feel when my depression has taken hold. This time of year can be a rough one for me and whenever I feel a day or two like this, I have this twinge of worry that it's not going to ease up. I was at my worst in late October/early November, 7 years ago, which sounds like a lifetime ago, but doesn't feel like it. It was weeks and months of feeling the way I did yesterday until I nearly gave up on life. I'm so glad I reached out for help. And I'm so grateful to be in a better place now.

I'm going through a major cleaning/purging in my home with the focus being on my office/studio space which as I mentioned earlier is frighteningly cluttered. My best friend has been helping me with it with her super organizing skills, which has been so awesome, but some of the stuff I really have to go through alone. Last night, I was pulling things out of my desk and came upon two old notebooks. I flipped through them finding budgets, a period of time where I was writing down everything I spent so I could see where my money went, writing exercises and such. This stuff was probably from about 6 or so years ago. Some of those soul searching exercises you may do from time to time are a wonderful treat to come upon years later. It brings to light the ways in which you've changed, things you've forgotten about perhaps because the transition was slow and gradual. Much like it's hard for a parent to see how much their child has grown because they see them every day.

In one small notebook from about 6 years ago, I found a few pages about "defining beliefs." This must have been an exercise from some book, but I don't know which one. On the first page, I wrote: "defining belief: I'm not quite talented enough to make it." I nod reading it, yes, I still feel this way at times, but less than I did before. Next I've written, "evidence" and underneath it: "Not having my designs chosen in high school graphic design class; Criticism in my art classes; I'm not creating much; I need projects to keep me going; I haven't sold my art or shown it in any galleries." It makes me laugh a little that my first bit of evidence was not having my designs chosen from a class in high school. I took that a little personally, eh? Then I wrote: "Price I pay for holding on to this belief" and under that, "I feel inadequate; I don't feel ready for grad school; I don't send my slides to galleries; I hide my art." Next line was titled, "Result I'd like" and then, "to be a successful artist (acknowledged.)" And then, "Evidence: I've shown my art in galleries to rave reviews and sold my art for big $." Underneath that I'd written two affirmations: "I am a talented, prolific artist" and "People want to purchase my art."   

I wanted to share this because each year when I do AEDM, there are so many creative people who think their work isn't good enough, who feel inadequate or embarrassed, and/or who apologize for their work. And I want to say, don't apologize! Life is short and there is only one of you out there who can express what you can express. So, you've got to share it while you've got the chance! Maybe your skills aren't where you'd like them to be. They may never be what you consider perfection, but you can't let that stop you. It nearly stopped me, but my urge to create was greater than my need to be perfect. I know I'm never entirely satisfied with where I'm at, but it keeps wanting to learn and grow more.

And the other cool thing about finding this note, was to see how far I've come. I have shown my art in galleries, I sold 8 pieces in the last show I was in. I've sold individual pieces for what I consider a lot of money. So, by my standards 6 years ago, I am a successful artist. Now of course, my standard of what success is has shifted, but it was great to be reminded how far I've come and that I have accomplished a lot in the last 6 years. I also feel much stronger than that voice that wrote these pages, which is wonderful to see. Take a look at your own defining beliefs. And if they're limiting you, tear them down. It really helps to write it out if you can.

And here's a little something more. I found this on the first page of another notebook. I'd written out this whole quote from the book, "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg. Clearly it made an impression on me then. And reading it now, I think it's quite relevant to the journey that AEDM is. The author is talking about writing as a practice here, but you can apply it to anything really.  She writes, 

This is the practice school of writing. Like running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Some days you don't want to run and you resist every step of the three miles, but you do it anyway. You practice whether you want to or not. You don't wait around for inspiration and a deep desire to run. It'll never happen, especially if you are out of shape and have been avoiding it. But if you run regularly, you train your mind to cut through or ignore your resistance. You just do it. And in the middle of the run, you love it. When you come to the end, you never want to stop. And you stop, hungry for the next time.

So keep on creating, my creative friends. You are all a great inspiration to me. Thank you!

Entering the Chaos, I mean the Office/Studio

October 29th, 2007, Comments (10)

The air is apple crisp today. Definitely feeling more like fall. I was in a bit of a fog over the last 4 days or so as I was having some serious issues with falling asleep. But today, after sleeping a good portion of Sunday, I woke up and felt much more refreshed than I have in awhile. Ahhh. I also felt motivated to tackle some tasks that have been weighing on me, little errands, nothing major, just stuff that needed to get done and I'd been avoiding. It was a great day to be driving around doing errands, sunshiney and cool, loads of gorgeous foliage to peek at. Now I'm back home with plenty more to do, but feeling good about checking some stuff off that never ending to-do list.

Tomorrow, the best friend and I are going to start tackling a big one on my to-do list...organizing my office/studio space. The best friend is home this year with her new baby and we spent a lot of time working on wedding related projects this fall. We've got some other projects to work on now that the wedding has passed, such as scrap-booking a baby album for her, but we're also going to work on one of my biggest weaknesses and her biggest strengths...organizing. While I tend to get overwhelmed and run in the opposite direction, she actually enjoys the organizing and tossing and straightening out. She told me not to feel bad about her helping out with it, because it's actually fun for her. Ack. I know there are people in life who enjoy this cleaning and organizing stuff (my step-dad and step-mom for example are this way...notice how neither are the source of my genes!) and while I like an organized space, I really don't enjoy making it that way. But it's really time. I know I'll feel fabulous when it's done...sort of like exercise or eating my vedgies. Plus, all the purging will be quite helpful when it comes time to move. And it will be nice to have a fresh, clean space to work in...that'll probably help me with all sorts of things such as self-respect.


I've been cutting out pictures of ideas for my studio space for months and one of the things that keeps appearing is this awesome table/bookcase thing from Pottery Barn. So cool...I'm loving the shelving on the sides, the big surface of the tabletop, and the height, but it's a bit pricey.  Searching around, I found one here for cheaper and at Target for cheaper than that. The cheaper ones are the same size, but made of wood veneer instead of real wood.

At the moment there's barely room to turn around in my studio, so some things would need to get cleared out. Maybe it's time to move out the gi-normous bookcase and replace it with something more long and lean. And it's quite likely that I have more plastic drawer thingamabobs than I actually need. I've started tossing, making piles of things to give away, throw away, store away or sell, but it's going to be a long process.

I've been in a holding pattern with the wedding on the horizon and a big business deal of the hubster's that has us both very anxious. But I'm snapping out of my limbo state and getting back to living in the present.

I’ve been working on the railroad…

September 17th, 2007, Comments (10)

Ok, I haven't really, but that's the song that popped into my head after a productive day. Started off a little slow, but then I started in on tackling and finishing up some loose ends. Phew, that feels good! And then more good news from Nahcotta. I sold all eight of my pieces from the show! Hooray! Two were sold right off the bat to the lovely Tammy Vitale who owns the first in the Subway Stories series. And then one to someone else I don't know. And then the remaining five to a man who plans to put them up in his Boston office. It feels great to sell a nice group all at once. So, I'm doing a little happy dance for that. And there's an interest in more, so if I can get some more out before the wedding, great and if not, well I'm not going to kill myself over it. There's a lot going on.

Plus, I haven't even begun to dig through all the goodies I picked up in Maine, I need to take pics of some finished art, and I have some serious organizing to do. See that organization book in my sidebar? Yes, I'm actually reading it and it's slowly (slowly because I'm reading it a snail's pace) helping me sort through all the stuff I seem to hold on to.

Speaking of books, I got an interesting email today from an assistant of Kimberly Wilson, aka Hip Tranquil Chick, offering to send me a free copy of their book in exchange for reviewing it on my blog. Isn't it funny how the internet works? The only time something similar happened was when I wrote a nice review about a book I discovered and was sent a free signed copy when the author found my review. That was a nice treat! I actually own a copy of the Hip Tranquil Chick book although I haven't read it yet (it's on my to read list), but I've heard good things about it and I do enjoy Kimberly's podcast. So, I was going to write back to the assistant and tell her that I already had the book, but then I thought, hey, maybe some of you would be interested in reviewing a free copy? I thought I might pass on a list of a few other blogs that might be interested in reviewing the book to Kimberly's assistant, so if you're interested in this, send me an email or comment here and I'll put together a list of other blogs for her to check out.