Entries Tagged as: words

Weekend Update and Some Final Word Links

February 28th, 2009, Comments (2)

I've had such a fun weekend! The hubster and I went to the MGM Casino, where we had a complementary room. The hubster played in a poker tournament while I went to their fancy, shmancy gym to do a workout. They asked for my shoe size in the locker room and gave me a locker with a spa sandals in my size and a soft bathrobe (the gym is connected to a spa) and the shower had a heated towel rack. I had the hot tub entirely to myself (and I was totally giggling in there because it all felt so luxurious.) After the gym, I headed back to our room where I ordered room service and watched a movie (Vicky Christina Barcelona.) I felt totally pampered and exhausted by the end of the night. The hubster won big that night too (I'm not a gambler, but he enjoys poker and blackjack.) In the morning we got breakfast, took a long walk, played a little roulette, and did some window shopping before having a lovely drive home.

Today is the last day of February. I know it's only a couple days shorter, but this month is has just flown by. Swoosh!

Theme Transition:

I enjoyed the words theme and I know a lot of CED participants had fun with it as well. As we move into the Creative Every Day Challenge's (totally optional) dreams theme for March, you certainly don't need to abandon the themes of the previous months. Play can be incoporated into everything (in my humble opinion.) And there are endless ways to play with words.

Here are some more ways to have fun with and get inspired by words:

* Write for your life: Productivity tips for writers.

* Amano Books: Bridgette Guerzon Mills makes gorgeous journals and she now has a blog focusing on art journaling tips too.

* Beautiful book sculptures from artist, Georgia Russell.

* Awesome typographical assemblage from Lou Dorfsman.

* Listen to classic poetry out loud.

* Journal writing prompts.

* Read Write Poem: for those who love poetry

* Tomorrow, Connie of Dirty Footprints Studio Blogtalk Radio program will be interviewing Elena Rego at 12 pm EST. Elena creates absolutely stunning journey manuscripts.

Thank you for playing along with me this month, I look forward to all the wonderful creativity we'll share in March!

More Wondrous Words

February 25th, 2009, Comments (11)

word art

I've been thinking of doing inspiration cards like this for awhile and the word theme this month got me moving on it. I cut up pretty paper and art-print mishaps and wrote words on each strip. I like the idea of pulling a random word each day to serve as a guide.

I went to a spontaneous dance class once where the teacher had us each pull a card like this to help us set an intention for the class. The word I chose always seemed to resonate with me so perfectly. She used some kind of "angel card" set for this, but I figured I could easily make up my own and add words as they occur to me. For now, I've chosen words like flow, leap, stretch, stillness, gratitude, receive, love, and trust. What words would you add if you were creating your own stack of cards?

More wordy fun:

* I'm loving the beautiful combinations of art and words from Vineeta, an artist from Mumbai, whose work was featured on Jess Gonacha's beautiful new site, Pecanoot.

* In the comments on my graffiti art post, nniiccoollee left a comment with a link to Written on the City, an awesome site filled with images of graffiti art/written messages from all over the world.

Word goodness from CED participants:

* I loved Kathryn's post this week about how she consults her inner guides. Be sure to check out the end of the post where she has offered up a gorgeous gift, an affirmation poster you can download and print for free!

* Rebecca has written a beautiful poem in response to a photo from Christine at Abbey of the Arts, who is hosting a Poetry Party. Christine has invited anyone to respond to her photograph with a poem by Friday, when a winner will be chosen to win a free copy of her newest zine, Illuminating Mystery: Creativity as a Spiritual Practice (which will have some of my art in it!)

* Hanna is doing a year-long project, this one is daily poetry!

* Check eautiful calligraphy work from Gunner Girl in the CED Flickr group.

* See Shannan's work with words and art in an art journal page from at Original Bliss.

Lots of beauty to inspire you, now go play!

Writing on the Wall

February 24th, 2009, Comments (9)


CED participant, Tammy Vitale, took a picture of the graffiti above and shared it on her blog earlier in the month. It totally cracked me up, the way it joins the first two themes for the Creative Every Day Challenge this year, play and words. Perfection!

If you've ever been to Manhattan or any big city, you've surely seen some gorgeous graffiti art on walls, doors, trains, and dumpsters. I saw the image below in Montreal a few years ago.


Explore graffiti art:

*Lots of inspiring graffiti art can be seen here.
*You can create your own graffiti online at this awesome site.
*Do you look for words while you're out and about in the world? Kelly Rae Roberts has a great post about seeing words in the world and the way they inspire her.
*I love the idea of writing words in chalk on sidewalks for people to find.
*Here's a great article from Keri Smith about how to be a guerilla artist.

Write on your own walls:

I also love the idea of words on interior walls. Bohemian Single Mom, posted a picture of her wall all painted up with a quote, which I thought was just fabulous.

*Make your own chalkboard paint to paint on your wall.
*I love these Typography Walls, painted and/or assemblage-style typography displays, from Whip Up.
*Another great way to decorate your walls with words is through using letter decals or one of these fabulous chalkboard decals from Velocity (the alligator ones crack me up!)

So many ways to play with words. I sometimes want to write quotes and poems that have inspired me on the walls in tall letters or scribble them on my clothes. Do you ever feel that way?

I've never been tempted to write on bathroom stalls, but that's another place you often see words scratched and scribbled.  Usually fairly dull statements, but sometimes filled with humor. Quick look into the wild world of google led me to The Writing on the Stall, a website dedicated to these stall scribblings. Too funny. Ever seen anything funny or inspirational written in a bathroom stall?

Well, I'd say that's enough writing on this wall for one day.

CED March Theme: Dreams

February 23rd, 2009, Comments (34)

ced dreams

The *totally optional* theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge in March will be Dreams.

How can you use this theme in your creations? Well, you could use the previous themes to help you brainstorm by getting playful and writing all the ways you could intepret the theme. Or perhaps you will dream something up?

If you need some suggestions, I will be posting about the theme throughout the month. Here are a few ideas to get you started. You could:

  • *Keep a dream journal
  • *Use your dreams (or nightmares) as the basis for art
  • *Read about artists who used dreams as a source of inspiration
  • *Explore your dreams for the future in a dream board
  • *Practice Dreaming Big
  • *Turn your dreams into poems
  • *Play with visualizations to spark your creativity

How to use the themes:

If you're feeling creatively stuck or blocked at any point during the month, use the theme as a source of inspiration to get you moving. 

Using the theme is entirely optional for CED participants. Use it if it inspires you, ignore it if it doesn't. I'll be sharing posts throughout the month around the theme (among other things) to get you thinking about how to incorporate it into your life. I'd love to hear how you use the theme in your creative world.

Feel free to focus on the theme in your creative activities for the entire month or as much as you'd like.

And have fun with it!

I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious. -Andrew Wyeth

p.s. The painting above was one I was working on this week and it seemed to fit the them nicely. It was created with acrylic and ink on watercolor paper. I added the theme word to it in Photoshop.

Art From Writing

February 22nd, 2009, Comments (14)


This month, I participated in Amy Souza's Art from Writing: Writing from Art project, where artists and writers were paired up to share a piece of writing or art, with the theme of "hope," as the jumping point to inspire a new creation. I was paired up with a writer, Melian, who sent me a poem to work from, and I sent her a picture of my painting, Lighthouse which speaks to the idea of hope to me. 

I often get inspiration from the written word, so I was excited to dive in. I did get a bit frustrated when I got stuck about mid-way through the process. I was fighting the direction the piece was going and things never go well when I push against the flow. But after letting it sit overnight, I was able to come back to it with new perspective. I made some adjustments, cut some parts away, went with the flow, and found the finished piece. I'm calling it "Albatross" and it's about 12"x12" with collage, ink, and acrylic paint on watercolor paper.

I think the word "often" that showed up in the bird's belly has to do with seeing signs, little winks from the Universe, and the feeling I get that I'm headed in the right direction when I start to see a lot of them in a short span of time.

Tomorrow I'll be posting about the Creative Every Day Challenge's (totally optional) theme for March and I'm so excited to share this one with you! It's one of my favorite sources of inspiration.

I hope your weekend was a wonderfully creative one!

Cup of Cocoa with the Blahs

February 17th, 2009, Comments (30)

you are so loved
you are so loved, mixed media on watercolor paper

I created this piece intuitively, just let it flow out of me. The trees and roots, houses and circles, continue to appear. I was inspired by Jessica's Pecannoot project to add this message to it, "you are so loved." It seemed to fit. I think the art came from the place of the blahs I've been feeling the past few days, while I've also been ruminating on self-love and self-care.

So, yes, the blahs have been making me feel a bit heavy, slow, and sleepy, but I know it will pass. Well, as much as I know that the blahs come and go, sometimes it's harder to know they're going to pass when you're in the middle of them, so it's been a draggy few days.

In the meantime, I've been trying, with varied success, to treat myself kindly and do what usually helps me resurface. I exercised, snuggled my cats, took a nap, and made some art. The grays still linger, and even though they seem to be detaching their tendrils from around my ankles, I have decided that instead of getting impatient and fighting them (and beating myself up for not getting over them quicker), I'm going to invite my grays for a cup of cocoa and just slow down a bit.

Slow Down and Baby-Step It

Things do not need to get done all at once (in fact, that's the quickest train to make-yourself-crazy-town.) If you're feeling a bit slow (which is quite common in the month of February), let it be o.k. to slow down. You can still make progress, while being gentle and taking baby steps.

Perhaps you want to make more art. So, today, you could just take out your supplies and get them ready or you could make one big scribble across the page. You could try doing 5 seconds of art (hee! That could be interesting!), 5 minutes of writing, or 30 seconds of doodling. Great satisfaction can come from taking a step forward, no matter how tiny.

SARK calls baby steps "micromovements" and she claims to have written all her books this way, in just 5 minute increments! That totally blows my mind considering how prolific she has been. You can download a Micromovements worksheet from SARK here. And you can listen to SARK talk about her writing practice on this wonderful Craftcast podcast. Good stuff. Truly.

Wordy Links

February 17th, 2009, Comments (7)

More ways to get playful with words!

* I just got an email from Clive of Pixton.com, a site where you can make your own comics without having to draw! It looks like fun! Check out the site here and there's a trailer here that shows some of the features. I like how you can easily translate the comics into different languages.

* I absolutely love the theme of the new blog, Pecannoot, from the ever-so-talented, Jessica Gonacha. The idea behind the blog is to turn our focus on abundance through art! And this site fits so perfectly with the word theme for CED because the art on this blog combines messages of abundance with beautiful imagery. Jess is looking for creative people to submit their own abundant artwork, so check out her description of the project here, the new blog here, and send in your work!

* I enjoyed this post from Felicia Day about how she started writing. It's chock-full of delicious links to help get your writing cap spinning.

* Patti Digh has a video about the literary and artist barnraising of her incredible book, "Life is a Verb" on her blog here. (the "Bust Your Toast Rules" art in the video is from me!)

 I've been painting away this weekend and will have some art to share soon. Hope your weekend was a wonderfully creative one!

I love you

February 14th, 2009, Comments (20)

love note

I've been thinking a lot about self-love lately. And with today being Valentine's Day, it seemed like a great time to bring it up.

Last week, I was listening in to a free teleclass with the lovely, Havi Brooks, and she was discussing being a "Habits Detective." During the call we were invited to take a closer look at a habit in our lives that we want to change. For me, this habit revolved around self-care and taking care of my body.

When I went inside, I realized that part of the reason I'm not taking excellent care of myself is that I fear getting obsessive about it.


About ten years ago, I got so obsessive about my body that I was weighing and measuring every morsel I ate, I barely ate any fat, and I worked out six days per week. For some people this may work beautifully, but I was absolutely miserable. All I thought about was food. If I didn't get in a workout, I would get extremely irritable. And on top of that, it was never, ever enough. Sounds like hell, right? It was. Well, eventually, I got to a point where I was looking ill and when a doctor recommended adding some fat (like peanut butter) to my diet, I went to the complete opposite extreme and ate every "bad" food in sight.

Fortunately, I'm not in that obsessive place any more. But I didn't realize how much fear of going back to that place was holding me back. I've been afraid of going back to that miserable place of "it's never good enough." And increased body awareness has a tendency to lead me to feeling bad about myself, no matter where I'm at.

I'm realizing that I need to love my body where I am in this moment and the next and the next. I know that movement and exercises is part of what keeps me feeling healthy, vital, energetic, and creative.

This week after doing some yoga, I was lying in savasana and had another realization. I've been feeling somewhat icky about "self-love." No matter what I know logically, it sounds selfish and self-absorbed. In my head, I heard the "not good enough gremlin" saying, "Who do you think you are?"

And my answer? "I am special enough to be loved."

Confidence begins in that place of knowing that you are loved, first and foremost, by yourself.

I cringe a bit around this stuff. I still feel funny about it. But I can play with the idea of self-love. I can practice it. So far the practice has made me feel wonderful. Below, is something I did spontaneously and was helpful. If you'd like to practice some self-love, give it a go!

Try this: Get in a comfortable position. Savasana (copse pose in yoga) works well, but you could find a cozy spot in your favorite chair, prop yourself with pillows in bed, or just ground yourself whereever you are right now. Imagine a tree root growing from the base of your spine. Imagine its roots stretching through the floors of wherever you are into the deep, dark earth beneath. These roots are grounding you. Now consciously relax every part of your body, starting at the tips of your toes, to your feet, your ankles, your legs, your pelvis, your stomach, your chest, your arms, your hands, your neck, your back, your jaw, your face, your scalp. Let your whole body melt into the floor, chair, or bed. When you are completely relaxed, imagine your body being filled with the light of your own love. Let it start small and grow. Let that love expand to include every cell of your body and then let it grow to fill the room you're in, then perhaps your neighborhood, your town, your state, your country, the world. Then if you're able, say to yourself, "I love you, I love you, I love you."


  • - The art above was my Valentine's Day card to the Hubster. I was inspired by the Inspire Me Thursday theme of "fold" and it also fits so nicely with this months word theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge!
  • - Speaking of art and words, The Creative Type scrapbooking blog is hosting a special Valentine's Day prompt of "Love Letters" and I'm sponsoring it! You can submit your own layout before March 1st and the winner will receive one of my Subway Stories prints! Check out all the details here.
  • - Make your own candy heart like the one above at ACME Heart Maker. I don't know about you, but I think those candies taste awful. But they sure are cute.


Poems to Make Your Heart Sing

February 11th, 2009, Comments (15)

Poetry is much like painting with words. It stirs in me a sense of wonder and sparks my imagination. Sometimes I have trouble sitting still long enough to linger in it, but when I do, I'm almost always happy that I did.

dreaming of the 7 sisters

Today, my painting "Dreaming of the Seven Sisters" is featured in the sidebar of Breathing Poetry, a blog that features wonderful poems from a variety of poets.

What poems make your heart sing? We can all play with words and turn out poetry. It may not be perfect or beautiful, it may not rhyme or fit a particular style, but it will be your own unique expression. 

I recently discovered the work of Billy Collins. Delicious use of words. Check out his Introduction to Poetry or you can listen to him read some of his poems here. Rumi is another eternal favorite and then there's Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, and Margaret Atwood.


I've used poems as the source of inspiration for artwork, sometimes just a line of poetry will spark a painting idea (in the piece above the line became a main feature.) There are so many ways art and poetry can blend together.

Has poetry impacted your work? If you're a poet, do you ever use your poetry in other mediums? Is there a way you can incorporate poetry into your creative life this month? Or could you use a poem as the jumping off point for your next creation?

I'll close with a bit of Rumi to inspire you today:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want
Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

Needing Your Words

February 11th, 2009, Comments (15)

Hello All,

I'm working on a magazine article and I need your help! I need some feedback or testimonials about your experience with the Creative Every Day Challenge (either this year or last year). Any details about what the project has meant to you, what you've been working on, what you've learned, etc...

Of course, I'd love to hear any feedback you have any time, but for this project, I need the info as soon as possible! You can leave a comment on this post or email me at leah0776 at gmail dot com.

Thank you in advance!!