Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mail Day

There was a time when I would only get the mail once a week. At the time, I didn't receive much of it and what I was receiving was a bunch of junk with a bill thrown in here and there for good measure by the mail system. Nothing exciting. And yet, we all know how good it feels to receive a nice piece of unexpected mail. A pretty card or even a package perhaps. 

Over the past few years, my love of mail has grown tremendously. With emails, texts, and with so much of our lives being online, sending mail seems to be a lost form of art and way of life. It's terribly sad. 

That's one of the reasons why there seems to be great pleasure in sending a piece of mail. It's almost a guaranteed way to brighten someones day. 

As of late, my grandmother is on my mind often and without being able to visit her in the nursing home much more than once a week, I'm trying to send her a piece of fun mail a week. Just a little something to brighten to her day and to let her know she is thought about and loved. So simple and yet, very special. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013


A few months ago I was asked to participate in a show opening with a peacock theme. No other rules, than said theme and the piece needs to be framed. Peacocks are such a stunning bird, I remember thinking what an easy muse. This will be a walk in the park. 

It turned out to be anything but a walk in the park. A while back I sat down to start creating and was unbelievably stuck. STUCK - yep, that's right. Stuck in all caps and bold. I've been stuck before and with time, I've been able to move through it, but not this time. I did one Google image  search after another looking at real life pictures of peacocks, kids drawings of them, paintings and more and was still left uninspired. With a week to go, panic was sinking in. 

My process tends to be one of unconscious thinking. I like to be in my space, happy and relaxed, playing around with elements that strike me at that particular moment. Over thinking the process is a total buzz kill to my approach and that's exactly what I was doing. 

Letting go of that 'being in my head' and instead sitting, playing and painting lead me straight to my latest piece. It's a combination of burlap, lace, paper, paint, pearls, glitter and a flower - some of my favorite elements, in a new and fresh combination. 

The hanging of it will take place this coming Saturday and as much as I'm a 'proud peacock' over it [sorry, couldn't help myself], I'm quietly hoping it does not sell. I'd like to hold onto it a little bit longer. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Scarf

This past weekend was a cold one here. The warmest spot in the house was in my studio with the sun streaming in through the window. The sun also was shining on a stack of clothes that have been in the lineup for a few upcylce projects. 

This striped  T-shirt was calling out along with some purple fabric that was left over from another project from last summer. Wanting to use the striped shirt as the primary fabric for my scarf, I trimmed along the seams and removed them along with the sleeves, leaving the front and back of the shirt without any seams. 

Luckily there was a panel of the purple fabric too, which helped add some length to the scarf. Each of the panels were trimmed so that they were the same length. 

Once the three panels were sewn together [with a large break in the middle to fix the sewing machine - thank you to my husband], I trimmed out a piece of long lace I had to match the width and length of the T-shirts and sewed that onto the T-shirts.

It added a nice soft feminine touch along with a little rosette that was hand sewn on at the end using a thin piece of T-shirt, rolled up. And now, lovely readers, I am ready for spring!  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bottoms Up

As many people sport their Irish pride this weekend in the form of wearing and drinking green, we're celebrating with our new juicer. It arrived earlier in the week and sat on the kitchen counter as we studied it on and off for days, not quite sure what to make of this foreign looking object. There was this small voice in the back of my head that kept asking, 'what if we don't like all these green juices we plan on making?' After all, I've never been a huge fan of my leafy greens. 

Fast forward and said juices, are being made multiple times a day with anticipation of drinking a juice with more beautiful flavors than my little taste buds could have imagined. It's more than the great taste and beautiful colors though that have me singing praise for juicing, it's also the powerful kick of nutrients flooding my body without all the stress on the digestive tract when consuming large amounts of produce throughout the day in order to get the proper fill of fruits and veggies. 

It's safe to say this new juicer is here to stay. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday's Quote

My love for quotes runs deep [you may have already guessed that though]. Since I was in high school, I would surround myself with them and I haven't stopped. 

No matter the season, no matter the reason there has always been a quote in my life. They have such power to stir the soul, to soothe and bring comfort, to create the energy needed for change, to walk alongside you when you feel all alone and even to provide perspective. 

This one was shared with me this week, so how could I not share it with all of you?! 

The Guest House

This being human is a a guest house. 
Every morning is a new arrival. 

A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. 

Welcome and entertain them all! 
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them all 
at the door laughing, and invite them in. 

Be grateful for whoever comes, because
each has been sent as a guide from beyond. 

- Rumi 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Truth Be Told

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been in a bit of a funk. Funk = feeling overwhelmed, disconnected, not overly happy and a general sense of blah. It happens to all of us, at least that's what I was telling myself. At first it was easy to toss it up to hormones along with the a stressful day here and there, but when even being in my studio left me feeling uninspired and burned out, I started to become concerned. I like to think of myself as a person who can pick herself up, regardless of the situation, and move forward, and yet, I was struggling to do just that.

My trusty coach help me put everything back into perspective. As I detach from the old ways I used to 'nourish' my body, with a daily 'spoonful' of sugar in one form or another, it's bound to cause some emotional pain. This separation from what I can only compare to a toxic lover, is ending. Sugar and I, well, we go way back. There were lots of good times, the memories are varied and plentiful, but truth be told, they were not all warm, jolly times. There have been countless days when I was left feeling worse for wear.

And now, here I sit recognizing the loss, learning how to be gentle with myself and how to slowly work myself through to a healthier state. As I ground myself in this goodbye, it's like watching this toxic sugary lover slowly sail across the harbor while I firmly stand, grounded in my own strength.

Looking forward I know two things. One it will be challenging and two, it will be worth it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Being Green

Have you ever learned a new word and then proceed to hear it EVERYWHERE?! When this happens to me, it makes me wonder how often I've heard this new word before without even realizing it or if I was meant to learn it just in time for the influx of it's use. Either way, this is precisely how I'm feeling about green smoothies these days.

A month ago, I could have been surrounded by them and quite possibly wouldn't have even given it a second thought. Yet a few short weeks later and I seem to be tuned into the green smoothie craze. There are endless combinations, but leafy greens with cucumber and mango are some of my favorite ingredients to blend together.

I used to end the work day with a cookie [please don't judge], but this is now one of my go-to treats. And wouldn't you know it's healthy and tasty. Not too long ago, in the midst of a stressful day, someone commented how I was glowing. I like to think it's all these green smoothies. If leafy greens tend to get boring in your salad bowl, you must try a green smoothie.

:: Handful of spinach
:: Half dozen slices of cucumber
:: Few chunks of mango
:: Half a banana
:: Tablespoon of raw almond butter
:: 1 cup of almond milk

Blend until smooth and enjoy a refreshing, nourishing and satisfying treat.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday's Quote

It's my little Grammy's [on the left] birthday. This woman whom I adore, has taught me many great life lessons just by being herself. Her kindness and grace with a little bit of sass thrown in for good measure is a perfect combination in my eyes. 

I've always loved watching how she is with new and old friends alike. Her warmth and smile is simply charming. It doesn't hurt that she's tiny either. People just love her. 

On this snowy day in March, I dedicate this quote to her. "...there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." Scott Adams 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Seeds of Change

The past couple of weeks, I've been in a state of eyes wide open to the wonderful world of eating raw foods and how to replace those everyday processed foods with nutritious ingredients that leave me feeling nourished, satisfied and glowing from the inside out.

Coincidence that spring is also upon us and it's the perfect time to start planting seeds indoors? I think not. In the past I've always purchased plants ready to be planted in the garden and I stuck with some basic plants like tomatoes, green beans and basil. 

This year, with a beautiful cup of tea by my side, I planted those basics with the addition of arugula, endives, Swiss Chard, mint, chives, parsley, cucumbers and zucchini. Oh how I'm looking forward to watching these seeds grows alongside the new ways I choose to be nourished. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lucky Star

Imagine a place where days are spent with kindred spirits learning and making among the ancient Cypress trees with views of rugged limestone hills along the Guadalupe River. The sweet smell of Sycamore trees floating on the breeze and the hillsides covered in native stone cabins, each with their own charm and story to tell; where nights are spent laughing and dreaming under the big Texas sky by the campfire. 

A place where whole living meets art at a sleep away camp. No joke, this place really does exist and it's called, Lucky Star Art Camp. I am over the moon excited to be one of the instructors this fall. Collectively, we are offering an eclectic mix of classes from art to writing, sewing, to canning and preserving to jewelry making. Quite simply, there is a class for every interest. 

My first class, is called Upcycle Your Wardrobe and students are encouraged to bring clothes that may have seen better days or they're tired of or don't quite match their style anymore. With some scraps of fabric, needle and thread and a little creativity it's amazing how they can become a new garment that can be cherished once again. 

My half day class, Stamp It, will teach students how to make their own stamps out of materials, bought and found, instead of relying on mass produced stamps found in the craft stores. The class will truly encourage students to play and allow for time to use their new stamps in a project they maybe working on. 

Whether you attend art camps on a regular basis, or have never been to one, I would highly encourage you to check this one out. Having attending multiple art camps in the past, I can assure you it is well worth the time, planning, money and energy it takes to get there. 

There is something special that happens when you carve out time for you to focus on ideas and projects you have been dreaming of. I am talking about the things daydreams are made of, moments that change your thinking and even change your life. 

Oh and did I mention there is early bird registration deals?! Plus one lucky lady will win free tuition. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday's Quote

'The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play and in love.' Anne Morris 

Back in January I made a resolution, a commitment, to better nourish my body literally and figuratively. And on this first day of March, I'm proud to say that I am learning how to do just that. With the gentle guidance of a health coach, I'm eating better, learning what my body does and does respond to, what I need and when and how to give it true nutrients all while creating an environment that I thrive in. 

There are days when all this is easier said than done, but the commitment has been liberating. The commitment to myself is building a strong foundation for me to stand on, to make bold, courageous moves and to feel more alive than I have in quite a longtime.