Christmas is past and I must admit...it was hard to feel joyful and hold peace in my heart in the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. Not that the world felt it any less, but living in Ct. and not being that far away made it hit even closer to home as you could feel the sadness in the air, dripping like honey...but, not in sweetness, but in grief, shock, disbelief and outrage. I was so angry and immediately tried to vent my emotion and found myself waving a banner for gun control and the end of assault weapons...and I still do. But, somehow, I knew that was just a small bit of the answer. I then got angry that our country does not treat the mentally ill with serious conviction and that became a new banner to wave...and I still do. But, deep within my soul, I knew there was more and a banner that still needed to be raised. It was not enough for me to call my country to change...I needed to call myself to change and to action...so, I signed petitions and wrote my representatives. But, that was not enough either. I still felt like I was missing something. I saw the vigils and people lighting candles for a full week..tear stained faces and looks of dazed confusion as hundreds of teddy bears lay in the rain...a memorial to the innocents that were no longer here. We all lost our innocence in some respect that day. I then went to God on the holy night of Christmas and asked for help. My heart felt so broken and I felt so helpless...it was then that I heard the answer..the last and most important piece of the puzzle.
We must not just raise a banner, but raise our voices, raise our hands in service, carry our message to the broken..to the ill..to the unloveable...we must run towards the darkness to dispel it...and the only way to dispel it is with light...with the light that illuminated a stable and glowed around another innocent. He who is Light compels us to spread that light to others and that light is...love. That is the answer. Love. Love a million times over. So...this is my Christmas wish and my promise...that I will try to answer the call...a million times over. I invite you to do the same..talk of hate and punishment and retribution only creates a larger darkness. Make a difference and go light your candle...run to the darkness...Go light your world...and raise your banner of Love. Blessings be upon you in the coming year and may we be a world of peace and goodwill toward man.
Friday, October 5, 2012
http://effywild.com and scroll down for more info. on how to enter. Also, don't forget to join Effy on www.wildsoularts.ning.com and tell her bertie sent you!
Friday, July 15, 2011
It's time to party and share my creative space with you all for the "Where Bloggers Create 2011", hosted by My Desert Cottage. I am so excited and worked my little buns (Ohhh..if only they were little!) off to get ready for this event. I can't wait to see all of your spaces and be inspired! I hope you will catch a bit of who I am by seeing my space, as well. Let me begin by saying mine is a work in progress and is always changing, but my most important feature is that I love to surround myself with things that inspire me to live a magically creative life. In the coming pictures, you will see many of the things that make my world come to life...I am a child at heart and I surround myself with treasures that evoke fond childhood memories and bring a smile or sweet sense of childlike wonder to my face. I am deeply inspired by three illustrators from my childhood and you will see their influence throughout my little studio. They have impacted who I am today as I am illustrating my first children's books and my art has much whimsical innocence to it that I loved so much as a child. Well, enough chatting..let's get to the studio tour...lots of pics and I hope you enjoy your time in my little Queen B. Studio.
When you walk in, this is what faces you...my little menagerie of treasures, trinkets and creative details that I can use in my art...mosaic pieces, shells, flowers, buttons....plus, eye candy to make me smile!
This little bear and book of fairies is from my childhood. The bear has a little tail that when you move it, it makes his head move side to side or nod up and down. He is a one of my favorite friends to play with! In the background, I papered the shelf with vintage Beatrix Potter baby gift wrapping paper...you will see a lot of her around my little sanctuary..I love the movie "Miss Potter" and would live on a farm and dress that way all the time if I could get away with it!
Turning the corner, you come to my sewing desk..don't get too impressed...I am not that great of a sewer and hate patterns. I like to wing it and just do my own thing! But, I have done quite a few primitive dolls in my time and they were huge sellers for me..so, I can't be too bad at it!
Love this antique sewing basket that was given to me by my mother who has been gone for many years now...it brings sweet memories of her to me and that is why it is filled with hearts.
This table top is really special and something I am really proud of. I collaged a piece of cardboard with all of my favorite illustrators art...from their books or things I have collected. I had a Joan Walsh Anglund paper doll when I was about 10 years old and the actual pieces are a part of the collage. I also took pages from some of her books and also those of my other two favorites, Tasha Tudor and Beatrix Potter and it is just a magical tribute to them. I love to look at it as I work and remember how much I loved them and still do. In the center is the greatest treasure of all....
I wrote Joan Walsh Anglund as a child and enclosed a picture of myself and asked her if she could draw me! Aren't children shamelessly brazen to think a famous artist has the time to just whip off a likeness of them? Well, I was thrilled beyond measure when she wrote back to me and said she was busy, but would get to it soon...Alas,...she never did get to it, but I was grateful that she acknowledged me and I saved that letter all these years! The desk top, by the way, is covered in plexiglass to protect everything and is not in a super sunny window.
Now, we come to my glorious old typewriter that was such a blessing to find...I paid $20.00 for it and it works great! I use it in my collage work all the time and I just love the look of it. I imagine a famous writer tapped on those ivory keys and wrote some famous work of art! Maybe, just maybe, I might be the famous writer someday who wrote their own work of art...but, even if that never happens, I still can imagine it will love being a part of my little world and know how much I appreciate its place in my creations...famous or not. I must admit, that my granddaughter, Emily, makes me feel like I am famous...she thinks I am the best artist in the world! She is ten...
This is a closeup of my bulletin board that was on the previous picture..made with vintage sheet music, seed catalogs and cards given to me by friends, it was so fun to make. My little granddaughter, Madison's shoes are made into tacks to hang things and I have embellished the board with doilies, buttons and rhinestone jewelry...anything that strikes my fancy. I love the Mary Engelbreit picture and saying, "Neglect not the gift that is within thee." So true and I so is the other one the says, "I just want to be Queen...it is as simple and as complicated as that!" Period.
"three faves"...Plus, in that bookcase are lots of vintage papers, tissues and napkins that I use in my collage. Above are baskets brimming with canvases of all sizes wishing I would get cracking and do something with them! I wall papered all of the photo boxes to hold all sorts of things, from patterns to ribbons to ephemera, etc...It helps to have them all marked and organized as my space becomes cluttered and a disaster in no time!
I love this little shelf that holds some of my collection of Joan Walsh Anglund dolls and books and also, my tiny Beatrix Potter books. The sign says, "Today is a Gift." and it is a constant reminder to me to be grateful for the gift within me and be committed to sharing with others. I truly want to not just paint, but inspire others to find their passion and bring their life to art. Everyone has a gift...the challenge is to find it, use it and pass it on.
This is another table that I decorated with inspiration from the collection of vintage sewing things I inherited from my mom and my grandmothers sewing basket. I cut out flowers from fabric, used doilies, old sewing needle covers and measuring tape...vintage lace and even the labels off of old spools of thread. It came out really nicely and makes me remember running my fingers through my Nana's sewing box that had hundreds of old buttons..I have those very buttons in my collection of jars...they are gorgeous!
Ahhh...my little friend, Peter. He and his books are all over this room...I love him so. I may just be a bit eccentric enough to hear him speak to me at times when I am drawing. I am almost positive I have seen him wink from time to time. My art is filled with fairies, mermaids and angels, so it really is kind of a prerequesite that I believe...and I do!
There is so much more I could share, but I know you have to get going to visit the other sites..I will leave you with this thought above...I never went to college for art...I drew as a child and would retreat for hours into the magical world of my drawings and those of the artists I loved. I never imagined I would be still inspired, everyday, by those childhood memories and be doing what I loved so much as child as my fulltime profession. I have been an artist for over 20 years and have never looked back. I encourage you that it is never too late to do what you were created to do. If you have a creative gift, it is your destiny to fulfull using it...there is no what might've been...only what can be...
So, know you are on the right track and do not negect the gift that has been given you. When you live the life you have imagined, you will be successful because the universe and God can not help but support you in living out what you were already ordained to be. So...find your passion. Live your bliss. Radiate your life...and you will feel just like me.....
(and yes, sometimes I do wear that crown and it lights up and sparkles like crazy!) May you all be blessed in your artful journeys and in your creative lives! Thank you for taking the time to share mine with me...I hope you will leave a comment to let me know you were here!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Well...I have been waiting to share this news with you all for some time...I have asked for prayers for the safe arrival of two little angels in the wee form of my twin grandsons, Ben and Jake and I am prouder than a peacock to be able to say that they are indeed here and my heart is full beyond measure. They did not have an easy time coming into this world and their mommy, my daughter Katy, fought hard to give them as much time as she could to grow and prepare for the miraculous wonder called, "Life." They wanted to make an appearance early and arrived a month and a half before expected, but they came in a just under 5 lbs. (for Jake) and just under 6 lbs. (for Ben).
Let me introduce you to them...my sweet little men who have stolen my heart. This is my dear little Jake. He had a hard time getting used to feeding, but he is making great strides and is a real little fighter. His little face in this picture reminds me of how he must've felt with all of the tubes and poking around he endured in those first few days. He has such a sweet disposition and loves to cuddle and be touched. Soooo sweet, he just melts you to see this tiny little man.
Here is the youngest of the twins by a whopping one minute! Meet Ben. He is such a little charmer and so beautiful with his perfect complexion and dark black hair. He just likes to chill out and sleeps quite a bit, but when he is awake, he has the most gorgeous eyes and just looks deep into your soul.
The boys are fraternal and could not be more different if they tried. Jake has blond hair, is fair skinned and has a long, slender face and petite frame and head. Ben has the black hair and olive complexion and a good sized round little face and his nose and mouth are totally different than Jake's. The nurses got a kick out of how different they are and remarked that we will always be able to tell them apart!
But, for all of their differences, they do have one thing in common...they both love to suck their thumbs and they love to be close together. When they are put next to each other, their hearts find their way to beat at exactly the same rate and they just seem totally at peace to be so close. In the picture above, they are spending time skin to skin on the chest of their mommy...don't they look like they are just in heaven? What is too sweet for words is that Ben, who is at the bottom of the picture is so contented by that thumb in his mouth...and Jake appears to be just loving it, too...that is because Ben is sucking on Jake's thumb. Now that is brotherly love...Please continue to pray for my little men to come home soon and that they will continue to always be so close. They are a miracle...and I give thanks to the good Lord above for blessing our family with their remarkable presence. Sleep well, little ones...Grammie loves you.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tomorrow is something I am really looking forward to. Stephanie from "Angelic Accents" is hosting a "To Have and To Hold Wedding Blog Party" for all those who love weddings...and who doesn't? Weddings represent all that is good in life...hope..new beginnings...loyalty and trust...and endless love for those who work as hard (seriously..alot HARDER) at the marriage as they did to have a beautiful wedding day. You just have to believe in happy endings..and "I DO!"
So, here is my little montage in honor of the wedding day...I am lucky enough to be able to enjoy many beautiful moments of lots of weddings as my daughters are both professional photographers and I get to peek at the pictures. My daughter, Emily, has graciously given me a few pics to share...I hope you enjoy them and at the very end of this post, I will share a personal moment that was precious to me personally..I hope it brings a little tear to your eyes or a smile to your face...it does to mine to know that love is alive and well and we are all a part of it. Blessings, friends and don't forget to check out the other posts at www.angelicaccents.blogspot.com.
The Magic of Weddings...first, there is the ring...
...then comes the planning for the special day...one must have the right pair of shoes...
..and don't forget the bling...lots of bling...
...and flowers everywhere imaginable...
...and don't forget the most biggest "wow" factor of all...THE DRESS!
Add some adoring vows and a little bubbly to seal the kiss...
And you are on your way to your happily ever after...
As promised...on a personal note...when my daughter had her wedding day, it was such a special day for us all...but, especially for my husband who came into our lives when she was just 3 years old. He was the happy ending that had eluded me the first time I was married and he stepped in as the best "step" father I could've ever hoped for. He is a rock and a hero and he does not cry easily. But, on that day, when Katy whispered in his ear as they danced, "Thank you for being my Dad.", all of his devotion and loyalty and love for her came back to him a hundred fold...and he cried...and so did I. Happy endings can really happen...so, do I believe?... "I DO!"
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
It's Wednesday and that means, time for another wishcasting at Jamie Ridler Studios. If you have never checked out her site, I really encourage you to do so as it is so uplifting and just an all around wonderful place to be. This week's question has an answer that came to me quickly...I wish to know Gratitude. With a capital "G". Not just, "Thanks, God.", but an all out, "OH MY GOSH, FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY TOES TO THE TOP OF MY HEAD, THANK YOU GOD FOR EVERY BREATH YOU HAVE GIVEN ME!"....that kind of Gratitude. Sounds simple, right? Well, let me tell you...in my life, it is an act of will and is only possible when I am truly present and plugged into my spiritual self. Otherwise, as soon as things go well and without incident, I tend to go on my merry way and forget to say, "thank you." On the other hand, when things go awry as they often do, and life throws some curve balls my way, I am abt to say, "Gee...thanks alot!" with just a hint, mind you, of sarcasm. Why God doesn't smack me upside of the head, I really don't know. Or maybe I do know...because He loves me...even when those little frogs jump out of my mouth...even when I am a perfect little princess..(yeah, like THAT ever happens!) no matter what or how I am..He loves me. ..the same...everyday. For that and so much more, I AM GRATEFUL. It took a long time getting here, to accept this kind of love and not feel like dog dookie because I thought I was so unworthy of it. But, when I finally got it...I mean, really got it..that I am not loved by God because of what I do or what I have or have not done..I don't need to meet some kind of criteria for my Creator to love me...that I am loved simply because I am...regardless. Nothing can change it..it's a done deal..well, that transformed my life. It has become my soul's song..I say it in my profile..."It is enough, just being me." Not because I look at myself and think I am all that..to the contrary. I often look in the mirror and fail to see it, but in my heart, I know it is in there. I have been stamped with indelible ink with the word, "beloved." In gratitude, I hope to help others find their mark, too. Some days I do better than others...I hope this is one of those days. If you are reading this, I hope you can take away the knowledge that you are enough, too...enough to be treasured beyond belief, enough to be accepted as you are ...an incredible gift ...enough for the universe to be thankful for. Wake up each day thinking like that and we may just know gratitude like we have never imagined....so, this day..I raise my eyes upward and answer the question...I wish to know gratitude and at this moment, I think I am on my way. Be blessed!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
It is another Wishcasting Wednesday at Jamie Ridler Studios...one of my favorite places. She always leads me to really think and ask myself some questions that bring much needed clarity to my life. This weeks question, "What do I wish to focus on?" could have several answers...obvious ones, like: losing weight, being healthy, getting organized, etc..but, I like to dig a bit deeper and try to find some new truth that isn't so obvious. Lately, I have found myself kind of stuck in the "If only's"...you know, "if only this hadn't happened, I would be happy" or "if only that person hadn't done that to me then I would be not going through this or that"...it is a very insidious little rut to fall into and can be hard to dig ones self out of. Especially, if one is rather feeling sorry for herself and wallowing in it like a little piggie neck deep in the mud. It seems to me, it really is an issue of not wanting to let go. If I let go of the "If only", then I might just have to move forward to the "What if?"..like, "what if I learn from this lesson and make something positive come out of it?" Or, even harder, "What if I stop feeling sorry for myself for what I don't have and be grateful for what I do and stop looking over the rainbow for something that is right in front of me?" Ahhh...now you see why I chose Dorothy as my blog picture. She epitomizes the state of being I have been in..there is something outside of myself that I am lacking and if I can just get my hands on it, life will be all bluebirds. If my life's circumstances were different, then I would find the end of the rainbow..it is all out of my hands..and on and on..blah.blah.blah. Pathetic! For Dorothy, it takes a freaking tornado to move her to a new place...she fights a wicked witch and goes through hell just to find out that the witch melts away with a bucket of water...Then, after all that, she is told that "She always had the power within her to go home" and she never needed the wizard at all, but just needed to click her shoes 3 times. I am sorry, but as much as I love the movie, if I were Dorothy, I think I would've punched Glinda square in her pretty little glittery face. And...I might add that I feel there is something missing at the movie that bothers me. When Dorothy finally clicks those heels and says, "There's no place like home", I just really wish that her life turned into one of brilliant color. That revelation should've counted for something and changed her world...who wants to live forever in sepia tones? SO!! I didn't really expect this to turn into a commentary on "The Wizard of Oz", but I feel like I am on a roll here. Is there an answer to the wishcasting question somewhere in this all? Yes, and here it is...I wish to focus on being over the rainbow about my life just where I am and as it is..in spite of the occasional tornado or fall in the pigpen. I do not need to follow a yellow brick road in search of someone or something outside of myself to bring some color in..I wish to stop giving away my power to those "if onlys" and choose to start dwelling in the possibility of "What if?" because that is where my power lies and Glinda is right..It has always been right there. So, I guess my focus is about letting go and letting in..letting go of the past...hurts, disappointments, painful rejections and all and focus on letting in...more love, more gratitude, more forgiveness..more blessing. I have a seriously blessed life...it is about time I clicked my heels about it!