Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Birthday Pic 2012

Happy Birthday To Me, Happy Birthday To Me!
Two days into my New Year and I'm feeling pretty good. I've been busy, even though I'm still celebrating my birthday. I've gotten back to editing my kid's manuscript and I've been writing new material. I've sketched some new dollies, and I am content.

My good friend Maya took me out for a birthday dinner and it was so yummy. I even had a martini. Haven't had one of those in many months of Sundays. We went to Bonefish Grill because they have a gluten free menu for Maya. We had a wonderful shrimp and sun dried tomato appetizer. I had a cup of corn chowder, which was oh so yummy along with fresh bread and fresh basil with the best olive oil I've ever tasted. Maya had a chicken dish with fontina cheese, and I had a huge pork chop with mushrooms, cheese, proscuitto, and marsala sauce. We shared a huge macadamia nut brownie with homemade ice cream, and a raspberry sauce. Even the coffee was tasty. With every bite there was a different flavor. I felt like Ratatouille when he was eating the strawberry and cheese. I got a small box of chocolates and was serenaded by our waiter who sang opera on the side. It was great!

My First Mini Project

I've been wanting to make a miniature project for the longest time now. Ever since the 1990s. Yikes! So on my birthday I made a tiny crochet shawl. The pattern was by Kitty Mackey, May 1998, Dollhouse Miniatures magazine. I didn't have the right size thread but I was determined to give it a try. I found out that I didn't like the pattern much, but will try it again with my own twist.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's My Birthday!

50 years ago, on a Thursday, I was born. I was going to sleep in this morning but got up early for my birthday. I didn't know how I felt. I said my thanks and that I was grateful for being here, right now. Grateful for all that I've accomplished, for all that I've yet to do, see, and people to meet.

I got in the shower and cried. I don't know if they were tears of joy or sadness. Joy because I've made it this far? Sadness because... I didn't know. I told myself that I would only think of what I have, not what I don't have. So the sadness of anything negative I would have mentioned turned into one of 'goodbye' to the past 50 years. With all of the hurts, slights, disappointments, lost love, and missed opportunities. It's time to say goodbye. I have to let you go.

I have my memories of extreme happy and frightening times. Memories of loved ones who encouraged me 100%. Ancestors who lived, loved, and died so that I could be here. Today. I will not let them down. Nor will I let myself down.

I have accomplished a lot in 50 years. I have touched many lives, more than I can remember, in positive ways or even with just a smile, a pat on the back, a hug, or words of encouragement. My artwork has graced many homes and publications. Pieces are in shops and galleries and I've even had a one woman show. A first of many more to come. I'm certain of it. I have earned two degrees. A Bachelor of Fine Arts, in art, specializing in watercolor painting. A Master of Arts in theater, specializing in costume design. Yes, there are things I've wanted to do and didn't get to. But one thing I've held on to was that I've always wanted to be involved in movies and have just touched the tip of that iceberg. 100 of my dolls and parts of dolls are the main focus of an independent film in pre-production. I guess that's what holding on to a dream means.

When I was a kid, way before I really knew that there was a real world out there, I never thought I would move away from home. That I would always stay in my birth city. My grandma would take me out west to visit relatives on Ye Olde Greyhound. My first adventures. I have traveled to several other states since then. On my bucket list - see some National Parks. I now live in the south.

Things changed when I got my passport. I am so grateful that my first time out was a wonderful one. New Zealand. If I could have found out how to stay, I would have.  Probably would've worked on those Hobbit movies. I'm going back. Next up, England for some Shakespeare, followed by Canada. Some people may not think of Canada as another country. But it is. And growing up in Michigan, I felt it as a sister country. I could see it across the river. Buildings even. New Brunswick made it to my list. After that, Japan. I'm going back there too. The first place I felt culture shock, for a brief moment.

It was summer time, festival season was in full form. I just love a country that celebrates just about everything. I was in Tokyo, they had closed the main thoroughfare, and there was a sea of light skinned, dark haired people. At that moment, I was the Connecticut Yankee. I was literally the chocolate chip in the rice pudding. With all of those people about it got quiet, the air stilled, and things moved in slow motion. Then this energy wave came and passed through me. A slight breeze touched my face. Maybe angel wings? The sound came back and I was at peace. I was in another homeland. Every place I've been to so far, I've felt that it was home or that I'd been there before. Past lives or accumulated memories?

There are people who will never leave their neighborhood. People who will never have the feeling of wonder, joy, awe, and satisfaction of being a traveler. Smiles are the same all over. I want to see more. I'm so grateful that I've been able to jump a couple of ponds. To see what I can see.

Friends have become family. Being my mom's only child, I grew up with lots of cousins, aunts, and uncles. Many of them are gone now but I continue to get new family. They listen to me, laugh with me, share with me. They have encouraged me and pushed me out of several boxes. They've come in all shapes, sizes, sexes, and colors. Some have touched me briefly. A few have been there since I was a little kid. Some I've only met recently and they assure me they are in it for the long haul. I love you all.

I feel like a Phoenix. I'm ready to take off and fly. I'm ready for the second part of my life. What will the next decade bring? I don't know. But I'm ready to make things happen. Create new things. Travel to new places and not-so-new places. Make more friends. Live, laugh, and love more. Especially love more. Love me more and cut myself some slack. This has been a good life. I'm ready to script the next 50 years. Whether it unfolds that way or not, it's all good. The morning tears were for saying goodbye to the past. Hello to the future.

50 years ago on a Thursday morning I was born.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

First Reticule

I forgot to show my first reticule. I made the tassel and I like the embroidery but I'm looking forward to making my next one and properly embroider the piece before the bag is put together.

A Project Done

Hello there. Yes, I missed two posts and I apologize. Still working out the kinks of being self employed. Managing the fear a little bit better and it's wonderful having a friend who keeps me on track. Maya was the second friend I made when I moved to North Carolina. She believes in me, my talent, and what I can accomplish. She's a wonderful writer and she really helps with seeing things above, around, and under my box. I'm still working on saying and enjoying what I have done each day, instead of what I haven't done with my artwork. That is a challenge.

I have been keeping track of my creative hours and for the past three weeks I've averaged 40 hours each week. I was shocked, yet pleased. I have proven to myself that I can put the hours in. Now I will work on using my creative time to accomplish what I really want to do, which is editing my manuscript and making one-of-a-kind figures for sell, along with continuing my other creative fun. I do want to do one more hand puppet and start pitching it for summer workshops for kids. I'll get started on that one today. But first...

I finished my chemise for the Jane Austen Regency Wardrobe Challenge. I hung it on a hanger to take a pic and then told myself to go ahead and try it on. Silly me, of course I should try it on. When I bought the fabric it was quite light weight but then I washed it and the weave tightened. Because of budget constraints, I had to go ahead and make it. There's nothing saying I can't make another with really nice batiste, nicer grade muslin, or fine linen. I tried it on and oh my gosh! It's so comfortable and would make a wonderful house dress for the summer. It was very airy and soft. I've got to make one just to wear around the apartment. Here it is, minus me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Moving Along

The mind is a tricky thing. Seeing that my weeks don't actually have a beginning and an end, I thought that this week I'd start it on a Monday and see how that goes. Monday was a good day. A very productive day of quilts and applique which ended with going to my applique workshop. I love those ladies, they are hilarious. I know that once a month I'll get to see them and the awesome work that they do and we go crazy. Plus, it's good to get out of the apartment.

Tuesday morning, I got up and went for my walk. I'm still waiting to feel good about it but anyway... I got home, showered, ate and had coffee. I was feeling great. Then the brain decided to do a U-turn and wanted to take me for a ride. It was trying to tell me that I had a good day on Monday and that I didn't need to do anything today. My to do list is at least ten miles long, I chose three things to do. Edit chapter two of Map Hunter, work on my reticule, and cut out my chemise. Bad Wendy continued to plant seeds of despair and I was about to take an emotional dive when I said "No. I want to have several good days in a row. Beat it." But doubts started to sneak in and right when I was about to paralyze myself with fear, Good Wendy screamed, "DO SOMETHING!!!!!!". So I picked up my quilt block and finished appliqueing it.

One more block done and one more to go before I can put all blocks together. I'm on my way to one of my goals of finishing an UFP (unfinished project). Then I cut out my chemise. Yay me!

I just love having my table cleared off to do whatever but the floor and surrounding area is another thing.
I also edited chapter two of Map Hunter, my mid-grade kid adventure series. And...

I embroidered my reticule. I had drawn another design but because the bag was already together, an elaborate design wouldn't work. This one turned out quite well considering I worked in a very tight area. I even made my tassel. I want to continue to work on my schedule for each day. Eventually I will get to dolls. Being creative during the day is helping. I'm getting there. And I feel pretty good about it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Weekly sketches: Owls

My friend Ginger is in school. She's working on keeping up with her sketching on a regular basis. Two weeks ago she did elephants. And I joined her. Last week was crazy for both of us so this week we are doing owls. Here are my first set of sketches.

I really like owls. There's one in my neighborhood that comes around and I hear him in the morning. I love the sound of an owl in the morning. It beats some crazy bird that starts chirping at 4 AM. And there aren't any other birds responding to the twerp. I will do more sketches today. Even if it's just for ten minutes.


Last week was weird. I'm still working on giving myself permission to create. I worked myself into a frenzy and yes, I cried. I was so busy getting samples done for classes and workshops and I felt miserable. I'm all for the multiple income streams but it seemed as if I were still in the same boat with numerous holes in the bottom. I couldn't figure it out; what was wrong and to top it off, a young acquaintance passed away. She was very sweet, funny, had the greatest smile and sense of humor. She was 25 and now she's gone. She had just started a job she really liked. Mortality is a b**** and you never know when your time is up.

Maya called me. I guess she sensed my distress. I told her what was going on and she told me not to be so hard on myself. At that time, it hadn't been two weeks since I left the job. Yes I need some income coming in but I also need to create. That's why I quit. And I wasn't giving myself the opportunity to do so. She said that even if I only spend 20 minutes on something new, that's good. Everyday, spend time on something new. Then the rest of the day, I can work on things to get income coming in. That it is okay to do so. She said to stop beating myself up and give myself a chance.

So I mourned my friend and the old Wendy. I'm working on being nicer to me. Us creative types are so hard on ourselves. We are constantly working, thinking up new ideas, working in old and new mediums. Wondering if something will work and then wondering if someone else will like it. When people, usually a non-creative type, comes up to you and says, "Oh, all you do it paint all day (or insert: make dolls, do clay work, take photographs, write)." Short of strangling them, or just smacking the heck out of them you can tell them to try it. All they see is the end result. The finished doll, the pretty picture, the great photo in the frame. They don't know about the time to:
  • come up with the idea
  • gather supplies
  • research
  • sketch
  • take notes (waking up at 3 AM, in the shower, on the toilet, eating breakfast, at a stop light, and I can go on)
  • take the first step, make the first mark on the white paper, go outside to a field full of spring flowers
  • give yourself permission to screw up, because it will happen, over and over again
  • try again
  • more research
  • model, sculpt, paint, put more batteries in camera
  • more research
  • let things dry, or bake
  • deal with angst
And it continues. Day in and day out. It happens before the pretty or fantastic thing at the end. The thing that everyone sees.

I also have to get better at a schedule. The morning is for my new work. I am giving myself permission to work on it. Whether it's ten minutes or 30. That's to create new work. To write new words. After lunch, I can do something that will bring in some income. I am and my work is important enough to give myself permission to do it. It is wonderful. When I think about it, I giggle and shake with joy. Then the real world tries to creep in and say that I shouldn't have fun while everyone else is toiling away at jobs they don't like. So I pull a move like the one Hulk did to Thor and just knock out the not-so-fun thoughts.

I have everything I need to create. I will continue to work on my attitude and tell myself that I am worthy. To create. I'm sure I'll over think something else, and lose my mind on something insignificant because I am human. Then I will have a creative explosion.

Right now, I am okay. Life is too short not to be happy or creative. Besides, I have friends who will keep me in check. I'm noticing these weird looks from them when I don't give myself enough credit. So I will have to keep my big girl underpants on, safety pin my cape, and seize the day. Throw some clay around and mark up some paper. One day at a time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More Workshop Samples

I had my long creative day yesterday. I put in eleven hours. Helps make up for the slow day on Monday. I did have to run an errand on Monday that, well, I had to go back to the business because of a mistake on my bill. By the time I got back home, I was mentally exhausted and decided to take a break the rest of the day. I try to plan all of my errands on the same day because I know I won't get much done when I get home. I think dealing with the traffic and trying not to get creamed by large trucks is quite stressful.

Anyway, yesterday was good. Got two hand puppets done. I've got to get the samples for kid's classes done. One, so I can teach and get paid; two, so I can get to what I really want to do. Be a mad creative person. Bwahahaha! I am so itching to do some Halloween stuff and pirates. Gotta do some pirates. I also have a small art fair next month and I've got to whip up some items for that.

I make sure that I do something for me during my day. I am bound and determined to get my Hop To It quilt top done this year. I'd like to get one quilt top done this year. Yes, I keep starting them and not finishing them. In a way, I guess it's okay because it's my release valve. It's my fun thing to do that's not doll related. I know it will really help my psyche and ego if I can get it done. It feels good to get things done.

Well, I better go have breakfast and get going. Have a great Wednesday everyone.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Survived Week One

I survived week one of being self employed. No money yet but making headway on the work schedule. I've averaged 6.5 hours a day, doing things creative. I also made myself breathe and I went to my English Country Dancing. Gotta get some exercise in there too. I would like to have one very long creative day during the week. I don't know which day it will be, but I know I'd like one. Just in case friends want to do something special. Only two days with tears and one day wondering what the heck did I do. Never fear, I've decided that I was going to do this for a period of time and right now, I'm okay.

I finally got samples done for a kid's workshop to be scheduled this summer. It's a purse with a pocket doll. I think they turned out quite well.

Friday, June 8, 2012


I haven't exactly been able to follow along with the Sketchbook Challenge but yesterday I gave it a try. A friend of mine is trying to keep up her sketching in between semesters and I told her I'd join her. So she chose elephants. I thought I had pics of elephants but none could be found in my apartment. I just got lucky to find a video on Facebook and I sketched from that.

The next sketch is for my reticule. The next time I make one, I will embroider first and then put the bag together. But I had taken a workshop for it, that's why things are being done in a backwards way.

Now to transfer this onto the bad. Hmmm... I may have to free hand it.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pictureless Post

As of yesterday, I am now self employed. It was a big decision to make on my part. I know many people think I'm absolutely nuts for doing so but at the end of the day, it's my life and if I don't at least try it now, I will always wonder if I could've done it. I have been miserable at my job for the past several years. Longing to be a full time artist, since I found out that it was something people actually did.

I am terrified. For now I wonder if this was the best decision. But I don't want to be in my rocker on my porch at the age of 90, wondering. So I'm going to suck it up, put my big girl britches on and give it my utmost. This is my life and I will live it well. I do have plans and they will unfold with future posts on this blog. I've also started another blog to document pics of my new wardrobe that will be functional and full of fantasy.

I have had time to straighten my studio (I can now see the floor), and my living room area is now livable. I now have time to create. I should be thrilled but I'm still dealing with the fact that I'm no longer on anyone else's time schedule. I get to make up my own schedule. That is just truly weird. But I'll get over it.

Let my new journey begin.

Hop To It Block 10

I finally got another block done. I will get this quilt top together this year. I want it done. I have two more blocks to go and I've started another block of the month. What's wrong with me? Crazy, just crazy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hello June!

A new month. June! My birthday month. I'm aiming to make this a special month. Yesterday I read to the student's at Brunson Elementary, Ms. Overby's class. They were great. I read the first chapter to my mid-grade adventure story. They seem to be captivated and applauded at the end. They asked when it would be published and I told them my goal would be to wrap up the editing by the end of the summer. Another asked if I had a website for it. Well, I guess I've got a lot of work to do this month and the rest of the year.

I have the beginnings of a list for the month. Still working on samples for workshops I want to teach. Monday is the start date for business. It will be the first day of my creative life on my own. Yep, I'm self-employed now. Terrified, yes, but this is what I have to do right now.

Still February

Working hard to get back in the groove of blogging. It's a way to get my feelings, ideas, and dreams out of my head and into the world. ...