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Posts tagged ‘News’

Project Update: Into the Unknown

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 6.26.54 PM

There are new things on the horizon, I can see it. New landscapes I’ve yet to explore – within my artistic career and myself. I’ve been feeling it for some time now… and as I sat down today to write week 37 of the series, I somehow ended up with THIS post inexplicably. So I’m deciding to pay attention… to listen to whatever stirrings have finally decided to come out….

Closing One Chapter:
Although I have not reached a full 52 weeks on the project, I have made it a full year of shooting the series. (A few weeks were missed for holidays and bad weather). And so I’ve decided that I will make the informal close of the first year be at week 35. The dates of my last 5 or 6 posts I think will reveal I’ve slowed down things a bit. It’s good, in a way… it is because so much life has been happening. Rushing in quickly since the beginning of the year. Still, Life is happening, indeed.

I never planned on Week 35 to be the closing image, but somehow looking at it now, it feels appropriate. It is about the point in which life truly begins again… the rushing in of life and the reaching out into it. It suddenly feels just right for this image to close one chapter and allow for the next chapter to begin.

I say the “close of the first year” because I’m intending to continue “Still, Life” indefinitely, but at a slower pace. Perhaps one image a month. Or perhaps just organically as life allows room for. I will be working that out out over the coming weeks and months. I’ve still many shots planned for this series and others still unknown that will come – so I’ve no doubt that this is now going to be a series I carry on for a very long time.

Into the Unknown:
As for what lies ahead… there are other things my ambitious heart is yearning to get itself into. It’s a bit terrifying, and I have no idea where it’s going yet, but I’ve got some ideas. I’ve just submitted my first proposal for a public speaking engagement on death and creativity. I want to begin speaking to people about the healing power of creativity, about everything this project has taught me in the past year. About everything I’ve learned over the course of my life about creativity and healing, and the power of death to help us live life more fully. There is so much to share from behind the scenes of this series, and I’m feeling like it’s time to begin making room for that.

Along with public speaking, workshops, articles, and the like… the even bigger project that is calling my name is the “Still, Life” book. I have dreamt of this since I first begin the series. Have held it in my mind and heart all this time. With every image and every word written… with every painstaking hour and uncomfortable position I put myself in for a shot… always, the book was there in the background whispering to me. A physical manifestation of one woman’s voyage… navigating the depths of herself as she lives through death, loss, fear, anger, and despair… coming out the other end more powerful and more alive than ever before.

This is the first time I’ve been so open about sharing of the book. I’m hoping it lands in supportive hearts… I’m having faith that it will be heard by just the right people out there who can help me to make it happen too. I believe in those connections… in opening the door and the right person walking in. I’ve got faith and things to share and I know the right publisher will be found. And the right speaking and writing opportunities will too. If you’re out there read this, and have any advice, ideas, or connections for me, feel free to leave a comment below or message me on my Facebook page. My heart is open, I’m ready for what’s ahead, and I’m all ears.

I want to thank everyone who has been on this journey with me thus far, whether you have been enduring your own journey with death or not. The growth and number of lives this project has touched could not have happened without every one of you. When it’s gotten hard to keep going, just knowing I had an obligation here – with you – kept me pushing ahead. And it will continue to do so as I take my first steps into the next phase of this journey… onward it goes. Thank you all!

“Sanctuary” Wins the Cover!

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The voting poll has closed and the results are in! My image Sanctuary will be the cover of an upcoming issue of Artist Portfolio Magazine. As a thank you to everyone who voted and helped make this happen, I would like to extend a special 20% discount on all prints (purchases over $50) this week! Just visit my ETSY SHOP and use the coupon code “THANKYOU1” at checkout to receive your discount! The promotion will run through the end of next Monday, so please take advantage soon!

Thank you again for all of your continued support of my work and my journey. You all have shown me that amazing things are possible when we work together, and I cannot wait to see what else we will achieve together down the road! Much love!

Back in action!

NewYear

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 sevenshootingstars.com. 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! 

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!

 

Hugs, Tears, Gifts and Love

Hi everyone..  first i wanted to say thank you to each of you for your loving and supportive replies to my last post. It truly warmed my heart and meant so much to me to have such support from you. We may not know each other’s faces, or know the sound of each other’s voices, but believe me when I tell you, it has meant something real to me.

I’ve been back in Dallas a week. I’ve had more rock bottom melt downs than you can count this past month, but especially coming back to Dallas. I tried to sleep in my apartment alone for 2 nights before finally calling a friend to stay over and then calling my Aunt to come down to stay with me for a week. I’ve tried to do things on my own my whole life – it’s definitely a new and odd experience to not even be able to be in my own apartment alone for more than a few hours. I am so thankful for the people who have been here for me along this journey so far… and the ones that are to come.

I will not leave you without a few positives though – as one of the things he loved most about me was my ability to find rainbows in even the darkest storms… a few highlights from my first and most horrible week in Dallas…

Succulent Succulents
My team at work sent me this gorgeous succulent basket and a great big amazing cards that made me cry buckets. Thank you all, now I just hope I don’t kill the poor things with my brown thumb!

The Girls At The Office
The first day I went back to the office… there were a few girls (you know who you are ladies) that surrounded me with love, tears, and hugs. We broke down right there in the middle of an ocean of cubicles together. They even gave me their lunches and snacks, and brought me water and anything else I needed so that I didn’t even have to get up from my desk. And some of these girls I don’t even work with on a daily basis, in fact I really don’t work with them at all directly. Knowing they are there has made each day at work a little easier to handle. Thank you ladies.

PASTA!
My second day back at work, one of the ladies in my group gave me some leftover pasta from Olive Garden. I had not eaten pasta in over a month. It was penne, with a light red cream sauce and shrimp, and it was the most heavenly thing. My taste buds were singing! Thank you Linda.

Hearts for my Heart
I finally opened up a box of cards and other goodies from work today that I had not gone through yet… and was overwhelmed by all the lovelies. One of the groups next door to me made me individual little needle felted hearts with their names each tagged onto them! Best of all, they came inside a lovely little felting craft box, complete with a bunch of colorful wool to make new creations with. So many little hearts just brightened my heart. Thank you ladies (and Montey!)

I’ve yet to find the creator of this adorable little bird I got from the office as well! There was no tag and I suspect the card got away from him, but he will be sure to cheer up my desk when I take him back up there tomorrow! He stands about 7 or 8 inches tall!I love his little feet. Will soon find out the maker and update here.

A Military Memorial
One of Drew’s friends on the gun forum wrote to me privately after the accident and wanted to send me a ceremonial flag in his memory. I cried when he offered this.. as I know how much it would have meant to Drew. Although Drew was not in the military, but he had deep respect for our military and I know had he not had a back injury, he had planned to fly for our country. His friend also included a military medal for good conduct. Not knowing much about military medals, I looked it up. This is a medal that is given for 3 years of good conduct, as well as to any soldier killed in the line of duty. Thank you Karl – you are a good man and friend.

Well, that is going to wrap it up for tonight. Not every post will be positive… but I was glad to have the energy tonight to post one. Again thank you to everyone for the gifts, cards, kinds words, support, tears, hugs, calls, food, and for everything in between. I love you all. <3

Etsy Shop Grand Opening: Wishes & Wool!

Hey everyone!

I’m excited to announce the opening of my Etsy shop today! Since this nasty tendinitis in my wrist has slowed me down on making items for the art market… I’ve instead shifted my plan to focus on getting my Etsy shop – Wishes & Wool – up and running these past few weeks. Woohoo! I spent last week doing a TON of test photography of all the felted critters that I’ve already made – on just about every sort of background imaginable. Here’s a bit about the whole process and what I learned:

Photographing Felties
The first step was a trip to the fabric store! I bought a half yard each of about 8-10 different fabrics. Several came from the remnants bin – great way to save some money! Once I got them all home, I ironed each one carefully, getting ALL the wrinkles out.

Once wrinkle-free, I set up a simple sweep on my bedroom desk using an old canvas propped against the desk to hold the fabric up about 2 feet high so it would have a seamless sweep across the desk. I’ve got a nice bay window in the bedroom that my desk sits in, so it makes a great place to get lots of natural light! Soft, natural light, as I have learned from testing and reading a lot online, is absolutely KEY to good shots.

In the shot above you can see layers of fabric in the background – i basically just laid them all on top of each other and would roll each one up or down as needed for different backgrounds. Made things nice and simple, and kept the fabric winkle-free! Below are a few other test shots both on fabric and with a vintage wood set.

I built the vintage wood set out on my patio using some old wood I’d had lying around – stuff you can find at the salvage yard – and a vintage wooden crate I picked up at an estate sale last summer. Just laid a board over a small table, put the box on top, and propped up a few old boards on top of the box – and viola! the perfect rustic vintage setting for Barnaby Fox!

After a lot of different backgrounds and options, I narrowed it to one feature shot – something different for every critter – one detail shot and a few shots on a plain background to show alternate angles and scale. I’m hoping this will give all the information someone might want in order to decide to take one of these guys home!

Helping Empower Others Thru Creativity
One of my goals with Wishes & Wool is to use my own creativity to donate to creative causes that are helping to fulfill needs and wishes of those less fortunate than I. And so, I’ve decided to donate 10% of all purchases to a wonderful charity that I’ve been a supporter of for about a year now, called 100 Cameras. This charity is dear to my heart because it makes such beautiful use of one of my other passions; photography. They empower children in underdeveloped parts of the world to document their lives through photography. By helping them to gain exposure and sell their photography, they enable these children to create positive change in their own lives and communities through their unique creative visions. Check out their website to see some of the kids’ photos and learn more!

Come by The Shop!
I invite you to come and check out all of my creations at Wishes & Wool, and let me know what you think of the shop! Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I’m bursting with excitement about this whole new adventure! Having my own Etsy shop is something that I’ve been dreaming of for several years now – and really putting my stuff out there for sale has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. And even though I’ve yet to sell anything, I truly believe people will fall in love with these little guys as much as I have! Thanks everyone for stopping by!

The Day the Internet Found Me

Every blogger out there fantasizes about this moment… when somehow the little blog you’ve been pouring yourself into suddenly gets noticed and explodes all over the internet – even if temporarily. Most of you are likely reading now because you saw my last post about my boyfriend’s recent accomplishment’s on the Freshly Pressed page of WordPress. I would like to share with you how this weekend went down…

We had a party Friday night with some close friends to celebrate all the goodness of the past week… hooray! Lots of bowling, laser tag and air hockey – as we are just giant 12 year olds around here. In the morning, as Andrew went off to work I stumbled sleepily to my desk to catch up on emails and the latest happenings of Facebook and as usual, visit the blog and see if maybe I’ve broken my record of 95 visits in a day. I’m staring at those status bars thinking to myself “hmmm that’s so weird, the one for yesterday is like disproportionately huge compared like ALL the past weeks.. what is wrong with this thing?” *refreshing page several times* Then I rollover the bar of epicness and the visit number 1,274 shows up…. whaaaaaaaa!

I then go into a fury of checking email and comments and likes and followers – whole crap! How has this happened?! Thank you WordPress for showing me how people found my blog! Freshly Pressed?! What! OMG *girly noises and dancing around the house in pj’s scaring the cats… this goes on for some time* And then I realized I have to wait ALL DAY to tell Andrew about this coolness and how tons of people are sharing in his achievement since I can’t call him at work. Baaah! So there I sat in the quietude of the morning with this thing that felt so big and expanding and connected that it was about to explode the room. And my favorite part of this was that it happened not because of something I did – but because of someone’s story that I shared… and that wonderfully interconnectedness of his story and mine and the whole journey that has meant to much to us.

By the end of the weekend our little post and the blog overall had over 10,000 visits (TEN THOUSAND!). That is a number of people so inconceivably huge-tastic to be connected to for even an iota of time that my only reaction was really just to laugh in lighthearted joy and utter amazement.

Now of course I realize this won’t last – and that probably everyone who’s even been on Freshly Pressed writes a blog entry just like this one afterwards… but do I care if I sound ridiculous? Nope. Unapologetically dramatic is how I roll. I really have no clue if anything like this will ever happen again and I’m just going to bask in it fully and outwardly – with all of you!

So THANK YOU to all of you wonderful shining people who took the time to visit, read and comment… to follow, reblog, and like. It has taken several days, but we’ve read each and every comment you left, and have gotten to see so many cool new blogs we would have never otherwise found! You made a special event in the lives of two people down in Texas even more incredible with all of your kindness! And to think, I almost didn’t post this because I thought it might be cheesy or no one would like it. Just goes to show that anytime we doubt ourselves we should really just take the chance and go for it… because you never know where it will go. =)

All my best!
*s

Sooo… what have I been up to this month?

I realize I have posted virtually NOTHING this month so far – yipes! Its true, the end of the month (and year!) are sneaking up fast! Have I finished a poster yet? Nnnnope… have I even started? Not at all! But I HAVE been thinking about it! (I definitely count that as productive). Even though I manage to do a lot of creative stuff I do procrastinate quite well still.

So what HAVE I been up to all month?
Well aside from the usual holiday chaos of hanging lights, putting out decorations and gift-wrapping… I’ve been working on a new project that is likely to become another year-long project on TOP of my 12 months project next year. (Sometimes I ask myself “what on earth have you gotten into now?!”). Yes, it came to me quite randomly a few weeks ago… I’d been trying to figure out how to open up my 12 Months of Creativity to other people. I wrestled with some different ideas, one of them being to have membership to a 12 Months blog where I would post about your project once a month. That felt off to me though… it still felt too much like me controlling/running a thing (taking precious creative time away from me) and plus, i didn’t much like the idea of making people pay for it. So I kept thinking and visiting various websites and online communities… until ONE day…

Something just hit me!
You know those moments people describe where something just hits them over the head? They’re going about their business or doing nothing particularly significant and then out of nowhere BAM!!! something just slams right into your head, decides to curl up inside your brain there and purr magnificence to you. Yes, we have all heard people talk of those moments.. they make us nauseous. Well, I’m here to say… sorry for the nausea! Indeed it did – just hit me like a ton of bricks (brightly colored ones!). Of course, it happened after spending many many hours and days and weeks and months thinking and talking to people about various ideas for how to expand my project to others. So I guess really, it wasn’t so much an “Aha!” moment as it just was finally the solution that seems to fill all the needs I was looking for.

So what IS this big idea?
I know… I’m rambling and really making quite a build-up to this idea of mine. (My boyfriend can tell you this is one of my many annoying talents). So the idea is to make an online creative community where people from all over the world can share their projects together… all kinds of projects! Art projects, cooking projects, craft projects, projects with kids, community service projects, science projects, anything creative! I knew it was perfect right away… because I love WAY to many things in life to ever just focus on one – and I know many other people are the same way too. I figure if I use the mantra I did during this entire 12 months project (Does it excite me? Then I’m DOIN IT!) then I could have a shot to really create this thing!

Soooo there you have it. BIG idea. Lots of possibility. We don’t know where it will go. It could crash halfway through the year, it could never really get off the ground to begin with, OR it could fly around the freakin’ world and touch million’s of people’s lives and get creative juices flowing all over the place! Haha, who is this person? I swear I NEVER used to dream this big… what is going ooon!

We Will Create
With that I will leave you with the link to the community page… wewillcreate.ning.com
I’ve got it up and running on a cheap and not-so-fancy community platform just to get things started. A) Because I’m cheap and B) Because I’m impatient and don’t want to wait to have some massive custom site built out. It’s all one big learning process right now, there’s still plenty of quirks and kinks to work out, but would love for you to stop by and join in the creativity! Starting first of the year there should already be several people beginning projects on there! Woohoo!! Thanks for reading!

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