Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sharing the Goodness...

I've had a great holiday weekend of rest, relaxation, seeing pirates on the big screen and spending fun times with good friends. I also made a little time to peek at Blogland and I discovered that a fellow blogger and Flying Lesson participant was featured on the site of another Flying Lesson participant, Sonya Mac...

I've seen Sonya Mac in the Flying Lessons Facebook group and she is one busy creative lady! She has a feature on her site called Sunday Spaces and she shared the space of TJ who blogs at Studio Mailbox. I'm always intrigued to see the interiors of artists homes in the hopes it will inspire some ideas I can use in my own home, that sadly needs a LOT of TLC right now. That will certainly be one of the main projects I work on after June 30th!

Though I was not particularly happy to return to the office today, there were some treats waiting for me - wonderful encouragement and good wishes from friends near and far...

YAY! more wonderful mail art arrived to the office during the long holiday weekend...

I received some wonderful mail art and goodies from some good friends and one lovely blogger who saw my "call for help" and sent some wonderful artwork to keep up my spirits in these last few weeks of employment.

a magnet and a goodie bag...

The colorfully decorated package came from Kathryn who I met through the Flying Lessons e-course. We've had a few meet-ups and she is one AMAZING artist. You can find her blogging here and selling her fantastic work here...

She sent some fun goodies for me to use in future creations and a hilarious magnet that will be in my creative play-space by July. Here is a close up of the message of this super cute magnet:

LOL!!! this darling birdie CRACKS ME UP!!

You know, this birdie and her message reminds me of a story from when I was a little girl...

It seems my father would always pick on me by telling me that I ate like a bird because I ate rather slowly and in small bites. One day I complained to my mother about it and she said to me:

"Next time your father says that, you tell him that birds eat twice their own weight!"

I chuckle to myself when I remember that story because it was true that I ate like a bird - I may have picked daintily at my food but I sure could it pack it away!!

If only I could eat that much food today - sigh ;) This darling birdie will certainly remind me that:
 "though she be but little, she is fierce!"*

Here are the other wonderful goodies that came through the mail...

I do love lemonade, so this card is quite appropriate!

This came from a good friend living in New York. She recently launched a website about health and wellness and she also recommended a fascinating website to chart my moods called Moodscope. I've been working with my own graph since last week and it's been interesting to see if and how my emotional state might change from day to day...I have a feeling that I'll be off the charts on June 30th!

And this lovely card was handmade by this creative blogger who just happened to hear about my "call for help" and decided she would send some help and encouragement my way. It is a lovely and colorful card...

...she also sent along some "funny pages" to give me a giggle or two...

Thank you ladies for sending such wonderful encouragement to help me get through these last few weeks in the horrible work environment. I now look forward to coming to the office knowing that a few more goodies are on the way!

And thank you to the wonderful creative bloggers who are reaching out and sending such kind words and wishes! It's only 23 more working days to go until I'm free to create a better future!

And one more item of goodness I'd like to share is this Facebook page and Tumblr blog created by my own Life Coach Pete Lee called "Th Daily Practice".  There's a new assignment every day to get you thinking creatively and abundantly - I hope you join in the fun!
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I'll be sharing a few things I've been working on like some new art pages for my art books and I'll have another Creative Beast Interview ready for you to read next week so stay tuned!

* - from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Friday, May 27, 2011

Introducing The Creative Beast Interview!

Hello Dear Blog Reader!
I'm so excited to reveal something new on my blog - The Creative Beast Interview!

I get SO inspired and excited when I see other 'Creative Beasts' in the world and I wanted to know more about their process so I created an interview format that asks questions about early creative experiences and influences, as well as asking about their process and thoughts on the effects of creativity in life...and I wanted to share my findings with you!

I hope this interview series gets to the heart of what it is to be creative in the hopes that you will be inspired too - so let's begin!

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An Interview with Pepper Stitches!

I'm so thrilled to introduce Pepper Stitches for my first interview since she is the first person I asked to interview over a year ago, when I first knew I wanted to start interviewing other 'creative beasts'. I am happy that she remembered my early request!

I met Pepper Stitches through the annual Blogtoberfest, hosted by Tinniegirl, over two years ago and was immediately smitten with her adorable handmade toys, also known as softies. I've followed her journey as she left her day job to strike out on her own selling her dolls and whimsical animals. She has recently added Pepper Stitches Patterns to her line of products, which is so exciting! 

Pepper is certainly a busy lady these days but she took some time from her schedule to be interviewed. Thank you for being here Pepper!

The lovely and creative Pepper Stitches

Who first introduced you to creating? Was it a family member - a teacher? How did that person influence you?
My Mum was a dressmaker when I was little; I remember the big dressmakers dummy and all the beautiful fabric. She made a dress that someone wore in a televised awards show once, we were so proud! Later on she also did screen printing, and in the shed adjoining the house we made a little production team to sew and print aprons and tea towels for local shops. That’s where I started, where I discovered the pleasure of turning an idea into something you could hold. Mum never accepted that we were bored, she always pushed us to do something or learn something, and if I wanted something, she told me to go make it! 

It sounds as if your mother is a Creative Beast too! It's easy to see that the acorn didn't fall far from the tree...
What were your first creative actions that you remember? (Sewing, Dancing, Painting, etc?)
I was always making little dolls, or clothes for my bears; I also drew a lot and wrote short stories, I wish I had some of them now! Most of my childhood was without TV, so we entertained ourselves; putting on plays, magic shows, a circus.  I went to the library a lot, so I would pick up craft project books to try, or just read for hours. I lived in my imagination, or in a book, so it follows that I’d try to do something now that allows me to keep dreaming! 

I love that you had an environment that encouraged so much imaginative play! I can see it really helped you form your creative skills...
 Do you have a favorite medium to create in? If so, what is it?
Fabric or ink and watercolours. Fabric is so textural, with little stitches and soft bodies, it is such a primal need to hug something. And the colours and designs available make me swoon, not to mention the vintage loveliness and sensing the history behind upcycled textiles. Watercolours are ephemeral and soft, and easy to work with! 

Oh yes, that need to hug something small and soft is why I loved making rag dolls as a girl. Fabric is a wonderful medium to work in and it's amazing how it surrounds us everyday in our clothes and our furnishings...

One of Pepper Stitches softie patterns - isn't this the cutest giraffe?!?
How do you feel when you are creating in your chosen medium?
Dreamy. Full and empty at the same time.
 What is the greatest joy you derive from creating? Accomplishment? The process? Sharing it with others?
I would have to say the idea, and the accomplishment. To be honest sometimes the middle part, the making, can exasperate me, I just want to see what I have imagined and hold it finished, and not go through the monotony of making it! I like that moment when you think ’OH I wonder if..’ Or ‘Gee it would be swell to make a…’  To make unexpected creatures that feel like they have their little personalities, it just makes me smile.

I hear you Pepper! My least favorite part of sewing is cutting out the pattern to a garment or soft toy - I just want to jump from the idea to making it come to life!
 Do you think a creative life comes from ideas, doing or being?
I think creativity is a broad term, and people narrow it too much, to mean a finished product or particular process using certain tools. You can be creative in so many ways, in breadth of thought, language, how you interact with the world, and just being. I think it’s any or all of the above. Everyone is creative, and has the potential to do so much, but it’s easy to settle into comfortable routine and neglect the possibilities.

I think everyone is creative too, Pepper, and it's not always linked to ART, but I had not considered that settling into a routine could be an obstacle to exercising ones creative muscle, but I certainly see how it can block creative expression...
 How do you express your creative life? Is it integrated in your daily life or is it a separate part of your life?
My creative life is just me, my life. I do things the way I imagine, and don’t realise it’s unusual or until someone points it out. I am guilty of being a little na├»ve and focussing on only the good things, but it’s worked for me so far! If I am a product of my experiences, why not focus on the good bits? Why not have cake for breakfast sometimes? 

mmmmmm, CAKE! Now I'm hungry! ;)
 Can you think of a time when someone else’s creativity fed you? What was that like?
Sorry Monica, I can’t think of an answer for this one!
 What is the most significant creative event in your life to date? Was it a defining moment? Was it a milestone or a lifetime goal?
Well, quitting my job to start a creative small business full-time would have to be it! I think my outstanding ignorance really helped, if I knew what I was getting myself in for, I may not have done it! Taking creativity seriously, as a viable option for doing something was big; making a studio space (in the corner of my bedroom to start with, later in a whole room!) was a defining moment. I remembered that when you were a kid you thought that grown-ups did whatever they wanted, because they could. So I thought ‘well I’m a grown-up’ and did just that. What I wanted.

Congratulations on striking out on your own to be a self-sustaining artist Pepper! I think that many people stop themselves from starting a small business due to perceptions that it won't work, but really it is hard work, which can go back to being comfortable and settled as you previously stated. I can also see that sometimes "Ignorance is Bliss" and to take a leap of faith one might need  to be a bit "ignorant" ;)

 one of Pepper Stitches early creations that I may have to special order - I MUST have one of these for my creative play-space!
What is it like to be a self-sustaining artist?
I love to spend my days creating, the only thing is when I am too caught up in the ‘work’ of it, when creating becomes about material costs, profit margin, what will sell well; instead of what I want to be doing. It’s necessary sometimes, but can be a drainer of creativity. Nothing like having to do something to make you not want to do it! The balance between creating vs. producing and studio vs. computer can be tricky. So many interesting things on the interwebs to use up your hours, and I get frustrated sometimes with how many ideas I have or things I want to make, and do, and just run out of time for.  
Working home alone can be lonely (yes, sometimes I talk to my cats.. don’t judge me.) but then I remember that this is what I want to be doing most in the world, and sing out loud and wear my ugg boots; because I can. I have met so many wonderful people too, the craft, blog and retail community is very giving and supportive of each other, which you wouldn’t find to the same extent in other industries. At the end of the day, Pepper Stitches is my baby, and I’m responsible for my own direction, growth and success. Which is scary and liberating at the same time!

Well, Pepper, as least you have cats to talk to at home - I'm not allowed pets of any kind in my humble apartment but I do have a wonderful boyfriend who's only a call away! And I agree that the camaraderie on the internet is really wonderful and supportive. 

Maybe I could make one of these adorable little fellows to keep me company in my creative play-space!
Is your life different from the time when you worked for others?
Totally. See comments above re. singing out loud and wearing Ugg boots to work. I think I’ve become more self sufficient because there’s no boss to fall back on you are responsible for everything. If something doesn’t get done, you have to own up to yourself; it’s a constant state of seeing what works, making changes and trying to stay sane, mostly. The distinction between home and work can be blurry, when you work into the night, or finish orders in front of a movie, or hang up laundry instead of blogging; making time for each has been important! The financial uncertainty can be challenging, and I have not eaten so many 2 minute noodles since my early 20’s! but I am both more stressed and more satisfied, because the money I make, well; I made it. With my own two hands.   
I feel the same way when I make things too, Pepper, as well as when I make money from selling my goods, which reminds me I need to get cracking on creating more goods to re-open my Etsy shop!!

***   ***   ***
Many thanks to Pepper Stitches for this interview! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it! Do stop by to say hello to Pepper Stitches - You can find her at these following locations on the internet:

I know you'll be enchanted by her creations!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

With a little "Help" from my friends...

I've been busy this week at work and at home but I received another bit of mail art "help" at the office this week...

another postcard from Kat of I Saw You Dancing...

This colorful postcard from Kat, who inspired my "call for help", was waiting in the office mail box for me with another quote from Rainer Maria Rilke written on the back of it. It is actually a long quote so I'm only going to quote my favorite part of it:

"...perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave..."

Mmmmm - I love the idea of transforming those dragons!

A three day holiday weekend is coming up but I've decided to take Friday off to make it a 4-day weekend and I can't wait! My dear boyfriend has also taken the day off so we will play tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to that...

I've been busy working on a new feature for my blog that I will reveal tomorrow, so I hope you'll stop back to check it out. I think you'll come away inspired so stay tuned!

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Help" on a Monday Morning...

It's Monday morning and I'm back in the office but I had a treat waiting for me in the mailbox here at work...

Isn't this a pretty postcard to start a Monday morning at the office??!?!

This lovely postcard came from Kat who inspired my "call for help" with her Wednesday Worthiness prompt on asking for help. It's a wonderful postcard created by Sabrina Ward Harrison which has a stream of words, some of which were obscured by the postal sticker on the bottom. Luckily, that sticker came off easily so I could read the rest of the words...


and a lovely quote was written on the back:

"And when one day one perceives that their occupations are paltry, their professions petrified and no longer linked with living, why not then continue to look like a child upon it all as upon something unfamiliar from out of the depth of one's own world, which is itself work and status and vocation?"

- Rainer Maria Rilke
"Letters to a Young Poet"

Thank you Kat for this beautiful gift of images and words to make my Monday morning so much merrier!

Another thing that has made my Monday merry, on what is a drab overcast morning, is wearing a combination of colors inspired by a lovely gift given to me at the Renaissance Faire yesterday by a fabulous artist named Petrushka - a flower pin in colors of chartreuse and burnt orange...

my new pin and an art-full necklace made by Petrushka make a Monday very merry indeed!

Wearing and surrounding myself with such beauty really helps me to stay grounded in who I am - an Artist and Creator of Beauty, as well as a patron of Beauty made by others...and it really helps me when I have to spend much of my time in an environment that does not accurately reflect that.

Only 28 working days to go until I can begin a new future filled with amazing opportunities and creative possibilities - I'm getting so excited!

What are some things that make your Monday morning a merry one??

* - yes, the word "make" was listed twice - I think it bears repeating many, many, MANY times! ;)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Workshop with Orly - Learning to SEE...

I had the opportunity for more art journaling with Orly Avineri this past weekend and it was another amazing experience...the theme was "Journaling with the See-side in Mind" and we were instructed to SEE differently, fully and quietly...

We began with a mediation on favorite memories by the sea and we then began to create backgrounds for THREE journal spreads. I thought of three different beach memories and used those memories to create backgrounds for each beach I thought of, knowing full well that they would undergo some transformation before the day was over...

This spread represents Venice Beach, CA...

This spread represents my time in Portland, Oregon driving along the coast with my dear boyfriend...

This spread represents time spent in Ventura, CA, usually with my dear boyfriend =-)

We were instructed to gesso over parts of our spreads, to lighten some of the areas, but using gesso on three spreads got a bit sticky at times!

Orly then had us watch an amazing video which you can watch here:

This video is AMAZING! I could watch all day and still SEE something new each time...

She asked us to write down WHAT WE SAW as the video was playing out in front of us, but I was so entranced with the sand sculptures unfolding that I nearly forgot to write down anything!! Conversely, if I was writing down words, I was not SEE-ing the video in front of me...

It was a lesson in how we often distract ourselves from SEE-ing what is in front of us.

Orly had collected many sea objects for us to SEE and to work with...

It was hard to keep from touching each and every object!!

We each found an object to SEE and to draw from several angles. Here is my object and my renderings...

My see-side object...

...and two views of the same object using watercolor and ink pen...

Workshops with Orly always include delicious food and this workshop was no exception...

Mmmm! Colorful and delicious! What a handsome repast!

Orly is a wonderful hostess, as well as a wonderful instructor, and it reminds me of the times I would host small gatherings at the community college art gallery, when I had pieces on exhibit there. I love being in Orly's environment as it is colorful, art-FULL, warm and inviting and I hope to be able to bring those elements back into my life...

It was a great workshop and there was much to SEE and be inspired by!

***   ***   ***

Orly will be teaching at Journalfest taking place at Port Townsend, Washington in October - check out her blog to see what and where she's teaching or peek at her local teaching schedule if you're in the Los Angeles area. I also recommend watching her art journal videos - her work is just AMAZING and she is an inspirational teacher and artist!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"HELP" has arrived!

Hello dear blog readers!
I've received some "help" at my office mail box to get me through the last remaining weeks of employment!!

Here is what I found in the post this morning upon my arrival to the office:

from a fellow Artful Journey attendee and from Studio Mailbox - hooray for mail art!

I took a day off yesterday for "self care" and got much done, including some much needed rest. When I arrived to the office this morning, I checked our mail box and found these lovely goodies!

We've had some rain in the past two days, which I'm happy for, but when the Studio Mailbox envelope fell out of my hand it landed on the wet sidewalk! I managed to save as much of the original artwork as I could but I think the rain water added some character!

Helpful Postcard...

colorful dancing ladies - yes, Diana gets me!

This postcard came from Artful Journey and Scorpio Soul sister Diana, who I blogged about last year. She was in my Artful Journey class this year and she is not just a fabulous lady but a generous one too! The message on the back cracks me up:

"One of the ladies on the front of this card is you on the last day of work - only you can say which one!"

Hmmm, I'll say it's Me, Myself and I!! ;)

The postcard is from the National Museum of Women in the Arts and Diana is well aware of my "Currency of Strength" and my feminist leanings, so she knows I would appreciate a card from that museum! Thank you Diana!

Helpful Mail Art...

mmmm! lots of goodies to make more collage art and mail art too!

WOW! Look at this goodness from TJ at Studio Mailbox! As if the envelope wasn't enough artful-ness, it was packed with "inchies" made by her, some German stamps from other mailings, a wood stamped sticker and her trademark pretzel! I have read her blog and love the posts on pretzel sightings, not to mention her stand on creating original artwork.

I'd rather have "pretzel art" than "pretzel logic"* any day!! Thank you TJ!

***   ***   ***

I can not say "thank you" enough to those of you who have reached out since I put out my call for help last week and I really have to thank Kat and her blog post for helping me realize I can ask for help, as we can and should when the need arises.

I'd also like to thank another Artful Journey sister, Cathy, for linking to my "call for help" on her blog - it was great way to help Cathy! Many thanks and Happy Birthday to you!

I've got some things planned to share with you very soon and tomorrow I will share my weekend with Orly in her "Journaling with See-side in Mind" workshop this past weekend...

I hope you are having a creative day, wherever you are!

* - "Pretzel Logic" is a phrase I use when describing the logic used in my current workplace which seems to be part of the current lexicon these days; it's also the title of an album by the band Steely Dan, which is pretty cool music!

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Call and Response" - once again, just in case!

It appears that there are some wild and woolly things happening with Blogger these past few days and blog posts and comments are being sucked into a black hole...

 this is my idea of a black hole ;)

So this post is a follow-up to my "call" for help I put out on Wednesday because I thought this follow-up post had disappeared...and it may yet disappear again*!

But it never hurts to say "thank you" over and over again =-)

***   ***   ***

...I wish I had the time and the memory to remember all that I addressed in my message of gratitude from yesterday, but suffice to say that my call for help from the other day has yielded some great responses from blog buddies, blog readers and a few passers-by!

I have had a few messages telling me that my actions were brave to ask for help, though I didn't feel brave at the time...but it has helped me to realize that it's okay to ask for help.

Here is the post from my blog buddy Kat that began it all - please go and read it and think about where YOU can ask for help in your life. My experience in asking for the help I need during these last few weeks of working in a horrible environment has been SO relieving and it released a burden I had been carrying alone for too long...

Many thanks to all of you who have been responding to my call for help! I am so lucky to be part of this amazing community of creative bloggers!

A Community of Support is the best tool an Artist can have =-)

If you are interested in sending some help my way, please email me at thecreativebeast (at) gmail (dot) com so I can send you the address for you to send me some encouragement in the next few weeks - I would LOVE to see something from YOU in the mail =-)

* - All this disappearing is a good reason to email me directly if you are interested in sending a little help my way!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"Call and Response"!

Thank you to those of you who have been responding to my call for help from yesterday! I said if only one person responded it would be worth it and putting out the call for help has really helped me in many ways...

There have been wonderful messages from people telling me my action was a brave* thing to do, though it didn't feel very brave at the time. I had been reluctant to speak of this problem because, really, who wants to hear about ISOLATION? It is NOT a fun or creative topic, but it is something that many of us may face at some point in our lives and to suffer through it alone is unacceptable, in my view.

I have slowly been learning that people really do want to help when and where they can. If you see the outpouring of GIVING that happens in the face of a natural disaster, you can see the impulse to GIVE, to HELP, is something we all want to do for one another!

Kat's post about asking for help was a great story because it really illuminated some important points. If you read her story, you will see that when she began to feel her injury, she was taking all the necessary steps of SELF CARE, in preparation for the physical difficulties that were coming. What she forgot to do was to ask for help where she would need it...

Of course it was hard to ask for help, when she states a history of outcomes from the past:

"Some of my hesitation comes from past experience of asking for help and being ignored, let down, or downright refused."

I've been there.

But I also know that it's not always the case that I will be refused help, if I know where I can go to get the help I need.

This is where COMMUNITY comes in and knowing who you can really trust.

A Circle of Community is one of the best tools an artist can have!

I'm also learning it's important to let go of expectations when requesting help - not everyone can give what you most need, when you most need it, but if you allow those in your community to give what they can, when they can, every little bit of help that comes your way will be wonderful. After all, a community works best when each person is allowed to contribute their best skills and talents =-)

It's not always easy to let go of expectations, believe me, I'm not the best of letting go of my own expectations of a LOT of things! But it does get better with practice, as I'm learning...

Thank you again to those of you who have responded to my call for help! This community of creative bloggers is SO AMAZING and I'm so lucky to be a part of it!

***   ***   ***
For those of you who might be wondering what a "call and response" is, it refers to a style of playing music in the jazz world and it's most often employed in gospel music. Here are a few examples of my favorite "call and response" tunes:

This video is just the music only, but if you care to see what "making a joyful noise" can look like, the film version of this tune can be found HERE...but I highly recommend watching the entire film "The Blues Brothers". It's a foot-tapping valentine to the music of Rhythm and Blues (R&B)!

And here's one of my favorite "call and response" jazz tunes as played by jazz drummer, Buddy Rich on The Tonight show with Johnny Carson:

REMEMBER: If you send out a "CALL", you could get an awesome "RESPONSE"! But you won't know until you try...

If you're interested in sending some encouragement to my office, please e-mail me at thecreativebeast (at) gmail (dot) com. I'm hoping to receive a few messages before June is over and we vacate the office permanently...and I'd love to receive something from YOU =-)

* - I've also received messages of what a great action of SELF CARE my call for help was and I'm an advocate for SELF CARE - be sure to take care of yourself today!=-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Worthy of a little help...

Once again, I've been a bit quiet here at my blog for reasons that have been hard to write about since it deals with feelings of ISOLATION. Luckily, the Universe sent a message through an Earth Angel* to help me move out of the darkness...

One of my blog buddies, Kat, has started a great weekly prompt called Worthiness Wednesday and today she posted a great prompt in asking for help.

Asking for help is a tough thing for many women, since we are taught at an early age to help others, often at the cost of our own selves. This is not a "helpful" behavior to have and I have long battled the urge to do it all myself. I have been learning in the past few years to ask others for help in such things as creating my blog banner and blog button (thanks to my dear boyfriend!), how to start a blog (thanks to this VERY funny fellow performance artist and creative gal), and how to begin living on my own terms (thanks to my awesome Life Coach!).

But sometimes it's hard to know when you need help, especially when you are facing a unique situation and don't know how to proceed...

Thanks to Kat's prompt in asking for help, it FINALLY dawned on me that what I need at this time in my life is HELP - help in dealing with the daily isolation I face every day I walk into the office. I know its only 36 more working days until my last day at this job, but I have been suffering through the ordeal of extreme isolation in my office nearly every day for over a year and it's been overwhelming...

Luckily, I've been greeted with these lovely roses when I enter "The Compound", but it still feels like a prison here, despite the beauty...

I do have a cool co-worker who also blogs and he does stop by the office when he can, but his job mostly takes him out in the field. The other staff I (supposedly!) work with in my 'department', including my current supervisor, have been hiding out at different facility that is more convenient for them to drive to, which has added resentment to rage at my isolation...

This "rage doll" was made for my previous supervisor to HELP her deal with a difficult colleague...I miss my old supervisor - she GOT me!

Now you might think I should explain the situation to my current supervisor but they were unable to separate the difference of isolation from being lonely. I had to tell this story in order to illustrate the difference:

One morning at work, I went out to my car to get my lunch bag but had forgotten my security badge back in  my office on my desk. I was now locked out of the building and NO ONE ELSE WAS IN THE BUILDING. There is another department** that works in our facility, but no one had arrived to work yet beside myself. I had my car keys, but no driver license to drive anywhere, no cell phone (also left on my desk), no wallet to use a pay phone if there had been one. I thought I could wait it out for someone from the other department to arrive but after 20 minutes passed the thought that they might be at an ALL DAY TRAINING occurred to me and then I began to have a crying fit at being locked out of the building and no one to help me.

I was ISOLATED with no sign of HELP anywhere.

After 45 minutes someone from the other department finally showed up (but the idea that I was working in a hostile and isolating environment had already established itself).

My current supervisor still doesn't understand and I don't really want them around me anyway...moving on! ;)

I have written about the job situation in a previous post and when I look back on that post I realize that it was stripped of all emotion...at least I think it was. But I have to be honest before I can ask for help:

I have been battling so much rage due to the isolation I have endured for so very long and I'm so tired of it!

Our favorite feature of this "rage doll" - the "hidden" message under her dress!

Thanks to my life coach I have slowly been whittling away at the rage but lately the isolation has been affecting me keenly and I haven't been able to figure out how to work through it...until Kat suggested asking for help.

All in a flash, I thought of a possible way to ask for help from YOU, Dear Blog Reader. I need to find a way to get through the daily isolation from now until approximately June 30th and this is my request for help and possibly a radical one:

I would LOVE to receive a small token from you by mail, sent to my work address. I thought it should be sent to my home address, but I am feeling the isolation most acutely at the office and to receive a token item at that location would be the best thing for me. It would remind me that there is someone out there who is acknowledging the fact that I need some contact with the outside world and that contact is COMING TO ME WHERE I NEED IT MOST.

When I ask for a small token here is what I have in mind:
  • a post card of someplace different with a fun message - feel free to send a hokey travel souvenir postcard! Some of you readers come from across the pond and postcards from those places would be a great addition to my collection of postcards from other peoples travels =-)
  • send a lovely quote of humor or thoughtfulness
  • send a letter telling me of something interesting you did the day you wrote the letter - reading about someone else's day will take me out of my own day!
  • make a fun art tag and send it
  • send a scrap of fabric or ribbon and I do mean SCRAP! I really don't need fabric or ribbons at this time ;)
  • send a small drawing or photograph - it doesn't even have to be one you made!
  • send a message of encouragement regarding my future creative endeavors
  • send me a joke or funny story - I LOVE jokes!
  • send me some of your favorite music on a disc - I LOVE music!
  • send a cool business card you've seen - I love seeing cool business cards! You can even send me YOUR business card - I'm sure it looks fabulous!
  • a funny comic you enjoy - it's been AGES since I last looked at the funny pages of my local newspaper =-(
  • anything fun and creative you care to send my way - I trust you to CREATE something wonderful!
I believe that receiving anything on the above list will help me get through my days and create a type of magic I really need in this last stretch of employment in a horrible environment. I believe YOU, Dear Blog Reader can help me create that magic!

mail art is like magic traveling through the postal system =-)

And now, here are just a few things I don't want:
  • quotes on endurance, perseverance or resilience - I think we can now establish I have LOTS of that! ;)
  • items of "office" humor - I prefer to think ahead to my creative future =-)
  • please do not send anything too bulky - our mail box is not a big one and I do prefer something small for reasons I'll state below...
In exchange for you sending some HELP my way I will send something of equal value back to you: postcard, fabric scrap, quote, drawing or photo, etc. I may even send you a mail art postcard hand made by yours truly! It may take a bit of time to send my "thank you" but you will receive something for helping me get through my days.

If you are interested in sending a little help my way, please e-mail me at thecreativebeast (at) gmail (dot) com*** and I can send you the address to send your token of assistance and encouragement.

I would say that you can email me a message but I would prefer to have an actual item to handle that I can keep - I may even make an art book from whatever is sent my way! I will certainly share that with you and I will definitely share what comes in as it comes in...and if only one item comes through, this request has been worth it!

I have been holding back tears as I have been writing this post - the act of asking for this help has really unloaded a burden I have been carrying for so long and I have Kat to thank for this relief. Kat, you are amazing!

PLEASE GO TO KAT'S POST and think about where YOU can ask for help in your life. It is a very relieving thing to do and we really DON'T have to do it all, all by ourselves...

We are worthy of help in our lives.

* - you know those Earth Angels who show up with words of wisdom, sympathy, humor, or who show up to help when most needed - we are all Earth Angels throughout our lives

** - I do see the other folks in the other department but I don't feel free to just pop into their office for a chat, but I do see them around the facility throughout the day

*** - please do send an e-mail - I usually respond to comments privately but not all commenters have the option of responding directly to them but I can always respond to an e-mail =-)