Friday’s Quote

‘As a child, I never heard one woman say to me, ‘I love my body.’ Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. Not one woman has ever said, ‘I am so proud of my body.’ – Kate Winslet
A few months ago I came across this quote and the truth of it stopped me dead in my tracks. What an upsetting truth, that we rarely and almost never hear this, never say this to our bodies, never believe in loving our bodies, regardless of how we think we should look. 
As the world clung to one form of media or another this week as Kate Middleton gracefully stepped out of the hospital with her post-baby belly, it’s hard not to notice the issue of body image being brought to the forefront in a more positive healthy manner. There is such a need to let women embrace their pregnancy curves, before and after baby.
Our bodies are incredible in how they function, fight off infection, and even how they nurture and heal themselves after pregnancy. Our bodies are made for pregnancy and it is also capable of returning to a healthy pre-pregnancy state. The thing is, it doesn’t happen over night. 
It’s refreshing to see a new openness and gentle honesty be brought to light to allow women the time it takes to get their bodies back in their own way, in their own time and at a more normal, less frantic pace without the fear of how they look. Instead we can focus on what really matters. Whether a woman has had a child, plans on having one or not, the conversation started this week is the tipping point for change. 

Summering

Each season is cleansing and healing in its own way. The smell in the air, the flowers or lack there of etc., all guide us towards a greater understanding of the world around us and the world within. 
This summer season has been one of slowing down, less pushing to get more done and more just being. It is an adjustment, for sure. But in this adjustment, I’m finding how to be more gentle with myself and all the benefits that come along with it. 

Just this morning I had tea with my mom and godmother. A leisurely two hours spent laughing and telling stories and all in an unhurried sort of way — being in the moment, taking it all in. May these summer days be filled with restful moments and refreshing ways of being. 

Artist Statement

For an upcoming show in August,  I was asked for a bio and artist statement. The latter I didn’t have. These things tend to be challenging to write when the subject turns to me. Someone else though, no problem. 

To get started I sat down with a notepad and thought about how all this creating began, some of my favorite materials, what I strive for, patterns/themes in my pieces, qualities of my work and things of this nature. With a number of words, phrases and thoughts on the page, all I had to do was organize it.  

‘What started out as just an art class I signed up for, turned into another way of seeing the world. A world that is more free, with less rules than the one we live in. Creating mixed media is one of the ways I let go and play.

My style is a little whimsical and a wee bit vintage with some girly flare thrown in for good measure. I love to work with old and fun patterned papers, clothing patterns as well as fabric, especially doilies and lace. As of late, spoons, acorns, and wings have been making their way into the mix [sometimes all at once]. Recycling items from relatives stowed away treasures that they thought had seen better days and rescuing items from flea markets also make their way into my artwork. Honoring the past, in a new way is pure pleasure. There really are no rules, except it has to feel right. 

When people see my work, my hope is that they feel a sense of connection to another time or space, a sense of lightness and overall they can stand in a gentle place where seeing and experiencing art is fun without the seriousness that has a tendency to accompany art.’ 

Three

Three years ago, on the hottest day of the summer, Arte and I started our life together. In those three years we’ve experienced much, celebrated quite a bit and have experienced all those ups and downs life brings. Each year together, means more and more. 

One of the things I love about my guy and the time we spend together is creating new traditions to look forward to year after year. Celebrating our anniversary on our front porch with candles, shells, sea glass and a couple of lobsters is one of those traditions that is simply us.  
This year we added a couple of new traditions into the mix. The first is celebrating with a mini-wedding cake that is symbolic of the year. I’m sure it will come as no surprise when I tell you the cake was decorated with lavender [I’m still dreaming of those lavender fields from last week], with the actual cake being lemon with a blueberry filling. This tradition has me already thinking and planning next year’s cake! 

The second new tradition that we plan to honor in the coming years is creating a ‘best of’ list from trips and moments we share accompanied by our family photos. This album was created using our ‘best of’ moments from our recent Maine trip that covers everything from the best meal, best animals we met to best creative and fun moments. It was an incredibly easy album to make and it has me inspired to start taking more photos and actually do something with them to chronicle our days and years. 

Lavender By The Bay

Late last summer, after all the lavender had bloomed, we learned about a place by the water with fields of lavender. Since then, we have been planning our trip, following the weather and when the lavender was scheduled to bloom. And bloom it did, right before our anniversary. We headed down on Friday to check it out. 

To get admission to the fields, you need to go to the shop. It was an open air building with freshly picked lavender hanging from the ceiling. It was as if the lovely scent was coming down to grace our senses straight from the heavens. 

This painting was to die for. The owner’s wife painted it from her ‘imagination’ as she told us in her French accent. 

Once in the fields, these sweetly painted beehives were just icing on the cake. After all, I went to see fields of lavender in bloom. 

The bees were high on the nectar and never stayed in more than one spot for a second or two. There was just too much goodness to drink in. 

Majority of the lavender were varieties of English or French, with French being my favorite. It was surreal to be in these fields I mentally associate with Provence. 

We walked the fields, harvested some lavender and found a bench in the shade to take it all in. 
The bunches of lavender are now hanging in the kitchen, drying out, scenting the air and serving as a darling reminder of our lavender adventure by the bay. 

 It’s a day that has left me dreaming of lavender. One I will not soon forget.

Freedom

It’s a hot, but beautiful July fourth here, with no rain to speak. The lawns are mowed, flags hung and the makings for fun festivities are chilling in the fridge.

Things like family, food, campfires and fireworks are the simple freedoms that make this country a remarkable place to live. 

A little R&R is on the agenda for this afternoon before a cookout and campfire. However you spend your day, may the freedoms you enjoy be plentiful.