Friday, March 23, 2007

Small Treasures

There is still plenty of good junk to be had in small Texas towns. Had to stop at one roadside antique store on the way to see the folks. My heart goes pitter patter every time I see vintage valentines, buttons, baby photos, or horse ribbons. Can't wait to make art with some of these items.

Just a little something to cheer me up for not being able to attend ArtFest or Art Unraveled or Art & Soul this year. I'm going through a challenging time, and circumstances have made it difficult for me to travel this year. I really appreciate all the awesome bloggers out there who document their travels and experiences at these retreats. Vicarious thrills are better than none at all!

Cool Country Cows

Took a trip home to see my parents, and, as always, I got a great home-cooked meal and a visit to the country. My dad has cows that often have twins. (Is this common?) Unfortunately, mama cow doesn't always recognize one of the calves as her own and refuses to let it nurse. It's nothing new to my dad and a pain in the rump to give the calf a bottle twice a day, but it's always fun for a city mouse like me.

Meet Jack. He has an appetite as big as his eyes and sucks a bottle like a pro. What a cute milk mustache! He's doing pretty well, although he may need years of therapy for abandonment issues. Man, farm life is harsh!

After feeding Jack, we (well, I watched) loaded hay onto the trailer and drove to the ranch to feed the other cows. Rosco expertly picked up the round hay bales and placed them on the trailer. Other cows came running to get a nibble of the hay before we pulled off. Then, we carefully made our way through town (slow on those turns!) and delivered the hay. Daddy honked the horn a few times to let the cows know we'd arrived and, a few minutes later, here they came. Jogging over the hill. Mamas and their babies and one ginormous bull.

Farm livin' is the life for me!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spring has Sprung

The birds are chirping and the Bradford pears are beginning to bloom...just a few signs that spring has definitely arrived here in the Dallas area. We'll reach a high today of 74 degrees. Yes!

Like many, I'm enamored with clear glass containers of all shapes and sizes to hold objects of art and supplies. My desire to have more of these containers is only halted by my limited counter space. In fact, I now choose the supplies I want to work with and haul them down to the kitchen table. (Luckily, my sweet husband lets me run amok.) Is it crazy to want to buy a bigger house just so I can have a bigger art room? Is there a support group for people who buy so many supplies and flea market trinkets that they have no room to create? I just finished
reading the new Sophie Kinsella novel, Shopaholic and Baby. This is super light and fluffy reading, but I love reading about the main character's shopping excursions. Vicarious thrills. And yes, I know I need help!

This antique cherub picture was spotted by a friend of mine in Ames, Iowa. It's one of my favorite things.

The paperbag book below was made in Lesley Riley's class. Lesley is a great teacher and I had a great time in her class. In her sample project, the pages were glued together so I followed suit. I'm not quite sure what to do with something like this. I wish now that I had opted to keep the pages loose so I could journal in it. Ah well, live and learn.

The fabric art journal at the bottom was made in Pam's class. (This one opens and is great for journaling.) Does that girl rock the art world, or what?!! What a sweetheart! She gave me my first sewing lesson ever!! Love her and her
awe-inspiring blog. Have a great day, blogger buds.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Just Putting It Out There

A few years ago, my mom gave my brother and me the cutest scrapbooks for our respective pets. I volunteered to do his and have just now (don't cha love procrastination) gotten around to finishing it. The narrator of the scrapbook is Pez the Pomeranian, and as you can see, he is quite large for his breed. He tells a little about himself and his favorite things to do. This book, like many other store bought scrapbooks, has plastic page covers. I'm ready to move on from these as part of the fun and delight of scrapping and journaling is feeling the page and all the textures it holds. I realize that I tend to put myself in a box and sometimes resist new techniques. I've been putting off working on my wedding album because, of course, I want it to be perfect and I'm scared to begin. No page protectors. No manufactured album that will look dated in ten years. No cutesy-pie embellishments. do I start? You see, I have an art room filled to the brim with cutesy-pie embellishments, and while I still think they are fun, I don't really want to use them. Most of the artists and scrappers I admire use few if any manufactured embellishments. Their own style and flair come through with authentic vibrancy and clarity. Their art is their own. I am still searching for my brand.

One of my biggest challenges is trying to break my perfectionism habit. I mean, I was the kindergartener who would not go to bed unless all of my clothes and accessories for the next school day were all carefully laid out. The thing I'm (still) learning about the creative process is it doesn't work so well if you're tightly wound up in rules and shoulds and should nots.

As much as I still habitually lean towards playing by the rules, I am making a conscious effort to listen to the true music of my heart and express myself with great abandon, to make huge messes, basically, to make a lot of ugly, crappy art. Because if I don't allow myself, no cheer myself on in the making of bad, crappy art, how will I ever get to the sweet stuff? It's all about loving ourselves and being kind to ourselves, day to day, minute by minute. Not an easy task perhaps, but certainly a worthwhile and lifelong endeavor.