Memories

Between the holidays and the passing of my grandfather, I’m flooded with nostalgic memories. Ironically enough, there was a time quite recently that I was worried about forgetting precious moments in general with each passing year. Although this inevitably happens, I’m struck by how quickly time comes rushing back to comfort me during this time of loss (and yes, there are times when its more of a haunting feeling than comfort, but I’ll take it). 
His adventurous younger man years evolved into the devoted man I will miss. One of the things that stands out in my mind is how dearly he loved one of the sweetest people I know, my grandmother. Their love deepened through the years and I would guess there was a time when they fell in love all over again. 
He was always there to guide the way for her and lovingly protect her. It was touching to watch them hold hands; dance together when no one else was; telling her how pretty she is and open every door. He was devoted and loving to the very end. 
I dare to ask, is there any other way to be? 

A Time to Give Thanks

The past couple of days, I’ve set aside some time to quietly reflect on all that it is I’m thankful for. When I really stop to think about it, the list is filled with people and ideas, not things. 
As I gobble, gobble later today, here is what I’m giving thanks for: 
– The health of my husband and family. The storm has cleared on this front and I’m thankful. 
– Jax-the-Dog. This little guy brings me loads of laughter and joy each day of the year. He too has had a rough health year and through it all he has been such a trooper; teaching me how to carry on in the face of tough times. I hope I bring him as much joy as he brings me. 
– My creative, hands-on genes. Thank you Dad. 
– The safe nest I’ve created with my love. 
– My blog. My readers. You keep me going more than you know. 
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Fabric and Texture

As I work towards my goal of creating six new pieces of art for my submission, I’m more and more focused on two things. One, adding as much texture to my backgrounds as I can. And second, working fabric into each of my pieces. There’s just something about the combination of paper and fabric that I am loving. 
These four pieces each measure 3”x3” and to be honest, I was a bit nervous working with canvases of this small size. Thus one of the reasons I chose to work with four of them combined to create one piece. For the background, I used pattern paper and added stamps, colors and doodles from there. My favorite part is the felt button hat found in an old jar full of buttons and notions. 
Digging through old stuff around the house in search of that perfect element instead of constantly running out to the craft store has become part of my process. I was telling my husband that I felt like I had run out of fun stuff to use for textures…I know, seems absurd, right?!
He told me to grab a box and join him on his turf, the basement. 

Seriously, the goodies we found down there could be wrapped right up and given to me for the holidays. I think I’m good on the texture front for a while. Wire, brushes, sponges, bubble wrap and more were in abundance down there, and FREE. It’s time to go play with my new toys. 

Stark Beauty

Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa was like walking into a utopia. The property has an abundance of quiet paths showcasing sweet nooks and crannies throughout the 75-acre property. From ponds to waterfalls to grapevines, organic gardens and great architectural structures there was beauty to be found at every turn. And although most of the landscape had lost its color, the stark beauty of it was striking. 

Celebrate

Big fat snowflakes are falling here, gracing us with the start of a new season, which seems appropriate given it’s my husband’s birthday. We celebrated last night with family and cake, of course. And later today we’re heading to Henry’s at Buttermilk Inn and Spa for a wholesome farm to table dinner.

In the spirit of his birthday, I pulled one of my favorite go-to books off the shelf, The Art of Growing Up, Simple Ways to Be Yourself at Last. The Art of Growing Up offers an elegant, yet wise way of looking at the lifelong process of growing up and getting older. I leave you with this to ponder.
“How old would you be if you didn’t know your age?” – Veronique Vienne

An Angel

Have I mentioned last week was a long one? Time in my studio on Saturday proved to be a healthy de-stressor. I wiled away a good part of the day cleaning up old messes, gathering materials, starting and almost completing this latest mixed media piece.
It’s a process I love. One I get lost in. This stream of consciousness creating where there is little thinking to do means thinking slowly slips away and takes the form of feeling. Trusting these feelings and letting them guide the way is my own little mystical connection. 
Each time is a self-taught lesson on not only letting it flow, but more importantly reflecting on what’s happening on a deeper level. In hindsight, it comes as no surprise that I was in need of a pair of angel wings to pick me up and carry me to a better place. She has a subtle presence, but  is always there to guide the way. 

Friday’s Quote…

…a day late. It’s been a LONG week. One I hope to put behind me. It’s been filled with too much mental yuck. And yet when I log on here, I’m filled with so much hope. Hope for all the good that’s to come. 
“It takes practice to hold onto hope when things look dark. But for such a small word, “hope” has a huge power to carry us to a better place.” – Author Unknown 
On this chilly day I’m planning on spending most of the day in my studio working on my next mixed media piece. If I make enough progress today, I’ll post a picture of it later in the week. 
Happy Weekend 

Fall. By the Sea.

A much needed girls trip to Boston was in order this past weekend to see two dear friends, Michele and Tasha. As always, Michele and I had one of those talks that puts the mind at ease. When we talk, we talk. Our parallel paths continue, as they have for a long time, and there is a deep comfort in that. 
The sea beckoned me to Rockport, and that’s exactly where Tash and I headed on Saturday. Autumn by the sea is pretty as a picture. 

The air was quite crisp and the last hints of fall could be found, but the things I adore about summer could still be found too. Flowers, vibrant colors, cloudless blue skies and the wafting smell of the ocean instantly connected me with that summer feeling.

Rockport is a quintessential New England town that doesn’t take long to charm you, calm you and make you feel like you belong right where you are. The charm comes from more than just the architecture; the boutique owners are as charming as they come. 

Captain Steve of Capt. Steve’s Sea Shell Shop offered a warm welcome into his sweet store filled with shells and the stories they carry with them.

8 Bells, shop owner Robin, greeted us as if we were long lost friends and let us make a loud fuss over her wares and her “to die for” storefront mermaid. [It’s not for sale, we asked].

Oh, and the Paper Mermaid, well how can you not like a store with a name like that?!

Friday’s Quote

A couple of years ago I took a three day workshop centered around empowerment. After a couple ‘bonding days’ in the class, the leaders had participants break up into groups of five. From there one person in the group sat quietly, while the others took turns verbally giving positive characteristic traits that they saw in you. 
What a moving experience to be held in a space where you’re reminded of how wonderful you really are and the gifts you have that simply shine through. Most people cry, which is natural, but the real tear jerker comes when your group is asked to come up with an underlying trait they would like to see you bring to the forefront and use to empower your goals. Mine happened to be, “a leap of faith” and it resonated more than they will ever know. After the class I found this quote, and its still hanging on my inspiration board two years later. 
“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” – Margaret Shepherd
As you gather with friends and family this weekend, or during the coming weeks for the holidays (can you believe they are practically here?!), what a great activity to empower your loved ones and you as you begin thinking about entering into the New Year. 

Fly Through Every Open Door

Over the past couple of months, I’ve begun to realize that new doors are opening. Heck, for all I know, they probably have been open for a while, but I’m just now opening my eyes wide enough to notice. And what a thing it is to realize.

I’ll admit, its a bit scary and intimidating, but I’m ready to push myself to try a little harder and set some concrete goals. What better place, than right here, to shout it out? To throw out a dream, a new intention into the world and see what transpires.

My latest mixed media piece is the first in what I’m calling my new collection (yet to be named). There is an art show that I’d like to enter, but I need six pieces. Although I have six pieces, I’d much prefer to have them look like a coherent set. My thinking is that by doing this, it will help increase my chances of getting in. It’s my strategy and I’m sticking to it!

Wish me luck and thanks for being here to hold me accountable. It’s time to get creating.