Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TAW: Weeks #3 & #4

I haven't given up on my Artist's Way journey, just been a bit behind.


Had family visiting for a week and we were so busy while they were here that I didn't get any morning pages done that week. But otherwise, I've been doing pretty good with MP, although I really have to pep talk myself into writing some mornings. I've found that I can't do anything else first or I don't write them; nor can I doing morning pages in the evening instead, it never happens. So, as soon as I'm up I get something to drink and sit down with my journal.

I'm learning a lot about myself with Morning Pages. They do work. Even though I often dread or hate doing them, I see that they work. I see that they help me sort things out, point me in the right direction, unearth truths.


Well, I know that ADs are supposed to be done alone, but I consider the day we took my family to the Butterfly Pavilion as an Artist Date. We were there for a couple of hours, and to be honest, I wandered off with my camera and was alone with the butterflies more than I was with my family.

Then last Friday for my AD, I went and explored Olde Town Arvada, something I've been wanting to do for a while now. It was a beautiful, sunny breezy day. I parked my car outside the Army Surplus store and started my wandering there. Looked at some great cast iron cookware there, then walked down the block and around the corner and found Penzey's Spice shop. WOW! Not sure how long I spent there sniffing herbs and spices. Left with some Tandoori spice for myself and a catalog for my dad who loves to cook and would have adored the spice shop.

Wandered back around the corner and into a little tarot shop, looked at the crystals, pendulums and tarot decks, sniffed the incense. Then on to the tea shop. Oh! the tea shop! Drooled over the beautiful china tea pots and tea sets, smelled the teas, stroked the quilted teapot cozies. How I loved the tea shop!

Finally when I was able to extricate myself from there, I crossed the street to an upscale consignment shop. I love thrift stores and this one was fun, had some unusual items. And I found the perfect tarot box for next to nothing! I think I'm going to strip off the light stain, it doesn't look right with the colors of the abolone shell on the lid, and I'm going to stain it with one of my colored wood stains-- green or black.


Okay, this is where I need to step up my game. I've done some of the tasks but I know I need to focus on them more. I'm terrible about remembering to do them. And of course I rebelled like hell against the no reading task. Even after I identified in chapter 3 tasks that my worst bad habit is being on the computer too much. And don't take away my books! I love my books. During the week family was here visiting, I didn't read hardly anything. Barely checked my e-mail, no time for reading for pleasure. So then I get to chapter 4 and I'm told NOT TO READ for a WEEK and it was like-- HELL, no. Every time I opened a book or my laptop I would think, "I am in direct violation of my Artist's Way weekly assignment." Then I'd continue. Oh, so very naughty and stubborn. So I guess I need to try again and a little bit harder this week.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Autumn Additions

I love working with an autumn color palette, the colors of fall really inspire me. Some autumn season items recently added to my shops--

Playing with polymer clay color recipes led me to create this lentil bead pendant, which went really well with unachite beads-- the colors make me think of summer leaves turning to autumn colors.

I love the seeing the Greenman motif in all his various expressions. I'd never seen him wearing fall colors, though, so decided to see what he would look like. Very handsome, don't you think?

Experimenting with glass etching led me to create this votive and holder-- both showing off three different leaves-- oak, maple and aspen.

Autumn Oak Leaf & Jasper necklace
My favorite creation thus far! The pendant is made using mica shift technique-- the swirly design looks like it has depth and dimension, but the pendant is smooth and polished to a glassy sheen. I wanted to create a real natural feel for this necklace so I used lots of jasper chips and wood beads.

The first 2 items are available at my ArtFire shop, the last 2 at my Etsy, in case you or your home are in need of a little autumn adornment!

Friday, September 25, 2009

PCSG Challenge- Sept '09

The entries are up for this month's Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild challenge!

This month's challenge theme was STEAMPUNK. The term steampunk denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era— but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells & Jules Verne. (Wikipedia)

Click on the banner below to come see all the unique pieces created just for this challenge and vote for your favorite:

This poll will end at 12 Midnight Central Time Sunday, September 27th, so VOTE NOW!!!

Feline Friday: Meet the Girls

As of last week, we have two new members in our family-- meet our new kittens, Sassafras & TwoDot:

These kittens are imported from Iowa! We met them at my dad's in June 2009, when we were back for my Gram's funeral. They were too young to come home with us at that time, so when my dad and stepmom came for a visit last week, they brought the kittens out with them.

This is TwoDot, sometimes called Dot or Dotty. She has the most interesting markings! She has stripes like a tabby, in both brown and orange. And she has two orange "dots," a big one and a little one, on her back, which is how she got her name.

This is Sassafras, usually called Sassy-- which she is. She has calico markings similar to our beloved Claire, who died last year, but instead of a little pink nose like Claire had, Sassy has a black velvety looking nose. I've never had a kitty with black nose before, I think its too cute!

They are sisters and absolutely inseparable. And so much energy! Its been a long time since we've witnessed kitten antics-- they sure are entertaining. And destructive. I hope the house survives!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn Equinox

AUTUMN leaves, autumn leaves
Lie strewn around me here,
Autumn leaves, autumn leaves,
How sad, how cold, how drear!
How like the hopes of childhood's day,
Thick clust'ring on the bough!
How like those hopes in their decay—
How faded are they now!

Withered leaves, withered leaves,
That fly before the gale;
Withered leaves, withered leaves,
Ye tell a mournful tale
Of love once true, and friends once kind,
And happy moments fled:
Dispersed by every breath of wind,
Forgotten, changed, or dead.

~ Charles Dickens

Happy & blessed Autumn Equinox! Fall came upon us overnight-- we went from warm and sunny days all last week to cold and rain all this week. For weeks now, I've noticed the days becoming shorter; now that the equinox is here and soon gone, the short days will quickly become even more pronounced.

Up in the mountains the aspen trees above 8,000 ft. are turning golden yellow. I took this photo last Friday from Rainbow Curve (elevation 10,875 ft.) in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a hazy day, which softened the fall colors. The beautiful rust-colored trees you see are unfortunately NOT a product of autumn weather-- they are diseased and dying pine trees affected by pine beetle infestation. It was very sad to see all the dead pines everywhere.

Autumn Equinox always triggers a thoughtful mood for me. I have sometimes heard of this time of year called the in-gathering and that seems very apt. I start to turn inward, gather my thoughts, prepare myself for the winter days ahead.

How does the Autumn Equinox affect you this year?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lunch & Tarot

Had lunch with friends today and spent the afternoon studying tarot together. We sat out on Darling's patio and enjoyed her glorious backyard garden while we ate and studied. This picture doesn't even begin to do it justice. Flowers, vegetables, a curving brick walkway all around the yard-- she even has a bee hive!

We all want to get certified as tarot readers, so we've been meeting to study and work on the requirements for the first level (CATR), which are:
  1. Be prepared to tell your examiner what each card means to you from memory.
  2. Be prepared to answer no less than five questions posed to you by your examiner.
  3. Be prepared to use one, two and three card spreads of your choice.
  4. Be prepared to explain how changing the sequence of cards in the spread changes the reading and the meaning of the cards.
  5. Be prepared to explain how exchanging some of the cards in your spread changes your answer to the posed question.
  6. Your examiner may ask you to replace certain cards in your spreads with other cards to test your knowledge of the cards.
  7. Your examiner may ask you to move certain cards from one position to another to test your knowledge of the spreads you use.
I don't think any of us have plans to be professional readers (I know I don't), we just want to work on improving our skills with the tarot. So we're using the certification requirements as study guidelines. Plus, we all just love working with the cards.

Next week, though, we're foregoing the cards for a girl's movie night.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

TAW: Check In Wk #2

Morning pages: 4/7 days

Artist date: wandered the craft store for almost 2 hours, looking for ideas and inspiration

Even more imaginary lives:
1. pet sitter
2. scuba diver
3. antique collector
4. behavioral profiler
5. French cuisine chef

I may not have done my Morning Pages everyday this past week, but when I did do them, they were very revealing. Really explored the whole 'crazymakers' idea in depth. Looking back at the crazymakers I've encountered over the years, I can see just how detrimental they were to my creativity and my life in general. Oh, the constant drama. What a waste of time and energy. I find I have so much more energy when there aren't any crazymakers around. It is my wish for all my fellow creative souls on this TAW journey that you are able to eliminate the crazymakers from your lives-- and if that just isn't possible, I hope that you can minimize your contact with them. No one needs that kind of energy drain.

I also took the whole search for identity to heart and explored that issue quite a bit. And I realized why I've been so blocked lately with my creativity-- because I haven't been true to myself. My pagan path led me to my inner creative Goddess and then I denied her. As pretty and addicting as they are, I just don't want to make any more lentil beads. I don't really even want to focus on jewelry. I want to make mosaic shrines and egg-shaped Goddesses and tarot boxes and herbal runes and... more creations that come from the heart, that are created with joy. That's what I started out doing, and then I lost my way. Now that I've identified the problem, I've broken through my creative block. I got out my clays yesterday and created an autumn Greenman. I know where I want to go with my work again and I'm going there.

What did you discover this week?