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Back in action!


Hi guys and Happy New Year!

I hope you are all having a good start to 2014. I’m excited for this post. For a long time, I’ve been unsure of where this blog needed to go next. So I’ve let her sleep while I’ve spent some ample time with the thoughts “what is really important to me?” and “where do we go when we die?” and “Oh my God I hate my freaking life”. An enormous amount of healing and grieving have been going on under the surface for me since Drew died. And yes, miraculously, still there has been laughing and joy too. With the new year upon us, I’m feeling myself called back here to begin sharing more about my journey as a tiny artist duckling – lol. All the mistakes, all the ideas, all the successes, and the process of what’s working and what’s not for me… and of course, some stories behind some of the art I am making (’cause I am still making a whole lot – and it all has some very deep background to it).

As you probably noticed right away, the blog has gotten quite a facelift! The style is borrowed from my art website I’m feeling good about the change – now both sites work in tandem together with a singular look that I feel truly represents me – heart and soul. I was honestly never too crazy about the old look, so this is a well-needed breath of fresh air for me!

Along with the new look, I’ve included an About Me page and a sign up form for my Newsletter where you can receive updates about my artwork, the shows I will be in this year, and tidbits of creative wisdom to help you on your own creative path. The sidebar now has an updated link to my Etsy shop where you can purchase my photography and jewelry (and other art forms later in the year!) – apparently the old link did not even work anymore! Oh well, nobody’s perfect!

I thank you for sticking with me all these years – can you believe that? YEARS… it’s really weird to say that I’ve had this thing going for that long. It warms my heart every time I get a like or comment… especially now that I have been so absent for so long since Drew died. To know that anyone is still out there listening is really pretty cool.

Before I close this out one, I want to give a shout out to those of you who commented on one of my recent posts because I was almost ready to throw in the towel on this blog entirely, and your encouragement and belief in me was what made me decide to hang on to it. Speaking of comments, I would LOVE to hear what you think of the new look – drop me a line below!

Stay creative my friends!

About the photo: A long-exposure shot that I took of Drew’s family and I on NYE running around with sparklers. His dad was the one who ran right up to the camera… making that seriously awesome SWOOSH of sparky light in the top half of the image! 

Happy 3 Years of WordPressing!

Picture 6Today is my 3 year anniversary with WordPress. Crazy. Back in 2010 on this day, I signed up to make a blog. A few months later, in January of 2011, I began this 12 month project – using the blog to hold me accountable. While it has continued to limp along since that first year in a rather haphazard and sporadic fashion, it is 2011 that I am thinking back on today. This  project stretched me creativity in ways I could have never imagined that year. It gave me a newfound confidence in my own creative abilities and gave me permission to just DO things because I wanted to – not because they were good ideas or because someone else would like them. Believe it or not, I actually believed before that project that I wasn’t very creative. Ha! I think we can all laugh at the absurdity of that idea now! But that’s where I was. And although when I began this blog and this project I had no intention of changing those beliefs… it was truly the tipping point of turning those negative beliefs around and beginning a journey towards owning myself as a creative individual with a unique voice to share with the world.

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 10.46.52 AMMany of you know I was continuing to write about creativity here even after the end of 2011, but was interrupted by life when I lost my fiancé – who was a pilot – in a helicopter crash last June. As my world fell apart, I mostly dropped this blog and went on to create my 2nd blog, Our 1000 Days, to share my story of love and of grief after losing the love of my life. It was where I needed to be. That has turned out to be yet another place that has given me confidence in my creative abilities – again, not ever the intention of writing it. Much like how I felt before beginning this blog, i actually didn’t really think of myself as a particularly good writer and was very self conscious about the fact that I have no formal education in english, poetry, literature, or writing whatsoever. Through writing Our 1000 Days and telling our story and my story, I have gained much healing and also – to my surprise – I have slowly gained confidence in my writing and begun to step more fully into owning that part of myself too. He continues to give me gifts even from the other side.

Now, 3 years later, when people ask me what I do… I confidently say to them “I am an artist”. I don’t dance around it anymore. Even if I’m not making much money with doing it, even though no writing of mine has yet to be published, I no longer equate myself being an artist and writer with whether or not I make money from it. Instead, now, I answer that question by telling them the most IMPORTANT thing I do, the most MEANINGFUL thing in my life… not the thing that makes me the most money. And the most important, meaningful thing I do, is most certainly, creating.

Just three years ago, none of this existed. I worked at a job I wasn’t really happy with and I constantly talked myself out of ideas for projects and never gave myself permission to do any of them. I was in a dull, boring slump. Since Nov 19, 2010, I have done furniture making, jewelry making, short films, poetry, welding, encaustic (wax) painting, clay sculpture, feather painting, found object sculpture, large-scale finger painting, photography, needle felting, toy making, raku, glass etching, poster design, nature sculptures, Ukrainian Easter Egg dying, screen printing… and the list goes on. I had my first booth at an art show earlier this year… a dream I have had since I was a little girl, and I have sold my art to lovely people. And in the next week or two, I’ll even be jumping into mosaics for the first time… with the hope to begin teaching grief workshops with it – yet another totally new and uncharted territory for myself!

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 11.13.04 AM

ALL of that began right here, in these pages, with you guys reading and supporting me. I guess it just goes to show that no matter where you are, that is a really really great place to begin. Today, is the best day to begin… something, anything, and especially if your only reason for wanting to do it is because you’ve never done it and it sounds fun. I assure you, in having fun with new things, you will learn so many amazing things about yourself that you never knew… yup I said it, just by having fun!

So here’s to three years of blogging… and how it has changed my life, how I see myself and the talents that I have to offer the world. Thanks WordPress! And most of all, thanks to everyone who has been along the journey with me and helped me to grow. It would have been an incredibly lonely journey without you, and one with far less depth.

Now get out there and make something today! Just for fun!

Much Love,

Healing Milestones

photoI’m just a day away from selling at my first art festival… and my emotions are all over the place. I’m SO excited, this is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl. Every summer, I went to a myriad of art festivals and left each one with a calling in my heart. I watched artists at their booths and talked to them and stood in awe of their work.. listening all the while to the whispers in my own soul of how badly I wanted to be one of them. And tomorrow, I will finally be stepping behind the booth with my own creations.

I’ve been hard at work the past month to get ready – and as I’m getting the final touches done on my booth setup and inventory, I’m in awe. I’m looking down at all these lovelies and thinking “did this actually come out of me?” Really… they are not mine as much as they are gifts to me in my dark night. I’ve just been trying to survive my emotions this past year, and looking for hope wherever I could find it. I believe each thing I’ve made was given to me to help carry me through the loss of my fiancé – to give me hope and joy and courage. To help me tell our story – an artist and a pilot – two lovers of nature, adventure, flight, creativity and so much more. There are small things that tell this story in each thing I make. They restore me daily. What magic to be able to share them with others and hope that they find their own healing, courage, and hope in them!

It is bittersweet of course, which is where my all-over-the-place emotions are coming from. I am both so excited and at the same time utterly heartbroken. To know that he should be here for this. To know how proud he would be and that he’d be by my side helping me out. There is absolutely no way around the deep sadness that this brings to the occasion. I’ve shed a lot of tears in the past few days… but felt a lot of excitement too. Tomorrow, I’m just going to focus on enjoying the moment with good friends and family around to support me. I know he’d kick my ass if I let his absence get in my way, after all! Here’s to a new adventures. Its going to be exciting. A little bit sad too, but mostly… exciting!!!

Wow where have I been??

Yup, sadly I have been neglecting this little space of creativity for a while now. It’s been an exhausting few months to say the least. I’ve been pretty busy doing photography and painting and am excited that a direction of sorts seems to be emerging a little at a time. A direction, I am hoping, that will touch others’ lives and help me to continue this path of making meaningful art for a living. I’m starting to see a style in my photography… a “something” that connects to my soul. That something has been emerging in whispers over the past 3 years, oh-so quietly, without me realizing it. As I look back, I see the moments where I connected to it, fleeting moments. But it seems that since the loss of my fiancé last year, I’ve been so in touch with my intuition and soul that a lot of things have become much clearer. Photography has also been such a huge part of my healing and navigating this new life without him. Which is perfect. He was the biggest supporter of my photography, so how exactly right that it become a part of how I will live again.

photo of urchin skeleton in rock cracks, simple, beauty, minimalisttree silhouette at dusk, teal, aquaphoto of heart shaped leaf with a seed pod on it, simple, beauty, minimalist, love

And that painted feather I shared on here in November? Well, it seems I might have fallen on something there. I’ve already sold several online and have two local art galleries that are interested in selling them! This thrills me to no end, especially because symbols of flight have become so important to me since losing Drew (for those who don’t know, he was a helicopter pilot). So every time I send one of these beauties out into the hands of another I feel like I am sending out his passion for flight as well as his belief that should never stop reaching for our dreams.

photo of painted feather, totem, symbol, dreams, goals, flightphoto of painted feather, totem, symbol, dreams, goals, flight

I’ve also been working on my fine art site Seven Shooting Stars (which may eventually end up being where I move the content for this blog over to) and started up a new Etsy shop to sell my photos and nature art. Yippee! I opened up a business bank account and worked with an accountant to get a crash course in what all I need to do as I enter into this self-employed world. I hired a creative coach in December to help keep me focused, accountable, and pumped up… and boy does she rock! There’s something about hiring someone else to help you out – its like telling yourself that you are now officially taking this seriously enough to invest in it and invest someone else’s time in it too. That’s a big move for me.

So that is what I’ve been up to since November. Good lord, when I read it all written out, its a crap ton of stuff! I have to give credit to everyone who has supported me fiercely this past 8 months, because the only way I’ve had the strength to do any of the above is because of the amazing support and love I’ve had along the way from my own family, from Drew’s family and from friends both new and old, near and far!

I’m hoping to get back on track with the monthly challenges this month. These challenges really are so helpful in pushing creative boundaries I’ve found. I’ll try to get a new theme posted up for this month before too long! In the meantime, I’m wondering what sort of creative challenges others have been up to? Please share in a comment below!

Some Exciting New Stuff for the Blog!

I’m excited to share with you guys some new ideas I’m going to be working on for 12 Months of Creativity! This blog has meandered a lot this year… which is great. There’s been a lot of exploring and feeling things out, and tons of learning. Now, I’m feeling ready to get it back to the main focus, but with a slight shift. When I started this blog and my 2011 project, my goals were simple. It was about giving myself permission to play – to create whatever excites me without over thinking it and worrying whether its a “good” idea or not. To try new things with childlike wonder and curiosity. To learn to not judge my own creative abilities and get more familiar with my own individual creative process. I came away with all of this and much more. But it would not have been nearly as rich an experience without all the other people who have been reading, liking, sharing, cheering and following along.

That’s why I’ve decided to start making this space a little more about all of you! This means monthly creative challenges with themes to stretch your mind, heart, and skills. And posts on my process of creativity as well as interviews with other creatives sharing their processes and pitfalls. And of course… if there is anything else you’d like to see that you’re not seeing, I invite you to share that with me. I want this to be a space that celebrates the idea that creativity breeds even more creativity. And that everyone deserves to be in touch with their creative side – no matter if you can or cannot draw a straight line (can anyone actually DO that?). So please let me know what you’re liking and not liking as I begin venturing into adding this new content! See you there!


…and I painted

Today, for the first time since I was about twelve years old, I painted. What’s even more, I was lost in painting… swept off my feet in a dance of brush strokes undulating across the canvas. Feeding my heart as the colors mixed and blended and flowed together in ever-changing harmony. It was so refreshing to be lost in the moment of creating a thing – without caring about the end product.

Below are the two paintings I did today. I really have to thank Kelly Ray Roberts for her Flying Lessons e-course and all the amazing, inspiring women I am meeting through our group each day. I feel like I’ve been looking for a creative tribe like this for a long time. Their energy has really helped to put something beautiful back into my daily life as I move through my grief. Thank you lady flyers!


Both of these pieces are representative of the loss in my life right now – losing my fiancé, Drew in June of this year. You can read more about the symbolism of each painting here at my other blog

Through the years, I’ve drawn and sculpted and welded and thrown clay around. I’ve made rescued art and photographed and written lovely words… but painting has always been the one type of art I have shied away from. It has always intimidated me. It’s taken a few months of sitting here with paints and canvases taunting me before I finally had the courage to try. I’m glad I did, it was such fun!

I’ve also never really created visual art to express emotions I’m going through… my preferred method has always been words. This definitely opened up a new avenue for me – one I plan to continue with!

Learning To Fly

Many of you know of my fiancé’s passing 3 months ago in a crash while working as a helicopter pilot in Washington state. In no time in your life do you become more clear about what is important to you than a tragic loss of a partner and best friend. It strips away everything until all that is left are the vital things that can still make your heart soar in the middle of the darkness.

Finding Flying Lessons
Drew’s mom bought me this painting about a month ago by Kelly Rae Roberts. I happened upon a whole wall of her paintings in the shop we were at, and tucked away in the corner, hiding behind a sign was this one. It reads “she lived her heart’s glowing truth every single day”. It sits by my bed and serves as my mantra… my commitment to live my truth each day – no matter how joyful or sorrow-filled that truth might be.

Then I went onto Kelly Rae’s site and nearly fell out of my chair when I saw her online course titled “Flying Lessons: How to make your creative business soar” – Drew had just finished his rating to be a flight instructor, and had spent many nights giving me flight lessons to practice for his final exam this past year. If ever there was a sign! I purchased the course immediately, as an early birthday present to myself. And today it starts, just a week before my 30th birthday.

What Is My Passion?
In the midst of his loss, and with the help and support of many beautiful people in my life, I found my passion… the thing that is to help me heal and carry me forward into a brilliant shining life. It was there all along you see, it’s been there since I was a little girl, but its been hiding beneath all the clutter of everyday life until this loss stripped away everything else. I want to make things. I want to make things that excite me and make a difference in people’s lives. And I don’t want to have to fit that into a box anymore. I draw, paint, photograph, write, design, weld, sculpt and do whatever else I fall in love with. And that is what I want to build my life and career around.

The Journey Ahead…
So I don’t know much right now – but I know the most important thing. I know that I’m not going to play by the rules anymore – the old restrictions of fear and doubt that have kept me in a box most of my life. Done. My fiancé faced the biggest fear of all to achieve his dreams of flying and doing what he loved for a living, so being afraid just isn’t a good enough reason anymore. I’m going to pursue the life I want – and nothing is going to stop me. I’m going to follow my heart and soul, because now I truly believe in myself. It is mine to have, so I’m going to take it. And I am SO thrilled to have this course to help me get further on my journey. I’m also thrilled to share my journey with all of you here on my blog. So here’s to flying high my friends.. I hope to see you on a cloud somewhere up there!

I am an Artist.

Yesterday was a very very special day. I dropped off my first piece of artwork to sell in a gallery. This is a piece I made last year during my 2011 12 Months of Creativity project. I nearly packed it away in storage, but something stopped me and I realized it might be a good fit for a gallery I’d just visited down near Seguin. So it made the journey with me from Dallas down to Seguin and is now getting ready to be displayed at High Lonesome Gallery!

I spent a few hours hanging out there at the gallery talking about art and life with the owner. I’m most grateful to have a fellow artist friend around here. I was soaring when I left. All my life I’ve wanted to do this – to sell my art – to even have the chance to try… and now I’m doing it. The dream I talked about with Drew time and time again over the years, it’s happening now. And knowing that he did and still is playing a very big part in all of this happening makes it even more beautiful. I cannot imagine a better way to honor his memory.

He was my biggest fan. I’ve never had anyone believe in me and support my creative spirit so fiercely in all my life. And that changed something in me forever. I used to be someone who didn’t truly believe she could live her dreams. Oh I wanted to live my dreams, but looking back, I realize I didn’t truly believe I could have that world. And maybe even didn’t believe I deserved it. And now, I believe it. I believe in myself as fiercely as he believed in me. I don’t just believe I can have it, I know I deserve it, and I know it is mine to have. I don’t know why it had to take losing the most important person in my life to find this in myself – but here it is. He got me as far as he could, and now the rest is up to me. Lookout world!


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