Entries Tagged as: friends

Memories and Other Business

June 4th, 2008, Comments (7)


Tonight I'm staying at my mom's and watching my youngest brother. It was weird driving back through the town I grew up in (my parents live in different, but close by towns now.) It sent me through a fast wave of memories: playing in that playground, first dates, the bar in next town, the woods that I trekked through so many times that I knew them like a second language. It was a weird sense of nostalgia along with a feeling of having moved on. Back at the house, little brother showed off his drumming skills, which I could hear quite well from the basement, where he played, to the kitchen where I cooked up some dinner.

Last night I had a friend over for dinner and wine and we sat out on the porch with the hubster and chatted about weddings (mine, eight months ago now and I'm just getting around to picking the pictures for our album) and hers coming up in two months, old roommates, family, and life in general. It was lovely, but by the end of the night I was completely spent. This week is turning out to be fairly busy, one thing after another, and an exciting getaway weekend to visit a couple gal pals coming up. Life is good.

I forgot to bring my camera out here with me, so for now I've shared a picture of "Memory Cycles", which is on sale for the month of June. You can buy the original or prints right here. And while you're there, sign up for the newsletter and you'll be eligible to win a free print every month!

While I'm on the subject of business, I've started to delve into The Boss of You (great so far) and it has me thinking a lot about the direction of my art which is feeling a bit all over the place and unfocused at the moment. Or rather, it's not my art that is this way, but me. Doing the exercises in the book, and writing out my vision has been helpful, but I'm a bit unsure about where to direct my energies. So the book has me thinking and lots of questions are bubbling up: Should I focus my energy on one area? Do I need a niche? What would it be? Along with all this, I'm still working on the book on creativity that I began during the winter. It's been changing form slightly which has me writing a lot and re-thinking, but I've not yet developed how I want it to come together. It's progressing though.

Tomorrow I drop off some work at Oak in Boston and I'm very excited to see this new space. I've felt oddly nervous about dropping off my artwork there. Actually, whenever I drop off my work somewhere, I have this feeling of wanting to drop it and run for the hills. Need to take a breath and get past my introverted ways for things like this. Goodness, this is part of the reason I love blogging. Such a great thing for all the introverts of the world. But I really do need to find some way of networking/socializing with other creative types that feels good for me. Some kind of small support group for other women business owners would be fabulous. That might be a fabulous way to get some focus. I'll put the intention to find this group out there and see what comes.

Update: Forgot to mention, the authors of The Boss of You have a blog. And today they provided a link to the Trans-Canadian Etsy Team blog where they're hosting a giveaway of the book (for residents of Canada and the U.S. only.) Sweet deal!

Re-Thinking Success

May 30th, 2008, Comments (17)


It's all too easy to focus on the rejections in life and forget the successes. Why is that? Are we afraid of being considered a show off, too big for our britches, self-absorbed, annoyingly happy? It's funny the ways our egos will bring us down by saying things like: the higher you go the harder you'll fall, who do you think you are? It Reminds me of this wonderful quote:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson

I do think it's important to share when we're struggling sometimes, if only to release it and move on, I think it's equally important to share when we're soaring. In the past, I might have felt jealous when I read about the success of others, but I've learned along the way, that there truly is enough success out there for everyone. So here are my thoughts about re-thinking success. I'd love to hear yours!

How to Re-Think Success

Define it
: What does success mean? It's different for everyone and so it's important to define it for yourself. Keep a list of successes small and large that you want to attain in your life and check back on them periodically to see where you're at. Most importantly, when you do check something off that list, celebrate it! I know that I forget to do this quite often. I'll brush one success off as no big thing, automatically thinking on the next thing I haven't accomplished yet. But it's important to revel in your successes, no matter how small.

Re-Focus: At the end of the day, instead of focusing on what you didn't do, focus on what you did accomplish. Write it down! There's something oddly satisfying about writing your "already done" list. Instead of knocking yourself down for the things you didn't check off your to-do list and feeling crappy about it (and yourself), you can instead feel great about what you did do. It's so much easier to continue forward when you're focusing on your accomplishments. Beating yourself up, tends to lead to a vicious cycle of feeling bad, procrastinating, and then feeling worse. Don't go there. Feel great about what you do and keep growing!

Live it
: You know that expression, "Fake it til you make it"? There is something to it. Acting as if you've already attained your goals is a powerful way to move into them. This falls into the "Law of Attraction" category I suppose. I haven't read "The Secret", but I've read about the topic of attraction in other places, like Martha Beck's Steering by Starlight and I've had my own experiences of it along the way. My feelings about it are a little hard to put words to, but what I have grasped is that when you can imagine that feeling you'd have if whatever goal or success you want has come true and then live in that frame of mind, wonderful things can happen. When you act from a place of love and success, success comes to you. When you act from a place of lack and desperation, that's what comes.

Celebrate it: It's wonderful to not only celebrate your own success, but also the success of others. When your friends have success, join them in celebrating. The good mojo and inspiration will soak into your skin and light you up. My friend Jessie is rocking and rolling with her new business and I'm so thrilled for her. And as a side benefit, her success gets me so excited about my own work!

Do it
: There's something quite powerful about doing what you love. It shows. It inspires other people. Just by doing it, whatever it is, you are a success. There's a wonderful sense of accomplishment and self-respect that comes from working on those projects big and small that make you glow with joy. Celebrate that joy. Celebrate the success that you are. Let your own light shine.

In the interest of sharing success, one of my greatest joys is hearing from someone who has felt some sort of connection to my art. That happened yesterday when I sold a print of Betwixt and Between (above) from my etsy store and I got a super sweet message from the buyer about how she'd found my art and what it meant to her. What a wonderful treat that is. (And a good reminder to let sellers of art or other goods know why you purchased their products. It means a lot!)

Intuition in Art

March 26th, 2008, Comments (11)


I've had a busy couple days with not much time for posting. Yesterday was the hubster's birthday. He's the man who doesn't really need anything (if he wants a new toy, he'll get it for himself), so I did some things at home for him (like 20 pounds of laundry) and re-organizing his bureau which took an entire day to accomplish! He was super happy with the gift though, so I'm very glad I did it. We went out to dinner last night at a little fancy place nearby which was nice too. On Monday I delivered the wedding gift to my best friend (and she loved it, phew!) and I got to hang out with her and her lil baby girl who can now pull herself up to standing all by herself. She's adorable. While the baby napped, best friend and I embellished some small metal boxes (mine was an old chocolate box and hers was an altoids tin.) I snapped a pic of the outside (above) and inside (below).


I'm feeling soo sleepy this week. Not sure what that's about! I'm loving the sunny weather we've been having. Not quite warm enough to be outside without a coat, but warm enough for just a sweater or spring jacket and the moon roof open in my car! :-)


Creativity in the past few days has been mainly in my art journal. I had the coolest synchronicity experience when I drew a little sketch (started a swirly doodle and then intuitively created from it) which became a woman in a forest with a cape (like Red Riding Hood) and a cabin below. Out of the chimney the smoke is curling and there's a shape resembling a wolf which I thought of as her intuition giving her a signal. (The original sketch is above.) A little later that night, I clicked over to Elena's blog and she had written about the book, Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, with quotes that talked about women, wolves and intuition. It gave me shivers reading it! I own a copy that I haven't looked at in awhile, so I picked it up that night and opened to a page where I'd underlined, "Intuition is the treasure of a woman's psyche."


Yesterday I saw that Melba was looking for some reading about intuition and while this isn't only about intuition it covers the topic quite a bit! Anyways, I've been drawing the image in my art journal (above and below) and I'm not quite satisfied with it. I want to express it in some other way and I just haven't figured that part out yet. I think I want to make it bigger.

And now some links to share!

- I thought this TED video was fascinating. It's about a woman scientist sharing her stroke experience. Her telling of the right-brain and left-brain phenomena, ties in so well with the things I've been reading about meditation and connecting with the body in books like A New Earth. The right brain experience she talks about is something I come close to when making art. It's that space that has no language that thinks in pictures that goes by the gut instead of the head, intuitive art-making. 

- Bridget of The Matchbook blog has filmed a couple segments for a local new show doing art demos. I loved this one about making jewelry out of bicycle inner tubing!

- There is a wonderful rising of support around a blogger named Jenni who is dying of colon cancer. A fund-raising auction is being done in her name to help with medical costs and such and the organizers are looking for items to be donated for the auction and also money donations. Go here for more info.

March Showers, Bring Me Flowers?

March 8th, 2008, Comments (11)

Oh, that's not how it goes. Is it March mud, bring me crud? No?

It's a typical March weekend in New England. Rather gray and gloomy. A good day to be cozied up indoors with hot chocolate and taxes... Heh. O.k., no day is great for working on taxes, but the gloom outside makes me feel like it's a day to be inside anyways.

I've had a bite on a large painting at the coffee shop which is cool and also a request for art instruction which is slightly scary, but also interesting. I think I'll go for it. I've been brainstorming ways I can do some teaching, some kind of collage/mixed-media/intuitive creating class. I'd love to lead an in-person "Artist's Way" group too, but I'm unsure of where and I also want to plan it out so that the timing works with scheduled weddings and getaways. I can hardly believe it, but in just a few weeks I'll be flying across the country for Artfest! Ack! I just ordered some cute Moo Cards of my art for trades. I've booked my flight and lodging and rental car and I need to pick up the supplies I'll need.

In another coffee shop all the way in Minneapolis, my dear friend, Jessie is having an opening for her gorgeous dog portraits. I'm so excited for Jessie and the steps she's taken to make her dreams come true. I could use a little of her determination and bravery right about now. A bravery infusion.

Jessie is doing a great promotion through April on her dog portraits, so if you or someone you know would be interested in a dog portrait, do check it out. Her work is awesome!! I'm particularly loving her painting of "Murphy."

Nahcotta’s Enormous Tiny Art III

February 11th, 2008, Comments (10)

Nahcotta's etaiii

Here are a couple pics from Friday night. I managed to snap a few shots of the evening which can be found in my Blue Tree flickr album here, although I didn't get any shots of myself there. Doh! I was feeling incredibly shy the night of the opening, but I did manage to meet two wonderfully sweet artists whose art I adore, Jennifer Judd-McGee and Betsy Thompson. Seems like there are so many cool chickadees in Maine, some I've had the pleasure of meeting in the last year (hello to Jes, Tammy, and Susan!), it makes me wish I lived there! But I don't know if I could take winters any chillier than down here and there are certainly some cool people in the Boston area. Speaking of cool Mass. folks, thank you Mindy for coming out to see the show and I'm so sorry I missed you! The picture below is from Jennifer Judd-McGee's flickr pics and you can see one of my paintings along with one of hers in it.

It was a cold night with a snow and a chilly breeze, but the opening was packed! I sold a couple pieces so far and the show runs til March 9th. If you're interested in purchasing any of the pieces, feel free to contact Nahcotta directly.

Updated to add: Nahcotta has a flickr album with all the pieces from the show (my pieces are on pages 1 and 4 of the album. The prices are listed there.

I've gotta hit the sack. The hubster and I are trying to fight off colds. Thankfully, we have a pile of fuzzy kitties to help us get better. :-)

The Liar’s Diary Blog Day

January 29th, 2008, Comments (6)


Today is a special day in the blogoshpere because loads of bloggers are getting together to celebrate the release of Patry Francis's The Liar's Diary into paperback. I've known Patry through the blogosphere for a couple years because she joined in my annual "Art Every Day Month" back in November 2006. Last year her novel got published, which was wonderfully exciting to those of us who had been reading her blog. We all cheered for her. And then more recently, Patry shared on her blog that she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. And we've rallied around her to support her in her battle with cancer as well as helping to further boost the success of her book as it becomes a paperback.

So, go support Patry and pick up her excellent book, The Liar's Diary. (It's 20% off at Amazon!) You can read about other bloggers who are writing about Patry's book today here.

You've got to love the creative ways bloggers find to support one another. It's a wonderful thing.

Creatactivities = Creative Activities

January 16th, 2008, Comments (9)

I've coined a new word. See definition above. Creatactivities. I like it! :-)

Feeling a bit overtired today, but I've been keeping busy and I'm excited for a new Project Runway tonight! I met my best friend in a nearby town this afternoon to keep her baby entertained while she had her hair cut and then we got some lunch together. Making a baby laugh is a sure-fire way to brighten your day! In the afternoon, I plunked myself down in the cute coffee shop where I'll be hanging art next month and worked on adding items to my Etsy shop. I joined Etsy years ago just to buy things there. Watching the site blossom has been incredible and sometime last year I decided I'd add some of my art to the mass of wonderful products there. Well, I got the banner up and then never added anything to it. It's been on my to-do list for a little too long. Well, I started on it today. So far I've added four prints, they're all printed on 8.5"x11" velvet fine art paper and they're available for $25 each. I'll add some more prints there over time and hopefully some greeting cards too! Getting the Etsy store up and making the baby laugh were great creatactivities (creative activities) for me today.

I've been working on this new "Subway Stories" piece called "Boylston" for a couple days now. I just need to do some touching up, seal it with varnish and then it'll be done. This one is a slightly larger 10"x10". When it's complete, I'll add some close-ups with the stories in them. In the meantime, I snapped a picture of it this morning, taking advantage of the bright sun reflecting off the snow. Speaking of snow, driving around in this winter wonderland we've got going on in New England has been really fun. Everything is just coated in the stuff. And with the roads clear and the tree branches hanging over the road, it feels a bit like I'm driving through these dream-like snow tunnels. I have to admit, it's gorgeous.

There has been some totally awesome creativity going on, so do pop in on your fellow CED2008 participants! And by the way, I believe the list is current, but if you don't see your blog on there, please let me know. And if you've just discovered this challenge, it's fine to join in now!

Some juicy inspiration for you:

- This article from Lucia Cappacchione is about creativity as a spiritual practice. She begins by saying what I've heard over and over, but still bears repeating because I don't think we all feel this deep in our bones, and that is, "we are all creative." Cappachione writes,

The medium in which you create is irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether you write a business proposal, play a piano sonata, or prepare a delicious meal. You may be seeking to resolve one of life's mundane problems or express deep feelings and insights through poetry. Embrace your creation as a lover and you can break through to another realm. When you stick with it for better or for worse, your creation pbecomes your guru (Sanskrit meaning"from darkness to light").

- Geoff emailed me about his site, artistaday, which profiles a different artist every day of the week. It's a great site to see some new and interesting art!

- And I really liked this blog post from artist Deb Chaney about celebrating small successes. It's so easy to forget to do this. I know I'm always wishing I did more. But stop for a bit, right this second, and feel great about all that you have accomplished. Breathe that feeling in. It's important.

O.k., I'm going to take my sleepy self into some cozy pajamas and relax.

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.

Wellness Wednesday: Drink in the Love

October 11th, 2007, Comments (17)

I'm getting married in less than 48 hours. Eeeeeee! I'm wired and tired and very excited. Everything that's going to get done is done. I dropped off all sorts of stuff at the wedding venue today...programs and seating charts and guest books, oh my! I'll be away for the weekend, but back shortly thereafter as our honeymoon is slightly delayed because of a big business deal that could lead to very exciting things for the fiansor and I.

I've been so very busy tying up wedding stuff that I've hardly had room for anything else. I'm looking forward to being able to visit your blogs more regularly! If I owe you an email, I apologize. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

So, today is Thursday, although I thought it was Wednesday for awhile there, so here's my slightly delayed Wellness Wednesday thoughts:

I got some good advice regarding my wedding recently. My best friend told me that I was going to be told all day long how beautiful I am, how amazing and glowy and all that. And she advised that instead of cringing or shrugging it off like I might feel inclined to do, that I should just take it all in; just drink up all the praise and love.

It's odd how difficult it can sometimes feel to accept, to receive praise and love and compliments. I know I have this issue and over time I've been learning how to take praise with a simple thank you, instead of responding with a dis-qualifier. For example, if someone says, "Wow, love those pants!" Instead of saying, "Oh, thanks. I should have had them tailored. They're way too long.", just say, "Thank you!" Or , if someone says, "I love that new painting!" instead of saying "Really? I'm not sure it's done. I could have done better.", just say, "Thanks so much!" Practice accepting love in all the forms it comes your way. Let it fill you up and see how wonderful it can make you feel when you stop trying to push it away. See what happens when the love stops bouncing off of you and starts sinking into your pours, lifting your spirits and storing itself away for rainy days.

So, in a couple days, when I'm all prettied up and glowing with happiness after our ceremony and people start showering me with love, I'm going to smile and say "Thank you, thank you!"

Plenty to Do!

September 12th, 2007, Comments (9)

I've got so much catching up to do! I'm way behind in emailing people back, so if you've written, please don't think I'm ignoring you, I'm just way behind in lots of things at the moment.

The barn at Jes's "Plenty to Do Farm"

I had a wonderful, wonderful time in Maine at Jes's mini art retreat. It was really just what I needed...a wonderful getaway in a beautiful location with an amazing hostess, spending time with great new friends, lots of art-making, good food, antiquing, and laughing. It was so much fun spending time with the super sweet and talented Jes, Tammy, Mindy, Heidi, (and Susan briefly!) We did a fun art exercise by starting with a canvas and creating a background and then passing it on so that each of us did something on everyone else's canvases. In the end we turned out 5 collaborative pieces of art that were completely different and lots of fun!

Mindy and Tammy hard at work

Saturday night we had plans for dinner at a nearby restaurant. We all changed out of sweaty art clothes and headed to dinner and when we got there, we walked into a dining room with a table set for five and at each place setting was a pot of mums with a pretty fairy wand stuck in it. For a moment I thought, "It looks like this place was decorated just for us! What's going on?" Well, these lovely ladies had planned a lovely little surprise wedding shower just for me. I was so incredibly surprised, I nearly cried. What a wonderful gesture. I'll be forever grateful for it! We ate dinner, played games that Tammy had put together, had dessert, and I got some wonderful gifts: art from Tammy and Susan, a super cool picnic basket full of goodies from Jes, a beautiful set of chopsticks from Mindy, and a delicately decorated container with candles and matches from Heidi. It was such an unexpected treat.

My fairy wand, made by Jes!

The previous night, Jes and I drove out to Tammy's restaurant and enjoyed a delicious dinner on the water. It was a wonderful evening. Jes and I got a little mixed up on the way back (because I can't read directions backwards...doh!), but we did get to see a couple drunk guys playing rock, paper, scissors in a parking lot! :-)

On Sunday, Jes, Heidi, Mindy and I went out and did some serious shopping at a flea market. I think I got enough paper goodies to last me for a year! hehe... I'll share pics of those later on. Besides the fun paper goods (books, pictures, etc), I also got a collection of old keys and clock parts, a funky old button, some lace scraps, and a rhinestone brooch (maybe for my hair for the wedding?) After we'd worked up an appetite we lunch and shopped around some more before saying our goodbye's and heading home. I had such a wonderful time, ladies. Thank you again! There are certainly more photos to share, so more later...

I had a bit of a cold over the weekend and it's gotten a little worse, so after taking yesterday to try and rest and get better, I'm a bit frustrated that I'm not all better today, but what can you do.

Tomorrow is my second hair trial. Hopefully that will go well! Oh, and I bought my veil online. I found someone who makes them online and I hope that was a good choice...seems like anything but the way over-priced salon veils would be a good choice at the moment.