Monday, January 21, 2008

Out of my comfort zone...

This weeks challenge on Inspire Me Thursday was to do something out of your comfort zone. A couple of months ago I bought one of those artist journal books because I saw some examples of them on a couple of blogs and thought it was really cool. They were being used to try out new ideas and that seemed like an excellent idea. I decided today was the day to break it out and try something new.
In the first picture I painted a page with acrylics by layering three colors and streaking it so it would look sort of like weathered wood. I wasn't exactly sure where I was going with it. I dug through various supplies and really wanted to do something with leaves. I finally settled with one of my leave stamps and used that. I also had some left over strips of metal from another project (still to be completed) that I had colored with alcohol inks. I find that I'm not happy with it but I kept telling myself that this is a book to explore with. I don't think that the leaves make enough impact.
The second piece started out because I had paint leftover and hated to waste it. I had seen some work done by Christine Adolph, including one of those sketch books, and decided to try my hand at something similar. Mine pales in comparison but at least I started. I'm not happy with this one either. I had such grand ideas in my head but haven't figured out how to get out onto paper.
I am so glad, though, that I have at least made a start. I want to continue to try some of the techniques I've seen that I really like and then finally develop my own style. This stepping out of my comfort zone is really hard. It's funny too because even with artists I am really inspired by I don't like everything they do. Maybe if I give myself more freedom I will like what I produce more. I will definitely keep exploring and working on it.
During this process of thinking about comfort zones I thought of a few people in my life that I am inspired and proud of the ways they have stepped out of their comfort zones. My sister, Sherri, has started going back to school after raising four kids. I so admire her get up and go do it attitude. A friend and scrapbooking buddy, Misti, has been joining groups of mothers she doesn't know for fellowship for herself and her son Jonathan. I really admire her for doing that and I understand completely how hard it is to socialize with new people. Eventually they become friends but you have to get over that hump. My sister-in-law, Wendy, has stepped out on a limb and went through a program to start her own Virtual Assistant business. I just think that is really cool.
Well, I probably could ramble on more but I just looked at the clock and it is so past my bedtime. 5 am is going to come way too soon so I am going to sign out now. Good night and sweet dreams.
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Comfort Zones

I'm a a little behind on this but last weeks challenge on Inspire Me Thursday was to express your comfort zone. This year I'm concentrating on artistic endeavors so that is what I'm focusing on for this challenge. I have many comfort zones like staying in a job for a long time because I enjoy the people I work with and it's safe. The hard part comes when you don't know when its time to step out of that comfortable place and move on to stretch yourself more. Right now I am still able to stretch myself technically so I think it's good to stay. I will be stepping out of my comfort zone at work to take on a big challenge to examine some of our processes and to develop an automated process complete with approvals and workflow using software. It's a little scary but something I'm looking forward to.

So back to the artistic side, currently I create cards and gift albums with paper, embellishments and stamps. Well, and scrapbooking too. Oh, and photography. Above are some examples of cards that I've made for loved ones. You can check out my web album if you want to see more of them. This weeks challenge is about leaving your comfort zone so more about that later.

I have to add a thought about comfort zones. They serve a purpose for a while so we can gain a measure of self confidence but leaving those comfort zones is how we grow and improve ourselves. It is a scary thing to do but also exciting. It is also fun to watch friends and family step out of their comfort zones and try new things. Sometimes they don't work out but you learn valuable lessons and move on to the next endeavor.
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Monday, January 07, 2008

Just a little Christmas still...

Well, today was the first day back after a two week vacation. I survived the shock and did actually work.

Here is the Christmas card I made my Mom. I'm afraid the rest of the family received one's from the mass production group but Momma needs to get a special one. And of course it needed glitter. None of the paper came preglittered so I used stickles on the big snowflake and a glitter pen for the rest of the card.
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Sunday, January 06, 2008

A New Year has begun...

"A Waking Dream"
An original poem by Paulette Insall

She was roused from her waking dream by wings a-flutter,
the path now so clear before her,
............the transformation underway
...................the discovery of part of herself that had always been

....Waiting awaken bloom soar.

Choosing let go give in breathe.

Her purpose was clear, her heart peace.

About a month ago I found an artist, Paulette Insall, while following various links in blogs. Each picture she paints centers around a single woman and I loved all of them but this one really spoke to me so I purchased a print. Paulette also writes a poem for each painting. This one spoke to me so much because I am a transformation underway. Actually, we all are in our different ways but their are times in our lives when it is even more true.

In this new year my hopes are to transform in many ways. I want to spend less time working overtime at my day job and more time exploring my creative side. I want to try new ways of doing things and use new mediums. I want to break out those acrylic and water color paints I bought and play with ways to use them. I want to use up my paper faster than I buy it (that might be a little lofty). I want to create things that I can sell including cards and artwork. In addition ot the creative I want to do a much better job this year of exercising and to become very tone and fit. I want to do better at checking in how friends and family are doing. I want to always be kinder and more giving.

Well, that's a start. I'm sure there is more I've contemplated but we can always add to the list.

I hope everyone has a fabulous new year filled with fulfilled potential and growth. Many blessings!
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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Feeling alive again...

Well, I've started the year with a bang, well, really a wimper. I've been sick with a fever all week. Not a pleasant way to start the new year. There was one perk of losing 12 lbs. Ah well, you take your blessings where you can get them.

The Christmas holidays were a wonderful time with the family. Even the pets joined in. Here Mom's dog Puppy is dressed for the ocaission with his funny little hat.

While we were sitting around enjoying ourselves little things started fluttering down from above. Lo and behold Tigger was up above playing in a planter on the second floor walkway. The perfect little tiger in his little jungle. Needless to say the plant is close to toast.

I had such high hopes of making at least one mixed media attempt at an art piece. I've bought an inexpensive artist journal because I've been so inspired by all the artist blogs I've been visiting. There is still some time before the weekend is out so maybe I can at least get something started.

I'm not a big one for new years resolutions because I think we come up with resolutions all year long and we should be thankful all year long but this is a good time to think back over the year and contemplate. I am always so thankful for my family and extended family of friends. Life would not be as rich without them. This year I am so thankful that I made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery. To date (which by the way is my birthday) I've lost 78 lbs. I found a poem by Paulette Insall that I will share in my next post that is a perfect reflection of how this affects my life

Well, it's time for me to turn into a pumpkin so hopefully I will manage to post again this weekend. I hope everyone has had a blessed holiday season with the enjoyment of many friends and family.

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