Monday, July 20, 2009

What to Do First?

Sometimes I have way too many irons in the fire, pots on the stove and I don't know what to work on next. I have a list of what I have to do, what I want to do, what needs to be done now, what can wait a little while. But that's when I get stuck. What do I do first?

The decision to choose something to do became overwhelming. So much so that I spent a lot of time agonizing over what to do first. From that agony came frustration because I knew I needed to get busy. After spending an inordinate amount of time agonizing, wringing hands, tears and an eventual headache, nothing gets done. An hour spent over what to do could've been spent on doing something. A creative hour lost, one I'll never get back. I don't have time to waste time.

So I thought about it and looked for a container of considerable size. I found an empty mixed nut jar that I was keeping for something else. I needed a prompt or a catalyst if I ever got into the hole of "What do I do next?" again. I cut up paper I was recycling into strips and from my list, wrote a project on each slip. I folded them up one by one and dropped them into the jar.

Now I'm ready. If I feel stuck and don't know which project to tackle next, I'll shake up the contents of the jar and pick one slip of paper. That will be what I work on. Problem solved. No excuses. No procrastination. Once a project is done or a goal reached, I can cross it off my list and take the slip out of the jar.

Yay me!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Painting

I read about a man who was painting an angel a day for 100 days right up to the new millennium. I thought that was quite impressive. They were of varying sizes, most being small and I believe he succeeded.

I love to paint. I miss painting. I got my training in watercolor but as I don't have time to do what I'd like to do with that medium right now, I have tried acryllic paints. Which you can use like watercolor. This is another way to stay out of my box. A friend gave me several 9x11 primed canvases and they are calling me. The canvases are large enough for a nice painting yet small enough that the paintings don't have to take a lot of time. Plus, living in an apartment, space is at a premium. So working small for me is great, it's also a bit more intimate.

So I thought to myself that I could get a painting done in a month. The least I could do. My goal is to have 50 done by my 50th birthday. I think I'll give it a shot. Why not? A race against myself. A very nice life goal.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Early Morning

I've found that I can get up earlier in the morning to work on projects. As long as I can get in bed by 10 on the pm. It's really nice early in the morning before goofy neighbors and even the birds wake up . Get some coffee going and get started. One morning last week, I worked on a new doll head design. The pieces were already cut out and I was procrastinating (trying to regain my Princess of Procrastination status). So I finally sewed the pieces together and stuffed it. It was a failure. I wanted a round head and what I got was a watermelon with a nose. I got frustrated and pouted but my inner voice told me to stop it, look at the head to see where I went wrong. So I did. The forehead was too short which meant the back also needed to be lengthened. I liked the gusset at the back of the head and kept that in the new pattern.

A new pattern, I then cut out more pieces, and laid them a different way on the fabric. I had found that the stretch was going the wrong way. Back to the sewing machine. I looked at the thing and it looked like it would work. I stuffed it, packing it pretty hard. The stretch was going in the right direction this time.

The nose was the right size for the face. The head was round like I wanted, nice cheeks and forehead. Just right to work with. And it took less than an hour. I felt pretty good on my way to the job, knowing that when I get home, I can redraw the pattern on cardboard (to be ready for cutting out the next head) and get started on a body.

Oh no! A body.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

6 Months

Okay, the beginning part of the year has gone quite well. There are areas for improvement (I'm blessed to be able to acknowledge that) and I will work on those areas. I have the time to work on all projects and still have time to baby myself. There is a constant battle with the 'Fear Demons'/ I with they would just go away but I guess they're part of the push to keep me going.

The push to keep producing work. Completing work; manuscripts, screenplays, figurative art, paintings and applique. Okay, that's a lot and some things are more important than others. The things that aren't that important are needed to keep me balanced. They also help with creative blocks.

I've rewritten my list of projects and goals. I know that everything doesn't have to be finished at the same time but having a date when they should be finished is a good thing. I still have to prioritize what's first to be completed and that's okay because I have....

a plan. Plans are great. Even thought sometimes they don't work out. You'll never know unless you try. So far my plans for this year are working out and most haven't been changed. I believe that shows growth on my part. Preparing the plan, getting all supplies if needed, initiating and implementing the plan, then seeing it through. It feels good when a plan works out and a project is completed, a goal realized. Yay me and a pat on the back.

The next six months are a continuation of some plans and new plans will be implemented. Deadlines will be made. This is still my year.

Rewards for Hardwork

Taking time out for myself a few weeks ago has been a wonderful experience. After working very hard on numerous projects, it was time to relax and celebrate. I can't remember the last time I did that. Or even took time out for me. But I did it and I learned that it's okay. I deserve being nice to me. Celebrating my achievements. Recharging the batteries of my creative soul to get ready for the next group of projects.

I can think clearer now. I can say that I know how to not think about anything on a vacation but enjoying myself. I am well rested. My phone was on but I didn't really notice it ring. Didn't even use it. How many people can say that they actually know how to relax and not be tied to anything technical while on vacation? To be able to enjoy where they are and the company they're with.

I will not be a part of that crowd. A vacation or holiday is to be enjoyed, not to continue to be tethered to everyday. I will also make my reward list for when I'm ready to relax and take care of me, once again.

Emerald Isle

After dinner in Beaufort, Maya and I headed to Emerald Isle to look for a spot to see the sunset on my birthday. This was the entrance to the beach. The sand was very fine and still warm.
The sky was beautiful as the day was ending.
The sun begins to set on what was a very exciting day.
I just love the surf. The sound of it, how peaceful it is. I also stuck my feet in again. Couldn't be there without that happening. We watched the tide come in. How wonderful and amazing an event.
The sun finally says goodbye. I enjoyed my trip to the coast. I'm hoping the first of many more.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cape Lookout

This is looking towards the back of the ferry boat. Oh the spray of the sea on my face was great. It was a fun ride even though when we hit a wave wrong, I almost flew off my seat.
Cape Lookout was magnificent to see. I love lighthouses. I think in a past life I was a lighthouse keeper. I know I was a seafarer. This is my first North Carolina lighthouse.
The black diamonds I believe tell the north/south direction and the white diamonds go east/west.

Some wild flowers. Another painting.
And some dunes. I really like the coast of North Carolina. What a cool state. I can't wait to find the other lighthouses.

Fort Macon, North Carolina

Here are pics of Fort Macon in the Inner Banks of North Carolina. I like forts because of the history within the walls. Not all of it good but it's a part of what has made this country.
The edges of the top of the fort were rounded to prevent grappling hooks from taking hold.
I have a thing for canons and fire power.

One of the inner chambers of the fort used for storage or sleeping quarters.

Canon balls.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Atlantic Beach on My Birthday

One of the better pictures I've ever taken. I don't do well on the lens side of the camera. But I was happy that day. I finally made it to the coast of North Carolina. I think the happiness shows.
I got my feet wet!




Birthday Dawn June 2009

Maya and I made it across the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway to see the sun come up on my birthday. A little more than a hour before I was actually born a gazillion years ago.



A boat heading out at dawn, probably for some fishing. Looks great.
These were some of the beautiful homes along the waterway. There are beautiful homes all over down there. I really like the color in the clouds. I'm thinking of a painting from this shot.
Two ducks wishing me Happy Birthday.

Birthday Celebration 2009

Okay, last month was my birthday and I celebrated for a whole week. It was great, especially taking time out for me. To sit, have fun with friends and do nothing. Sometimes you have to do nothing to recharge your batteries.

I'm still trying to figure this blog thing out and posting pics, which just doesn't seem to like me. But I'm not giving up. So I'll give the week recap of that special time and then show pics in following posts until I can wrap my grey cells around this whole blog thing.

It all started June 19 with a Kung Fu/Jet Li marathon.

June 20 I had dinner with friends Gary and Nicole at a new restaurant in town called NOMA.

June 21 I treated myself to the movie "UP". I liked it, even though the female died in the movie. I can't wait to do my own. I've never seen 3D like that before and it was awesome. Right now Pixar can do no wrong. Way to go guys and thanks for entertaining me again.

June 22 met with friends, Maya and Dan at Panera Bread. Actually it was a writer's meeting but it was fun being with them and talking shop.

June 23 I chilled out and did some writing and dollmaking.

June 24 more movies, this time with Samuel L. Jackson in "Cleaner". Liked that one too and I really like Keke Palmer who played his daughter in the movie.

June 25 I had lunch with Marta, the very first friend I made here in North Carolina. It's our tradition and we went to Salem Tavern in Old Salem. I had pot roast, mashed potatoes with pearl onions and carrots, a glass of wine and pecan pie with a little candle for dessert.

June 26 I met a friend, Shawn at Reynolda House Museum of American Art to see the American Impressions exhibit. Wonderful. I love John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam, and Wm. Merritt Chase. Then I was treated to a birthday lunch at Sweet Potatoes downtown. Yummy!

June 27 Another friend, Maya, and I went to the coast. My first trip to the coast since moving here several years ago. I've seen the Pacific Ocean and the north Atlantic but not the south Atlantic. The closer we got to the coast I could smell and taste the salt in the air. It was so fresh.

When we drove into Morehead City it was pouring. We could barely see in front of us but to our left we saw blue sky. We found the hotel and took off for something to eat. Had She Crab soup and a spinach crab dip and wine. There was a sinful dessert of chocolate too. We left there and found the beach in Atlantic Beach. Back to the hotel to relax and be able to get up early to see the sunrise.

June 28 My big day, we got up early and barely made it to Atlantic Beach to watch the sun come up over the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway. Beautiful. Then to the beach to take pics. I got my toesies in the surf. I was finally there. I was so happy.

Got back to the hotel, had Continental Breakfast and then cleaned up. Checked out and made it to Fort Macon. Lots of history there, way cool. Then onto Beaufort, NC to catch a ferry to Cape Lookout Lighthouse. Saw Ibises flying in V-Formation, a Sea Osprey and chick who was very perturbed at our being there, and some wild horses. The horses were DNA tested and concluded that they were left over from when the Spaniards first came to these shores. Cape Lookout was awesome. Was sad because we couldn't go in but it was still cool. We didn't see any sea turtles or dolphins either. Got back to Beaufort and had dinner while listening to a Reggae band. I had crab cakes. OMG! We took off to Emerald Isle to watch the sunset on a glorious day. Then drove back.

June 29 Had dinner at Bibs with another writer friend, Donalee and we talked and laughed.

I feel so blessed to have such good friends, old and new in my life. I am so blessed to have had the experiences of my cool week.

An Apron

My mother wants two aprons and I got the first one done. I was a simple one and I'm glad I did it because it's easing me back into s...