27 June 2010

100 Day Reality Challenge

Because how we spend out days is, of course, how we spend our lives. -- Annie Dillard

That quote is a favorite of mine, but it often leaves me with an emotional OUCH! I need to make some changes.

In some ways, I'm extremely happy with my life, but in other ways, I'm a bit dissatisfied. On a day-to-day basis, my life is pretty good, but when I look at the big picture, I see that I'm not accomplishing much.

I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I've wasted it by living comfortable and easy. I want excitement. I want to feel as though I'm living my life on purpose.

So, I have decided to join the 100 Day Reality Challenge. For 100 days, beginning today, I will consciously work toward creating the life of my dreams. I'm hoping to accomplish more, develop some new habits, and work through some of my resistance. I have some pretty ambitious goals and intentions, but I think I will see some good movement in my life. I've done the Challenge twice beofre and had some good temporary results; I'm hoping to create more permanent change in my life wiht this Challenge.

I'll occasionally post my thoughts and results, but the bulk of my posting will be on the Challenge Ning site. If you need to get a jump on creating the liffe of your dreams, you might consider creating a challenge of your own. You can start your 100 days any time!

24 June 2010


Thanks to everyone for the comments, the emails, the kind words, supportive thoughts and prayers. I appreciate them all. We've been home about a week, and I'm slowly regaining my footing. My sleep patterns are a little bit messed up, but that's not really surprising; my sleep patterns are very sensitive to stress.

One of the things that I brought home was my mother's crystal. She gave it to me a few years ago, but since I always flew back-and-forth there was no good way to get it to me. We flew to Arkansas, but I inherited my mother's car, so we drove back. That allowed me to bring home the crystal, some of my childhood books, my mother's sewing machine, and a few other things. I just started unpacking the crystal today. I don't have any memories of my parents using it, so unpacking isn't as difficult as baking a new cake recipe was a few nights ago.

My mother loved to cook, and loved for me to cook, too. We'd talk about any new recipes that I tried, and I often called her while I was cooking to ask a technique question. I even called her with questions that I could easily figure out the answer to, just to involve her in the process. She was always eager to hear about the taste test! Tuesday night, I made a new chocolate cake recipe. Then I made Cherokee Fry Bread. Then I made egg salad, a staple around our house. One reason I kept on cooking, one thing after another, was that I was on the verge of becoming overwhelmed with grief. When making the cake, I had a question that I would have loved to have asked my mother, but she wasn't there to call. It was a very sad moment for me, and I wasn't really prepared for it, so I just hauled out more ingredients and made something else! By the time I finished cooking and cleaning the kitchen, the intensity of the grief had lessened and I could better deal with it; if it hadn't, I'd probably still be in the kitchen, stirring up something!

I mentioned that I don't have any memories of my parents actually using the crystal. My dad bought it in the early 70s while he was in the Navy. For years, it sat on shelves in the closet. Many of the glasses still had the labels on them. John and I have decided that we will not just use them for "good" but we don't know when we will use them! There are Zombie glasses and martini glasses, champaign glasses and flutes, old fashioned glasses, cordial glasses and liquor glasses. There are brandy snifters and shot glasses. There are some glasses that I can't yet identify. I guess we'll have to start drinking more! LOL!

Thanks again for everyone's kind words and thoughts.

07 June 2010

Sad News

Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter probably already know this, but I wanted to let the others know that my mother made her transition into the non-physical on Sunday afternoon. I so appreciate all the support, loving thoughts and prayers that have been sent on behalf of my mother and my family. I am so touched that people I don't know or haven't seen in years care that much. Thank you.

Because the next couple of weeks will be so hectic for me, I have decided to postpone the Mixed Grill Favorites Podcast for awhile. I will spend July recording and will post the next interview in August.

Thanks again for everyone's concern and affection during this time. I'll see you in a couple of weeks!

04 June 2010

Revisiting Past Work -- Thoughts On My Process

I was recently asked to post a little bit about my process. I love this piece, even though it didn't get juried into the recent Multi-Media Mini Show, so I thought I'd talk a little bit about it.

This is basically four dress forms, painted and collaged, then sewn around. The dress forms are a mixture of vellum and transparencies. The stitching is strictly decorative; it doesn't do anything to hold the piece together. At each corner of each dress form, I used my crop-o-dile (love that tool!) to first punch holes, then set eyelets. I then used small nails to attach the forms to the blue background.

The blue background is simply plywood, cut to size on my recently acquired table saw. The the front is covered in GAC-100 and sandable gesso (both Golden's products). The blue is not paint, but Portfolio brand water-soluble oil pastels, put on pretty heavily and then smoothed out with a wet paintbrush. Once it was dry, the blue background was covered with Polymer Medium (Gloss). That background is glued to the larger black background, that was treated in the same manner.

I loved making this piece, because it was pretty different from what I usually do. I don't usually work on wood, but I really enjoyed the challenge of approaching a new substrate. I plan to do more pieces like this!

01 June 2010

8 Minute Cake -- YUMMY!

This is the humble beginnings of the totally delicious 8 Minute Cake. It's basically a standard cake mix, made according to package directions with a can of frosting dumped in the middle. Microwave for 8 minutes and you've got something amazing!

Mine was a little jiggly when I took it out of the oven, but it continued to cook for a few minutes. When you turn it out onto a sheet cake pan (or some other kind of pan), you have yummy, runny goodness. We used Butter Recipe Chocolate Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting. It kind of tasted like an Oreo!

For the complete, detailed, recipe -- visit The Funambulist Damsel. She includes lots of pictures and step-by-step directions.

Goals Meetup???

Each month, I read Candy Glendening's post about what she's accomplished art/business wise the month before, and what she hopes to accomplish for the current month. She is one busy lady! I admire, so much, what she is able to accomplish. I know, from personal experience, that the act of making a list can be sooo helpful. Whenever I have something I need to do -- Thanksgiving, company coming, etc. -- I make a list. A really detailed list. And it never fails to get me through what I'm facing.

So, I got to thinking ... I have some art goals that I periodically throw around to whoever is listening, but I rarely make an actual to-do list or give the goals time limits. And I rarely stay on track. Coincidence? I think not! I'm not ready, goal wise, to join the Goal Meetup that Candy participates in every month. Not today, anyway. I don't want to make some half-baked list just to be making one and then not have the feeling of accomplishment that comes from marking things off! Instead, I think I will spend the next few days pondering my immediate and longer term goals are, artwise, and what it will take from me to accomplish those goals.

July 1 starts the second half of the year, so it seems like a good time to join the Goals Meetup! I think I want to participate in Art on State Street this year, and that will require some planning and commitments on my part to have enough inventory to make it worthwhile. I'll need to plan a booth and display, price my items, get new business cards -- not to mention, MAKE ART!

What do you need to get done this month???