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Showing posts from March, 2013

mar.31 {making peace with the daffodils}

This time last year, amidst the tender yellow and greening of spring's arrival, we celebrated Easter.  It was also when we discovered my dad's cancer and the merriment then felt tenuous and fleeting.  This spring, a whole year later the memory still feels surprisingly tender.   My dad fought his battle and won and is thankfully well and cancer free, but the daffodils are a reminder, a mix of joy and aching sadness and a bittersweet mix of the fragility of life and love. The other day at the grocery store I was doing my regular shopping with my little one in tow and he saw the big bunches of bright yellow flowers.  He excitedly urged me to get them simply because "they're so beautiful!"  My initial reaction was like having the wind knocked out of me.  No.  I hate those flowers. But as our children so often do he helped me see things, once again, through fresh eyes.  These flowers simply are beautiful and ultimately a symbol of hope and strength, at least that'

mar. 29 {march crush list}

This is a compilation of good things from both February (since it zoomed by without me noticing) and March.  We had a ton of snow days and indoor time and this list reflects a bit of that cabin fever, filled with guilty pleasures and distractions.  I am so glad winter is over! Musicals.  I saw Les Mis (loved it!) and the show Smash began, which has been fun to watch especially during the snowy, cold, blahs. Liquid Silk - go for it girls!  It is the best (and we've tried a few, you know, just for educational purposes ;)  And if you're shy you can buy it online. Target's mini-chalkboard labeled ceramic jars.  Perfect for whimsical organization, cool and cuteness and they had several colors and sizes.  I might have to get more. The best opera cake from our favorite nut free bakery, Cakes for Occasions .  Hands down, the yummiest buttercream eva. A good cosmo (especially, cucumber - trust me, try it!) ... falling in love with this drink all over again. Laser tag!  For a firs

mar.26 {how to fall in love with a great idea and let it go}

{postcard from the Love Notes swap, by Gloria} I woke up way too early this morning with an idea, the kind that feels like fire in the heart and head.  I lay in bed for about twenty minutes trying to mentally file it away until a decent hour, but I just couldn't keep the thoughts from bubbling to the surface so I got up and wrote it all out.  The page is sitting next to me as I type, covered with fast writing, arrows and notations, and a jumble of thoughts that probably only I could decipher.  I can feel that thrill and nudge to take action.  This happens fairly frequently in my busy brain as is evident buy the many notebooks I have filled with creative thoughts and ideas, but my new practice is to not move too impulsively, Let. Things. Marinate.  I am learning to quell immediacy. Because immediacy just comes from a place of fear. The other day I had a similar burst.  It was inspiration that just began to manifest itself and all I could do to simply try to catch it all and not hype

mar.23 {the birth of something beautiful}

{Reach} 24x30 mixed media on canvas Back in the studio today, I finally finished this painting.  This one really stretched me and took weeks to move through from beginning to end as I painted a bit, sat with it, and painted a bit more.  I knew it was close to being done so today I spent the morning committed to finishing it up.  Somewhere in the last few hours after weeks of uncertainty, I fell in love with it. Last night I went out to see some live music, a rare occasion these days but so gratifying when finally sitting in the dark and being bathed in soulful notes.  As I watched Dar Williams in a hushed auditorium of a couple hundred people, the only sounds a sweet guitar melody and poetic words strung together like strokes of a beautiful painting, I understood.  In those moments I felt so deeply that undeniable certainty that yes! we are here to share our gifts, whatever they are.  The performance was so moving not because the music was so good (though it was), it was more the expe

mar.21 {idiosyncratic routine}

I have a lot of things swirling in my head these days... art projects, family stuff, self care stuff, work related projects, Easter/Passover prep and so on.  I have little notes stashed in many places trying to capture and organize things; my phone, my moleskin, the calendar, my inspiration notebook, the refrigerator door, and it all seems to be flying about me like a swarm of butterflies at the moment. Things are a bit unruly. Anchored pretty much in a similar routine day to day, each one can feel so different with a bit of this and a bit of that thrown into the open spaces.  I'm grateful for this (truly!) as I have a very low tolerance for boredom, but it also makes for a bit of a wild ride.  With a penchant for staying organized, disorganization really slows me down.  In general I need order to function efficiently and ultimately feel well, so when things are scattered so am I and that makes me want to just lay down and take a long nap amidst the chaos. The new rhythm of spring

mar.20 {a naughty book list for smart girls}

A girl can't live on chick lit alone.  Actually, I haven't read any fiction in a fairly long time, the last book being Pull of the Moon  (last summer maybe?) by Elizabeth Berg which was a beautiful and compelling read - highly recommended!  My tastes have definitely shifted over the years and I am reading mostly non-fiction these days, juicy memoirs, creative living books, books on writing, painting, mixed media, oodles of magazines mostly about creativity and often indie zines, and of course the sex related books.  All good stuff. In the spirit keeping it real around here, I thought I'd share with you some good sexy reads, again mostly non-fiction, but juicy and informative none the less.  Most of these I have actually read, but there are a few that I haven't but are sitting on my nightstand (so to speak, though not with kids around!).  You'll see as noted.  Hope this adds a little warmth to your Spring! Forever by Judy Blume - I'm including this only because

mar.19 {a new way of seeing myself}

I can probably count on one hand the number of photos taken of myself and shared over the last year. Head shots, I mean.  There are lots of pictures of my feet and toes in various poses and places.  I could probably string them together to make a fairly cohesive narrative (love that about images). Until a couple of months ago I did not have the kind of camera that flips around for taking easy selfies (genius, by the way) and to be honest, taking a picture of myself always has felt like a strange and uncomfortable thing.  I haven't really liked having any kind of lens pointing my way, by my own hand or anyone else's.  I look and all I see is the imperfections.  It's the reason I have not delved into making videos and tend to shy away from the idea of webcams.  In that regard it makes me feel really behind the curve. There are so many women out there who take beautiful self portraits and who make it seem effortless and liberating to be in front of the camera.  I see daily

mar.16 {on getting naked}

"It hit me that maybe the battles of life are best fought without armor and without weapons.  That maybe life gets real, good and interesting when we remove those defenses and walk out onto the battlefield naked."   ~ Glennon Doyle Melton, from Carry On, Warrior I read this last night in an excerpt of Glennon's  book, stories and truths about her experience as a recovering addict and how that has helped her reach out to others, in the April issue of Ladies Home Journal.  Even though I don't know what it's like to be an addict, she was speaking a language I utterly understood.  Sometimes I have to be reminded why I write this blog.  I forget from time to time why it is meaningful and important to offer truth.  I can't tell you how often I think to myself - why am I spending so much time and energy baring my soul? who really cares anyway?  - and then I read words like Glennon's and remember how it feels to have someone reach deep inside of me in understandin

mar.14 {curriculum vitae 101}

Today I have to compile my very first artist's CV and thus I have been doing a little research as far as how to put one of these together.  Most of what I found online is as dry as toast for my right-brained self ( cough, cough ) and very business-y, so I thought would share with you some basic guidelines and the better tips I've come across in case you are ever in need of whipping one of these up!   I hope these little tidbits are helpful.  These can be applied to general resume writing as well.  Wish me luck! Basic CV Outline Contact Information: and short artist statement Awards and Grants: most recent first Education and Residencies: art related only, can be optional Exhibitions: most recent first; Year ,  Title of Show , Where Media and Publications: any articles or publications regarding your work Collections and Commissions: detailing any public or private institutions which own your work Teaching: a list of any teaching, lecturing or speaking engagements Curatorial Proj

mar.13 {let me drink the day}

" Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.” ~ Edith Wharton Thank goodness the energy is waxing.   I think we hit bottom this morning, but happily I think we all bounced.   The new moon has passed, daylight savings is slowly shifting into our new and brighter rhythm with promises of open windows, cook outs and days in the sand, and mercury is heading out of retrograde and will be sent packing with a healthy serving of corned beef and cabbage on Sunday.  It's only Wednesday, but it's been one of those weeks.   The kids have not been themselves - a tough two days at school for one and general crabbiness that's not really like my other little guy.  Alex and I have been kind of quiet with each other too.  We need a serious snuggle. So an emergency infusion of joy, sunshine, nature and silliness is what will happen today.   A bit if business to attend to this morning, then the balance of the day will be focused on playing hooky and chasing simple pleasures and some vitam

mar.12 {making connections with Love Notes}

{Love Notes postcard #1} Once again, I am participating in Jennifer's Love Notes project all about sending a little art and inspiration in the mail - you know, the kind you actually put a stamp on!  This project is fun for several reasons... I get to meet new and fabulous creative people, there is a snail mail surprise with lovely sentiments each week in my own mailbox, and, I know that every week amidst whatever chaos is happening I'll at least complete this one creative project.  Little steps and simple goals are always a good thing.  There are amazing pieces that are sent and received and I love seeing everyone else's work pop up in my instagram feed (#lovenotesjb), all small but special acts of creative kindness.  There is always a flurry of excitement around these little offerings and it reminds me, again, how important it is to reach out and connect with others in mini acts of love.  So, thank you to the good old USPS and my friendly neighborhood mailman, and especia

mar.11 {a soft landing}

{Reach} in progress I woke up this morning to no heat or hot water.  This happens, without fail, once every winter and usually on a day when it is barely 10 degrees.  Luckily it's not that cold out today so the house is somewhat bearable, but it's not a fun way to start a Monday. So, I am decidedly focusing on the good things; sunshine, my little man who is happy (maybe a little too happy) to do nothing and stay in his pajamas all day, the painting that is emerging in the studio, having a family homestead nearby with a freezer stocked with mini Ben & Jerry's that we can escape to until the heat kicks in, maybe a hot bath in the deep jacuzzi tub, and hanging out on the big blue sofa laughing with Uncle A.  Funny how we both unexpectedly ended up here today. Turns out this diversion is just the little bit of extra TLC I needed.

mar.9 {familiarity with rejection and failure}

Last Wednesday I got a rejection letter. It's o.k... it was a long-shot, so not terribly surprising but it still was a rejection.  It was the first formal one (probably of several to come) that I have received in a very long time.  Well, that's not entirely true. I did recently apply for a position and then received a letter accidentally addressed to someone else, saying she did not get the position.  Poor Carol.  I assumed since I never got an acceptance letter the message was intended for me. So, I wanted to take a few days to sit with the note just in case the sting came later.  This is a new thing for me to be putting out pieces of my mixed media art for public consumption, and I know it is probably something I will continue to explore.  Disappointed?  A little bit, but truthfully it wasn't all that horrible.  It was more of a relief to get an answer (a very kind rejection) than be wondering about the outcome, or even worse - what if?  At least I gave it a shot, and tha

mar.8 {the stories my in-box could tell}

This post was going to be a little update of the recent goings on in my busy world, but I realized while quickly perusing my email this morning that if one were to peek into my in-box they would get a pretty accurate cross section of my life.   So, just for fun and to sum it all up, here's a pretty good look at some of the notes that are in my virtual mailbox right now: The email canceling school today!  and two other late opening notices due to possible flooding the last two days. A submission request I made, accepted by a fabulous blogger. An email draft of a video I'm trying to send my dad of the boys singing and dancing to a Minecraft song. TBall registration confirmation. Three photos I sent to myself to go with blog posts. A conversation regarding a possible job opportunity. The confirmation for my son's 504 meeting date. The information and application for a juried art show coming up that I am still considering entering (deadline, today!). A save the date notice for

mar.6 {word board}

authentic. fun. girly. edgy. stylish. compelling. inspiration. colorful. artist. eclectic. feminine. bold. sexy. visionary. experience. handmade. connection. daring. growth. mixed-media. whimsical. truth. story. photography. journaling. individuality. collaborate. nature. city. studio. gratitude. personal. motherhood. intimate. intention. knowledge. adventure. love. This is a list of words I wrote in my journal late last year in preparation for launching this site.  I think I pretty much captured it all - where I want to be right now - and it makes me kind of giddy that I'm on the right track, especially when doubt creeps in. Finding your words can be a good exercise.  It's like creating a dot-to-dot or map of your world of things that are important to you and which together show the bigger picture of your life.  The words can be perfect touchstones and help to anchor you in your personal mission and unique style.  As someone who is very word oriented, I write lists like these

mar.5 {explore your sexy project}

{#exploreyoursexy} One thing I am hoping to create in this space is an open and real conversation about intimacy and sex - the wide spectrum of physical connection and all that might suggest.  I've received many emails and messages from readers lately telling me how much they resonate with the ideas I have been writing about, and I really appreciate the feedback (as I have surely gushed to you).  So, I thought a little creative photo journaling project might be the perfect way to explore a little deeper without requiring anyone to get too noisy. Explore Your Sexy Photo Project I wanted to create a gentle way for you to delve into some of your own sexy thoughts and ideas and begin to share them.  I also hope that in the process of taking these photos it will allow to unfold a rich and varied conversation (a nonverbal one, since we are only sharing images) not just with each other, but more importantly with yourself. What does sensuality and intimacy and sexuality mean to you?  How c

mar.4 {and that made all the difference}

{Glow ~ 6x6 mixed media on wood} I finally feel like I have figured out where I am supposed to be (virtually speaking), and it feels so good to finally sink into solid ground.  After a lot of uncertainty, there have been two big changes I have made this year with my blogging. One is that I no longer plan blog posts ahead.  For the last several years I used to list out a month's worth of posts for every-other day and then curate content for those posts.  I wasn't absolutely rigid about this, I did often change things around, but for the most part it was loosely planned out ahead of time.  The fact that I did this for more than three years speaks to the level of passion I have for Wishstudio because any regularity in my life is pretty rare.  It was a really helpful tool for a long time and helped me to organize, create deadlines for posts I had to compile, and provide the structure for things to run efficiently.  Now, I am writing more in the moment and honest accounts of what m

mar.2 {stumbling over a defining piece of my, Why?}

Last night I watched this TED talk (it's about 12 mins. long and totally worth your time!), and hearing Amanda speak made something finally click for me.  She talked about the importance of more intimate and micro connections - about the exponential force of looking someone in the eye, and saying "I see you." It is so true.   It's something I have experienced over and over again first hand.  Once you reach out and make that one-on-one connection, and it doesn't even need to be in person it could easily be a connection made virtually, people are so much more inclined to look back your way and see you and want to support you in return. I think this is where I have felt a lot of the hesitation lately - that it's not so much about whether or not I want to monetize myself as an artist, but rather how much of that intimacy in my creative work I am willing to exchange in order to cast a wider net to make the wheels of a business run.  It's about the energetic r