Friday, September 19, 2014

Some thoughts

I picked up the latest issue of Where Women Create Business today. Such an inspiring publication. I'm not even half way through and I've read informative and insightful articles by Kelly Rae Roberts,  Holly Becker, Lilla Rogers and others. And it's really making me feel like I need to kick it into high gear and get clear and focused with my blogging and business goals. I am totally unclear and unfocused right now. I just feel like I'm not putting my best self forward here on this blog, like I'm not working enough to develop this space. Same with my Etsy shop. Not that I'm being dishonest about anything, certainly not, just that I'm not digging deep enough. Yes, that's it- I feel like I'm not digging deep enough. BUT, I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

Reading Where Women Create Business on the front porch this evening with the sun and a glass of wine!

I started 2014 with a lot of creative energy and drive. I started this blog, created my website, and reopened my Etsy shop. I'm very proud of the work I've done and made, it's been a big year for me. I've sold more pieces art than I ever have before (although it is still a very very modest number of pieces) and I was even published in Somerset Studio! I set some goals for myself at the beginning of the year and I've accomplished a lot of them. I'm proud!

But then spring came and we moved, traveled the country, found a new place to live, got new jobs, and have been planning a wedding all the while. Don't get me wrong, all of the aforementioned things are good things, GREAT things. But I've lost some of my drive to develop my blog and business. I know that the number of transitions we have been experiencing the last 5 months have been many and that it is totally reasonable that my focus and energy have shifted. And, like I said, I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I just hope that once we get married (2 weeks from today!) and settle into our jobs (by November maybe?) I can regain some of the ambition to develop my artistic voice and business vision.

Playing around in the studio this morning, trying to get out of wedding mode for at least a little while!

Ahh, it felt good to get that all out! It's yucky to feel like you aren't working hard or digging deep for something that you are passionate about and I'm glad I could express that. I'm glad, too, that I realize that it's ok right now. That life is full and busy and good and that I need to deal with all of this transition and experience it fully. I'll get back on track. I'm very grateful for all of the people I've met through blogging and through the art groups that I am a part of on Facebook. Good people, good support, and so much inspiration and I know they understand what I'm saying. If you are reading, thanks guys! xo

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lately

I've been neglecting this blog. Lately I've been super busy but I've made time for other things, so I could've made time for this space too. Well, at least I'm here this morning.

We are still settling into our new apartment. So far so good (expect for a leaky bathroom faucet- but it was fixed by the landlord in no time at all!), it's really a lovely apartment and it feels like a good fit for us. We still have a lot of unpacking to do. Our bedroom is full of bags and hampers of clean clothes that we've yet to put into the dressers and closets. Just yesterday we broke down all of the empty cardboard boxes that had piled up, oh my goodness there were so many! Tonight is trash/recycling night so we'll finally get rid of them completely!



We've been doing A LOT of wedding planning. We're in the home stretch now- only 25 days to go! This past weekend we wrote our vows, picked a reading for the ceremony, secured wedding music, I had a dress fitting, did some crafty projects... It's coming together.
25 days to go!

I have given myself time to make art, which I think is essential for my sanity! It's good to settle into my new studio. I've also joined a coop boutique of women artists, crafters, bakers, and business owners! It's a beautiful place and I feel lucky to be in the company of such talented women! I had my first day of working there last week and it was fun. The people are so nice, the products are beautiful, and it's in a cute little town. I'm very excited for this experience.




This is a picture of some of my larger paintings hanging at the coop boutique! It's so neat to see my stuff on the wall, mixed in with the beautiful work of other women!

I've also been spending a lot of time walking through the neighborhood park. It's the same park I grew up going to. I'm finding that it's a really lovely place to be. There is a small pond that has a neat winding trail around it. I've started walking everyday and I love walking around the pond. There are so many beautiful trees, birds (geese, ducks, even heron!), and friendly walkers/runners/bird watchers. From my house to the park, around the pond, and back to the house is about 2 miles. I hope I can keep up this walking practice. Obviously, it's good for my body but it's also good for my mind and my nerves.





Hopefully, I can start writing here on a regular basis again. It might be hard to get back into a groove before the wedding but I'll try.

Hi to everyone at Creative Every Day!! xo


Monday, August 18, 2014

Blog hop fun!

A couple of weeks ago I was asked by the creative and kind Robyn of Faith Miner's Daughter to join a blog hop. Robyn and I met through a Facebook group called Flying Lessons, a group designed to bring together people who have participated in Kelly Rae Roberts' Flying Lessons e-course. You can check out Robyn's lovely paintings, cards, and jewelry in her Etsy shop. Thanks for asking me to blog hop, Robyn!

The blog hop works like this- I will answer 4 questions in this post about my creative process. Then, I will introduce you to some other artists who will answer the same questions next Monday, the 25th, on their blogs. Here goes!

Q: How does my creative process work?

A: I try to create everyday. Sometimes I sit down at the table having no idea of what I will work on. I'll look through materials and maybe they will spark an idea. If not I'll grab some materials and just starting making- painting, gluing, embroidering, whatever. Sometimes the ideas come after I am already in the act of making. And sometimes no ideas come! Sometimes I just make stuff and I don't like any of it! But I think that is essential because everything builds on what came before. It's inevitable that I make stuff I don't like. And even though it can be frustrating to feel like nothing is working or that I'm not liking anything I try to remember that it's still an important part of the process. Other times, I'll be in the middle of working on a series or exploring an idea or technique and when I get to the table I know I'll want to work on that. Often, ideas come quickly and I'll jump from one project to another idea then to a different project. Most times, I have a bunch of things in the works at once.

Q: How does my work differ from others?

A: I think everyone's work is unique. I think that my work does have a certain look to it or style but I'm not sure if I can pinpoint exactly how it is different from the work of other artists.  I use papers, watercolors, acrylics, pencils, colored pencils, glitter, embroidery, and stamping in a lot of my work- just like a lot of other artists. I guess it differs because I make my work and not anyone else!

Q: What am I working on now?

A: I'm working a bunch of different things! I'll attach some photos to give you an idea:




Q: Why do I do what I do?

A: I make art because it is my passion. Aside from being with the people I love, there is nothing that I enjoy more. I love working with my hands to explore color, texture, and composition in a totally non verbal right brained sort of way. I love using art to help me explore the workings of my head and heart. I love how art can keep me in the moment (something that I often struggle with!).  I love how art can facilitate not only self expression but also learning and healing. And I love how fun it is to get lost in the making, to get messy, and to play!


Now to introduce you to some great artists who will share their answers to these questions next Monday.

**In her own words- Anjuli Johnson is a mixed media artist from Raleigh, North Carolina. She is self taught and is constantly experimenting with different art forms and techniques, which come together in her artwork to form truly unique pieces. Anything from quilling to painting, encaustic to polymer clay are combined to form abstract pieces that often have deep symbolic and personal meaning. It's been a struggle for her to overcome her fear and allow herself to try new things and take big risks, but her main goal has been to push the boundaries of her comfort zone as far as she can. It expands a little with each new and scary opportunity.

Anjuli is all over social media! Please check out her blog, website, Etsy shop, Facebook page or even check her out on Twitter! She has such a variety of lovely works in many different mediums.


**Next up is Karen Duvel Campbell. Karen teaches primarily kids ages 4 and over but also does a lot of her own mixed media artwork including custom "playful pieces" mostly with acrylics. Karen says her favorite thing to draw and paint are whimsical faces, you can find a whole tab on her website dedicated to these whimsical faces! Check out Karen's website, blog, Facebook page,  and Etsy shop. Her shop is filled with prints, shirts, originals, jewelry, cards, and posters! That's quite a range of products! I especially love the necklaces, like this one.

Next Monday check out both Karen and Anjuli's blogs to read the answers to their questions and to find out who they will feature! Blog hops are such a nice way to bring people together, share our art, and support each other. I'm glad I participated.

Shared to Creative Every Day! xoxo



Friday, August 15, 2014

A look back

I spent most of this week out at the lake antique hunting and wedding planning. We found some great decorations at the antique show for our wedding (pictures to come in another post) and some dining room chairs! I also had a surge of wedding related energy and got a lot of little things done- groomsmen and bridesmen (my brothers are going to be my bridesmen) ties, bridesmaid gifts, emails with the caterer, more planning with the florist, and I ordered potential wedding shoes (fingers crossed!!). Finding shoes has been a bit difficult but I ordered three pairs from DSW the other day hoping one of them will work!! Good thing is is that DSW has free shipping and then I can just return whatever doesn't work at the local store, no money lost.

Anyway, I did have a bit of time to do some art making but haven't taken many pictures. I thought it would be fun to take a look back. To show you a couple of pictures of what I was making 3 years ago around this time, 2 years ago around this time, and what I was making last year around this time. And happy Paint Party Friday. I hope to make it around to visit more posts this week as compared to last week. Keep up all of the great art making and sharing Everyone!

2011- into watercolors and embroidery

2012- into acrylics and embroidery

2013- into collage

Hope you enjoyed this look back. It's fun to see how our process and interests evolve, isn't it? Happy Paint Party Friday everyone!

xo

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back at the lake

We came up to the lake again yesterday. It was a beautiful day so we did some swimming and sunning. A lot of my nieces and nephews are here so we got some good hang out time with them too. There is a really big antiques show near here starting this week and Tyler and I are going to go today. I love going to this show, it's MASSIVE and so fun to look around and find things. You have to have time and patience though! I'm especially excited this year because I'm hoping to find things for our new apartment and some wedding decorations. I'll let you know if I find any goodies.

I put a few wall hangings up in my shop the other day. It made me want to get back into making them! Especially autumn themed ones.
I also had some fun with simple image transfers over the weekend. I cut up photographs of mine that I had printed on printer paper and some magazine and book pages, put mod podge on the side with the image, laid it down on the surface I was working on, used a brayer to make sure that it adhered, let it sit for a minute or two then pulled it off, revealing a cool looking transfer! Very fun.
I'm going to check in over at Creative Every Day then get ready for the antiques show. Have a great day! xo