Friday, January 29, 2010

Just a Hint...

...of what I've been up to this week...

some of my Prismacolor pencils (collected since i was 13!) and a new set of color pencils I found for a mere $5...

And then there's a little art retreat I'm heading to in the next few weeks that I'm getting ready for...just a few things I'm up to!!

Are there any things YOU'RE up to that you'd like to hint about?? I'd love to hear about it!

I hope you're having a great weekend of Art-FULL Creativity!

Monday, January 25, 2010

You're Asking - I'm Telling!

I've posted a few times about the fact that I am on the list of artists for Patti Digh's upcoming book "Creative is a Verb" and many blog readers have asked how I managed to do that. Well, here is how it happened...

After I ordered the book, "Taking Flight" by Kelly Rae Roberts, I was receiving repeated recommendations to buy another book. It was titled "Life is a Verb" by Patti Digh. I finally decided to peek into the book (it's so nice that Amazon lets you do that!) and found amazing snippets of stories that were funny or thoughtful or BOTH! As I read the book profile, it mentioned Patti has a blog, so of course I went to take a peek and I found more of the same funny and thoughtful writing. One day she posted that she was going to write another book and it would be titled "Creative is a Verb" and she invited anyone who reads her blog to sign up to participate in making art for the next book. I thought about it for a few days and then decided I would sign up! That is how I got on the list...

My own copy of "Life is a Verb" given to me by my dear boyfriend for Christmas - thank you honey!
I've gotten through most of it already...

It will be challenging since each artist will only have approximately two weeks to create the work around the theme of the essay you are given and this applies whether you signed up for one essay or four! The same format is being followed for her side project book, which she notified some of the artists about, as I mentioned recently.
Originally the call for art was scheduled for last October, but since she is a bit behind on the "Creative" book, the call for art had been pushed back and the new book project is taking it's place.

I find it interesting that these calls are coming in this year, when I've chosen to focus on more Art-FULL Creativity...
it makes me think of a statement made by one of the sports announcers regarding young figure skater Mirai Nagasu and her amazing performance at the US Nationals this weekend:

"We hate to break it to, you but your time is NOW!"

That statement really resonated for me: just because YOU think you aren't ready for something big doesn't mean the Universe and the World are in agreement with you!

Is there something big you want to accomplish but feel you're not ready for?? I bet you're more ready than you think! I'd love to hear about it =-)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Trying to Bust Through "Scarcity"...

Thank you all SO MUCH for your wonderful good wishes and amazing response to my last blog post on "scarcity". I really do have a lot to be thankful for, but, as Kelly Rae Roberts* has expressed, it does feel strange to think of the goodness in my life as the events of Haiti continue to unfold, but it makes me think of other things related to "scarcity"... I've mentioned that I work for a non-profit agency**, in the state of California, which is having some serious budget issues (hence the impending pay-cut to my salary) and this work makes me think about poverty (ie. scarcity) since I work for an agency that assists low-income children and their families. It's been difficult to be in this workplace these past few days since these families have so much more than the people of Haiti do:
  • clean running water
  • a roof over their head
  • some food on the table (more often than not)
  • clothes on their back and shoes on their feet
  • a chance for education
  • many social services to assist them (until the state funds run out!)
I'm not saying that these low income families aren't struggling - many of them are. Some days I'm struggling, but as I mentioned before, that may be of my own making in many ways, but I do know that while I may not have much money, I DO have a little to share with those in need and I need to remind myself of that and not get bogged down by people around me that keep talking about what they don't have or keep worrying about the economy.

I hope to make regular donations to charities this year, even if it is only $5 or $10, because I know that little things can really add up (and
Pepper Stitches knows it too!) and I will start by donating this month to relief that will go to Haiti.***

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted" - Aesop
Will you join with your small act of kindness? Small actions really DO add up!

Be on the lookout for future "Donation Give-aways" as I did in December - it was great to donate on behalf of a Creative Beast reader and I think it will be a good way to donate and learn about new charities. Also, I may be collaborating on a fun charity event and I'll be sure to post those details here in case you'd like to join the fun!

Have you found a way to help the people of Haiti, though you may have felt you don't have much to give? I'd love to hear about it

* - i'm so excited that i'm going to be learning from Kelly and this beautiful lady in just a few short weeks! ** - my workplace will remain unnamed *** - thanks to Chris Guillebeau for his donation suggestion and link to Partners in Health!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pondering Scarcity...

I've been thinking of this concept of "scarcity" for awhile now and it's come back to me as I left a wish in the safekeeping of Tinniegirl*:

"I wish to bust through my fears/biases of financial wealth and earn MORE than $30kfor ONCE in my life!! It's time for me to end my own "poverty mentality"!!"

This is something that came up as I worked through my Word of the Year worksheets and it came up in the last written exercise to write down a "home run" for 2010. As I wrote out my "home run/big dream", it just started to flow through me, into my pen and onto the paper:

" find an amazing employment opportunity that HONORS my CREATIVITY and VALUES my wealth of experience and REWARDS my creative experience with a salary of $45 k or HIGHER!!"

This is the first time I have EVER dreamed so big for myself, let alone written it down on paper, but working through the worksheets for my Word of the Year, along with the work I have done with my coach, I have really allowed myself to dare in ways I have never done before. Despite the pay-cut that is coming in my workplace, I believe that something better is coming to me...

But where does this idea of 'scarcity' come from? Why do I continue to believe in the myth of the "Starving Artist"? Is it an internal belief that I don't deserve to earn a living creating beautiful, meaningful gifts that bring happiness and joy to people?

an abundance of ribbons, threads and other miscellany from my creative play-space

I've been doing a simple "Abundance Meditation" in the evenings, in my creative play-space (which I think is fitting since this is the space I create in and I am working on bringing more Art-FULL CREATIVITY into my life) and what I have been focusing on is the abundance I have NOW. I am hoping that by focusing on the abundance I have now, I can start to internalize what abundance feels like so I can begin to bring more of it into my life and I certainly do have an abundance of good things around me:

paper ephemera
rubber stamps
books of inspiration
paints and pencils

Not to mention the added goodness of:

a wonderful boyfriend who has a great sense of humor!
amazing and creative friends
fantastic people in the neighborhood I work in
thoughtful and thought-provoking performance artists I love to work with
a new community of blogging Artists and Heart-felt writers
my awesome Life Coach
my very dear Wise Woman

I have to look at these lists of goodness and wonder:

Why do I continue to feel that I am struggling all the time? What am I struggling against?

Am I struggling against my Self??

* - my deep-felt thanks to Tinniegirl for her generous offer to hold the wishes of so many beautiful artists, creators and dreamers - I know they are being kept in the safest and most magical of all places: her heart =-)

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Word! Such a week...

I did it...

I found my words for 2010...

The words that will guide me as I move forward in the first year of a new decade....

Good thing too, since I received some unpleasant news at the start of this week! So lets deal with the "bad news" first:

I will have to take a 6% pay-cut starting February 1, 2010 at the non-profit organization* I work for...


"Oh my, the Creative Beast is losing it" you might be thinking and my dear boyfriend might say that you were right! But I now have a "secret weapon" or "talismans" to guard me. They are my "Words Of The Year" (WOTY) which I finished working on mere hours before receiving that unpleasant news and here they are:

Art-FULL Creativity


I really love the word ELIMINATE and I am using this word to guide me in eliminating anything that does not HONOR or VALUE who I am and what I do, which is CREATE. I have been working on ELIMINATING my job from my life, and with the support of my coach Pete, I have been taking actions (sometimes small but I'm taking action!) to that end, such as starting this blog**, following my dream to participate in a fun art retreat and thinking of how I can share what I love to do with others (another word for this is TEACH).

I was not totally surprised by the pay-cut news and having my words helped because now I have something better to focus on: Art-FULL Creativity

I chose this word because, while I DID begin this blog to chronicle my creativity, I did not feel I made as much ART as I would have liked and I know this word will guide me and help me focus on making more art in my life. 2009 was difficult in many ways and while the start of 2010 doesn't "appear" to look much better I can say that I feel my path is looking brighter than I thought possible...

May your path be as lovely as this! Thanks to V. Morris for allowing me to photograph her lovely backyard...

I know I mentioned that I have signed up to create art for Patti Digh's upcoming book "Creative is a Verb", but as always happens with the Universe conspiring to help you get what you want, I received an e-mail in regards to artwork for another book she is working on!! I have also received requests for costume making from performance artists I know and love to work with with, so I know that 2010 will be a good year bringing wonderful opportunities and wonderful people into my life...

Me and my Happy Rainboots on the first day of rain for Sunny LA in 2010;
I hope we get a little more rain this year because we NEED it!

...and maybe even a little more rain so I can play with my "Happy Rainboots" more often!

I hope you have a great weekend in Art-FULL Creativity!

* - I briefly mentioned it in my post here in the footnotes, with links to stories regarding the budget crisis in California; the name of this organization will remain nameless for confidentiality purposes
** - my dear boyfriend has said that he thinks my blog has been a great project for me and he has offered to help me create a better banner for it! Thank you sweetie!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Looking Forward: No Clothes Challenge

I thought I would give a little update on one of the goals I began before the New Year - my "No Clothes Challenge".

I began this challenge after reading about it at Magpie-Girl and got inspired to do a version of my own, though it's a version that is just a little more least my friend Margarita thought it was pretty extreme!

My plan is to use the challenge of buying no clothes*, new or used, as a way to utilize the many fabrics in my fabric stash and finally create the beautiful clothes I've dreamed of and my head! This means I am extending 'no clothes' to No Fabrics since I have a sizable stash of fabrics waiting to be sewn up into beautiful skirts, pants or jackets. I also listed doing some refurbishing and renovating projects for tutorials to share and I hope to get around to the project of re-lining an old favorite jacket as you can see below...

this is actually a boy's vintage car coat...

I've had this jacket for many years and it was given to me by a friend who got tired of it. It was in better shape when I first received it but I did wear it quite a bit when I got it and after a wash or two the lining began to come apart...

it has certainly seen better days...

you can see why it needs a new lining!

As a result, this poor jacket hung in my closet for a year or two, rarely seeing the light of day, but I've recently re-discovered its wonderful charms and have begun to wear it again**, though I know it's just wearing out the lining more...

i thought this fabric could be a nice contrast to the rugged-ness of the corduroy fabric...

I knew I wanted to re-line this jacket and that it could make a good tutorial for anyone interested in advanced sewing skills. I bought the fabric in the photo above just before Thanksgiving since it would be some of the last fabric I could buy for awhile! I'm not sure my photos do it justice but I took pictures just the same...just trust me when I say the unifying color is 'gold'!

here's how they look together

One of my dear friends is keeping me accountable for this challenge. Her name is Lisa and she currently teaches Fashion/Costume History in Florida. We spoke of beginning a blog about advanced sewing techniques and she was so excited about the idea she started the blog here. We hope to re-launch this platform soon and I plan on posting about advanced sewing techniques at that blog. I will have bits of the projects here to show you and those who are interested in the advanced techniques can pop over to the other blog for in-depth details =-)

And now for a question:

I thought I should be allowed a little lee-way during this challenge to purchase the occasional accessory like a scarf or jewelry but Lisa thought differently! I don't think accessories are "clothing". You'll see a note below that states this challenge includes shoes and handbags and Lisa thinks this should also include accessories like scarves, jewelry and belts!

What do you think? Should the challenge include accessories?? I'd love to hear your arguments for or against it!!

*- handbags and shoes are included in this challenge! Now you see why Margarita thinks it's extreme ;)

**- my dear boyfriend even commented on how cute I looked in my jacket the other day; actually he commented on my outfit as a whole and that really made my day!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Have you heard the "Word"..?

I mentioned during the holiday that I would work on the "Completion Ritual for 2009" that I discovered at the Superhero Journal blog, written by Andrea Scher, a blog I have been following for at least two years...

When I first discovered Andrea's blog, I read through the entire archive of posts and she has had an amazing journey to motherhood and life coaching. I was so excited to find that she is also a life coach, yet not so surprised considering her meaningful writing. I was also excited when she started her Mondo Beyondo e-course with Jen Lemen and I plan on taking their e-course before this year is over. I know that my fellow Creative Kindred Spirit/Future Art Retreat classmate Tinniegirl has taken the course and I have seen it's effect on her in the list of dreams/goals she has set for herself for 2010. I am so excited for "Tinniegirl" and can't wait until we meet in February!

And how did I meet "Tinniegirl"? Because we each signed up for the Artful Journey Retreat taking place next month (WOW! next month!!) to learn some art techniques from one of our art "she-ros", Kelly Rae Roberts, who is a friend to Andrea Scher! It is the coolest thing to see how these internet communities begin and grow, which leads to a recent discovery...

a corner of my sewing table; i do love old wooden spools, don't you?

Andrea's post on "Word of the Year", with the link to the worksheets to find your year, was just the ticket for beginning 2010 with a special touchstone to guide me through this exciting year. And that's not the only thing I discovered in this post. While reading through the comments of the words that bloggers/artists are uncovering for themselves this year, I discovered a VERY new blogger, Kat of "I Saw You Dancing". I just loved the blog name (being a dancer!) and the poem the title sprang from, by Hafiz, is really lovely. I also loved the fact that this young woman made a brave choice to honor her creativity and love of her family and start a blog that will chronicle her journey as she begins to honor what matters most to her.

How do you plan to honor what matters to you in 2010? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Looking Forward...

It's been quite a week since the last holiday post and what a lovely week it's been:
  • I did the Completion Ritual for 2009 written exercise on Christmas Day and it was very helpful for me to see how I can move forward from the difficult parts of the last year
  • I've been reading the book gift my dear boyfriend gave me: "Life is a Verb", by Patti Digh and it's a great read with great written exercises; I can't wait to create a piece of artwork for her next book!*
  • I've been walking every morning, followed with a morning stretch yoga tape - it's good to stretch again!
  • I had new friends over to my humble home for a new Movie Matinee followed by my Annual Movie Matinee with my very dear Wise Woman and friend of many years, Janet
  • I had a great visit with another dear friend and presented a special "tool kit" gift that I created for her, with some inspiration from The Craft Gypsy
  • I spent some much needed quiet time with my dear boyfriend
  • I celebrated ringing out the old year with good friends
  • I had my annual early morning ritual of watching the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on television, cuddled in blankets with some hot chocolate

It's been a restful week with time to reflect on the last year and look forward to the new one...

I found this on the walls of a clothing shop and had to take a picture of it!

I have much hope for this new year and like the wall art above, I'm hoping it will be the year of Courageous, Outrageous, Contagious Action!

  • The first big exciting event I'm looking forward to is the Artful Journey Retreat in Santa Cruz. I will be in the class taught by Kelly Rae Roberts and her friend Mati Rose and I am so excited about this event! I will have the opportunity to meet Cathy of Tinniegirl and Chrissy of Cul*ti*vate, who will be fellow classmates.

  • I plan on making more time to make more art and special gifts and I also hope to launch my etsy store this year.

A special collage 'party hat' I created for the 2007 New Year; yes, I wore this hat to parties that night!

  • I'm continuing with cleaning/clearing my creative playroom and making it a sacred space for creativity.
  • I'm doing the same for my entire home in the hopes that the cleaning/clearing will help me make room for better work opportunities to come my way.

*** *** ***

The past year was a difficult year in many ways but there were great things I accomplished as well, things that I would never have considered without the help of my great Life Coach, Pete Lee and I'm definitely going to work on 'celebrating myself wildly' for ALL my successes big AND small!

How will you celebrate yourself wildly in this New Year?

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all for 2010!**

* - I'm on the list to create artwork for Patti Digh's next book: "Creative is a Verb"...fitting for a Creative Beast, don't you think?!?
** - I do believe that 2010 will be a great year - after all, 2010 adds up to the number 3 and you know I believe Three is the Magic Number!