Spreading Joy and Hope

origamicrane.jpgLast night, I folded twenty five cranes to bring to a nearby hospice, a place I’ve been visiting frequently these last few months. I hand painted and beaded one of them for a friend of mine who has been a patient there for several months. This morning I came into her room with a basketful of colorful cranes and presented her the beaded crane. She asked me to hang it where she could see it and thought it was beautiful. I read her the quote by Sadako Sasaki “I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world.” She was visibly touched.

When I told her I brought the basket of cranes for her to give to the other patients and caregivers, her eyes became bright and she pushed the call button for her favorite nurse. When the nurse arrived in the room she asked “what do you need?” My friend told her she wanted her to have first pick of the cranes and that was all. The nurse picked out a pretty red one, smiled and gave me a big hug. She said that was just what she needed.

For a while today I was able to get out of my own stuff and visit a friend who needed to get out of her own stuff. Together we were able spread a little joy and maybe some hope, one paper crane at a time.

 

Beautiful on the Inside

Sassy.jpgI LOVE the way the internet connects us. Today, I was inspired by a fresh creative spirit who lives across the ocean from me. I’ve been Facebook friends with Tamara Laporte for some time because we are both are in the same industry but we have never had the pleasure to meet. I was so moved by her FB post today , I decided to pay a visit to her website and I was surprised to discover that we are indeed kindred spirits, expressing ourselves creatively in different ways. I signed up for one of her classes and began a self portrait on a journal page with her guidance.

I painted along with her as if we were in the same room and felt a connection through art even though we come from different generations and continents. Through the expression of art, we were on the same page. It was wonderful.

I painted a real image of how I see myself which is sometimes based on negative self talk.  The first thing I wrote down was “I AM” and what followed surprised me. The negative things I say to myself regularly turned into positive statements and became assets instead of liabilities. When I finished writing in the journal I felt content with the portrait I painted on the right. The words written on the page came from my soul and the message was clear. “You are okay, just the way you are.” Today was the first time in a while that I felt what it means to be beautiful on the inside.

If you have a chance, please visit Tamara’s colorful and inspiring website, willowing.org and check out what she has to offer. I am sure glad I did.

Colorful Art Panels

artpanelswebOne of the great things about my job is having the opportunity to work with amazing art supplies and manufacturers. As a new Brand Ambassador for The Crafters Workshop I was inspired to play with their newest stencils, paints and mediums using Gessobord panels as the foundation. I created each piece individually so they can be displayed alone or in different combinations for a unique statement of color and design.

My tutorial on how to make these can be found on The Crafters Workshop Blog. Go check it out and become inspired by all the other creative projects there as well!

We are all made of stars

For several hours today the people of our country were united in awe of a spectacular moon shadow show. Since I don’t reside in the path of totality, I decided to paint instead. Once I made the main image using a stencil and acrylic paint I thought about the knots tying everything together and how today’s eclipse connected all of us. We probably weren’t thinking about what divides us while the moon covered the sun revealing a magnificent corona of magnificent white light.

While I sanded the layers of paint to reveal the fiery orange underneath I thought of what it means to be human. What came to mind most was how important it is to love one another because we are all made of the same elements and we all have hearts. We are all a celestial family. The same as the sun, the moon and the stars.

Listen to the Roar

dinosaurkWorking hard for something we don’t care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion. ~Simon Sinek

The last few months have been stressful. Not from my job, but from doing things I’m not passionate about and wasting time with people I don’t care about. Time that could have been spent with family and activities I love.  In an attempt to please others I have temporarily lost my way. Helping others is only good if you have your own house in order.

What I do with my “spare time” is just as important as my work week and I need to be more careful on how I spend it. Before saying yes to anything, I need to ask myself a couple of questions. Will doing this compromise my core values? Will this activity affect my closest relationships?

Sometimes we face obstacles that give us time to think before we act. I will consider these last few months a gift as I have learned a valuable lesson. Time is precious and life is short or the other way around. Don’t waste another moment of it.

Listen to the roar deep in your gut. It’s telling you something.

 

 

 

It’s What I Do

IMG_7244The saying goes, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” and it has been true in my case for the last twenty years. I have been lucky enough to work in the art and craft materials industry which has gone through so many changes over the years. My involvement in developing creative products has had a few hits and some misses but most of all it has been a lot of fun.

Most of my “work” this week was spent concentrating on folding all kinds of colorful and whimsical models for an origami kit. If all goes well, it will be available at a art and craft stores next year. I love the the process of developing an idea and seeing it turn into something real on the shelves. I love what I do!

Peace, Love, Art and Origami

peaceloveorigamiI wasn’t feeling very peaceful today when I accidentally sprayed Formula 409 in the pages of my nano journal. I began sketching a blue crane and added lot’s of watercolor which often causes the paper to buckle. Because the paper in my journal is very thin and wrinkles easily I keep a little sprayer filled with water in my kit. To flatten pages I spray the back of the page lightly, close the book and wait for it to dry.

Immediately after spraying the cleaner on my beloved journal I realized my little painting was ruined and possibly the entire journal which is more than two thirds full of precious little sketches. The colors and lines dissolved and new blotches were made on the pristine sketch and the smell was awful.  I sprayed, blotted and sprayed again trying to remove as much of the the soapy chemical as possible and closed the book hoping for the best.

After a few hours and some time to calm down, I felt brave enough to open the little book and to my surprise it was not completely ruined! The blue crane sketch needed to be reworked with watercolor and ink and some white watercolor helped to soften the ugly blotches on the white paper. I actually kind of like the way the sketch turned out with all of it’s imperfections.

The lesson for me today is not to become too attached to my journal or to anything else for that matter. Everything in life is precious, fragile and doesn’t last forever so it is important to enjoy the moment. It also reminds me to be more mindful of the process and not to keep bottles of cleaning chemicals close to my art supplies.