Tag Archive | self-discovery

Style A Tapestry Journal for 2014

vollgiftThanks KAngel for my special, heartfelt gift!

This morning, a dear friend KAngel, brought the above journal adorned with a red ribbon.  She made it for me and I am so truly touched.  I am blessed to have such a friend.  I have often thought of making a journal that was special for myself, but I am not very crafty.  I think about doing fun things with glue guns, but it never materializes.  In fact, I’ve found lovely blogs which take ordinary objects and fashion them into the extraordinary check out Kathy’s Art and click here for Laurie’s Between the Weeds  which inspire me and will be great fun for you as well!

Today, it’s as if the Universe/God/Infinite Spirit/Source was listening for Louise gave me the answer to my question of how to expand my post today!  So without further adieu, please read below!  Thanks Louise for being so awesome!

Shine On!

xo

Do what makes your heart happy…

January 8, 2014

photo (34)Working in the studio teaches me something every day. Life does that too but the lessons from the studio are often more luminous in their quality to inform and awaken and inspire me to colour outside the lines.

I have started to create an art journal. An art journal is a tapestry of life’s happenings told through visual prompts in a journal style book. Instead of writing out what’s going on, the story is created using mixed media pages of words and drawings and collage. Art journals can be store bought books you cover and craft to your own specifications, or you can create from the ground up.

I decided to create from the ground up. Using an empty cardboard cereal box, I’ve spent the last couple of days creating my cover.

And here’s what I’ve learned.

  1. Be persistent. There’s no better place to start than where you’re at. There’s no better way to begin than where you find yourself in the process — and every step is the beginning right now of what can be. Don’t quit. Keep moving with it until your heart says, I am happy.
  2. Think outside the box.  Yup, ’cause in this case there really is a box to work with and unless I see it as more than just a cereal box, it won’t find the possibility of transformation.
  3. Allow. — There is no right or wrong in artful creation. It is meant to feed your soul, not someone else’s. Allow what is asking to appear to appear. Allow magic. Allow possibility. Allow light to enter through every crack.
  4. Be fearless. — Who said you can’t put purple feathers there? You’ve never used a glue gun before? Now’s a great time to start.
  5. Explore. — See the possibility in everything. For hoarders this is a great one! Because seriously… there’s possibility in everything! That’s not an old Christmas card. That’s not a useless piece of ribbon to discard… What if and I wonder if… are two great questions to ask when creating a journal. I wonder if… this will stick to that?… What if… I cut out that butterfly from the box my new mascara came in and paste it here?
  6. Stay unattached. — Just as there is no right or wrong way, judging yourself, your work, your creation is self-defeating. And anyway, there is no end point until you say so. If you don’t like where it’s at, keep going. If you don’t like that there, move it, paint over it, cover it up.
  7. Breathe.  No matter what, keep breathing. Deeply.  Continuously. Stay conscious of your breath. Remind yourself to relax. Your shoulders. Pelvis. Stomach muscles. Neck. Face. Smile even! This is fun. Allow your inner child to come out and play and create and explore and enjoy!
  8. Dare Boldly. Unhook your self-critic. Unleash your inner muse. Leap and don’t go looking for a net, let your wings unfurl.

I’ve never made an art journal from a cereal box before and at first, my mind was stuck in ‘doing it right’. I wanted in fact to quite many times. Right from the beginning. I’d decided to put three words on the cover as prompts for me to remember to always DARE. INSPIRE. CREATE. I messed up. I wanted them to be raised and the paint was too runny and dripped. Ugly, my critics mind howled. I thought about ditching the whole thing but decided  to keep going. I didn’t want to scrape them off — I’d let them dry too long and scraping off would rip the paper I’d used to cover the cereal box.

My daughter Alexis taught me a great lesson in painting many years ago — if you don’t like it, paint over it, she told me one day as I wailed about an unsatisfactory result. That definitely worked here. I decided to cover up the words with the photo from a Christmas card I love. Hmmm… the words made the collage bumpy. Not nice. Want to quit. I kept going. Pasted on some butterflies. Used some sheer fabric, metallic spray paint and a stencil. Border tape. More painting over. Stencil some hearts with shimmer dust. A cutout flower. Couple more. Hmmm…. not so bad. Keep working it.

Okay. We’re happy now. It’s not a masterpiece but for a first crack, it makes my heart happy.

And that’s what it’s all about. To stretch my heart muscles and stir up my creative juices to get me to that point of feeling proud, satisfied, happy, content, mystified by the process and in awe of the magic of creation.

Which is why I then collaged in the word AWE.

Because as I cleaned up my brushes and put away my supplies, I felt awe descend. I’d started with barely an idea of what I was creating, and in the process was reminded once again that it’s not the destination that matters, it’s not the end product that makes a difference. It’s the process.

Which brings me to Lesson 9 –

9. Trust in the process.  Trust in the process, allow magic and Have Fun! Do what makes your heart happy!

I did and I’m grateful!

http://dareboldly.com/2014/01/08/do-what-makes-your-heart-happy/

I think this could also go with the Daily Prompt today!

Daily Prompt: Style Icon

Describe your personal style, however you’d like to interpret that — your clothing style, your communication style, your hair style, your eating style, anything.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us STYLE.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/daily-prompt-style-2/

Back to Your ‘Self’

invisiblesun1

Hi Everyone!  I’m reblogging a post from Ellie at Invisible Sun today.  In order to help each of us find our Inner Hotshot, I think we need to find our way back to ourselves and Ellie’s post is just the ticket to help you start!  Please enjoy and make sure you click on her link so that you can subscribe to her blog!  Thanks Ellie! ♥

The Art of Finding Your Way Back to Your ‘Self’

http://blog.myinvisiblesun.com/the-ar-of-finding-your-way-back-to-your-self/

While getting settled in our new home, I stumbled across a bin of memorabelia I’ve been lugging around since I left my parent’s home when I was 18.  Stuff like yearbooks, awards, pictures, letters passed in the hallway, report cards, and a few projects I did along the way were tightly packed in this time capsule.

Eventually I came across a report that I did in 4th grade on the State of New Jersey, and I immediately noticed many qualities about my work.  My cursive handwriting was impeccable, stylized and artistic.  (Ahh, the lost art of cursive writing!!)  The report had beautiful presentation, with lots of colorful, detailed drawings of various images relating to New Jersey.

Now that I have kids of my own, I could clearly see that this was impressive work for a 4th grader, and my teacher thought so too as he gave me 4 A’s on the project.   After viewing my work from the perspective of an older, wiser version of myself, what immediately came to mind was my mom telling me just a couple of years back that my elementary school had mentioned to her on several occassions that I was very artistic.  I then began to retrace the years in my mind, and realized there were so many clues along the way to validate my talents, interests and passions but for whatever reason they were not pursued.

Why didn’t I continue on a path to pursue my passion for art and presentation?  Where did I get off track?  Why did no one, myself included, pick up on the recurrence of these clues?  Instead, I went on to study Finance in college, feeling unfulfilled by a career in Financial Services.

Interestingly, since being at home raising my kids, I have ventured into several creative endeavors.  I opened a small boutique for the home in Reading, Massachusetts, and I launched Invisible Sun in November of 2011.  After having a chance to explore creative opportunities, returning to a career in Financial Services is so far off my radar at this point.

Finding this report and launching myself back to a younger version of myself shifted my perspective of myself today and how I should guide myself (career-wise) into the future.  It was an absolute validation that my passion for art, creativity and presentation was present very early in my life.

The source of our creative expression, our purpose and our passions resides in the essence of who we are, and it is my belief that the essence of who we are is in its purest form when we are children, before external factors influence our behavior, gel our limiting beliefs, taking us farther and farther away from who we are.  The exercise of making a reconnection with an earlier version of yourself can truly short-circuit you to the essence of who you are.

One way I stay connected is by keeping a picture of myself as a little girl on my desk.

ellielittlegirl

As you try to reconnect with the essence of who you are to, ask youself some questions:

  • What did I love to do as a kid?
  • What was my favorite subject in school?
  • Where did my interests gravitate?
  • Did something come along that mesmerized me?
  • What did people compliment me for?
  • Who were my friends?
  • What attracted me to those friends?
  • What what did my friends and I love to do?

As you look at your answers, ask yourself if you still feel a strong connection to yourself as a child or is there a disconnect?  If there is a disconnect, try to pinpoint the stage of your life you may have gotten off track.

If you’ve been lugging around bins of memorabilia like me, dig them out!  Reacquaint yourself with an earlier version of yourself.  It’s like coming home, and once you open up the ‘vault,’ you’ll find yourself peeling back more layers every day.  I liken the process to loosening up the soil before planting a new plant.  Sure, it takes time and energy to unearth the essence of who we are, but it’s a interesting journey worth taking.

Another great way to help unearth your ‘self’ is by listening to music you listened to as a kid because it will bring many great memories to the surface that will offer you more clues!  I’m always amazed by how I can still recall lyrics to songs I haven’t heard in decades.

Let me know how it’s going for you, and if you have any other tips about how you’ve made a reconnection with your ‘self,’ leave a comment!

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Hopefully you’ve found something that clicks for you!

Tomorrow’s the day we begin to stretch out of our comfort zones!

Do you know what your baby step is?

Shine On!

xo