Nature

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A strong urge to go for long walks in nature is new for me.  I just can’t get enough of the peaceful quiet, the fresh air laced with the scents of grass, honeysuckle, and wildflowers. Sometimes I listen to a podcast (On Being is my favorite) and sometimes I crave the quiet.  Today I craved the quiet.  I walked 3.5 miles on paths like this and on paths through the deep forest.  I like to walk and pray. Today it was prayers of gratitude for the beauty of earth & for love, prayers asking for wisdom and guidance, and prayers for the wellbeing of my family and friends.

This photo was taken on my walk at a breathtakingly beautiful arboretum just 1 mile from our home.  Amazingly, we’ve lived here 12 years and I just discovered this magical place 3 months ago!  I feel like the arboretum is my new best friend.

Kayaking down the river

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Last weekend we did a 15 mile, 8-ish hours, kayak trip. The river we were on was very low so we had to paddle virtually the entire trip since there wasn’t a current to carry us.  The first 7 hours were fantastic. The eighth our was torture for all 3 of us (we each had our own kayak).  By the end of the trip we were beyond exhausted and determined to NEVER do this to ourselves again.  Three hours later, showered and eating a good dinner we were laughing and talking about the next trip.

It is much like any big project –sometimes, just before the end, it seems like it is just too hard and not worth the effort.  You want to give up.  But after the fact, you tend to forget the struggles.

Grateful for: the path

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I’m grateful that this beautiful path is just 3 minutes from our front door.  It’s a walking path that serves as a shortcut between two streets of our subdivision and it is absolutely beautiful.  This particular view from the west end of it looking east fills me with the peace that comes from being surrounded by the beauty of nature.  I took this photo when a gentle rain had just ended and the sweet smell of rain and wet dirt was in the air — lovely!

Texture

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Found these on the Anthropologie website. I like few things more than taking my time meandering through Anthropologie. And I tend to touch just about everything I see there. It is a weird habit, compulsion almost, of mine. I just love to see how things feel.  If I saw these in the store I’d stop and lightly touch each one of them — just lightly pass my hand over the tops as I walk by.  Can’t you just imagine taking a nap under one of these?  And the colors!  Love them!

When I make a textile collage (or fantasize about making a real quilt) my favorite part is choosing the fabrics.  It takes me weeks to choose just the right textures and colors. And then more weeks to find just the right layout.  Those weeks of planning/dreaming are my favorite on any project. I currently have a small piece that is 70% sewn. That means the planning/dreaming phase is well in the past and now I’m in the tedious hand sewing phase.  I find it relaxing but time consuming so I tend to put it off.   I guess I need to work on that if I’m ever going to have a large enough body of work to sell.

I find it so inspirational to read about artists who have their own quilt or fiber arts businesses — people like Denyse Schmidt and Janet Bolton.  My dream is to be like them someday — maybe when I retire from my day job….

Today is one of the few hot summer days we’ve had in the last few weeks here in the upper mid west. I’m looking out the window and everything thing is my favorite color — GREEN. The sun is dancing through the leaves and it is just gorgeous!

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Creativity

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Our son is creative and a builder. I think maybe its because he is an only child — playing alone leaves space for the imagination to run wild. This is part of a big Lego cruise ship he made, The Majesty.  I like watching his process as he comes up with his designs. He doesn’t use instructions — he’s stubborn and independent like me in that way. gets that from me.  Its fun to watch the wheels turning as he tries a variety of color combinations, shapes and sizes before settling on the final design.

I didn’t realize, until I saw this photo, how the legos can look like a patchwork. A new place for inspiration perhaps.

Retreat

I have had the urge to go on a silent retreat for quite some time now.  I went on one about 10 years ago for a just weekend and I still remember the insights I got and the peace I felt at the end.

So back in April I did it. I went on a fabulous four day silent contemplative retreat. It was here:

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I had been longing for this time away by myself and it was everything I’d hoped it would be.  A time of rest, peace, tranquility, insightful contemplation, and spiritual renewal.  I want to do this annually. I came back feeling renewed and now several months later the feeling is still with me.  Blissful sigh.

 

I’m back….again

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This is the 3rd time I’ve started this blog.  I just can’t seem to stick with it.  If you read down further you’ll see that the second time (or was it the third and this is the fourth??  gah!) I started it I only blogged once.   I clearly intended to stick with it but…didn’t.  Oh how I wish I would have!  For the sake of my art but also for to have memories of those days documented.

My intention for this blog is the same as it was when I started it the first time back in 2010: to rediscover myself as I continue my awesome day job but now pursue my art as well.  To document that process –  the good the bad and the ugly.  And, while I’m at it to maybe help others who are also on a path of discovering and pursuing their dreams.

So, back to this piece of art.  This is the first textile collage I created and it is still my favorite. I love everything about it.  My goal is to get this blog more functional and then, before October 1, to open an Etsy shop — eek!

 

One little bird

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close up 3 big birds, a photo by kelly credit on Flickr.

I love this scrappy new bird. She’s one of three, all lined up in a row on a faded, repurposed, vintage quilt. My favorite is the tweed layer on her wing. I loved the way it looked on my design wall but I wasn’t sure how tweed would be to work with.  Since I do all my applique with hand stitching it worked just fine.  I doubt I could have pulled it off with a machine.

It’s been a long time since I posted on here.  I got all excited about starting this blog over a year ago. I had taken Kelly Rae Roberts OUTSTANDING Flying Lessons E-course and was all inspired and I felt gutsy.  I printed out the .pdf she so generously shared with us, put it in a binder and spent summer 2011 studying it and taking notes and writing down my dreams. I wrote my dreams in detail; I love doing that.  Then, I took the first step and started this blog and joined the flying lessons Facebook group for community.  Go me!

And then I got scared. I felt silly. I felt like I wasn’t as talented and courageous as the other people who took the E-course and were also starting their blogs. I even, like a dummy, “un friended” my membership in the incredible Flying Lessons Facebook group.  I’m very “all or nothing” aren’t I?  I was all in, and then just as abruptly I was all out.  Bad me!

It was easy for me to talk myself out of maintaining this blog, out of making my art, out of selling on Etsy, out of entering shows. It was easy because I have an awesome day job that I really love.  It’s fun for me, challenging, sort of prestigious, and provides a comfortable salary. So I can always ditch my dream by using the ole “I’m way too busy at work” lie on myself.

But now, I’m going for it. I’m determined to not use that easy lie this time. It might take a long time and I might even fail. Actually, its highly likely I’ll fail. Yet I’m excited! I’ll share more in my next post.

the complexity of you


Originally uploaded by genuinesimple

 

Jen Lemen wrote this in one of her deep and sweet blog posts:

“we are all so multi-faceted, so multi-dimensional that it’s nearly impossible for anyone to know us truly as we are. which is why it is imperative that we continue to love one another, that we commit to deeply listening and leaning in to each moment, because none of us know what unseen and vital part will now be revealed”

The collage above is an image board that reflected me really well about 3 years ago.  Now? t isn’t me so much. Have you noticed how you change over the years, weeks, even days? I do.  Is it really change? I think its just your complexity surfacing. There are so many dimensions and parts in us. They surface at different points in our lives. It is what makes you interesting and special and lovable and you.

The really good bloggers and artists say your blog and art should reflect “you” in a consistent way. That makes total sense to me. I also know, from my day job, how important consistent branding is from a business perspective.  So, i’m actually enjoying the challenge of conveying the genuine but complex “me” in a simple and easy to recognize brand.  It takes the idea of “creation” to a really fun and personal level.

wild and free

My answers to stephey’s questions:
to me, being wild and free is being genuinely YOU in all areas of your life: career, home, spirituality, diet, art, love, the words you use.  Free to use all the love, good and power — your gifts — without inhibition.

My dream? To live wild and free!

Why does it take courage to do what should be so natural and right?

What are examples of how you are living wild and free?