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Life has a way of knocking the breath right out of you. Sometimes for good and others out of pain. My sweet younger brother, Donnie, passed away last week. Although we knew it was his time and ultimately for the best, my breath seemed to get caught somewhere in my throat. I loved him with all my heart. He truly was a gift from God and helped me through some very difficult times. His smile and his love will always remain in my heart.
While I worked through this breathless stage of grieving, I found comfort and solace among my friends! Some of my friends were here with me at Jane Dunnewold studio in San Antonio during our Art Cloth Mastery. They were there for me in love and support.
I also found my breath as I began to dive into my work of bright and beautiful colors! This thickened dye screen printing technique that I just learned energized my soul. I know the Don would have loved these.
Thank you friends for your support, and thank you Don for your radiant smile!
Things have a way of changing in a hurry! The last post was a quilt and a poem I made while Meditating on some heavy life changing decisions. Long story short, I now have a new studio space! Not as large as the old one, but this one is much more visible! Jillian Scott and I manage and create art in this open studio. This is a place is open to the public where people can feel free to come in and watch us at work. Jillian Scott paints and letters on wood, walls, signs as well as creating from found objects. I love having this opportunity to share this space with her. She is an incredible artist and friend! Our open house is March 8th at 6 pm at the Aberdeen Mall, Aberdeen, SD. Hope to see you soon!
Trust in me the Whisper says
As I approach the Forrest ‘ s edge.
Beyond the curve, I cannot see
With fear and dread I panickly
Tremble for the journey through
This path ahead is something new.
Dark shadows fall, surrounding me
Tell me Lord what can it be?
What demons beyond what if I fail?
What unknown traps I cannot tell?
Help me, I cry what can I do?
Frozen in shame, should I follow through?
Enchanted by the mysterious sight
Desire to move, fear holds my flight.
Trust in me the Whisper say’s
Abide with me through the Forrest ‘ s edge.
Trust in me I’ll guide you through
Hold tight my love, I’ll carry you.
Beyond the curve you cannot see
For I have been and will guide thee.
Through the terrain of knowledge and time
Enlightening your way, you are mine.
With a little help from my neighbor friend, the design studio is once again clean! Everything now has a home. I can’t wait to start messing it up again! Honestly, I can’t work when things are in that kind of disarray. It’s hard for me to concentrate on the task at hand when I can’t even find the tools that I’m needing at that very moment. It actually gives me a headache. So noted; conscious effort to never let it get that messy again! Now clean and off to inspiration!
About my Design Studio:
I am spoiled! And I am the first to acknowledge this. I never thought that I would ever have such a fabulous work space! When we moved 2 years ago, we found this home with this awesome studio! It was as if it was built just for me! The room was originally built for a wood workers studio, but it converted nicely. We built a wall to share the space, which ended up being my design wall. A few details are listed below.
Large and Medium Design Wall: Foam Board Insulation wasvcovered with a high quality flannel. Then nailed to the wall.
The Small Blue Design Wall: Covered with an iron batting (used for hot pads and ironing boards) then covered with Flannel.
The large Iron table: A wooden box was made to fit right over the ironing board to make it larger. This wooden box was covered with two layers of batting and cotton fabric which wraps under and stapled.
The Large Design and Cutting Table: This was made so that the leaf could fold down to make smaller. There is a large storage area underneath. On each end is peg board for storing rotary tools and rulers.
The White Shelving is from IKEA including the clear totes, which makes finding the fabric easier. Each bin is labeled.
Baskets: Filled with wool and supplies make a perfect place to hide needed supplies.
The Aircraft cabinetry was already built in when I bought the home/studio. Bonus! They are fabulous, sleek and will hide a lot of supplies! Yes, they are all full!
Magnetic metal peg boards are on the walls to attach, hang or store quick reach items.
Sitting area is great for when the grand kids, or friends stop by. I don’t sit very often! Too much to do!
The corner next to the Large design wall is where I do my dyeing. I have a sink, washer and dryer. It just did not work out to put them all in the same place, but it works ok. I’ll bring out an old 8 foot table for the dyeing.
Lighting is fantastic, and with two windows I get plenty of natural light as well.
I would like to say I’m off to sew, but if you notice, there are no machines! They’re both getting worked on! But I am off to design!
I just started reading the BEST book ever!!! “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert. She is the author of “Eat, Pray, Love.” And wow! does she hit the nail on the head! I love this book so much that I bought it twice! Once so that I could both listen to it in an audio format, as it is read by the author herself! And the other to carry with me as a reference and reminder!
I have read many ‘Creative’ and inspirational books, but this one tops my list! I love how she relates so much of her own growth and insight. I’m not even half way finished, but these are some of the amazing highlights so far.
Acknowledge and accept FEAR. It’s a part of who we are. When we invite and acknowledge our fear, we can set aside the excuses!!! My excuses? Time, Opening up my soul, Being Good enough. I started my creative journey late in life, and as a refuge from a lifetime of loss, I approached the arts with a venue of relief and to find a bit of joy in my sorrow. There has always been something holding me back, not really allowing me to move forward. I’ve never really been sure of what it was, but I am now recognizing that it was the fear of acknowledging who I am. Now letting go of the condemning words that I heard so much in the past, and the fear that they were true.
“Defending yourself as a Creative person begins by defining yourself. It begins when you declare your intent. Stand up tall and say it aloud, whatever it is.” Elizabeth Gilbert
Declaring your intent. That’s something I teach in my yoga practice. Ok, so now it’s time to live what I preach. I stopped reading the book for a moment and said aloud, “I am an Artist” three times. And as I said it, I had goosebumps! Crazy, it felt weird, but powerful! Maybe I’ve never really believed in myself. Maybe that was part of my fear!
“You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.” She said. And she’s right, but I’ve always felt that I needed permission! Not being “allowed” to do so many things in my past, I was always feeling guilty, and wondering if I was being self-centered. I gave myself permission, only as long as I made it up in another way. Kind of like a bargaining chip. I would do this new class for myself, as long as I paid it back in many other ways. The fact is that there were so many ways that I was making up for my creative time, that it was taking away from my creative time.
“Creative Living” Elisabeth declares is a way of life. It is who we were meant to be. I guess I’ve always had this deep desire and this passion and ideas that seem to overflow, but out of fear I have held back. I’ve not completed projects. Just when my creative energy begins to ignite, I find excuses or distractions that pull me back and away from accomplishing what I really need to work on. And so I said the lack of time was my excuse, but what if now I now make it my priority? Elizabeth talked of what happens when we don’t respond to the creative insight or energy, it goes away, it finds someone else who will take the time to bring this creative light to fruition. My studio is overflowing with started projects and ideas. I have never had an inspirational block as some artists’ have. My block is just doing it. Making my time a priority. Making my passion come to life.
Maybe it’s time I start to believe in myself, my hopes, my passion. Let go of the fear of words or acceptance and acknowledge the divine creative being that is within me. Fear of not being good enough, or fear of being the best I can be with no regrets. At my age, I’m tired of not really being me. I still have many fears. But tackling this one, It’s time to grow, and be me. I am an artist.
The theme of today’s yoga class, Release to Restore! Sorry to say that I usually preach what I need! The past couple of months of traveling and trying to meet deadlines took it’s toll on my Studio! Ugh! It’s such a mess, that it gives me a headache just looking at it! I sure wish I had a magic wand or could just wiggle my nose, and poof clean! Guess not.
Time to put things away, and like my yoga theme, release and let go of the crud. The stuff I don’t need! I have this huge room, how could it have gotten so full? Too much stuff! ok, so it’s time to let it go. In a few days, you will see a restored and clean Studio! So that I can mess it up again! Hopefully never this bad again.