The After Christmas Decorations

You know the way you pack a suite case when you are leaving on a trip? You make everything fit. But when you go to re pack your stuff to come home it’s hard to make it work. You didn’t even add anything and all your stuff just won’t fit. This is my story of my Christmas Decorations.
I had my hubby take all the boxes down the first part of December. I sorted through each box. Tossing things that were beyond keeping or donating. I gathered boxes to give some ornaments to the kids that are now out on their own. I made a very big pile to donate. Why is it that I can’t put the few things that we used back into the boxes? It might be that when I am done with all the decorating and want to move to next phase of the season I start taking things down and put them in the boxes that are handy. So now I’m left with two strings of garland this little Swedish angel chime thing and a Santa candle holder. They will go into a box soon but not sure if they will fit.

    What to do with all the Holiday cards? I use to keep them until the next year. They were always in a box that was handy that I could get to. I’d go through them in November and do a head count so I knew about how many cards to make. I have been making my Holiday card from the time I took a block printing class in high school. When the kids were small and we didn’t have much money I’d make our cards to send out with the fronts of the cards we received the previous years. This year they will go in the recycle can. They are very pretty or cute but I am getting to the point where I want to minimize this kind of thing.

A friend and I were talking and she said someone told her that the time after Christmas and before New Years is a bummer of a week. All the stuff with the Holiday, good or bad has past and she just wants to get to the next thing: New Years. She starts taking decorations down right away and then makes the most of this kind of blah week waiting for the new year to begin.
I feel at a loss during this week. It doesn’t feel right to start another project. But I just want to get back in my studio. I did have a burst of creative energy just before Christmas. I took some of my pages that are altered with CitraSolv and worked on some faces.

Happy New Year to all. May you have good creative juices flowing in 2012.
Create something every day.

A Day At Trails End Ranch

Friends love you no matter what. You can be away from them for a long time and when you get back together you pick up right where you left off. It’s been awhile since my friend Laura and I have got together. 
Today I went to Laura’s place. I say place because she lives on 52 acres in the hills above Claremont. She lives there with her husband, 2 warm and loving dogs, all the wildlife you can imagine in our foothills and some horses. I love going there. It’s like leaving the rest of the world behind and going on a retreat.
Most of the time Laura and I get together we have lunch, and create. We make journals, resin papers, paint, tear paper and laugh a bunch. We were to create today too. I had some ideas of things to try. And Laura was going to help me with my blog posts. I brought lunch. She had dessert waiting. We ate, talked, laughed and pet the dogs in her warm and cozy kitchen. It’s so relaxing there. Laura has her art work all around. From sculptures, to journal pages to collage artwork hanging on the walls. She also has artwork from friends on display.
After lunch and a yummy dessert we moved to the work room.  Laura showed me some things on Blogger. It was a good lesson on how to post pictures to my blog.  Then…we sat and talked and laughed some more. Out the large windows we watched deer walked through the yard and a big old owl flying around. We never did get the art supplies out. But that’s okay.
The sun was setting and I really didn’t want to leave. I took one last look out the windows at the beautiful view of the valley, watched a large deer wander though the back yard and said good-bye.
“It’s a long and winding road that leads to your door” and I am so grateful to have you in my life Friend. Thank you for sharing your life and beautiful surroundings with me. You truly live in a sanctuary.
Now I will try and post a photo.

Not bad. It took me awhile but I got it. 

Collaging Into the Night

After a day and night of creating I thought it would be good to take a break.
Getting ready for an exhibit, show or art sale takes it’s toll on my brain and body. I still believe that art can heal and it does have restorative powers. I am living proof. Creating all day and into the night does an over load though. It’s like taking too much of your medication. The prescribed amount is what should be ingested. I think I over indulged. I went to bed late and woke up with a headache, fuzzy in the brain and feeling dehydrated. Art hangover? Things could be worse. So I’m drinking more water today an not spending all day and night in the studio. But the hair of the dog and all that.
So…back to work creating for the Gypsy Sister’s art sale that starts on Friday afternoon.  You know Edvard Munch, artist that painted “The Scream”?  Well, that’s me screaming until Friday.
Go Create!

Infusing Art and Writing

Working with an a coach can get you going. They have fresh eyes. They listen, or they should, to your ideas, hopes and wondering how to put it all together. I have tried a few coaches. Some not so good. I think a coach needs to be patience. I know that one I worked with was a bit quip. But I have found a jewel. She is Laura Bray
We have been working together for a few months and I will say that I am more productive, focus and energized to get my artwork completed and participate in the shows and art sales that I am interested in.

I will be participating in a show that I have attended for many years. It is Gypsy Sisters and their brothers. I always wanted to be a part of this group and now I am. Our art sale will be Dec. 2, 2011. 4-9pm. Dec. 3, 10am-7pm and Dec 4, 10am-5pm. We will have the basement area of the United Church of Christ in Claremont, CA.  233 W. Harrison Ave. 
Hope you can come by. There will be 30 artists with some of the most wonderful art.
And if you are wondering if hiring a coach is a good idea, I’d say yes. Just make sure that you shop around. If it is someone that does not ask you what you want to do or has their own ideas for you then they will not work for you and what you want to accomplish.
Happy Creating!

Getting Art Together

It’s been awhile. Things happen. Things change. Things get in the way.
I have been going non stop with art this year. I have some good classes under my belt and some great times sharing art with friends. The classes have a side benefit. You meet new people or you reconnect with people you have met before. All the art energy that is let out in a class can be overpowering. It’s like constant little electric shocks or massive jolts. All the caffeine in the world can’t give you what the infusion of creative influence can when you are with 2 to 15 other artists creating.
When I finish a class I am spent. I feel that I might not create again. But…after things settle down in my mind and I’m home putting things away from the class. I go back in my studio and sit. There are so many things that can come pushing back into my mind but like a good meditation I bring myself back to an empty mind. It can be a challenge. So like a Lamaze child birth I…breath and find a focal point to gaze on. Art ideas grow like time laps photography. Seed to full idea in a few minuets. But sometimes it takes days or weeks. That’s fine with me.
After an art day with a friend Laura, the creative infusion is different but with the same intensity as being in a class with 15 other artists. But I don’t bring myself to creating the same way.  Once I’m home; I dig through my bags that I cart my art stuff back and forth in, papers, mat medium, and brushes are spread out on my work table. I finish the last thing I was working on or I put it on my easel to critique. When 2 artist work together it’s a different electric shock that feeds the creative process.
If you want a jolt to your creative endeavors, take a class, meet with a fellow artist or writer.
And see what happens.
Create Everyday!   

Another Creative Class

I took a soldering class yesterday. I knew how to solder before but had not used my tools or created anything for about 2 years. Showed up at Garden of Beaden in Upland, CA with tools to create a decorated old bottle. Being the over zealot art freak that I am I decided to do 2 bottles at once.
My soldering iron was on the blink and then got so hot that I melted the copper tape that is put down first to solder onto. Not my best day but I was creating. There was electric problems and a class of 6 women had false starts but great endings. The participants took away at least the start of a decorated bottle or a complete with “necklace” donned bottle. My are just starts and you can view them on Facebook.

New Art Books

I just bought some new art books. Not too exciting for you maybe, but for me it was. One is titled “A Daily Creativity Journal 365 Make Something Every Day And Change Your Life”. The author gave himself a task of creation an original artwork every day for a year. He chose to make Skulls. And he challenged his readers to do the same. You can make it anything you want. It could be a poem, short story, small piece of artwork, even a skull. The most well known is the Julie/Julia Project. Another is Noah K. Everyday. Photographer Noah Kalina has been taking photos of himself every day since 2000.
I have not committed to anything yet. This kind of project could take over. Just think of poor Julie. And I tend to drop things when I get in over my head. I will say that I am thinking about it.

I can see that life can get too too busy. I get on the ball that is my life and keep rolling along as if something would happen to me if I just stepped off. I could. Don’t know why I don’t.
I remember a time when I first had my skate board. In the 60’s. I was rolling down the sidewalk like I was gas powered. Down hill and around the corner. I knew I was going way too fast but wasn’t sure how to slow down or even get off the darn thing. As I came to another corner I saw a large viridian (green) lawn. I just leaned over toward the grass and rolled into the yard. My skate board kept going around the corner and down the street into a car.
I’m now going to try and roll into that green grass again and let the skate board go…
In need of a rest.

Birthday blues

I did not want this birthday. I knew it would still come, but I thought that maybe I could stop it or head it off for a year or two I’d feel better. Deep down I knew it was coming and there was not a thing I could do. So I mourned. It is what we do when we lose things in our lives. We cry and grieve. And there is a process that we go through to come out the other side. There’s some pain and feeling like we have not slept well for awhile. It seems a sand storm has pelted our eyes and they are scratchy. Our mouths and brains are parched. It’s sometimes hard to put thoughts together. And our stomachs and chests ache with loss. This is mourning.
So I was morning my birthday? Yes. Silly? Yes. It’s a big one. I am not saying what the number is but it’s like the one before you’re 30, or 40, or the the other big ones. Yes I was blue and I could not stop the birthday just like I could not stop the blues. It seemed that I was “misting up” with every comment my husband made and any little puppy or cat that I saw. I was hurt that my kids were not calling with plans to celebrate even thought I didn’t feel like celebrating. This was the blues big time.
Mother’s day came first and my wonderful daughter-in-law came over and cooked brunched for our family. We were all together. I was happy and just forgot about the birthday. It was a good day, good food and lots of laughs.
There is this thing called Facebook. You must have heard of it. Well the birthday wishes started coming and they have not stopped. It feels so good to be remembered. On my birthday my daughter-in-law took me to dinner. A great young woman. I will have dinner on Friday with my son and his girlfriend (just as good as being a daughter-in-law, another great young woman also). On Saturday I have a date with my husband for dinner and maybe a movie.
I love this birthday. After going through all the blue days and having the wishes for a good day and year, birthday cards and time with my family, I am through with the mourning.
This year will fly by as all the others have but I feel better and stronger.
Good by blues. And Thank You for all the best wishes.