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Posts from the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Making Art in the ‘Burbs

studiopic2Tonight I wanted to give a little love to a fellow artist who has been a wonderful support to me through this past year and also well before that… I feel a bit like she has watched me grow my wings over the years since I first began my 12 Months of Creativity project in Jan 2011.

Laura Wooten did a year long project all her own, which began in January of 2012. She decided to take the brave journey of creating a piece of mixed media art every single week – for a year. To make it even better, she decided to use her own surroundings as her inspiration… gleaming scenes and stories right from her very own neighborhood. This always intrigued me and struck me as incredibly brave – partly because I was at the time living in the city and often made the excuse that there was nothing interesting or stimulating to photograph around me. No excuses for Laura!


She took what was all around her and created beauty with it. At the end of the year, she had 52 beautiful pieces that all came together into one giant presentationof awesome… all of it filled with memories and personal life stuff. I urge you to go check out her latest blog post where she shares about the whole journey, what she learned, the challenges, and so much more.

To wrap this up, I wanted to share my very favorite piece she did throughout the year… which was based on a true occurrence of a hot air balloon landing in her neighborhood! Yep I’m officially a believer in looking all around you for inspiration now. Congrats Laura on finishing a wonderful year-long project, and thank you for being an inspiration!

Juicy Tuesday!

Hello to you creative souls!

I’m super excited to have already gotten the first submission to our monthly blog challenge. I will be keeping you in suspense though until the end of the month to see it – but I will say it has me excited for what else will come! How is everyone doing with their flight-themed artwork? We’re almost halfway through the month now… boy that got here fast! I’m in the works on my piece, still early stages, but excited about where its going!

I’d like to introduce to you Juicy Tuesdays – a once-a-week post that will have some delicious tidbits to keep your creativity flowing on your blog challenge! For today’s juicy bits, I thought I’d share some quotes and poems about flight…

/The Eagle and the Hawk

I am the eagle, I live in high country,
In rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky,
I am the hawk and there’s blood on my feathers,
But time is still turning, they soon will be dry,
And all those who see me, and all who believe in me,
Share in the freedom I feel when I fly!

Come dance with the west wind,
And touch all the mountain tops,
Sail o’er the canyons, and up to the stars,
And reach for the heavens, and hope for the future,
And all that we can be, not what we are.

— John Denver


“The secret of flight is this — you have to do it immediately, before your body realizes it is defying the laws.”
― Michael Cunningham


/Come to the Edge

Come to the edge.
We might fall.
Come to the edge.
It’s too high!
And they came,
and he pushed,
and they flew.

— Christopher Logue


“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”
― Toni MorrisonSong of Solomon


“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.”
― C. JoyBell C.



Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace.
The soul that knows it not Knows no release from little things:
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings.
How can life grant us boon of living, compensate
For dull gray ugliness and pregnant hate
Unless we dare The soul’s dominion?
Each time we make a choice, we pay
With courage to behold the restless day,
And count it fair.

— Amelia Earhart


/Give me the Wings

Give me the wings, magician! So their tune
Mix with the silver trumpets of the Moon,
And, beyond music mounting, clean outrun
The golden diapason of the sun.
There is a secret that the birds are learning
Where the long lanes in heaven have a turning
And no man yet has followed: therefore these
Laugh hauntingly across our usual seas.
I’ll not be mocked by curlews in the sky;
Give me the wings, magician, or I die.

— Humbert Wolfe


“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
― Leonardo da Vinci


Painting Credit: Brad Stroman’s “Hawk Passing” painting in acrylic on board, from Gallery MAR.

A Day of Art!

Andrew’s mom and I spent the entire afternoon today running around some of the small towns near Seguin checking out all things artistic. We didn’t have a plan really, just set out after lunch to see where the day would take us. I love wandering days like this, I think we should have more of them in our lives.

High Lonesome Gallery

So where did we end up? Oh so many places! The first and most spectacular was a small a gallery right outside of Geronimo, Tx called High Lonesome Gallery. It’s right off the highway, boasting some wonderfully large, colorful, art that certainly intrigues anyone who passes by to come in for a visit. We’d been meaning to stop by for a few weeks, ever since we saw a write up in the local paper about the place. Finally, today we made it in. I don’t know exactly what I expected to find here… but I assure you that what we found was far more than I’d imaginThe place was full of eclectic art and found objects of all kinds. It was not some junk shop with cluttered shelves and dust everywhere though. It was a clean space with each item being carefully selected or placed. The owner of the gallery was so warm and welcoming – and so passionate about art. We must have been there for at least 30 minutes to an hour just talking with him. He had a story to share with us about nearly every single piece of art there. It was fascinating! And I started to realize.. he collects, expresses and shares stories – not just art. Stories of his own life and stories of other people’s lives. I’m instantly in love with the richness of this and suddenly I realize that when the day comes that I have my own gallery – this is what I want to do. I want to tell stories. Just beautiful.

This visit had me hyped up for the rest of the afternoon. I expressed to the owner that I just moved down here to leave the corporate world and make art. To my great joy, he welcomed me to come out anytime I liked to the gallery to work on my art there. I’m sorry, pinch me, am I dreaming here? Did that just happen? Who does that? I could not even believe my ears. This place is oozing with creative energy – a paradise to begin to make things. Who would have thought there’d be a gallery out in the middle of nowhere Texas that would be just what I was looking for, at just the right time? It’s only been open for 4 or 5 months, too. Talk about timing.


Junk Shops Galore
After going to High Lonesome, we stopped into one of the antique/junk shops in Geronimo. A typical junk shop, packed to the brim with all kinds of old stuff. It was so much fun walking around and discovering things around every corner together. Afterwards, we hopped over to another area right off Lake McQueeny, just a few miles down the road. We’d passed another junk shop over there on the way to dinner a few weeks ago.. so we finally stopped in.

This was definitely a junk shop. Lots of junk, including a shelf full of old VHS movies, old appliances left and right, etc. The guy was a bit strange.. he asked us to bring him any junk we don’t want. He said “I have plenty of money, junk is what I need” haha what?! We didn’t really ask, but assume he hauls stuff down to Mexico to sell off. He was nice enough though. Also, quite randomly, he had tons of large cuts of all kinds of native Texas wood, ready to be finished and turned into gorgeous tables, shelves, wall art, and the like. And he ended up giving me a gorgeous plank of cedar wood – about 4 feet in length – for free! Joy of joys! I just bought some books about finishing wood a few weeks ago and now I have a project I can practice on.

One Giant Pottery Studio!
Also right off the lake, at the end of a residential road is this very hidden but very giant ceramics studio that Claudia knew of – Walt Glass Pottery. Oh my word, I have never seen such a place. There were 4 or 5 buildings, whole buildings just full of finished pieces or pieces that are ready to be fired… a whole wall for mess-ups and broken pottery… and an entire building just for the kilns. Yup, he has enough kilns to have a building for them. I believe there were 5 or 6 kilns total in there – and I’m talking the huge brick ones… plus 3 or 4 smaller kilns off to one side. Unfortunately, the artist wasn’t around at the time, so we talked a bit with one of his workers who was there. The place doesn’t look like it’s really being utilized so much right now, but apparently there is serious talk of turning it into a pottery school. Yesss we loved this idea!

I’d have to say this was a pretty successful afternoon of inspiration and healing for us. Of course throughout the day, we talked of Andrew. It’s always so healing to be doing things like this because we know he is smiling to see us surrounded by all this artsy stuff -he knew how much we both loved art. Here’s to unplanned afternoons of wandering, art, an a healing adventure.

Inspiration: Exchanging Essences

In the spirit of inspiration, I wanted to take a moment to share something a dear friend wrote to me the other day. It’s such a beautiful portrayal of how those we love pass through us as they move on from our lives… I found it so inspiring I just had to share.

“I decided it wasn’t just that another person has passed through my life and left something behind.  That was much too physical a concept.  So I expanded the thought to view it as that person’s soul passing through my soul, and vice versa.  I visualized our two souls as ephemeral shadows passing through one another and in passing, some essence of each was transferred to the other.  And in this way, I came to understand that, in the lives of all the others through which I have passed, I have also left something of myself.  I caused a positive change of some degree in their lives.  I like to believe that all changes are positive, if we choose to make use of them in that way.  So I have come to feel that, even though I have lost my family, my husband, and so many people I loved, they are not lost to me, because they are part of me still, in the changes they effected in my soul.  And further, I have found comfort in knowing that, though they have gone on and some of me has gone with them, while we were in each other’s lives we both gained, through this amazing exchange of essences.  Knowing that I made a difference in someone’s life, as they made in mine, has given me a totally different perspective.  It has given me greater strength, confidence, and determination as I pursue my own journey of healing.”

I’m so thankful to my friend for sharing this with me. Ever since reading it, I have begun to notice at times the ways in which his soul is still a part of mine. It doesn’t make it better, but it does make it a little easier. Thank you, my friend!

Recycled Bottle Art Galore!

I have a definite thing for any art that is made from reclaimed or recycled materials, but I think art made of reclaimed glass has to be one of my favorites! I came across this really cool website called Vitreosity the other day and filed it away in my “Stuff to Blog About” board on Pinterest. Vitreosity is the work of Tom Krepcio and includes just about anything you could ever want to see or know about stained glass. From bottle art to historical stained glass to resources and history on the subject, I’d say Tom has a pretty cool thing going! I was particularly inspired by some of the glass bottle buildings he shared, and simply had to share a post of my own on the subject! Hope you enjoy =)

Structured, Modern Bottle Walls & Architecture:

Revision Lounge in Manhattan, made of all-recycled materials, including a bottle wall bar! In love with the warm glow the put off.

Wine bottle wall from a Napa Valley winery. Simple, clean, sophisticated.

Bottle wall at the City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

Lordy do not get so close! I know, i know- it’s glued together – but still makes me nervous!

Buddhist monks from Thailand’s Sisaket province collected an incredible million bottles to build the Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple. I think this is definitely the most epic thing I have yet to find made from bottles.

Mysterious bottle house in the ghost town of Calico, California. There is no information on how this house got here, nor how long ago it was built. But still pretty great!

Organic, Free Form Bottle Walls & Structures:

A wild one indeed, this colorful wall is near an arts center in Deep Ellum area of Dallas, Texas.

Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village – Located in Simi Valley, California – features a series of 13 sheds and building all made from bottles. Her creation is praised by art scholars and has inspired the work of many other artists since it’s creation – it’s even a state historical landmark. My favorite fact about her Bottle Village? She originally created this space to house her pencil collect (17,000 of them – holy crap!).

The Market Hall in Altenrhein, Switzerland

And last I give you the fabulously eclectic Tinkertown near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The buildings serve as a museum for his handcarved figures and animated scenes.


Credits & Resources:
Bottle Houses:
Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village:
Buddhist Bottle Temple:

Bottle Architecture – Vitreosity:

Flickr Photo Credits: Inhabitat, rsun78, plumandjello, aimforawesome.
*Photo Credits from Flickr accounts and may not necessarily be the original source of such images. I have however included these credits to recognize where I originally found the images.

A Look Inside Artist’s Studios

Seeing images of artist’s studios always leaves me feeling energized and inspired. I’m still dreaming of my own studio space – something that my 1 bedroom, 650 sq ft apartment will not quite accommodate! I envision concrete floors to get all dirtied and big windowed garage doors I can open on cool days… a proper place to do welding, ceramics, wood restoration and just about anything else that perks my curiosity. Oh, it will come! And until then, I share a bit of daydreaming on the subject with some images of artist’s studios both known and unknown below!

Porthmeor artists’ studios in St Ives – the oldest artist complex of it’s kind in Britain – dates back to the early 1800’s.

Artist Henry Ossawa Tanner in his studio at 51 rue Saint-Jacques in Paris, circa 1900.

Norman Rockwell naps on the sofa in his studio in 1960; photo by Bill Scovill.

I cannot find the name of this artist, but their wonderfully colorful and repurposed art studio resides in New Zealand.

Studio of American landscape painter and author, Eric Sloane.

Studio/workshop of welding sculptor Alan Ross

Awesome ceramics studio at University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Would love to play here!

Close up in miscellaneous artist’s studio (photo by Kathryn Clark).

Artist Michael Heeney’s studio space.

Isabelle Tuchband’s studio at her bohemian home in Sao Paulo. *drooool*

Do you have a fabulous inspiring art studio to share?? One filled to the brim with brushes and paint, clay and metal, odds and ends, doodads and thingamajigs galore? Please shoot me an email at sarahtreanor[at]gmail[dot]com to share some images of your inspiring space! I would love to gather up enough studios from everyone who reads here to do a blog post!

Inspiration: A Marathon to Remember

It is not a rare thing for me to read an inspiring story about someone overcoming great obstacles and end up crying. Let me tell you… I’m a crier. But it is a rare thing when the very thought of that person’s story still has me choked up nearly a week later just upon thinking of it. And that is why I’d like to share Claire’s recent achievement and share just what it means to me.

Claire Lomas is paralyzed from the chest down – the result of being thrown from her horse during competitive riding finals in 2007. This past week, after 16 arduous days of slow and careful stepping, she became the first person to complete a marathon in a bionic suit. So first of all, that is already one of the most badass things I can imagine. On top of that, her ambitious goal gained the attention of many, including sponsors and other supporters who donated to her cause. By the time she reached the finish line, Claire had raised over £132,ooo for Spinal Research. Wow.

What amazes me most about this story is that it’s not just about one woman and her goal to walk again. There is so much more here. The fact that she used her walking for a greater good – making it a goal so seemingly insurmountable as to not be ignored. And of course it inspired a world of people, who in turn showed immense outpourings of support for her bravery. Then I begin to think of the bionic suit itself… and the scientists and engineers who must have poured their hearts and souls and uncountable hours into creating such a thing. Imagine what her success meant to them – and what their creation has meant to her. And finally, I think to myself, my god, what if I were paralyzed? And I saw this woman halfway across the world who just walked a marathon! Sure she has a $70,000 suit in order to do it, but she is walking again. That would be enough to change my whole world.


Thank you Claire, for living your life with gusto! And, as I have read in almost every article written about your story, doing it while always wearing a smile.

*Photo credit: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images



Donate to Claire’s Cause for Spinal Research

“Badass Paralyzed Woman Finishes London Marathon in a Bionic Suit” – Gizmodo

“Paralysed Claire Lomas completes London Marathon” – The Telegraph

“Paralysed Athlete Finishes Marathon” –


The Right Attitude & The First Flying Job!

For those of you who found my blog via Freshly Pressed a little over a month ago, you’ll recall the post I wrote about my boyfriend Andrew completing his Flight Instructor Certification for helicopters. I’m ecstatic to update you guys that within a month of getting his cert done, he has found his first commercial flying job! To even have a chance at a job within a month of finishing this level of training is pretty unheard of, much less actually landing the thing. Many heli pilots spend 6 or more months trying to get that first job. Obviously we’re pretty excited!

The other great part is that he will be flying around the state of Texas mostly, so for now he will not have to move halfway across the country. Always a bonus when we don’t have to live far apart! He just left Monday for his first gig, flying rides at a small town fair in East Texas. And could it get better? Why yes, it does. His birthday it today… and he has deemed this the best present he could have gotten. I know not everyone believes in the universe working with you, but I sure do. And I definitely happen to think the universe is pretty darn in-tune with him right now. Good stuff. I could not be happier for him.

I thought I’d share something he wrote last year to some fellow helicopter pilots. I think it really applies to being successful in any field and says a lot about what attitude can do for you…

“Attitude… The attitude you have every day when you walk into the flight school will have a big effect on how successful you are at this pilot thing. I don’t mean just having a good self concept and being confident that you can learn this stuff, but even after that when you’re getting close to [Certified Flight Instructor] and wondering what your next step is going to be.

I look around at the 20 or 30 people I know who started about the same time as me. Only a few have jobs. Why? Part of it is that they went into flight school with a good attitude. They knew they could learn the material and they did. What’s more, when the bottom fell out of the helicopter job market, they kept trying. They kept a good attitude, they moved when needed, and they just kept at it until someone gave them a shot.

They’re all people who carry themselves well, who act professionally and really don’t complain too much. This is not an industry for whiny people. There will be many times in your career where you may end up back at square one and have no idea what the next move is.

I’m not saying the ONE factor that will GUARANTEE a job is a good attitude, but let’s face it… People don’t want to hire miserable people as the face of their company. They want confident, happy people who know when and how to deal with the frustrations that come with a down economy. Sure, a good part of at least two of those jobs was being in the right place at the right time, but there were 100 people behind them going for the same job, too.

Anyway, when going into this helicopter thing, just know it’s not always blue skies and calm winds. It’s tough out there, and you will have to learn how to keep your head up.”

Nicely done sir. I look forward to giving some future updates every few months about what he’s up to and where he’s flying… lots of rides at fairs around Texas, a  tactical shooting course or two (i.e. people shooting targets out of helicopters for training), and perhaps even some cherry drying up in Washington state! Oh the adventures =)

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