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Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

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!

November Submissions are In!

The submissions are in for 12MoC’s very first ever creative blog challenge… Woohoo! In case you missed the post announcing it early this month, the chosen theme for November was “Flight”. Without further ado, I give you the submissions of all our fabulous November creatives. Be sure to check out their blogs (linked to each image) for more photos and juicy details of their projects! Enjoy!

1. Laura Wooten of My Suburban Life

I’m loving this mixed media piece Laura did for this month’s theme – especially all the symbols on the balloon, which were from some of her own pattern designs. The curious little houses below truly made me smile, too. Please take a look at the full post on her blog, as she has some excellent process pictures and shares a wonderful story all about this piece and its inspiration!

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1. Kristen Conley of Whimsy Inspired

Kristen did this beautiful acrylic painting of a hummingbird in flight! I love the colors and all the layers… and the messy drips. (I am a big fan of messiness!) You can check out some great process pictures and the story behind this one over at her blog, Whimsy Inspired. Thanks Kristen!

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3. Rose Miho 

Oh ambitious Rose – she did not only one entry but THREE this month! You go girl! Rose is a very talented poet/artist and has shared with us three poems and complimentary art pieces on the theme of flight. Be sure to check out her blog for more of her poetic words.



Clouds! Oh! soft clouds …

Floating above us,

silent and soothing.

Whispering, white tender cirrus.

In one beautiful blue sky

opening my heart to the world.

It’s beauty.

It’s softness.

As a blowing wind in the universe,

I’m floating and I have been rocked gently.

As a baby in a woman’s belly,

warm tender and sweet.

Softly floating among stars.

It is the flight,

of my gentle heart

For you dear.



I flew

I flew so high I could touch the stars

and I sank

deep in the water

deep within my own body

and I flew

Hight again where no one could see or touch who I was

It was as if I was a cloud,

an invisible cumulus

a colorful cirrus flying hight

and vanished into the darkness of it’s soul

and this great dance went on and on

and I kept on dancing it

Going hight into the sky

and falling back deep into

the deepest water of my being.



I have eaten the blood of the young

fed on the elder’s wisdom

I am standing within the earth

between walls of history

and wisdom

I am flying above the sky

and standing over the entire world from my own mount

I am the one who chooses where I walk


where I stand

I am the knowledge of the earth

the woman of the fields

the heart of the lovers

and the tears of the dead

I am everywhere you go

in every step you take forward

I am your path


present and past

I am the spirit of golden wings

the one you feel when you follow

the path of your heart

I speak to you in those words

so you know and remember

that I am everywhere you go and are

by your side

a golden sparkle in darkness and light.


4. Katharina Hoehendinger of Musical Chairs

Katharina has a great blog full of her creativity, travel stories and experiences. Her post for this month’s challenge is a one that is going to last well past the month! Take a look at an excerpt below or click here to read the full post!

“My personal carbon footprint is something of an ecological nightmare: 14 flights from January to December 2012 alone! I live abroad, fair enough, and my family and many of my friends are based in Germany. But somehow that seems a bit of a weak excuse when thinking about the long term impact of my individual choices.

According to WWF UK, a passenger on a flight to Paris is responsible for ten times more CO2emissions than a person using the Eurostar. I actually wanted to go back home by train this year for Christmas. But then I got confused by the Eurostar’s online booking system and opted for easyjet instead. (Again, very weak excuse!)

Living in London has made me a bit more aware of the extent of air travel that is taking place across Europe. It is only during the night that no planes can be seen in the sky. Apart from that I hear them all the time starting from or flying to one of the city’s five airports. When I went to Heathrow for the first time I was genuinely shocked because of its enormous dimensions and the amount of people traveling to and from there every day. Where are they all going, and why?

Finally, I’ve decided to reduce my ecological footprint and will try not to fly in 2013. This will be difficult when visiting back home but it’s not impossible. And for going on holidays it’s actually quite good that I live in another country: there are lots of beautiful places in the UK that I haven’t seen yet.”


I love all the different viewpoints and perspectives that everyone had on this theme – as well as all the variety  of media we had. Even with just four artists, we had writing & poetry, painting, mixed media, drawing and photography! What an awesome mix. I want to thank these ladies again for sharing their lovely work and for taking on the challenge this month!  While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the December Challenge – you know you want to make something!!

Juicy Tuesday! How would you really enjoy spending your life?


We’re almost to the end of the month! I’ve gotten a few submissions for the challenge already and am excited to see what else comes! How are your projects going? Hopefully better than mine… which is currently at a stand-still until I manage to retrieve some real bird wings (humanely of course). Hmmm yes I will leave you in suspense right there!

For the last Juicy Tuesday of the month I thought I would share a little something to help you think about our theme of flight in terms of living life without limits. I very much resonated with this, as I was taught by my parents what most of us have been, to go to college for something that you can make a good living at. After getting a degree in graphic design and five years of working in cubicles, I am realizing that I want more and – most importantly – I’m realizing I deserve more. We all do. Not something that we “like okay” but something that ignites a fire in us which glows so brilliantly that everyone around us can see that our heart is ablaze. We deserve that, and I think we can all have that, but we first must leave the tethers that tie us to the familiar, the old beliefs, the old way of doing.. and trust in what he says in this video… that if you do what you desire, instead of doing something for the money, the money will come, and you will be far happier than you ever imagined. What is it that that you desire?

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.

Inspired by Flight: Birds

In keeping with this month’s theme, I thought I’d share some flight related artwork throughout the month that is inspiring me. In this post I wanted to focus on birds as symbols of flight. Unfortunately, I have not been able to track down the names of all artists, but have included them where I was able.

By Theo Aartsma

By Abby Diamond

By Eve Sand

By Fiona Watson

By Barron Storey

By Danna Ray of Groundwork

Flying Lessons: Whispers of Passion

Alright here we go! Diving into Kelly Rae Roberts’ course this week. I’m already about a week behind on the material after coming back from Arizona – but it was fabulous and worth it! More soon on our beautiful and healing trip to Sedona and the Grand Canyon… but for now, on to my first lesson in making my creative dreams soar!

Whispers of passion – no, it’s not the newest series by the author of 50 Shades of Gray… although it sounds like it! These are the quiet voices of our heart and soul pulling at us, guiding us with slow, subtle force. These are the dreams, the places we find ourselves getting lost when we can’t sleep at night, or standing in line at the grocery story, or sitting in our cubicles or while watching TV at night. Our passions speak to us all the time, no matter what we’re doing or where we are, but it can take some pretty intense listening skills to hear it above all the chatter of everyday life.

Starting to hear my passion
I think last year was the first time since I was a little girl that I was starting to be able to hear my passion again. I began to have this yearning to create things – not to sell them or to get recognition or really DO anything with them, but just to make things again like I did as a kid… just because it was FUN! Somewhere along the road of college and jobs and money and life, I lost touch with that childlike part of myself. So for me, 2011 was all about finding it again.

My 12 Months of Creativity project really helped me to do that. Looking back, that project changed everything for me. It gave me a confidence I didn’t even know I was missing. When I started that year, I truly believed I didn’t have good ideas and that I was not really very creative (which is actually insane considering I’ve been doing some kind of art my whole life since I was old enough to hold a crayon). Thru those 12 months, I learned to value my own creativity as something beautiful and uniquely mine, and I fell in love with the joy of making things just because it’s fun!

 The whispers get louder…
Earlier this year it seems like those quiet whispers began to get louder. Gradually, I was finding myself more aware of ideas all around me, to the point that often times I’d be sitting at work just bursting with creative energy and frustrated to not be able to let it out. I started to pick up some freelance clients to do graphic design work for, I stated a local creative community, I took a welding class, I opened an Etsy shop.. I had a voracious appetite for creating things of all sorts! I started daydreaming about building enough freelance clients to be able to leave my full time job. It felt like my creative spirit was getting more and more ready for something big, and I was taking small steps forward, until the universe brought about things that required much bigger steps….

Everything changes…
As many of you know, my world changed entirely on June 12, when my fiance passed away in an accident while working as a helicopter pilot up in Washington state. Devastation is the only word for this.

Although I’ve lost both of my parents, losing Drew has been an infinitely deeper and more traumatic experience… it was the death of my whole future, of our plans, our life, our family. It is the only experience I’ve come against in life that has ever left me fully afraid that I may not survive it. But here I am still.

Something happened in me when I lost him. Something was lost, something else was found, something switched on, other things switched off, but really what it boils down to is that I decided. I decided that “fear” is not a good enough reason anymore. I decided that I’m not playing by the old rules any more… I’m done tip-toeing around afraid to truly commit to myself. I’m someone new, and I’m not settling for anything less than what my heart and soul truly desires. I want to make things every single day that bring myself and others joy. And that’s what I’m going to do!

So here’s where we’re at…
It’s been almost 4 months since the accident now. Now, I am trying every day to follow my heart, not my head. I quit my job and moved out of Dallas down to stay with Drew’s family in South Texas. Do I know where I’m going from here? Nope. Do I have a plan? Not really. My only plan is to make beautiful things. To make something every day that brings joy to myself and others… and let God or the universe or my handsome guardian angel help me figure out the rest along the way. For the first time in my life, I am just trusting that I will be okay.

One thing I’ve learned through all this is that the more I listen to those whispers of my passion, the louder and more beautiful they become. The more I listen to what my heart really wants, the more opportunities come into my life that feed that truth… and the more beauty is brought to me. The challenge is to stay in the present moment – to keep myself out of the future and past and of letting all those fears and what-if’s and have-not’s get to me… and to make sure to sit with those feelings whenever they do need to be heard.

God, I’m really going to have to find a way to make the posts more concise! I cannot very well write a novel like this for every lesson in this course! I’ll try to keep the next one shorter… although it’s all about FEAR, so it’s likely to be a big one as well! ;)

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!

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