Entries Tagged as: friends

Creating Your Dream Team

March 1st, 2009, Comments (3)

This week's chapter in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, which I'm reading with Jamie's book group, talks about creative alliances and partnerships. I liked how A Feminist Wife called it her "dream team." It fits perfectly with the (totally optional) dream theme this month for the Creative Every Day Challenge.

I have used the idea of an imagined dream team before (people living and dead that I could consider personal allies), but it's been awhile since I thought about who I would put on my team. Among those I don't know, I'd love to have SARK as an ally as well as Martha Beck. Both of these women are intelligent, funny, creative, down-to-earth go-getters, and totally inspiring. I admire their honesty and integrity in the telling of their stories, their energy, and their wild success!

Fortunately, I'm lucky to have some wonderful creative alliances with people I already know. I have an awesome coach, a sort of Mastermind group that I meet with regularly, and I enjoy taking classes where I meet other like-minded, creative souls. One of my greatest alliances is with the hubster who is a wonderful champion for me and my bff has always been incredibly supportive.

I've made many creative alliances online (one of the wonderful things about blogging!) and I'm extremely grateful for that. It's been so helpful for a super introverted person like myself, as I can feel connected and respond in a way that feels good to me, without feeling the energy drain that happens for me in crowds of people.

I've been working on asking for help lately and it's definitely been interesting. The act of asking makes me feel a bit vulnerable, but it also gives others the opportunity to help (and people generally love to help others, particularly when it's something they're passionate about.)

Along those lines, I've approached some people I admire about doing interviews for Creative Every Day this year and the response has been wonderful. I'll be posting one of these interviews this week! In the meantime, check out this fabulous interview that Jamie Ridler did with the lovely Goddess Leonie.

New Art And Resources

January 15th, 2009, Comments (4)


I have some new artwork available in my online store, Blue Tree Art Gallery. These pieces were created late in 2008 and it usually takes a little time to get them ready to sell because I like to offer prints as well. Well, they're ready to go and I'm super excited to offer these new pieces! I have the original and prints available for At Sea (above), Ophelia (below), Key to Winter and you can also buy my 2009 calendar on the website!


I'm also excited to share some awesome creative resources with you!

  • I just listened in on this fabulous teleseminar with Lisa Sonora Beam, author of The Creative Entrepreneur. The call was recorded and you can listen to it here, right now! I purchased Lisa's book recently and it's really gorgeous. I seem to be reading so much lately about business aligned with your heart (which I love!) and this book fits right in with this idea.
  • Another creative dynamo who writes about business with heart is, Tara Joyce, who blogs at the Innerpreneur. Lots of great things to check out there. 
  • My friend, Jennifer Lee is starting an amazing telegroup, the Inner Muse Group Coaching Playground, which is all about creativity, fulfillment, and focus. Sounds like it might be a great tool for some of you Creative Every Day Challenge participants who are feeling a bit stuck! Also, Jenn is offering a special rate through January 16th, so check it out now if you're interested! 

I'm all abuzz with creative energy this week. Ideas are flowing and I'm working on a few different pieces. I'll be able to share those with you soon. In the meantime, I hope you are all having fun playing! I'll be announcing next month's theme around the 21st of the month.

Feeling Colorful

October 29th, 2008, Comments (16)

I saw this rainbow yesterday and it totally made my afternoon. I thought, "lucky day! a rainbow!" And even before I saw the rainbow, I felt more colorful yesterday than I have in awhile. I played in a sketchbook that came as part of a sketchbook swap, I drank cocoa and did yoga (not simultaneously), I babysat my bff's little girl and played silly games, and cooked a yummy dinner. The rainbow seemed to symbolize a little shift in me and I so appreciated this timely wink from the universe. I love sharing links and even though I just shared a bunch yesterday, I have more to share today, so here we go:

  • I was thrilled to be interviewed by Christine Valters Paintner of Abbey of the Arts about my artwork and spirituality. The interview, along with some of my art, is up on her site today! Thanks so much for the interview, Christine!
  • I'm such a big fan of Patti Digh's writing and this post is a great example of why. It's literally full of magic and inspiration! If you enjoy it, be sure to check out Patti's latest book release, Life is a Verb!
  • Artist and author, Christine Mason Miller is selling some lovely new miniature originals and she's also offering some great giveaways. Check out this post for details.
  • Hanna has shared an ultra cool, handmade, letter stamp set on her blog. Love it! I want to make one for myself! You can see the pics of her process here and here.
  • Here's a fun way to make your own photoshop brushes courtesy of the One Good Bumble Bee blog.

And now I'm off to ship out some artwork and do some errands (cat litter and vedgies and seltzer, oh my!)

Sunny Day, Sweeping the Clouds Away

August 18th, 2008, Comments (10)

Woo, I got totally pooped out by the sun today. It's amazing how much some time in the hot sun can zap my energy. I met up with my super, totally rockin' bff, Judean, and her adorable little girl for lunch and walking around town in the middle of the day, which was a lot of fun. I can use Judean's first name now that she's put herself out there with her own blog. Woohoo! Remember that post I wrote a few days ago about magazine envelopes? The picture in that post is of some of the letters that she sent me during her first year of college in NYC. That post inspired her to dig through some of her old letters and she found a whole bunch of letters I'd sent to her during that time, which she posted about here. We traded them today, so we could both read our own late teenage writings. Oh my, too funny. The drama, the boys, the hatred of calculus, the loneliness of the first semester of college. I loved reading our old inside jokes (even though I don't remember what they all mean) and seeing our little doodles and poems. It's so interesting to see how we've developed and how we've stayed the same and how are friendship has grown over the years. I luf you, Luf!

I've been working in little bits on that big painting on paper that I started awhile back. Her name, I believe, is Melissa. She's a work in progress. I've been doing a lot of painting and then walking away, painting and walking away. With a bigger piece, I seem to want more perspective, whereas with a smaller piece, I often finish them fairly quickly. I've always intended to have some bees flying in this painting, but they will be one of the final touches, so they're hanging out in their hive until I get to them. Right now, "Melissa" is about 19"x27" with acrylic, ink, and pencil on watercolor paper.

Popped a print in the mail today. I need to do some major updates on my art website, adding some art and prints. I want to get that done shortly along with my newsletter. I'm doing a later newsletter this month because it will cover both this month and next, since I'll be on vacation during the second half of September. If you're interested in winning a free print, do sign up for my art website newsletter (see the lower left corner of my web page, here) and you'll be eligible for the free print drawing I do each month.


  • Happy, snuggly kitty cats
  • Pink lemondade with ice in a tall glass with a straw brought to me by the handsome hubster
  • Fun times with my bff
  • Making the bff's little girl laugh
  • An "I love your blog" award from the super sweet, Paula of HappySnappy. The feeling is mutual, Paula! Thank you!!
  • A fantabulous package in the mail from Lucy of Sweet Repeats. I won a print in Lucy's recent etsy shop 1 year anniversary drawing on her blog and I was so excited by the box of treasures she sent! There were little envelopes of stamps, an atc, a Starbucks card and glass, and some of Lucy's beautiful artwork. Thank you, thank you, Lucy!
  • A lovely surprise from Tammy from Maine who sent me a sweet card and an old photo she found that she felt belonged to me. I think she's right. I already know how I'm going to use it. Thank you, Tammy dear!
  • Snail mail rocks. Much more fun than the replacement air filters I got in the mail the other day.

I've got more to chat about, but I am so tuckered out (and all over the place), so g'night! Sleep tight! And don't let the bed bugs bite! It's more like, don't let the damn mosquitoes bite! Ack! I'm getting nearly as good at catching the little buggers as the cats are at hunting moths. The hubster calls me "the hunter" now. Hehe.

Recycled Envelopes and Weekend Links

August 16th, 2008, Comments (11)

When my bff gave me a handmade journal made of magazine pages for my birthday, it reminded me so much of our snail mail correspondence when we were in college (which seems like a lifetime ago! yikes!), that it made me want to make magazine envelopes again. Back when my bff headed off to college and I was a still stuck in high school as a senior, she started sending me letters wrapped in magazine pages, with the colorful magazine page acting as the envelope. At the time, they were a cheap and creative way to send mail. But with going green being so big right now, they're also a great way of re-cycling. I don't know about you, but I love snail mail. Why not get creative and surprise a friend with a handwritten note, wrapped in used wrapping paper, catalog pages, contact paper, paper you've drawn or stamped a pattern onto, wallpaper, or magazine pages? You'll have fun putting it together and your recipient will love getting something so fabulous in the mail.

Above are some of the letters my bff sent me. I pulled down a box of old letters from my closet to look at them. I often wonder whether I should be keeping all these old notes and letters, but I do enjoy reading through them every few years. In one of the letters above, the bff wrote to me about a boy she met at a party who asked her to go home with him, but she said, "no way" because he was way too old for her and she wrote, "He's 26! Scary!" Haha!! Can you remember a time when 26 was old? Oh my. Good stuff. I only wish I could read the letters I was sending on the other end. It would be fun to have both sides of the story.

If you want to make some magazine envelopes for yourself, simply find some magazines with some fun images, tear out a page and fold the page around the letter so that the front contains an image that pleases you. Or if it makes it easier, you can use an envelope template. There are free templates that you can download online or you can take an envelope that you like, take it apart carefully and use it as the template for an envelope. You can trace the taken apart envelope on top of a magazine page and then cut it out to make a unique envelope of your very own.

So, what else have I got to share with you. Well, some links of course!

  • First off, many thanks to Meredith Cutler, a fellow boston artist and writer for Artscope Magazine, who spotted my "Subway Stories" pieces on etsy and posted about them on her blog! Meredith has her own fabulous shops on etsy, here and here. I love these mixed-media earrings she's created!
  • Claudine Hellmuth has a video posted on her blog with a very cool faux batik technique using her new line of paints and mediums.
  • Hanna sent along a link to this great article by Jill Badonsky about two of my favorite things, yoga and creativity. I liked this quote, "The key is practice for both yoga and creativity without concern for perfection. Practice just naturally turns into excellence but if we think too much at the beginning of either yoga or creativity, neither may happen." and this one, "Often we pay more attention to the discomfort in our bodies, our creative process, and our lives than to the bliss. When you are in a yoga pose, focus on what feels good about it."
  • The multi-talented Jennifer Lee has an an article, "10 Tips for the Creative Entrepreneur," on the Ladies Who Launch site. It's sure to be interest to you all you creative business folks out there!

I hope you have a wonderfully creative weekend!

Cool Things Creative Folks are Up to

August 7th, 2008, Comments (7)

Although I can't get around as much as I'd like to (only so many hours in a day!), I *love* seeing what Creative Every Day 2008 participants are up to. Goes to show you that there are endless ways to be creative and so many fun things to try!!

  • Brand new member, Lisa from the blog Tissuepapers has a kick-ass tutorial on folding fitted sheets, featuring her husband. It is SO cute. I just learned how to fold a fitted sheet last year from a friend and found it incredibly fascinating. I know, I know, folding sheets probably isn't fascinating to most people, and I'm the furthest thing from Martha Stewart neatness, but there's something so satisfying about folding those darn fitted sheets in something other than a big ball! Even if you already know how or don't care, the tutorial Lisa put together is super cute and creative and it looks like she has a bunch of other tutorials on her blog!
  • I do enjoy a good tutorial and although I've seen a bunch with descriptions on how to do freezer paper stencils, I think this one from Brie is quite good. I need to get some freezer paper and try this!
  • Snap has written a post exploring the concept of creativity along with a link to a series of articles about the future of creativity in the Utne reader (and she posted her first collage! yay!)
  • There's loads of inspiration to be found in the CED flickr group, here.
  • You may have noticed that I have a soft spot for kitties, so I totally adored this post, from Mary of Art Spirit, about her cat and bird softies and a real kitty too! Hehe.
  • A big thanks to Wendy for featuring me as her August artist of the month!!

I spoke with two blogging pals, who also happen to be CED participants, for the first time today (by phone.) I feel sort of awkward on the phone sometimes, but I really enjoyed both conversations. I spoke first with the ever-so-sweet, Olivia of happyluau who shared her amazing first-hand knowledge of Hawaii. Thank you, Olivia! I really enjoyed hearing her perspective on the islands and wonderful tips! I knew Olivia's voice already from all the video blogging she does, but it was great to be able to interact with her by phone.

Shortly after that, I spent some time talking with the lovely Jennifer of Life Unfolds, Artizen Coaching, and the Right-Brain Business Plan! Phew! Jenn is one busy and talented lady! We chatted about a little something we'll be doing together this fall, which I'm very excited about. I'll share details on that soon. Jenn has such a sweet, welcoming voice and it was a pleasure to chat with her.

And now, I'm all chatted out. :-) Toodaloo!

be brave: gallery opening

July 19th, 2008, Comments (2)

lisa meet charlie
Originally uploaded by artstreamstudios

Yesterday I went to the art opening of Lisa Solomon & Lisa Congdon at Artstream Studios in New Hampshire. I saw some familiar faces, like Betsy, Jennifer, and Susan (owner of the gallery.) Met some new folks like Sarah. And I introduced myself to Lisa and Lisa, which took some bravery to walk up and do, but was glad I did. They were both so sweet, open, and gracious. It was a pleasure to meet them. And it was fabulous to see some artist friends too. The weather was wild and wooly on the drive up and back which wasn't so fun, but I was still glad I made the trip north. Susan's gallery space was freshly painted and totally gorgeous. In the picture above you can see the corner of my face on the far left, Lisa S., Lisa C. Charlie (Abby Glassenberg's husband), and Sarah. You can check out the show by clicking on the picture which will take you to the Artstream flickr account. The show was all about the history of pigments and was a fascinating and lovely exhibit.

Earlier in the day, I met my mom for some more b-day celebrating in the form of a pedicure and movie. My toes are so sparkly! Today was pretty quiet and very humid. It felt too hot to paint, although I'm itchin' to get back to Ophelia. Having a b-day lunch with my dad and step-mom tomorrow. Hopefully the afternoon will be a touch cooler and I can get back to the paint. Hope you're having a wonderfully creative weekend!

Hugs and so much Love you’ll get a sugar rush

July 13th, 2008, Comments (7)

It's always nice to receive kind words from your peers and I'm so appreciative of the blog awards I've received lately from blogging friends. I received a couple in the form of the arte y pico award from Doreen, Julia, and Tammy and a Brilliante award from Chantal and Shayla. Thank you SO much ladies! I really appreciate it. I'm sending you each a warm kitty hug (that's Sadie in the back and our orange boy, Tabbers, taking a nap together on our kitty tree.) Or a dog hug if you'd prefer (that's me and my mom's dog "Corduroy" below). Or if you're allergic, a regular person hug. :-)

I totally appreciate the love and I'll continue to disperse it in the form of the regular linky love that I love to do. Oh, so much love! If you're reading this, know I'm sending some extra love your way. And now, it's time to don my art apron and get a bit of work done. TTFN, ta-ta for now!


A Plum Daffy Adventure

June 9th, 2008, Comments (14)

I didn't want to let too much time go by without writing about my fantastic weekend! We had tried organizing another mini-art retreat weekend like we had last year at Jes's home, but none of the dates were working for everyone, so I ended up doing a brief, but inspiring 24 hours with Jes and Tammy. I met the girls up in Kennebunkport, Maine and we headed out immediately for some flea-marketing. I'm not sure where there are flea markets like this around me, but it seems like there are a plethora in Maine, so I was excited to look for some fun stuff. Jes has some pictures of this part of the day because I was too excited and forgot about my camera. I found some pretty aqua bottles that caught my eye, a diary of poetry written in German from the 1890's, and some other fun ephemera.

old gas pump in kennebunkport

We had some lunch and some good chats during the day, sharing some thoughts on art and whatnot. In the afternoon we shopped around Kennebunkport and I was nearly tempted by a beautiful Orla Kiely bag that was on sale, but I held back. I wasn't one hundred percent and those bags are too pricey for an impulse buy unless I'm totally in love. We saw some cute shops and some super touristy ones and then in the early evening we had the best time wandering around town with our cameras taking pictures of each other taking pictures.

Jes & Tammy

We attended an art opening where we were inspired by a mermaid statue which we're all going to paint this summer. So there was lots of picture taking of the lovely mermaid. We had a great dinner and then I pretty much crashed directly afterwards. In the morning I visited the garden center where Tammy works and gleefully wandered the rows of flowers taking pictures of everything. Garden centers and greenhouses are so inspiring to me and I was glad to have my camera to capture the amazing shapes that flowers create along with all the stunning color.

so many pretty flowers

The drive home wasn't too bad. It felt too hot to do any antiquing on the way home and I was happy to get back to the hubster, run a few errands, and then take a nap in our air conditioned bedroom. Unfortunately, I can't spend 24 hours in the bedroom, so today the heat was monstrous again and I feel like a wilted tulip.

slurp, perfect dew catchers

So I'm glad I have these pretty flowers to make me smile while I sweat all over my laptop. Hee. More of my pics from the weekend are here. Got some drawings to share later. Hope your weekend was a wonderfully creative one!

One of a Kind

June 5th, 2008, Comments (10)


This afternoon, I dropped off a whole bunch of art at Oak, a new store in Boston. It's in such a great location, on Gloucester Street right off Newbury Street (prime time shopping area.) I got to meet Keara, the owner, at the shop and she was super sweet. I love the way she had her shop set up, it had a very cool vibe to it, lots of great stuff with out being stuffy, if you know what I mean. I knew the store was all about handmade crafts, but I didn't realize the name, Oak, came from their theme of "one of a kind" items. Too cool! At any rate, if you're in the area, I'd definitely recommend checking it out. It was a gloomy day today in Boston, but the weekend is supposed to be beautiful. I bet it'd be great for doing some shopping and people watching in the Back Bay neighborhood. If you can't get to the shop, Keara has some of the store's items for sale online too. Check it out here.

After the trip into town and watching my brother overnight last night, I'm zonked and have a headache. Business has been great this week and I'm thrilled about that. I'll be able to relax and have some extra spending cash for thrifting this weekend!

Lots of links to share, where to begin?

- My friend, Jennifer, has put together an e-book all about creating a right-brained business plan. This sounds incredibly appealing to me and I think it would synthesize well with I'd Rather Be in the Studio and The Boss of You, a book that I'm reading. Great work, Jen. It looks awesome!

- Another friend, Melba has been working away on her own self-published book, Creating in the Midst which you can pick up here. Melba is planning to lead a group through the 12 week process this summer. Congrats, Melba on all your hard work coming to fruition!

- And even more congrats are due! The sweet and talented, Jes has her beautiful jewelry and writing in a magazine and two books this year. I'm so excited for her! Yay, Jes!

- With all this business talk, it feels relevant to mention the slow economy and its effect on artists and craftspeople. I've felt some effect, but I'm not really a big enough business at this point to be taking a major hit. It doesn't have to be all negative though. A downturn in the economy can mean a time to explore other avenues or beef up your business in other ways. I enjoyed reading this article from craft:boom (cool site, by the way!) about running your craft business when times are lean. I think it applies to any small business. And after you read that, check out the rest of the site for interviews with inspiring business women like Amy Butler.

- Speaking of Amy Butler, Holly at Decor8 is hosting a mood board contest with the opportunity to win great Amy Butler related prizes. Check out all the details here. Even if you don't participate, check in after the due date to see all the amazing creations people put together!

- Check out this interview with the ever inspiring Christine Mason Miller at art and letter webzine. And if you need some more inspiration after that, go visit Christine's other site, Sparkletopia.

Holy guacamole! I didn't realize I had built up so many links  to share. I could keep going, but my big orange cat is telling me to stop typing by laying across my arms. Hehe.