Don’t Drink the Water

I often have a cup of tea when I am creating, particularly when I paint, and this is tricky.

I have definitely put my dirty paint water mug up to my lips before and just barely stopped short of drinking paint water thinking it was tea. So naturally when I saw this today I laughed out loud.

dont drink the water

This is an awesome idea but let’s be real this would make zero difference for me. My power of observation is so poor it would still be a crap shoot even with properly labeled mugs. I mean, the paint mug I use is this ugly dark green plastic camping mug, it looks and feels nothing like my tea cups and I have still had a few close calls.

Something else I saw that I totally responded to was this:

doubt

This is so a thing it is unreal! haha.

This was my inner dialogue today when I was sitting on my floor cushion piecing together my wreath:

Yeah.. I got something here, this is cool as hell.

Wait.. That’s not quite right. Shit The glue already dried. Shit. Fuck.

What the fuck am I doing? This is crap. Absolute crap. Dammit!

Okay, now wait a second.. If I just.. Okay, okay, that’s better.

Hell yeah man. Not bad girl. You got this.

The creative process is literally just one long sequence of celebration, cursing, self-doubt, and euphoria. It is a confusing awesome roller coaster that I never get sick of riding.

The Unfinished Thickety

Yesterday did not goes as planned. Such is life. That is why I don’t like to spend too much time making plans when I can help it. I recognize I ultimately have limited control of things and why spend the present planning for a future I have no real say in? Don’t get me wrong, I make plans. I try not to spend a lot of time on small plans though and I do my best to remain flexible as a way to manage my expectations.

So, yesterday the beach did not happen. The weather was overcast with a forecast for rain and I wanted sunshine so we quite literally decided to rain check.

As an alternative we spent the day on projects. It was not as relaxing or revitalizing as the beach but it was still good.

Hubs and I got up in the morning and went to the local hardware store. He picked up the tools needed for his project, I day dreamed in the wood flooring section. He asked a man about roofing tar, I picked out the perfect paint color for a future nursery.

After the hardware store hubs took me to the art supply store. I have been painting something in my head for over a week but none of the canvas I currently have are big enough to hold it so I needed a size upgrade. Lucky for me the canvas were not only marked down, there was a special promotion where when you buy the canvas you get a free paint brush set. Now I am not saying they were world class brushes but I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth either.

Let’s pause for a moment. That is a weird ass saying. I need to know its origins.

Okay, for anyone else that was curious: I was unable to find the origin of the phrase but I was able to determine its meaning. It has to do with the fact that you can gauge a horse’s age by looking at the length of its teeth. When men would deal in horses they would check the teeth of the horse to insure they were getting a good deal and not being cheated with an old horse. The gift horse phrase is implying that when you are gifted a horse it would be rude to check its teeth (look it in the mouth) because regardless of its quality/age it was a gift.

Alright, enough of  that.

After the art store we stopped by the grocery and got our supply for the week and headed home.

I spent the rest of the day painting while hubs was on the roof patching a possible leak. By dinner time we were both finished and settled in for Zaalouk with kalamata olives and basmati rice.

Hubs was checking out my painting and made mention of something I already knew to be true, it looks unfinished.

Good catch.

I finished the landscape of the thickety and it all looks exactly as I envisioned. I cannot tell you how exciting that is. Before I start a new art project I am usually filled with some degree of self-doubt. I have a vision in my head of what I want the finished project to look like and my not-good-enoughs always ask, am I good-enough to bring my vision to life? Unfortunately I do not fully trust in the my own artistic abilities. This was one of those times I was able to restore my own faith though.

art

The painting is inspired by the series I am reading right now, The Thickety. It is a series about witches and woods magic. I am on the second book of the trilogy and it takes place in The Thickety which has been cursed with a sickness by the forest demon. All the flora and fauna are covered in a green sickly moss and navy bluish/black fungus. I got the flora part down and I am pleased but I chickened out when it came time to introduce the fauna to the piece. I am nervous about the scale and my own accuracy. I decided to stop here and come back when I feel ready. I know exactly what I want it to look like but again I just don’t feel confident yet. Maybe after graduation when I have a little down time I will spend some time on it. For now it is just the thickety.

 

 

Sometimes You Just Need a Day

This morning I woke up and rolled over to this face:

need-a-day

That was all the convincing I needed. I am staying home today, the dog needs cuddles. So I rearranged my schedule, sat in my gratitude for having a flexible schedule that allows for these kinds of changes, and got to cuddling.

After a sufficient amount of time cuddling it was time to get up. It was early and I had the whole day ahead of me with nothing on my calendar. Nothing. I love the way that word sounds when used in the context of my schedule.

I had my tea and meditated in the silence of my home. Once my intention for the day was set it was off the the art supply store to polish off the rest of my gift card money from the holidays.

I have a few different art projects on my list right now. Some are for me, some are for loved ones, and some are to do with my clients.

I got all my supplies for my various projects and headed to the check out line. I was standing in line admiring the art supplies that the silver haired woman in front of me was purchasing when the magazine rack next to me caught my eye. What caught my eye specifically was the piece on the front cover of a magazine that read: 70 Everyday Bits of Magic Worth Celebrating. In my head I started compiling a list of my own everyday magic. I looked back at the magazine; another piece on the cover read: Living an Intentional Life.
Okay magazine you made your point. I proceeded to put it in my basket and check out.

I spent the rest of the day on the art project I plan to do with clients. We have adult coloring books at our agency that many clients use as a coping tool. Recently my supervisor and I brainstormed an art project that takes the coloring pages a step further into a therapeutic art project. This came after my supervisor bought a bunch of canvases on sale at the art store and came to me asking what kind of project we could do with them.

I took myself back outside today to create because it was another beautiful day. Not to mention that the clean up is way easier when I don’t have to lay a drop cloth.

need-a-day2need-a-day1

I lit my candle for creative inspiration, colored my coloring page, grabbed my paints and created a colorful background on my canvas. From there I modpodged my coloring page on to my canvas and added odds and ends for pizzazz. (That word is weird right? Pizzazz..)

need-a-day4

When I was done with my art project I cleaned up my supplies, did a few chores, and then because I was feeling really domestic today I even made a berry crumble for after dinner. I always keep rolled oats around just in case I feel like baking something easy.

While my crumble baked I caught up with two of my soul friends by phone. One of them is coming to stay with me at the end of this week and I am over the moon. I cannot wait to be in her presence.

After everything else was finished I curled up in my blankets on the couch and read my magazine. It has been a long time since I have bought a magazine. The last one I purchased was an art magazine. This felt a little foreign but this magazine is very me from cover to cover.

need-a-day3

It was a good day and sometimes you need one of those.

Healing Through Art

Yesterday when I received the email from my relative I mentioned that I did not read it, only the first line. This is true but that first line was enough to leave me shaken, quite literally.

I have been taking good care to protect myself from the negativity of the world for some time now. It started with my decision to no longer watch violent TV, then I stepped back from watching the news everyday, then I made the decision to remove myself from social media, then I started to became mindful of how I spend my time and made the decision to be selectively social.

In order to be able to wake up to my own truth about myself and love and life and everything beyond these things I had to turn down the volume on everything else so I could hear my own truth and inner wisdom.

This has worked for me. I have had more epiphanies in all of these areas thanks to my solitude and silence than I have ever experienced previously in my life.

I will not go on this way forever. I may continue with some of these decisions such as my absence from social media and my decision to filter out the media and violence but socially I know that I will not remain a hermit long term. What is point of these epiphanies if I cannot build connection through sharing my truth with others and those I love?

For now this where I am at and I know with my whole being it is where I am meant to be.

These choices I have made have in essence been like a spiritual cleanse. An emotional/spiritual detox of sorts. A resetting of my soul and being. Because of this I have noticed that my level of emotional sensitivity has become heightened.This truth is what made my relative’s email so unbearable for me today. It is the reason I only got through the first sentence before I said to myself, No. I will not expose myself to this poison.

We receive invitations all day long through our interactions with the outside world. What is important to remember is that we are not obligated to accept these invitations. When my relative wrote that email he was essentially saying here is this darkness I have that I am not able to hold, I am bringing it to you so you can hold it for me and I can feel better. I knew immediately I could not grant this request for him. I declined this invitation and chose not to read the email as an act of self-love and emotional preservation.

That first sentence I read was like being bit by a venomous spider. I had a physical reaction. I began to shake. I recognized immediately the reaction I was having and stopped. I will not suffer to ease someone else’s suffering. I do not owe anyone that. I will not burn to keep someone else warm.

I took sometime to recover. Took a deep breath and wrote my truth in my response. After I felt better. I also sent a separate email to my extended family to offer them love and support and healing energy I felt they all might need to balance any difficult emotions they may be grappling with after the initial email from our relative.

Once I had done what I felt comfortable doing for those I love it was time to take care of me. I knew what I needed today: light, gray, AND, nature, painting, and writing. This is what that looked like for me..

  • I changed into my favorite gray clothing to wrap my soul in my own truth: that the world is not black and white, it is beautiful shades of gray where everything is allowed to exist together.
  • I lit my gray candle for healing and two more tea lights to bring light and love through the amethyst stones that held them.
  • I grabbed my art supplies and headed outside to set up shop among the leaves that blanket my backyard.

healing-and-art2

I spent the afternoon in the company of Lu, the squirrels, the leaves and trees, and gusting wind that would occasionally blow pollen and leaves into my paint and down my shirt. The afternoon was gray and overcast and I know the Universe did that for me because today I needed to feel the all consuming comfort and healing of the gray.

Lu looked on as I released the toxins from my system by slapping and spattering paint on to my canvas and across the leaves that served as my back drop. Gray and black and white and every color of the rainbow came flying off my paint brush and from my fingers in a mess of color and pain and love and surrender.

Then I began to write. I gave voice to every AND that was banging around in my soul. I bled it all out until I felt clean again. Until I knew it had all been heard, and seen, and released.

healing-and-arthealing-and-art1

As I look at this piece on my book shelf I have unending gratitude. It is holding so much for me and it does so without needing anything from me in return. This is how I know I am on a path of love and acceptance and healing. I did this for myself. I took my pain and I made something beautiful with it. In this way I AM THE ALCHEMIST.

This is a representation of the AND I am always talking about. This is life. It is messy AND confusing AND dark AND colorful AND light AND love AND GRAY.

There is room for everything here. The pain I felt when I read the first line of that email AND the clarity I felt in the message I was meant to send. The rage I had over what was said about someone else I love AND the compassion I felt for my family member who is clearly sitting in the middle of their own pain. The ability to express my own truth in that moment AND make room for others to express their own truth as well.

This is not easy work to do. I have not come to any of this in ease or grace. It is only through willingness to embrace my own darkness and shadows and love them fully that I have been able to wake up to my truth and share it so earnestly.

I am still working, I think I always will be. I know what took place here was important though and I wanted to make sure to give it recognition. I think it was another small step towards my something bigger, whatever that may be.

How the Year Began

Happy New Year. Welcome to 2017. I am sure we all have hopes and ideas about what this year will be, I know I do. The word that has come up for me that I think will represent 2017 is transformation. I have been giving much thought to what that might mean and how to take this over arching theme and narrow it down to deliberate intentions.

While I sit with my year theme and am drawn towards my intentions I decided to go ahead and just get the year started. And this year started in the best way I could possibly think, by creating.

I woke up the other morning with the last dream I had still lingering in my head. When I got up I immediately got some tea and started drawing before the images slipped from my mind and I returned completely to reality. It was a beautiful dream. I was at a beach with Todd staying in a cozy beach cottage. We were near a city, it felt like Chicago. When I looked out the window I saw the most amazing scene so I went outside for a closer look. Standing on the beach I saw the crashing waves with sky scrapers as a back drop. Out in the water there were rainbow flags structured into arches and set up every few feet, it looked as though a jet ski could drive through them. And further on in the distance you could see a stunning rainbow standing out boldly among the buildings of the city.

Today i painted the drawing of the dream.

flags-in-the-ocean-dream

While the paint was drying on the canvas I started another project..

Last week Moo came over for her sleepover. She and I did quite a bit of painting together while she stayed with us. We painted a winter scene on a canvas together that included a Christmas tree, snowman, and Santa’s workshop. We also made joyous bell sticks together. We took a walk at the park with hubs and Lu and found the perfect sticks. When we got home hubs cut them to an appropriate, more manageable size for us. Maddie and I painted and added glitter and then she picked her ribbons for adornment once the paint dried. Maddie also made some of her own art using water color paints and painting paper.

When I was done with my canvas I opened my painting paper book and noticed Maddie left an unfinished piece in the book. I decided to take it out and finish it.

Something I struggle with when Maddie and I paint on canvas together is a propensity towards perfectionism. I catch myself every time we paint together. I know this comes from my own artistic neuroses, and I do not like projecting it on to Maddie’s creations so I am very mindful to manage this when I am create with her.

I saw this recently and it is what I think about when Maddie and create together. It helps me to remember that “perfection” is not real and it not a thing when it comes to art and that I should allow her to be as free as possible when we get creative together.

moo2

I channeled this today when I was working on the piece Moo started. I had no clear intention for what I was doing, I just allowed myself to be free and let the art create itself. I am quite happy with the results, I think my inner 5 year old approves as well.

family

I think Moo may have been drawing a stick figure family when she started the piece so I did have that vague thought as I painted but otherwise it made itself into exactly what it was meant to be.

Finally, I finished my wearable art piece. I had purchased some patches a while ago that I loved but did not have a plan for. Then when I was doing the last overhaul of my wardrobe I found a denim vest I have not worn since summer, it felt like the perfect blank canvas. I ironed my patches on today and I am very happy with the end result.

Each patch meant something special to me, I love that they all get to exist here together. I think I may still add to it, it does not feel quite complete to me. We’ll see how it evolves over time.

Hubs also started the year on a creative foot. He worked all day on an engineering/electrical project while I painted and created. Now we will make dinner together and play games for the rest of the evening. It was a good first day and a nice way to begin again.

From Walls to Fences

Earlier this year I wrote this post about growth. Today I painted this piece to go along with that post.

constant-gardner

I have been laying this one out in my mind for a while. I was not sure whether or not I wanted to include the wall but the truth is it is still there. There are parts of my emotional landscape I still do not share openly, only a few people have the key to that door. What is behind that door is even more beautiful and special than what is visible beyond the fence but it also more fragile. I hope one day I am able to trust the world a little more and bring that wall down once and for all, I am also hopeful to trust myself enough to take care of me if the world tries to stomp my fragile flowers.

I am very aware of the work I still have to do, it makes me so happy to see a fence and flowers where a wall used to be though.

Week One of Winter Break

It has been an outstanding week. As I wrote that my grandmother’s voice was ringing in my ears, she calls everything that she likes outstanding.

I have had time to paint, finished my Christmas shopping, done a bit of travel, had time with girlfriends, time with family, multiple date nights with hubs, deep cleaning and reorganizing the house.. Week one had a lot of good stuff in it.

Here is what I have painted so far

One was inspired by a sunset I witnessed near our home. I was driving through our little downtown area in our neighborhood and it was setting over the power lines, it was beautiful. The second was inspired by Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. The Wes Craven movie was on last weekend (I love his vision for the classic story) and after watching Mrs. Fox paint storm clouds I thought I would give it a try. I think I have more work to do in this area but it was a fun first attempt. I have really enjoyed breaking in  my new easel.

So I am going to go out of order with my stories.. Tonight I had dinner with a friend from undergrad who I have not seen since graduation in May. She is special. She offered to cook me dinner at her home which I was touched by. After our meal we sat on the couch drinking a delicious tea blend she made and eating dark chocolate I brought as my contribution to the evening. We talked and talked. It was the best kind of conversation; sharing ideas, relating over shared values, talking about culture and social issues, getting personal. It was so refreshing. She shared a story with me that made me cry and I would like to share it.

Someone she works with lost their mother to Alzheimer’s disease. Apparently before getting the disease this woman was a painter and was very self-critical of her work. What was so beautiful is that when the disease had progressed quite a bit the woman no longer recognized her own art, this sounds sad and it absolutely is, there is a twist though. One day she was walking down the hall in her daughter’s home and saw one of her pieces hanging on the wall and stopped to admire it. She thought it was stunning, she really really liked it. When she had painted it she was critical of it then later when she forgot it was hers she was moved by it. This is such a sad, beautiful, special story.

Something else that was unique about the night is the amount of things that went wrong. I showed up and my poor friend was having so many issues. Her A/C had gone out and was leaking all over her carpet, the blender broke and she was making coquito which apparently she blends at the end to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated so she was not able to do that like she wanted, she had no ice to cool the coquito after being in the hot pot on the stove, her toilet was acting up.. It seemed like it was one thing after another for her. I have to tell you though I had such a great time just being with her that I barely noticed any of it. I also kind of loved that it was such a human experience. Things go wrong, that is life. We cannot control everything, things break at the worst possible time, like when you are having a friend over for the first time. It was a great night because of the energy we shared, nothing was going to going to take away from that.

This past weekend was wonderful. Hubs and I went St. Augustine Friday and stayed in a fancy hotel at the beach (totally out of the norm for us). We walked all over the sweet little downtown area, did some Christmas shopping, stayed to watch the entire city light up with white Christmas lights, had dinner.. We checked out the love tree, and the cemeteries, and got a gourmet popsicle on our way back to our hotel.

It was relaxing and romantic and fun. I love exploring with him.

The next morning we got up and drove up the coast to Jacksonville to visit my soul friend.

Her apartment is cozy and inviting. The art on her walls is inspiring. She has a piece by the same artist who painted our boxer piece, that one is my favorite of all the pieces my girlfriend has. The piece I painted her hangs in her bedroom. We explored a small area of her downtown, had dinner on a rooftop, and walked by the river before returning to her apartment. That night she made us Moscow mules (I had a mocktail as I was finishing up an antibiotic) and we played games with her and a friend she invited over. I lost at everything, so did she, hubs won all the games.

The next morning we came home, picked up Lu from my parents and spent the rest of the day at home watching movies and playing games together.

Today I was cleaning and reorganizing and managed to finally finish the work I have been doing on my wardrobe for nearly a year. I have been cutting back on the amount of clothes in my closet for sometime. I used to use clothing as a way to numb. I have gotten better about not numbing and allowing myself to feel what I need to feel. This year I have been whittling down the amount of clothes I own little by little. Every time I purge I give clothes away to friends and family or at a sip and swap. This is the last of it and I thinking about donating some to a women’s shelter (there are a good bit of professional clothing from when I worked in the corporate world and I thought that might be good for women going on interviews etc) I also think I might try to sell a little bit of it. Regardless of what I decide to do it just feels good to part with this hoard. I definitely feel like this year I have gotten a handle on habits that were harmful to me in the past, shopping being one. Finally being at a point where I can keep all of my clothing in one closet in my home without that closet bursting at the seams makes me feel good.

I also finished my Christmas shopping today. Last week when I was taking my last final my best friend at school informed me that she bought me a birthday and Christmas present. I was completely caught off guard. She is coming over tomorrow so we can spend some time together and because she wanted to give me my gifts. I thought for a while about whether or not to get her a gift as well. In group therapy my therapist has talked to us before about the act of receiving without feeling the need to reciprocate. This would be a wonderful time for me to practice receiving without feeling the need to give. In the end though I realized I just was not there yet. I love her and wanted to have something to give her as well. I needed to get my Dad a bookstore gift card anyway so while I was there I picked up a copy of Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey (I highly recommend it to everyone but especially all my female readers). Then I ran to another store to pick her up a small Himalayan salt lamp.

While I was waiting in line to check out the woman in front of me turned around and said my name I looked up to see a dear friend standing in front of me in line with her husband. I was over the moon, it was the happiest surprise! I really really like this person and do not get to see her as often as I would like due to both of our busy schedules. I could not have been more tickled. We caught up as we moved through the line and parted with a hug. Really thankful for that little moment.

While at the bookstore I also picked up Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. It has been recommended to me multiple times by my therapist and professors at school, I am finally ready for this story. You cannot read certain things until you feel totally ready because you have to know you are open to receive the message, somehow I know I am ready now. Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton is another book that is on my reading list right now. It was recommended to me by multiple women and I think it will help me with the work I will start doing next year around my relationship with my body. I think I am going to need support wherever I can find it when I start that work, at least at first.

So this is where I am at. Tomorrow I will spend time with my bestie from school, Thursday my mother has talked me into Christmas baking with my grandmother and niece at her house, Friday Isaac is spending the night, then Christmas will be upon us.

I am grateful for the love and connection this holiday season is bringing. A lot of what my friend and I talked about tonight centered around connection, a post for another day. I am happy with the way the year is ending and look forward to the dawning of the next. I am looking forward to quiet time for reflection over the next few weeks to really sit with my intention for the new year and what this transformation will mean to me.

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

comfort-and-joyI love that line from a familiar Christmas carol. What a beautiful sentiment.

Today I went to a holiday party at my internship. I am grateful that myself and the two other interns were invited, it was a celebration like none I have ever experienced in a professional setting. There was dancing, and singing (impromptu in both cases, it is not like there was a dance floor or music set up), and my favorite part.. expressions of gratitude.

We had a White Elephant gift exchange and it was where a lot of the theatrics really came out. People were dancing on their way up to choose their gift, people were chasing other people when gifts were attempting to be stolen. Our staff is tight knit and you felt the energy of that closeness today, I am glad I got to be part of the energy and witness the greatness of this team.

My contribution to the gift giving was a gray (the color choice was quite intentional) leather bound planner and a glass water bottle with fruit infuser core. The intention behind my gift was to give the gift of health and balance. My intern supervisor stole it from someone else and ended up with it, that felt right.

After the Christmas party I went to the art supply store. My parents and my in-laws both gave me gift cards to the art supply store for my birthday, I was eager to spend a little. I wandered around the aisle of acrylics to see if there was a color I wanted that I did not already have or maybe a fun brush that I would never typically spend the money on. Then I moved on to frames and then felt. I wandered like this for 30 minutes, waiting for the right thing to hit me. Then it did. I stepped out of the canvas aisle and there it was. A sign that said 60% off all easels. Holy Shit! I started running the calculations in my head and realized I had my choice of easel. Even the regularly priced 200.00 easel was in my budget with the gift card money I was gifted. Holy Shit!! I chose to play it conservative and not blow all my gift money on one thing (but I cannot express to you how tempting it was to get the easel I have always dreamed of). I got a table top easel that was on sale for 25.00, it was a steal.

Up to this point I have been swiping some of hubs text books from his bookshelf and propping them behind my canvas when I paint. This was an exciting purchase, way better than any over priced fancy paint brush!

I know I will have plenty of opportunity to paint while on break. My first opportunity actually presented itself last week. My supervisor at internship asked if I would paint a sign for “the counselor’s corner” at the office. I happily agreed. The counselor’s corner is a new idea that our supervisor came up with a few weeks ago. It is a bulletin board in the main room where our clients spend most of their time. On it will be fun (appropriate) facts about the counselors as a way to build further rapport with the clients, inspirational quotes, therapeutic this and that (breathing exercises or self-care tips). My supervisor wanted something whimsical (my personal specialty). This is what I came up with:

counselor-corner

I am not going to lie to you, this is a recycled design that I have created multiple times before. As this was a quicky project though I needed to pull from my reserves and go with something I knew how to do fast and well. My supervisor loves it. She found a way to laminate it and added yellow and purple pom poms to the corners to accent the lightening bugs and purple flowers. I love that I was able to create something that will be used even after I leave. I am grateful she gave me this opportunity.

Today was a day filled with joy and comfort (specifically comfort food). It was a wonderful first day of winter break. I hope to have many more like it and wish joy and comfort to all of you who are reading this. Thanks for walking this journey with me. I hope this holiday season brings you love, connection, comfort, and joy.

A Glorious Mess of Color and Noise

drum

A little over a month ago I shared that I attended a meditation/sister circle that ended with a drum circle. Let me tell you about this drum circle.

After we concluded our formal meditation we went outside. Set up around a stone fire pit were 8-10 hand drums set in front of a circle of corresponding chairs. Each drum had a slightly different shape, some were more squat and wide, others taller and more slender. They also had different designs, some were plain without much color, others had elaborate detail and were wildly colorful. Each of us took a moment to decide where to sit based on which drum spoke to us. I ended up choosing a squat drum with a colorful pattern.

Once we had chosen our drum we were encouraged to get acquainted with it. We all took this to mean different things, some people banged on their drum to familiarize themselves with the sound, others rubbed the top and sides to see how it felt, I grabbed mine around the middle and hugged it.

After this moment spent with our drum the real fun began. We were guided at first, we were taught the different ways to hit the drum in order for it to make different sounds, we were also taught how not to hit the drum in order to avoid finger injury. After a few moments of practice it was time to begin. Our leader got us started, she began her beat and the way it worked is that when she felt ready she would look to her right indicating that she was ready for that person to join in, this went on all the way around the circle until everyone had joined in and we had many different sounds playing all together.

During another point our leader brought out all kinds of fun hand instruments for us to try. Some opted to stick with the hand drum, others sounds that joined in were that of a wooden hand instrument that when played sounded like a frog, there was a high pitched bell similar to a wind chime, there were bells more similar to what you would imagine on a reindeer harness, I played an egg shaker during this time, there was a cow bell as well. All our different unique sounds played together made a glorious mess of noise.

At first all of us were intimidated. I think only one of us, other than our leader, had ever participated in a drum circle before and there was a fear of doing it wrong. I have said before that it is a very vulnerable feeling to allow yourself to be free and create in front of others, the trepidation at the beginning of drum circle speaks to that very truth.

What if I cannot keep the beat? What if I sound stupid? What if everyone looks at me? What if I am too loud?

5 minutes in all that fear washed away. We played with our eyes closed towards the beginning so we could focus on the sound instead of each other and that is when the connection happened. That was the meaningful take away from this experience, the connection. To be able to make your own unique sound that is just yours and is not swallowed up by the noise of any other but to be able to also connect with the collective noise. I was just one drum, just one shaker, just one person.. but without me the group would not have sounded the same. There was no right, there was no wrong, all that mattered is that my sound was heard.

creative

This brings me into the next part of this post. I have been incorporating art into my practice with my clients. I cannot call the work I have been doing art therapy because that is something you have to be certified to do and I am not, but I am creating a space for my clients to express themselves creatively in order to help them with some of the work we are doing together. Art therapy may be on the horizon for me at some point.

One of my focuses with this internship is to give myself space to figure out what kind of therapist I am going to be. What unique thing do I bring to this field? How will I let my unique light shine? Art is certainly part of that because it is a very big part of me. One thing I have learned about myself while in this internship is that I am the kind of therapist that quotes Bob Ross. haha. (Yes I just laughed at myself, I do that. Often.) When I have been leading a creative arts group or working on an art project with a client during individual session I have definitely quoted Bob Ross on more than one occasion. Of course I have. That man knew what he was talking about:

There are no mistakes just happy accidents.

If you don’t like it, change it. It’s your world.

You need the dark in order to see the light.

I mean, yeah. He got it.

Creating this kind of outlet for a person allows them to get out of their head and be free for a moment. It allows them to put down their judgements about themselves and the world and let an inner voice speak. In a world full of black and white ideas about how things are art allows us to step back, call the world on it’s bullshit, and play with the full spectrum of color. Because life is a glorious mess of color, black and white is a myth of existence.

I am grateful for the personal lessons I have learned through allowing my own inner voice to be heard through art, and music, and other creative outlets I make for myself. I am also grateful that this is an area where my light is turned up and I can share my truth with my clients and help them to find their own. This is what makes this work special, this is what makes life special, it is all about finding your own unique voice and knowing how important your contribution to the collective is.

 

Making Magic

For the past few weeks I found myself feeling a bit uninspired. I am so thankful for all my supports when I fall into little slumps like this. One day I came home to this postcard in the mail from one of my friends that was at the meditation/drum circle with me a few weeks ago.

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One: getting personal mail that is not a bill is so fun.
Two: How bad ass is this postcard?! and how bad ass is my girlfriend for thinking of me with it?!

Then for an early birthday present my parents gave me a dozen canvases. I was thrilled. I came home and started with this:

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It does not have a name yet, I am just calling it Alaska because that was the inspiration.

Mid-week last week when I was still sick I spent an entire miserable, feverish day on the couch. I ended up renting BFG because Roald Dahl is one of my heroes (right up there with Shel Silverstein and Jim Henson). It was so good I watched it twice that day. It was so whimsical and full of fantastic magic.

Slowly I felt myself coming back in good place. My joyful, inspired, light place.

Today I finally had a chance to process some of the anxiety I had been dealing with over the last few weeks with my therapist. My internship supervisor brought me some of my work with the rant she went on during supervision a few weeks ago and I am grateful for that. She said it was not about me but I was still triggered by it none the less and have work to be doing in this place, I don’t want to ignore the dark pieces of myself that reacted to what she said and the energy behind her message. I still have work around the word entitlement in particular. I am curious to see what I will learn about myself as I navigate this shadow piece further.

So after therapy I came home and finished working on my joyous bell stick, aka the infinite love shaker, aka Marge. She is ribboned and belled and absolutely beautiful.

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This is where I am at. Inspiration restored, magic flowing through my veins again, ready for some time off to let my inner artist run free (and not a moment too soon).

I have a few more posts to write based on the personal work I am currently doing to help me process it a bit more but I will save it. Not really in the mood right this moment. This week I turn 33 and I am not in the mood for dark writing. I just going to leave you with art and Marge and awesome pots cards and call it a day.

Happy birthday to me. Can’t wait to celebrate with hubs.

Peace, Quiet, and Painting

I woke up this morning and was not feeling great. It was right on that border of Do I push it, do my day, and hope for the best? and If I over dot it I may not be able to do my day tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a big day at internship. We are making the gratitude tree in group and after internship my two friends I intern with are coming over for dinner and to watch a movie as an impromptu Friends-giving. I knew I didn’t want to risk feeling bad tomorrow so I gave myself the day off today in hopes I just needed a day of rest.

Since I was home I did house work, making sure not to over do it. Once I felt good about the state of our home I set up at the fire place and started painting.

Over the weekend when we were with the kids Moo gave me this sweet Thanksgiving card she made for me at school. I about died.

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I am so glad I went through the trouble I did on that Cassiopeia costume. Kids feel it when you put into them, it is why I devote time to just playing with the kids however they want when  I see them. Plus, I just love playing with them.

So when my chores were done I had time for me. I decided it to use it doing one of my favorite things. I am out of canvases so I painted rocks for a while. I painted two for me then one for Maddie and one for Isaac.

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When I was done painting rocks I decided to recycle some of my old pieces that I never fell in love with. So I took some time painting over the original piece with white primer, then got to work on two new pieces.

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When I was finished I put them both up for display. The mountain piece I framed and put on the mantel, the gratitude piece I hung in my walk-in closet with other pieces that make me happy when I open my closet every morning.

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I am glad I gave myself a day to rest. There were a million things I could have been doing, and I did some of them but I drew a line. I am always going to have things I should be doing, I have to be a priority in my life too though. When I feel myself needing a break and I know I can take one without wreaking havoc on my life I am almost always going to take it.

Grateful for the day. It was a good day.

Cleanse Me

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The theme of this weekend was creative expression, it is one of my favorite life themes. Hubs and I got up Saturday morning and went to an art festival taking place not far from our home. The location where the festival was being held is special to us; we have spent much time together there between when we were dating, engaged, and now as newly weds.

We oogled the amazing art displayed by local artists, we watched science experiments taking place on a big stage, but our favorite part was the exhibit we visited at the art museum. The museum had a special exhibit open to the public, it was all the art created by our community in reaction to the Pulse shooting over the summer. As I walked through the exhibit I could not hold back my tears. One piece after another, my heart grew heavier, I was overcome. I was impacted not only by the images I was seeing but the emotion the artists were able to convey. Creating can be a very emotional experience for me, I imagine the artists who painted some of these pieces and how hard it must have been for them. One piece in particular was hard for me to sit with in terms of emotional impact.. The artist had punctured the canvas intentionally creating multiple holes, around the holes the artist used rainbow colors and allowed them to drip down the canvas into a massive rainbow puddle. Even describing it now stirs painful feelings for me. The holes resembled gun shots.. It was stunning and it was hard to hold it together.

The art museum had printed some of the art pieces in mass quantities on photo paper and made them into postcards that could be colored in by the public and then mailed to the local first responders to thank them for how they took care of our community. I was touched. I took 2 postcards and last night my Moo and I colored them in together.

Friday night I painted a still life of a potted orchid on a table. I am happy with the way it turned out and am thinking about framing it and hanging it in our guest room.

Today I spent about 4 hours writing my big paper of the semester. Each semester there is one paper or project that I am not particularly looking forward to and once it is complete the rest of the semester is smooth sailing. That assignment came early this semester. Once I finished it I was relieved and feeling a bit stressed as well. I was glad to be done with it, it stirred up some emotions for me though so I was ready to release some of that tension.

Tonight I started my largest art project to date. I have never taken on a large scale painting before. Recently I was asked to help with a large scale piece for the school of social work but declined because I felt that was beyond my current artistic abilities and because when complete it will be on display in our main building at the university and that was more attention than I am comfortable with currently in terms of sharing my art.

What I started on tonight feels like a safer way to start taking on larger scale art projects. I am not going to give any hints at this time as to what this is going to be but I am excited about and am grateful that my husband does not fuss when I take over the living room with my art.

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It was so fun to paint, and splatter, and drip, and create layers of texture.. I let my sponge guide me and relished the feeling of cold acrylic all over my feet and fingers as I moved around the room spraying my “canvas” with white paint. For now I am letting the first two layers of color dry and then I will go back to add the next layer.

Aside from painting I have spent a good deal of time outside in nature as well as reading my book. I am on the second in the Harry Potter series and loving every second of it. I do not know why I waited so long to finally read these books. I have always loved the movies, it stands to reason I would fall in love with the books as well.

I am doing well in all of my classes, getting my A’s, I am excelling at internship and feel my confidence growing day by day but the true measure of my success this semester is my ability to maintain balance. There is time for all of it. There is time for me. There is time for the people and activities that I not only love but that fill my cup. I feel so centered and grounded right now. I am not stressed, I am not overwhelmed, I am peaceful and feel whole.

This says so much because last week in particular was.. I don’t have words. It was A LOT. My former self would have descended into crisis, but I did not. I breathed through it, I took care of me, and this week I will process it with my therapist and move forward.

In about a week I will leave for Soul Camp and spend the weekend in deep healing with other women at the beach. I do not know exactly what to expect at Soul Camp but I do know that we will be creating art as a way to give voice and recognition to pieces of ourselves who need tenderness. I am excited about that part. For me the act of creating is a way to cleanse myself.

I am grateful for the balance, I am grateful I have reignited this artistic part of myself in recent years, I am grateful for support from my life partner.. My heart is full, I feel at peace, and I am ready for whatever this week holds for me.

I am _________ .

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Last year, early on in my therapy, my therapist asked me to finish that sentence.. I am _______.

I couldn’t do it. My eyes started to well. It was so simple but I had nothing to give. No kind word, no little comfort.. I had no words. I am nothing. That is probably how I would have finished that sentence in that moment.

As I have grown deeper into my center this simple sentence has become much easier to finish. One word I have struggled with though in terms of finishing that sentence though is artist. There is a lot of opinions out there about art, is good?, is it bad?.. I knew I was not good enough. I did not deserve the title. I was afraid that if I said out loud “I am an artist!” the art police would show up at my front door and hall me away for being an absolute phony!

You know what the worst part of that is, I think back over the years about some of the labels I allowed to be placed upon me (either by myself or others) that I willingly accepted.. Slut, Liar, Bitch, Sinner, Unworthy, Unlovable, Ugly, Stupid, Not-Good-Enough. It was so easy for me to accept these labels as part of my I am ________, but I would not allow myself to have this. Which is really amazing when you consider I have been creating art since I was old enough to hold a paint brush.

So I create in private where it is safe and no one can see and judge. I may talk about the fact that I like to paint with people but that does not mean I will ever share my creations with them.

My soul friend asked me for an original piece. She collects art and has a stunning gallery wall in her home. Normally I would be reluctant, intimidated.. In the past when this kind of request has been made of me it was with a specific subject in mind.. “paint me a picture of this..”. I can’t do that. I can only create what I personally feel inspired by. I know my friend understands that because she is an artist as well, an artist with words. I would never expect her to create something real on command because I know that is not how it works.

So she left it open to me, anything I want to make, and the result is my very favorite piece I have ever made. I am calling it Balance.

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Color in balance with absence of color, the male energy of the triangle balanced by the female energy of the orchids, order and chaos all in balance in one space because everything is able to exist at the same time. Balance.

I have created a lot of art in my  life and I have a different relationship with each piece but this one is special. This one is my validation. I looked at it once complete and said out loud in my living room for Todd, and Lucy, and the whole Universe to hear and bear witness – I AM AN ARTIST!

I hope it means as much to my friend as it does to me. This piece came out exactly like I wanted it to. That is a really amazing feeling for me because there was a time where my brain and my hands did not communicate that well. I had all these exciting ideas that I wanted to create but I was not able to express what was in my head the way I wanted to with my hands.. This is exactly how I envisioned this piece. I did it.

I am an artist for me and me alone, I always have been. I am grateful to be secure enough in myself to be able to say now without vulnerability, I am an artist.

Toe Putter and Talking Stars

In our family Saturday is a day for games. It is a day for giggles, and hugs, and hide and seek. It is a day for painting, and dancing, and watching sunsets. Saturdays are for talking to stars and time around the dining room table. Saturdays are a day for love, and gratitude, and family.

All week long I write papers, and learn, and work with clients. I clean the house, help cook dinner, and attend to responsibilities. Saturday is not like every other day of the week though. Last Saturday the kids and I played hide and seek, red light green light, find the button, hot potato, and one of my favorites – intelligent foot. While playing intelligent foot I put an object under Isaac’s foot and his guess was “a toe putter”. I looked at my brother, his dad, who was playing with us to see if he knew what a toe putter was, he looked flummoxed as well. He asked Isaac what a tor putter is, he  said something that puts toes away with a laugh.We laughed with him, what an imagination! Um no Isaac, it is not a toe putter, keep guessing.

Yesterday Maddie and I painted, then drew pictures together, we made art our of our hand prints, and played charades. In the early evening we went outside and sat on the porch to watch the sunset over the pine trees. The clouds were orange and purple and Maddie told me that if she could touch one of those clouds she would make a wish on it. This prompted a discussion about what else you can make wishes on; shooting stars, wish bones, birthday candles, eye lashes, coins thrown in fountains, etc.

As we sat watching the sky change from orange to red and pink to grayish purple we started to talk about Cassiopeia, our favorite constellation. Maddie loves for me to tell her the story about how Cassiopeia was a very vain queen who was thrust into the heavens by Poseidon as punishment and now forever remains upside down with her dress over her head. Maddie asked me last night if Cassiopeia can still talk now that she is up in the sky, I said I don’t know but we could ask her a question and see if she responds. Around 9pm Maddie and I wandered out into the driveway and found what we think was Cassiopeia, it was the only W we saw in the night sky. Maddie decided we would ask her what her favorite color dress is, so we did and waited intently for a response. Right after we asked our question we heard what was surely a plane overhead but it excited Maddie all the same to hear a noise in the sky. Is that her?, she asked, eyes wide with excitement. Maybe! I exclaimed. Maddie was confused because she couldn’t understand what Cassiopeia was saying. I explained that Cassiopeia is from Greece so she might being speaking greek in which case we wouldn’t understand. She was satisfied with this answer and hurried in to get out of the dark and tell everyone that Cassiopeia can still talk from the heavens.

Yesterday Maddie and I painted our first “real” painting together on canvas. Maddie has been asking to do this for sometime so I made sure to a bring canvas and all my supplies with me yesterday. I gave made a dozen reference pictures to choose from, she chose what she wanted to paint and we got started. Maddie did the bulk of the painting, I handled all the details. At the end we initialed our piece together, like true artists. She was so proud of it she asked my Mom to hang it on the wall which she did happily. Now Maddie’s first painting hangs on a dining room wall in her grandmother’s home for all the family to see when they come over.

There is so much fulfillment in making a child feel special, in spending time with them on their level. I look forward to this every week, it is as meaningful to me as it to them I think.

maddie and me

 

OZ

When I was 14 I was in a car accident on the first day of high school that resulted in me being absent from school for a month while my body healed. It was traumatic and at the time I could not process it so I found ways to bypass the feelings. One way was by watching The Wizard of Oz every single day sometimes two and three times a day. It is what I remember most of that month. I was not laying on the couch with a broken face, I was in Oz.

Although this may not have been the best way to deal with the physical and emotional trauma associated with the accident it is what worked for me at the time and you have to admit that if a person wants to escape their life Oz is great choice.

This movie has always been special to me because it helped me survive a very difficult part of my life and I admit I still return to it sometimes when I feel overwhelmed.

We spent Saturday evening with my family playing cards once we returned from West Palm. When we arrived my Mom had four blank canvas for me that she purchased and decided not to use. I was over the moon. I have not painted all summer because I have been busy. All of my assignments are turned in, my break between semesters has started, and I have time to paint. Her timing with this gift was perfect.

Sunday I spent the entire day on a research paper so Todd held down the house. He did chores, made dinner, did the grocery shopping (an errand we always do together because we both hate it). I was grateful. I told him I was going to paint him something beautiful with my time off to thank him. Yesterday I laid out my drop cloth, got my floor pillow, got all my supplies set up, and set up my canvas. I had an idea for what I wanted to paint for him but I couldn’t visualize it, kind of like when I have inspiration to write but I don’t quite have all the words yet.. I paint something in my head for a while before I touch the canvas just like how sometimes I write a post in my head long before I get it down on “paper”.

I sat for a while trying to visualize the piece and finally decided to start painting and let the piece make itself. First I gravitated towards a whitish blue for the background, then I made a reddish orange and started painting little blobs on the canvas. I paused to see what I was making and then it hit me, poppies. I intended to paint something for Todd yesterday but I guess I needed to paint something for me first. It was the poppy field, I was painting the way to Oz.

There is less bypassing going on in my life since I have been in therapy but that does not mean that Oz is any less important to me. It is a reminder of something, I understand why my subconscious brought it to me.

You, Me, and A Blank Canvas

Friday was my day off from internship. I cleaned, I read, I painted my nails, wrote a paper.. It was relaxing and by the time Todd got home I felt good about what I got done. That evening Todd grilled, I roasted some root vegetables, and one of my friends came over for dinner, drinks, and painting.

It was a great night. Talking, laughing, listening to music, and creating. Recently I was talking with someone about painting and other aspects of creativity and just how vulnerable being creative can feel. I know that for me it is maybe not something I could do in the company of just anyone, but her company was perfect.

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A Perfect Day

I feel like a switch flipped in my head this last week thanks to all the time I had for meditation and quiet because the art just came flowing out of me. I still have three more pieces I want to work on but at this point school is starting back and I don’t know that I will the time for a while.

Saturday was my idea of a perfect day. Todd and I woke up mid-morning after a late date night the night before, we put on a melodic Pandora station and he worked on his introvert project while I worked on mine. His is math/computer stuff that is too far above my level of understanding to explain, I painted. After I finished painting he took a break from his project and we spent some time together talking while I got ready for dinner with my two best girls. A truly perfect day. Painting, music, thunderstorms, time with my hubs, and dinner/drinks with my two best girls.

When I got home Todd and I played a game together and went to bed. My gratitude is still running over.

So my inspiration for this piece is one of my favorite photos from one of our Chicago trips. The painting is an abstract recreation of the photo. We were so pleased with how this one came out we framed it and put it over the fire place. Chicago Inspiration The photo in the shadow box is the inspiration and this is my original sketch.

Chicago Rough Painting

Getting started. It doesn’t look like much at the beginning.

.Lucy Chicago Painting

When I paint I like to sit on the floor because as of right now I do not have an easel, if I keep up painting as much as I am right now I might need to invest in one. So when I sit on the floor a lot of the time I will sit in Lucy’s dog bed to save my bones from the hard wood. When I got up to rinse my brushes I came back to this. Lucy had apparently staged a coup and taken back her bed.

Chicago Painting

This was the half way point when it started to look like something quasi recognizable.

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And this is the finished, framed piece that is now over the fire place.

Sigur Ros and Painting

Creative Process               AND

This is a piece I made earlier this week. I was clearly inspired by the word And. It is not yet finished. Once I complete it I plan to hang it in my walk in closet as a private reminder everyday to remember that everything in life is on a spectrum and to not fall into the trap of black and white thought patterns.

I am really please with the piece I created today. I put down my drop cloth and set up my supplies as usual and then laid on the wood floor listening to Sigur Ros until I was ready to start painting. I was again thinking about my gratitude. I was thinking about Todd and how fortunate we are that we get to return to the city of our honeymoon the week of out one year anniversary, we are essentially getting a second honeymoon one year later. I started reminiscing about our first trip to D.C. and while doing so I remembered how tame the wild life was in the city. I was able to feed squirrels and birds from my hand. Also, when we were at Jefferson’s Memorial we saw a young fox trot down the steps of the memorial and off into the nearby bushes. We were stunned. I have never seen a fox in the wild, it seemed so comfortable just hanging out in society.

From there I started sketching and this is my end result after putting paint to canvas.

Sleepy Tod

Baseball and Painting

A post to recap last week and the weekend.

Monday I had the trial run with the stylist. The make-up looked lovely. Very soft and feminine, she shared some helpful tricks with me, I was impressed. The hair I was a little less impressed with. In her defense, I have very high standards for an updo. I nearly always wear my hair up. I have mastered many different updos on myself so if a professional is going to perform an updo on me I expect them to do better I can. What was done I can do myself. That is not to say it wasn’t nice but what am I paying for really then? I would be paying to not to have think about it the day of and although there is value in that, not over 100.00 worth of value, not for me at least. I did leave pleased overall though. There was a bit of a hiccup after speaking with my girlfriends though. I left the professional hair and make-up application optional for my girls. They are all perfectly capable and always look lovely so if any of them do not want to spend the money I am OK with that. What I did not take into consideration, primarily because I was not aware, is there is a minimum amount you have to spend to book the day. We were not going to meet the minimum so after careful consideration and a trial run with assistance from my mother I have chosen to do my own hair and make-up for my wedding. I am convinced that no one will be able to do an updo on me that I wouldn’t be able to do myself and I feel confident enough in my make-up skills to make this work. I know there are brides out there that would gasp at the thought and think I am crazy but I feel good about this decision and am not giving it further thought.

Wednesday was girls day out with my mother, aunt and my cousin’s girlfriend (my aunt’s future daughter in-law). I have a close-knit family, I see most of these women every weekend for cards and drinks at one of our houses. At Easter we were all talking and realized we had never all gone out for a girls day together and how fun it would be. The timing is perfect as my cousin’s girlfriend has just finished grad school and has some down time and my summer classes have not started yet. We decided on lunch and painting, pottery specifically. I looked forward to it all week. My mother, who is where my artistic abilities come from, and I have done many art projects together over the years but never this. Everyone chose a different piece. I made a wedding mug to drink my tea from.

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Tomorrow we will lunch again as a group and go to collect our pieces that have been fired. I get to pick the lunch location tomorrow as we will be on my side of town. I am excited, there are so many locally owned restaurants with unique, delicious menus on our side of town. I haven’t decided which to take them to yet. I am thinking Carmel though. I like their vegetable options and they make amazing cocktails.

Friday Todd was off so we did some house work and then went with Lucy to my parents house in the afternoon. We had tickets, the four of us, to UCF’s baseball game against Rutgers that evening. It was so fun. I will not watch baseball on TV but I love going to games and watching in person. Todd used to play when we first started dating and I LOVED watching him. He is really good, he plays third base. It was so much fun. We always sit behind third base when we go to a baseball game  and this particular game had a lot of lefties which meant a lot of balls raining down on us during the game. That is my least favorite part of going to a game, you have to pay attention at all times or you might get hit. This is hard for me, I take a lot of mental pauses to day dream and I have to actively stop myself from doing so at a baseball game. It was a nice  night for a game, there was a breeze and no bugs.

Saturday we got up early and went to dealership to get Todd’s car washed. While we were there we looked at the SUVs they had on the lot and talked some more about what we want in the next vehicle. After the dealership we drove over to the Winter Park farmers market to pick up some local honey. While we were there we realized that to our surprise local vegetables are actually decently priced and there is a nice selection. We decided to check our last few receipts and are entertaining the idea of getting our produce from the farmers market going forward. I like this idea because it is locally grown and organic, Todd likes it for the price mainly. As long as we can agree that we like it I don’t much care what our separate reasons are. We had lunch out and then went home where we nearly killed ourselves raking the backyard. To put this in context, this is the tree in our backyard,061.

It is a Live Oak and it’s branches span out over 30 feet covering more than four of our neighbor’s backyards. When this thing looses it leaves, watch out! We decided not to rake in the fall and winter, it would have been a fruitless effort. Everyday this tree lost so many leaves we would have been out there every weekend trying in vain to keep up. Instead we decided to wait until it got its new leaves in the spring. Well it was time and it took forever! I actually really enjoy raking, I always have, I find it cathartic and relaxing. So I would rake and Todd would bag my piles. It took us over three hours and 12 large black trash bags to finally have our yard rid of all the leaves. Once finished we took showers and went to my Uncle’s house for cards.

It was a nice week/weekend. Soon I will be back to school and studying so I am relishing in my last free moments. I am trying urgently to finish the book I have been reading in the hope of having time for one more fun read before mandatory reading starts. I am also doing some spring cleaning and clothing purging. I am not sure what to expect yet once classes begin and I want to have things done beforehand to limit my distractions while I work from home.

Just another night painting

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Late Monday afternoon my one of my best girlfriends asked if I was free Tuesday night for another Paintnite event. My response, Absolutely girl! Never one to pass up an opportunity to paint. Apparently her friend that was going was suddenly no longer available. We had a great time for the second time.

All this practice is making me more confident with my brush skills to the point that I have taken on a project of my own for the wedding. We will have a few signs at the ceremony and reception and I have decided to make an attempt at painting one of them. Fingers crossed I don’t blow it. Here is what I have so far, I have painted the Mint/Tiffany Blue back ground and the banner across the top.

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This sign will have a poem painted on it, the banner is for the poem title. I am happy with where I am now and am afraid to do much more at the moment. Next step is lettering, I am terrified. I will update on my progress later.