Learning to Go with Your Gut

Whew! What a week and it's only Wednesday. I'm not saying it in a bad way. It's just that today's my last day at my temp job and V and I move back to NC on Saturday. Yes its vastly different from DC but if I'm going to pursue my art and raise V the way I see fit I need to be in a smaller, slower, friendlier place.

Who am I kidding? I'm nervous as hell about this move. Wouldn't it be great to just see the future a teeny wheeny bit so I could know for sure, w/o a shadow of doubt that I was doing the right thing. This isnt just about moving to a new town. I'm committing to putting my dream first. That means taking a possibly less paying (and less stressful) job in a town with a much smaller commute so I can spend more time with Vincent and have more time to make art. Sounds like a good idea right?

You know what its really about even more than moving and art and mom-dom. Its about me biting the bullet, peeing or getting off the pot, taking the bull by the horns, and just doing IT. By It I mean making a commitment and decision to be loyal to my own heart's calling. And for the love of cheese and crackers to STOP worring about what They think about how I live my life, my choices and even what kind of art I make.

So in honor of Them I made a journal entry that sums up how I feel about it. And I love how different it is from the piece above that I made the same day. (I'm learning to love both sides of my coin) This felt so good to make. It was like me having a right to say just what I feel and not giving a you know what what anybody thinks. Speaking of which, I think is a major hinderance in my art and me coming into my authentic artist voice. So get ready b/c y'all might be seeing more of these from time to time. Sometimes you gotta plunge the toilet to get it to flush (ok that was even gross for me...)

Okay gotta get back to work. Thanks for listening SMOOCHES!

(And what do they know?)


What do YOU want?

A billboard @ the metro stop where I work. The small print even had a message it reads "Create your own legacy." While on my way to work this morning I was chewing over my current life and some things I've been going through. And by chewing I mean like a cow. Chew it, swallow it, throw it back up and chew it some more. So when I came up from the platform and saw this billboard (how many times did I walk by it?) I had to take a pic because it reminded me of what Abraham Hicks talks about. Keep your focus on what you want. The current circumstance is only a result of past thinking. So if I want a new future my thinking has to change now. I love it. Have a great weekend y'all!


Toot, Toot! Honk, Honk!! Beep, Beep!! (an aha! moment)

(Pic by Kim Carney/MSNBC)
Over the last few weeks I've been practicing my flying with a very special e-course. And I have to admit I have maid some strides in setting up many of the systems she's been talking about. I set up my blog (of course), newsletter & FB fan page. So now I'm on to my Etsy page and BAM all four of my tires went flat.

I've been staring at my screen for the last hour trying to right a description for one of my mixed media pieces. I am paralyzed by thoughts of  "is this right, original, finished, inspirational, good ENOUGH? It's really got me pacin'.  Plus, I feel this pressure that if I don't put the perfect script no one will buy them and theyll be lost in Etsy land forever.

I just thought I'd share today because I'll tell you following your dreams can be a dirty job. You know I'm a champ at championing others. I can see the best in an ax murderer or a paper with just two crayon marks running down the middle of it. But ask me to say something glowing about myself and I draw a complete blank. Part of it I think is being a raised as a good, southern Pentacostal girl. "Never brag on so vain." The other part is I wasn't applauded much as a child. More attention was paid to what was wrong than right.

But you know what? I think this is as good a time as any for me to start stepping out of old thinking and believing. It might start out sounding kinda sqweeky, but with some practice I'll be blowing a trombone in no time. I owe it to myself really to tell the truth. Since that's what it is.
These pieces were created with heart, to inspire me and anyone who put their eyes on them. The colors and textures are meant to accent your home or office. And they make great gifts as well. They are reminders, and Lord knows we need them, that we are good, special and loved.
Oh snap, did you just hear that? I think I heard a little toot-toot and it sounded kinda good! OK my pretties I gotta hurry back over to my Etsy page while I've got some air in my tires!

p.s. - thanks for listening. I couldn't have done it with out you. Smooches!


Business Building Monday

I like the sound of the title of this post. Kinda sounds like I'll do it every Monday. Sounds like a great idea...hmmm. We'll see. I'm just so inspired by the Flying Lessons e-course I'm taking right now. Just when the ebb of my confidence and gumption was peaking and doubt and second guessing myself started to sink in here comes my collaging-mommy 2B-super hero-teacher-cheer leader Kelly Rae with week 4 of her class on building a successful and balanced art business. The part that really stuck out to me today (surprisingly) was the piece on the importance of a newsletter and how it has helped her business. Well first of all I didn't think I had anything to talk about worth bugging folks every month about. But after hearing her side of the story i think about it a little differently and now...I'm pumped up to get started on a newsletter. And hopefully you'll check it out and find it valuable.

So to stay on track since I do have the propensity to start something and not finish it (did i say that??) I thought I'd put a little outline of what you can expect from the M2BM - M2BU newsletter.

1. Inspirational word/thought  - this is a great way to share some of my favorite lessons and teachers with you guys.

2. Works in progress - I love seeing the creative process of artists I follow and think it gives a nice inside scoop on what is going through an artist mind.

3. A personal tidbit -  on my working, mommy, daughter, friend, explorer life. You're sure to find pics of my super cutest son Vincent who I just can't get enough's a peak at one of his latest pics...

can't you tell he's been taking pics his whoooole life!

4. Artist spotlight - here I'll share (or hopefully interview ) an artist (painter, writer, singer, etc.) that I enjoy or feel inspired by. Who knows, you might see you here one day!

5.  Sales &Promotions - Pretty self explanatory.... more info of how you can take a little piece of me home.

6. What to look for next month - Teasers of the juicy-ness to come.

Well, I hope this has wet your whistle. It has mine and I guess it has also put the heat on me to get to the gettin' on delivering the goods right? And since I seem to work better under pressure,  I'm thinking I'll have a newsletter out by...ok I'll just put it out there - July 1 (did I just say that too?). Well I guess I better get to work. OK, gotta go - Bye!


Checkin in w/ My Crew!

Hi all! My boss is on vacay all week (yeah!!!) So I thought I'd drop by and do a lil chit-chat. We're cool like that right? Great.

Random #1
Well, this is a journal page i started last night after V went to sleep. I've been very resistent about starting an art journal. but I've learned that it is just fear so I decided to throw some paint and will work on it some more tonight. Isn't it funny how fear can convince you that you don't really like something, when in fact its exactly what your heart is calling for? Well anyway, this is in its early stages and I'm trying not to to think about the end project and focus on the process...pray for your girl on that one.

Random #2
 Here's my favorite lunch time spot...I can get out of my office and 4get about all the madness. And check out this great banner hanging across the street from my job.

I turned the chair around so I could face the garden.

It's at this random intersection. Love it!

Random #3

Uhm, well what else is going on around these parts??? Oh yeah, my job will be over here at the end of the month. I've been temping since I moved here almost a year ago. My hope was that I'd get a permanent federal position and V and I would settle here for a while. But it's funny how things work out. Just as the job thing hasn't worked out the way I thought I also realized I'm really not a city girl after all. I like the activities and a lil hustle and bustle but I am a country girl at heart. So, at the beginning of the month we'll be moving back to NC. I'm excited but there is still much on my mind. While I am finally beginning to honor my inner guidance I sometimes second guess my intuition because everyone around me is doing the opposite and they seem to have it going on and I'm facing some pretty public challenges. But you know what it's not gonna stop me. So I just wanted to share a bit of my innerds with you. i know you don't mind. ;-)

I'll end with a pic of my inspiration for it all - my shmookie-shmoo! 'Til next time...

I just look at him and that smile & know exactly what I need to do.


Mama's Got a New Pep in Her Step

"Fall in Love with Your Life"

Hey gang! Well, I started (all be it 2 weeks late) the much...and i do mean much...anticipated Kelly Rae Robert's Flying Lessons e-course. And let me tell you it has set a well needed fire under my hind parts. She is a wealth of information and inspiration and to be in the presence of other artists who are on the same path as I am is so worthwhile. BUT I must say the single MOST BESTEST thing Kelly could have ever done for me at least was to post a video that in two and a half minutes gave me the validation I needed to do something else Kelly talks about...commit.

I have always been the big dreamer and risk taker in my circle of friends and family. Whether a cliff or a curb I was usually there for the jumping. But since having my son almost 3 years ago there has been this ongoing inner and outer struggle between being a "good/responsible" mom and super big dreaming artist.

"Your're a mom now no time for dreams of your own." and "How selfish of you to even consider it - grow up." were constant sentiments ringing in my head. While my inner child cried out to be recognized, acknowledged and nurtued in my daily life. Neeless to say this struggle was beginning to lead me into a very lonely and closeted creative life.

But baby, Mama's gotta a new song (see below) to sing now. I can do both. I must do both and even better yet there are many more ass-kickin', car pooling, dish washing, creative Goddess moms out there with the same issues as lil ol' me. And even though I don't know them I feel their strength and I wanna give a little back to them as well.

That brings me to another part Flying Lessons talks and how vital it is for the artist to thrive. I'M NOT ALONE! And I'm not a bad mom because I want to send my son away for a few days so I can go half way across the country to meet, greet and get messy with art. I now know this is God's work in me. And its my responsibilty to show my son the courage it takes and joy it brings to live life on my own terms. So I want to send a big shout out to my mentor and mommy 2B Kelly Rae...Thank you for giving me back to myself. SMOOCHES!!

Ooh gotta love Miss D in all her white (even though the coat is just a tad frightening?!)


Mixed Media and Mommy-ing

I'm just getting home from being out all day. I put an ad on Craigslist for a graphic designer to help me with some of my art and possibly give me some lessons. Well I got a lot of hits but one guy stood out & I met him at Panera Bread today. So guess what....this sweetheart of a guy installed the newest Photoshop on MY computer! I am so thrilled. He also showed me some good things and we are gonna meet once a week till I move back to NC. I was so full of ideas by the time we finished.

Well, while I was having a grand old time Vincent was missing his nap. He did pretty good for a 2yr old strapped in a stroller for an hour and a half.(insert mom guilt here).So now here it is 6 oclock in the evening and guess what...HE'S TAKING A FLIPPIN' NAP! Can you believe it??? Pay back really is a bright faced two year old. Its gonna be a looong night. But he's sooo cute!

Always one to turn lemons into a great lemon cocktail, I decided to take advantage of the rare me time to scan some drafts in to my computer. I don't have as much to say about them besides sloking at them too long makes me a little uncomfortable. But I'm working on that.


The Ever Present Silver Lining

I posted this picture today because it describes exactly where I am. The last three years have tested me in everyway imaginable. I became a single mom to a wonderful son and found myself in too many new and challenging experiences to go into in this post. So I just wanted to acknowledge the journey, full of all its pot holes, detour signs as well as the views and wonderful folks I've met along the way.

I know it is far from over as my little one is only coming up on his 3rd birthday but for the first time in longer than I can remember I can see some light piercing through those clouds. And for the first time in just as long I can say I am proud of myself. I have given this new role as provider, nurse, disciplinarian, cook, advocate, protector, Mother everything I've got. And I have surprised even myself b/c I didnt know what this job would require and once I did I didnt know if I had what it took to pull it off.

But today I'm more sure than ever that I have what it takes to care and provide for both of us and even manage to carve out a little time for nurturing my creative spirit. And surprisingly, I have found that when I do that I am actually a better mother. More patient, less uptight, prone to let the little things slide. Even more than that I hope it serves as an example for him to always find time to feed his spirit in whatever way serves him best.

We are now only a few weeks away from making yet another move. We will be staying with my mom for a while in rural NC. The once beloved fast paced of a major metropolitanc city has turned into a rat race and left me a little worse for wear. I look forward to a place where strangers look you in the eye and speak and I'm only a few steps away from fresh cut grass under my bare feet. The sun is indeed starting to shine again and I feel it's warmth beginning to envelope me.

School Pics

On my way to work by had to post a quick pic of the cutest 2 year old I've ever had the pleasure of laying my eyes on. (Insert ooohs and ahhhhs here!)


Greeting Card Art

Uhm, okay, i kinda got something i wanna show you. i'm so inspired by artists who have the balls to post their works in progress and you know i want to start putting on my big girl pants and opening myself up the way so many of you have. so here are some works in progress (be gentle) i did this past week. I have for as long as i could remember wanted a line of greeting cards that were quirky, sassy, inspiring and most of all beautiful. i have 2 card ideas series so far and examples of the some of the copy is below...

"Imagine" series which is very sweet
outside card - "Imagine you are completely loved, supported and accepted."
inside card - "because you are."

"The Hard Truth" & it's a little tongue and cheek
outside card - "Don't take this the wrong way but..."
inside card - "you are absolutely fabulous."

the more i look at them, the more i like them. which means my lil goblin has settled down since he realized I was gonna do this with or with out him. so now ill move on to trying out some text and fonts on my computer. and hopefully by the sometime in July ill have some sets of 4 (one left to scan in) to put on my etsy shop...which needs some serious life breathed into it. but thats another story.


More Thoughts on the Tribal Trend

I was thinking about my previous post and got to thinking about a few things...

I know I must not have enough work @ work today but oh well. I just think the "trend" of tribal prints is very thought provoking. First, these gorgeous patterns are not new by any means. They've been around longer than most of us. So somwhere along the way these patterns catch the eye of the Oscar de la Rentas of the world and are picked up by haute couture designers and become all the rave. Next, a year or tow goes by and more affordable brands pick up on yet-to-be trend and make it accessible to the masses at affordable prices.

And the thing is the Political Scientist in me is a little up in arms about the cheapening of a culture (that we know so little about). I know thats sounds a little Angela Davis but you know what I mean (i hope). The big wigs make, call it cute and the next thing you know Martha Stewart is donning a tribal print headband in a Kmart commercial. But the thing is, as an artist and lover of fashion I feel they finally tapped into something worth putting on any and every item imaginable for as little as $5.99. These colors are so vibrant, patterns so unexpected...and to be able to have them at your fingertips is a real blessing. Finally visual stimulation as the norm. And as an artist I am always in awe at how artist are inspired. And what is more inspiring than these mostly hand made and hand dyed elaborate garbs made by people who by comparison to most, live a decidedly more simple life. And I must admit (secretly) I would stand in line all day for a lime green and magenta tribal print plates and bowls set. As a matter of fact I think I'll go look for one now! Gotta love the duplicitous nature of us all.

african fashion week

photos by Justine Kurland - STUNNING!

diane von furstenberg runway

authentic east african dress

oscar de la renta

Color and Pattern Inspiration

What a great looong weekend! And boy did I need it. It was a real treat to have 4 days off and just piddle around...loved it! While I was out I made a stop by one of my favorite spots Tar-jay and of course saw some things I really loved but was so struck by some of the fabulous tribal patterns and color combinations. I was like WOW and so inspired I had to snap a few shots to share. I really love when everyday items can express personality and creativity. And what can be more everyday than a cute sundress @ Target. Accessable art I call it.

Please excuse any fuzzy or crookedness...I was trying to snap the shots and run behind my 2-year old who has discovered the endless fun of hiding in the clothes racks. I guess that's what I get for not getting a shopping cart/containment unit - LOL.

A cute maxi dress with these pops of tangerine and fuschia on a brown background no less!

Love this one too! all of my favorite colors.

The geometry and shapes are so beautiful

These swirls and orange and turquoise remind me of Miami!
My co-worker came in wearing this so I had to snap a pic and add to the Love list. LOL