The last sheet, before it gets cup up into pieces… I needed ten pieces, and each watercolor sheet yields three and some leftover bits. There will probably be some larger chunks left of this one… anyone up for a swap out? Email me…
On my road to the salmon & turquoise postcards, I deviated and ended up making this sketch in my Moleskine journal. I’d sketched it out the other day while listening to Tori Amos’ music on my iTunes, and sketching koi for my May postcard project. Today I colored it in with watercolors (iridescent, water soluble pencils) and the above is the result. You can click here to get a closer look. The iridescent quality somehow didn’t translate well in the scan and the image is quite a bit darker than the original sketch, but this is as good as it gets tonight… I’m tired. *yawn!* Sleep beckons!
My pink and black postcard is ready to go out. I started out with a sketch of a Venetian Carnivale masquerader and worked a pink background on watercolor board with US ArtQuest’s watercolor palettes. They’re glittery and fun and when I need to take myself a bit more lightly, I pull them out. I layered on several coats of the stuff through a paper doily. I love the resulting texture. Then I transferred my sketch onto the board with graphite paper and added dark paint and texture on my masked man as well. I’m grateful that I only have one (as opposed to nine) to do.
I’ve been thinking on a lot of things lately. I picked up Doreen Virtue’s Divine Magic (Hay House Classics) last week, and have been reading it since mid-week. Interesting stuff, this… not new, per se, but neatly, concisely packaged, along with a “meditation” CD. It’s inspiring, in the least… whatever it takes these days.
Everything about my professional life, lately, seems to be ill-fitting, except perhaps the regular paycheck. I’ve spent most of my adult life in the corporate world, working as what can be equated to a servant position… that of secretary, though nowadays the term administrative assistant is by far a more politically correct designation. And as with all positions of servitude, the degree of palatability is entirely dependent upon the person you serve, and to a lesser extent the nastiness of the other wenches in your household, so to speak. Some days they behave, other days not so much.During a rather philosophical discussion with one of my co-workers, I was advised to “rise above it” (as opposed to wallowing in the slop of the pig sty). Some days this is easier to accomplish than others. I truly feel that my calling is not amongst these ranks, though it does provide a steady and dependable flow of income. I’ve most always picked the easier route in my life, choosing not to rock the boat even though every ounce of me was screaming that I should tip it over. Other times, when I’ve done just that, after the dust settled and the other passengers in the boat smoothed out their disheveled hair, I always found that I was in a better place (at least on a soul level).
But it’s always good to have a plan…I’ve almost completed my Kaizen-Muse coaching program and can now officially be called a “Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach.” As with any new clothes… shoes… titles… this one will take a while to feel comfortable in, but I’m sure I’ll adapt. That… and I’m just about convinced that I’ll be winning not one, but TWO very big lottery draws… I’ll keep you posted… maybe even throw a party.
Another year has flown by. They appear to go by more quickly these days. An illusionist’s trick, it seems, since the days edge along, sometimes even creep so slowly that I feel I can’t bear another minute of it, and yet the year has gone and here I am, again looking back, from this vantage point, at the dizzying speed at which it elapsed.
To usher me out in grand style, the year has thoughtfully given me something to carry with me into the new year… a head cold. I was beginning to feel it’s grip on my on Friday morning at the office, and was relieved that they let us out earlier so that I could go home and rest up. I’ve been drinking lots of fluids and also a concoction of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) drops stirred into orange juice… and garlic toast and hot herbal teas with the juice of a whole lemon and a big dollop of honey mixed in. I’m happy to announce that I’m on an upswing. And… Puffs brand tissues scented with Vicks mentholatum is da bomb!
Christmas was once again generous. Gabriel got a Guitar Hero 3 game from the Grands, while Steve gave me a lovely (oh how I coveted this necklace!) Tiffany lapis lazuli “bean” necklace. I’m embarrassed to admit that it is appropriately named a “choker” as it fits around my neck but only just, so I’ll either need to go on a diet and lose some of my neck’s girth, or have an extension added… more likely the latter. Steve went out on a limb and purchased a couple of bottles of scent for me… something that he hasn’t done… maybe ever? As most women, I am rather particular about perfumes, and since I don’t wear one daily, it’s pretty hard to figure out what my favorite brand is (assuming you are paying attention… and since this is not something Steve normally pays attention to, I was warmed by the effort made). Gabriel also got a very cool BMX bicycle, and many other goodies. Steve got a pair of new eyes, having had a lasik procedure done on the 21st, but had a few things under the tree to open as well… a nice set of headphones for this iPhone and/or iPod, and an iTunes gift card.
We were able to partake of our customary family holiday dinner together this year. Steve’s parents, brother Brian and sister-in-law Sheri joined us for our usual roast beast (well, TURkey, if I must be specific), with all the fixin’s. I was baking up a storm all the way to Christmas Day morning, which delayed putting the bird into the oven and hence, dinner. I was disappointed in how my baked goods turned out, for the most part, except for the Chewy Bars, which is a Family Recipe and was delish. The breads were either over baked (and hence, DRY) or underbaked (and hence, MOIST but not in a good way). I’ll have to try these again; this oven is difficult to guage as the heat fluctuates a fair a mount, and I’m guessing that even the location of the rack greatly affects the outcome. Love gas ovens, but they certainly are trickier than the electric kind.
Feeling better this afternoon, after a warm shower which cleared my head, I began work on my (overdue) “harvest colors” postcards for the color postcard swap that I have been hosting for the last year. I’ve had my challenges with staying on the monthly plan, but I still end up sending them out, albeit tardy. Not everyone has kept to the program, though, as several people have dropped off altogether and not sent their cards at all… which I’m sure vexes those who are tenacious and punctual. In any case, above is my batch of harvest colors in the making.
I wonder what good and wonderful things this next year will hold? I’ve long ago given up on “new year’s resolutions” but today I think I’ll send out some intentions into the universe, and see what transpires:
- I wish to do my best, at all times, regardless of the endeavor, taking into account that my best will change from day-to-day
- Take small steps to better every moment that I walk upon this earth
- Be gentle, kind and loving with myself and others
- Do little things each day that make my soul sing
- Trust that all will work out exactly as it was meant to, and surrender the outcome
Happy New Year, One And All!
“Once in a Blue Moon”
I worked on my blue postcards this weekend and finished them up. These are all similar (though not exactly the same, since they’re all originals). They took considerably less time than I usually spend on these projects. I don’t know why I feel compelled to create little mini masterpieces each month… well, I do know… I’m neurotic, is all, when it comes to my artwork. I’m trying to finish up old stuff… mail out things that have been sitting here for eons, and have yet to be taken care of. It almost seems like I can’t move ON and take the next steps before I close out some of the old things that have been hanging around and being ignored.
I have to share this from Anahata Katkin’s blog (we share the same astrological sign), since it almost exactly sums up how I”ve been feeling lately:
For the astrology buffs out there, my official Saturn Return is in about a week. For the rest of you -and for me- that means I feel like a complete dork and I’m having a real time of it. I have the dreaded feeling that suddenly I’m going to get swallowed up by the grumpy old man that is hanging around in my head. I can be intense, yes. My friends and family would all easily enjoy a good jab at my stubbornness and shall we say over enthusiasm. But grumpy has not been one of my Brownie stripes until lately. It’s all comical since there is no apparent reason for discomfort in my life. Sailing along and some how missing ME. You know. The real me. (Do you have a real you that seems like a kid you accidently forgot at the pool and then suddenly remembered when you got to the grocery store!?) I have that sinking feeling that I better find the missing pieces before I begin this next chapter in my life. As I was saying the other day-everything in life feels up for renegotiation. (I know classic Saturn Return BS.) Here is what old Brezny says this week to help me with my vague attitude:
“It’s the Season of Burning, Churning Yearning. Here are three of the most important things I’ve ever told you about how to get what you need. (1) If you don’t precisely articulate your conscious desires, your unconscious patterns will come true instead. (2) If you want your conscious desires to trump your unconscious patterns, speak or write your conscious desires every day. (3) It’s better to have three huge, soaring, potent desires than 25 puny, scrabbling, half-assed desires.”
Woo-hoo! Time to figure out my three huge, soaring, potent desires rather than 25 puny, scrabbing, half-assed ones! [Hmmm… wonder if dinner with Keanu would count as a former or a latter desire… hmmm…]
And finally… I’ve been a grumpy butt lately (though not always unjustifiably)… just having one of those LAST STRAW moments… SO if I’ve offended you in some way, or hurt your feelings, I ask for your forgiveness and request your indulgence… and if it was something you said… I’ll forgive you and seeing that my memory is like a colander, there is a pretty good chance that I’ll forget about it too.
Well, I’ve come a little bit further with my Colors of India postcards… it’s all moving so slowly. I’ve still been under the weather, though I’m finally on an upswing… must be that Z-pak the doctor prescribed this weekend. Hopefully we’ll all be germ-free shortly and feeling spritely again.
The upper left corner has an image of Ganesh, the Hindu elephant god. The following are quotes from Wikipedia:
Ganesha is worshipped as the lord of beginnings, the lord of obstacles, patron of arts and sciences, and the god of intellect and wisdom. He is honoured with affection at the start of any ritual or ceremony and invoked as the “Patron of Letters” at the beginning of any writing.
He is the Lord of Obstacles both of a material and spiritual order. He can place obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked, and can remove blockages just as easily. The Sanskrit terms vighnakartā (“obstacle-creator”) and vighnahartā (“obstacle-destroyer”) summarize the dual functions. Both functions are vital to his character, as Robert Brown explains: Even after the Purāṇic Gaṇeśa is well-defined, in art Gaṇeśa remained predominantly important for his dual role as creator and remover of obstacles, thus having both a negative and a positive aspect.
Paul Courtright says that:
Gaṇeśa is also called Vighneśvara or Vighnarāja, the Lord of Obstacles. His task in the divine scheme of things, his dharma, is to place and remove obstacles. It is his particular territory, the reason for his creation.
I find it interesting that many Hindu gods (in fact, the whole pantheon of gods in general) have this duality in their nature. Is it so surprising that we mere mortals are “afflicted” with the same attribute? So much time and effort is expended into quashing our shadow sides instead of honoring them as an integral part of who we are… the push and pull that moves us forward… toward completion of a cycle. Each has a purpose, and each can be harnessed to move us forward. I believe that transcendence begins with acceptance.
Color Erratica Journal Round Robin
White Journal Layouts
Wow… I finally finished working on my white journal. The paint and glue have dried. The photos are shot. I just need to pack it up and send it off in the mail tomorrow. The photos would be clearer if my husband’s shoulder wasn’t so sketchy, and so his hand isn’t quite as steady as he’s shooting photos, but they work, in a pinch.
Now I just need to finish up my black journal, which has painted and glued pages drying. But for now, it’s time for bed.
I *love* this weather! I slept in ’til a bit after 10:00 yesterday morning, and I couldn’t believe how late it was when I finally got up and took a look at the time. There’s something in the air that reminds me of my childhood… of new beginnings… of a new school year, maybe, and the nervous anticipation that accompanied it. I like the pinch in the air, too, and I don’t mind the clouds. I think maybe I’ll talk Steve into going up to the mountains this weekend… maybe Idylwild for a walk in crispy leaves, or maybe out by Redlands to an apple orchard to go pick some apples. I hear some apple pies clamoring to be baked. 🙂