Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Artists Help

When a typhoon struck the Philippines a few weeks ago I have felt nothing but helpless.  I've listened to news stories and heard people pleading for help. I was so happy when Nancy from Pretty Little Thieves reached out to me and asked me to participate in a fundraiser. Yes yes a thousand times yes! This is a time when art can really help.  I packed up a box full of goodies and sent it off to be sold in a shop with all proceeds going toward relief.  I am blown away by all the wonderful donations that have been submitted. You can check out a preview on the instagram feed.

A big cartel shop will open tomorrow, Thanksgiving day, November 28.  This is the one store I will be grateful for being open on the holiday. ( :

 Be sure to check back in tomorrow and in the following days to pick yourself up a piece of art and know you are helping support a great cause.

Happy Thanksgiving to you if you celebrate the holiday. If you do not, Happy Thursday to you and I will see you soon.

(Images are from Pretty Little Thieves blog.)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dream Home

Today I'm dreaming.  We have had our house for over a year now and I love it but it still doesn't feel like home. I think I still treat it like it's an apartment so I am afraid to make a lot of cosmetic changes. I am also just not ready to truly settle down and dream about the day we will move some place further south where it's warmer.  I would love to settle in Nashville and even though it would still be a few years before we could make a move like that I am still mentally packing my bags.

I've culled pinterest for some inspirational ideas that may help me with decorating my home and feeling more like I belong here.  Click the image for the link.

Everything about this place.... everything...
Interior Styling | Dining Table Lighting

I wish I could get my studio to this state. Minimal-ish, sooooo white, soooo organized.  This space would be amazing.
craft room / office

That rug haunts me in my dreams. I want it so bad.

Bohemian Vintage: Bohemian Wednesday - Valerie Mangum's Boho Interior - 05.22.2013

I wish I could have those tiled walls. Does anyone think that mirror is hung for a super tall person? I would maybe be able to see my bangs in that mirror? If I tease them high enough.
A cheerful bathroom.

Oh my gosh what if this was in my backyard?! I would make it my year-round studio and make all the arts in here.  I die just thinking about it.
From hgtv

I'm going to start drawing up plans for my southern fried dream home. In the meantime I will do my best to make my current place a lot dreamier.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Making Stuff


How was your weekend? I hope you filled it with lots of sweet things like candy.

I did what I said I would do and I worked in my studio.  It felt so good. I'm excited about what I am working on finally and even feel motivated to work on both arts and crafts.  

Here is the progression of my latest drawing.

 At one point last night I was worried I was overworking it so I decided I should set it aside for a day or two before I figure out how to finish it. I hope the addition of the glitter will not be regretted later. My husband wasn't into it but he isn't into glitter as a general rule so I felt like I  could disregard his opinion.

I am fast at work on a new piece.  I'm going through old sketchbooks and am working with imagery that I created while I was in grad school.  At the time I was making these weird drawings I could never figure out how to use them in my work so they were mostly ignored.  Now I am excited to return to this because they are starting to mean something different to me so the thought process is a new one to work through.

It feels so good to be making stuff again.  And thank you to everyone who had such kind words to say. It helped keep me motivated in my down time.

<3 div="" xoxo="">

Friday, November 22, 2013

Inspiration Board

Last night for some reason I could not get into my studio again. I think I put too much pressure on myself to continue with the work from the night before and to do something really amazing. As a result I have felt like I'm holding a gulp in my throat that will turn into a million tears if I'm not careful.  I should have just done something. I did walk on the treadmill in order to hit my 10,000 steps for the day.  I've been looking at pinterest and day dreaming and trying to soothe my silly sadness.

Here are some pinterest pretties. Click the image for details.

Mantel piece

big love.... gorgeous balloons! #lovebetter

swan boats

Soap Sticks | NOOKROAD

Cave Collective

I'm going to work this weekend and I'm going to make something and if it's bad I don't care. At least something will be made.

I hope if you're reading this you don't mind that this has sort of turned into my diary.  Not like my teen year's diary, though. That was only about boys.  Life was so much more interesting then. ( :

Happy weekend.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thinking and Remembering and Watching TV

It's me three days in a row now! Are y'all still reading? 

I'm excited to report that I finally made myself sit down in my studio last night and work on something.  I love painting with watercolors so I knew that would be the best thing get me going.  The only problem is that I reach a certain point of painting and I do not know where to go from there. For a while I was painting flowers but I got stumped with that imagery, too. I'm hoping tonight I can sit down with pencils and markers and drawing into these will start to come naturally.

A while back when I was having another moment of worry that I wasn't doing enough in my studio my friend Meghan told me not to worry because any thing I do is going to eventually inform my art. If I'm watching a lot of TV that is going to play some part.I was happy to accept that because it meant I could watch a lot of TV and not feel guilty (okay, fine, don't worry, I felt a little guilty...) but it hasn't been until recently that I am really seeing the truth in that. Last night while I painted and listened to music I thought A LOT.  I thought about some of the trashy reality shows I had watched (sorry, not sorry) and about some crazy college moments I experienced. I thought about friends and their relationships.  I thought about books I had been reading and I thought about my future.  So many things flooded through me while I painted and I know it was every single one of those things that was causing me to make this mark here or that color wash there.  It's neat to have visual proof of all my thoughts. I like thinking. I like remembering. And I really like trashy reality TV shows because it only adds more things for me to think about that I never would have known I could think.

Maybe I'll title this series: Think Piece.  

And my friend Meghan who told me this wise bit of information? She is amazingly smart and insanely talented. Look at this piece of art and check out her website here

I guess what I am trying to say is that you should collect experiences. As many as you can. Even if it's just watching TV sometimes.  I feel like I am always sort of apologizing for watching TV but that's because so many people chastise others for watching TV or think they should reward themselves because they don't do it. If you are one of them, I'm sorry if I  am being too defensive and your hair looks pretty today and I really like that necklace!  I just think that all experiences are relevant.  I also believe everything in moderation. If all of life was a food pyramid chart probably TV watching should be at the very top.  What would be at the bottom of the pyramid? Hopefully pizza eating.

See you tomorrow... ( :

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Follow-Up

Last night I tried to quit my phone cold turkey between the hours of 6-9.  I mostly did okay. I had a few moments where I grabbed it and looked at a few things but for the most part I stayed away.  Where I messed up was not handing it over to my husband like I said I would. I haven't even told him about this yet. That just seems like a huge commitment.  Maybe in a couple of days I'll be completely ready to give my phone to him for three hours a night. Do they make a patch I can wear that will pump whatever it is in phones that are killing bees through my body so I can still feel like I have it near?

Do you know what I did do last night? I made this weird stick figure and it is the most fun I had in a long time.  A sweet friend of mine gave me a funny crafting book so as a thank you I wanted to make something from it. Being able to have the kind of freedom to make something silly was just what I needed. I will probably make so many more of these because this is what I want to do right now.  Some friends of mine said I should make a bunch and perform plays.  The weird possibilities are endless.

This is a neat thing. It's so fun working in an art building because I get to see art all the time. That really helps me when I'm feeling artistically stuck. Every time I take the stairs I'm rewarded with seeing this handsome face:

One of the foundation classes does a fun project each year where they each paint a page of squares. Once they put all their pages together they get to see what the whole picture is.  This year was a real treat. Past portraits have been Chuck Norris and Mr. T.  This place is a delight!

If you are taking forced phone breaks let me know how it's going!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hello, I'm Fine.

Me again.

Yesterday two different friends each told me to update my blog.  I realize I'm doing a terrible job of blogging daily. I think I get nervous about what to say sometimes which is silly because if you knew me in real like you would know that me not knowing what to say sometimes will not stop me from talking. But here I am now. I almost feel like because the past couple of posts were filled with me being so anxious and whiny about the current state of my studio practices it seems weird to come here now and say, "Hi, I'm fine." but I think I finally am fine. But it's not in this grand epic way. I can't present to you a million things that I have been creating. After so much great advice from so many of you I finally just made myself chill out and let things be what they are.  It's in my bones to make things so I know I haven't lost the desire. I just have to get some things mentally moved around in my brain.    

My friend Bryanne and I, who I could go on for days about how neat she is, had a great talk once about people who live their lives in the most beautiful way possible. I don't mean people who are super rich and can live in mansions and wear gold everything and own a panther for a pet. I just mean people who take the time to put a bouquet of flowers on their table when serving a dinner, or sitting out a beautiful display of pumpkins as Bryanne has done below... Small details that make ordinary moments feel more special. I admire people who are so good at doing that. I think I sometimes take the lazy way out instead when I could do a tiny bit more to add a special touch.  This is something I am working on which I think will help me get the creativity flowing again.  My friend Robyn had given the advice of always lighting a candle when I go into the studio and I love that suggestion because it is another way to make everything feel... extra.

One thing I need to do for myself is to vow to put the phone down for at least a couple of hours a day.  Having so many apps and distractions right at my fingertips is tough.  I have been thinking about this for a while and know it is something that I need to do.  Maybe nightly I will instate a no telephone rule between the hours of 6-9.  I can give my phone to my husband who I know will gladly keep it away from me.  That may be the biggest thing I can do for myself. Because right now facebook has this addicted app that scrambles every thing you have ever written and creates statuses for you. Sometimes they are comedy gold. Like this one:

So these two things are my plan. No phone and do something extra to make small moments more special.

I'll let you know my progress.

Have a good day.  I wish you could respond out loud and I could hear because I want to say to you... enough about me... how are you? feel free to answer below. I miss you.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Daily Inspiration

You guys are truly the best. I was really anxious about writing my last post since I was hoping I would be coming here to say something positive and instead vented all my frustrations.  I'm thankful for all the support and advice that was sent my way.  All day today I have spoken to people either in person or via email exchanges who have related to what I am going through and told me their own tips for getting through slumps.  It has truly perked me up and made me feel less anxious.

So I want to share something sweet. A while back my cutie-pie grandmother reached out to me and asked me to make some cupcake toppers for her. I was thrilled to have her as a customer! I sent her a couple of different sets and she used one set to decorate my mom's birthday cupcakes.  Mom sent me this picture.  I love seeing the way my grandmother pays such care to detail and decoration.  She is an artist herself and has been a great inspiration to me.  She can take just about anything and paint something beautiful on it.  I am so happy that I got the chance to make something for her.  Her encouragement and support has helped me so much.

Who are the people that inspire you in your daily life?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

At Least I Got a Balloon?

At the beginning of the weekend I planned on writing a post Sunday night and I was excited because I thought I would have so much to show and share.  I had been looking forward to the weekend all week long because I was going to hole up in my studio and finally make something.

Now I am not as excited to write. Overall the weekend did not go the way I hoped.  

What I did do was begin an inspiration board.  There are so many bits and pieces floating around my space that I love so I wanted to compile all that together in hopes that it would give me fresh ideas.  I left a big blank spot so I could keep adding to it.

Friday night when everything still felt hopeful my husband and I went out to dinner and he took me to the party shop and let me pick out a balloon. What a dream date!! I have always wanted the champagne balloon and I finally got it. I'm weird. I know.

Another thing I did do was clean up my living room.  I have done so much rearranging in this space and it's now my absolute favorite room in the house.

One thing that we did recently was move the television out of this room which solved so many problems. I always hated having the tv as the focal point.  Now the only electronics in here are a record player and sound system which gives me plenty of room to decorate.  My parents surprised me with an early birthday present and they gave me that beautiful oval painting by Julie Tillman. I had been wanting it for forever!  It was perfect timing, too, because I wanted something to hang on the wall there.

So, what I haven't been doing? Making work...  I still feel so lost and it's becoming so depressing.  Saturday turned into me feeling down and feeling sorry for myself and spending the last half of the day reading a book instead of working.  Sunday I woke up fresh and decided it was a new day.  By mid-morning I started thinking of some ideas and was excited to see what I could do but almost immediately I felt the ideas fizzle out. It's like I have become too insecure to feel confidant that I can make anything. I am not giving up but I do feel a little panicked and a whole lot lost.  This week I will force myself to go in that room every day and even if I'm just sitting and staring at my inspiration board that is fine.  My weaknesses are my insecurity and lack of belief in myself.  I know this and am trying to work on it but I don't know if I'm trying hard enough.

That's my rant for the evening.  I hate to come here with this kind of stuff especially when I thought I would be coming here with exciting progress. I would like to get back in the habit of blogging almost daily so I guess that's going to mean the good and the bad. I'm going to remain positive despite all these other feelings and just know eventually I'll get back into some sort of groove again.

What do you do to fight your way out of these funks?