Saturday, April 30, 2011

How's Your Bibo?

"Garbage in, garbage out" was a nice catchy little phrase that was popular when I first started using computers, meant to show that the quality of data input affected the quality of output.  And I get it - really, I do!  But the concept has so much more relevance for our lives that I'd like to change the phrase to reflect that.
It could be "Good In, Good Out".  Or "Quality In, Quality Out".  Or even "Light In, Light Out"...hmmm, maybe not that last one, lol!  It could also be "Beauty In, Beauty Out" (Bibo).  This one makes me laugh because "bibo" is what my grandson calls his belly button.  And since the belly button is the result of our first physical connection to Source, I think that the symbolism is pretty damn awesome!
Thought, word and deed have incredible power to change your life, with thought operating at one level in creating your reality; what you verbalize or otherwise express at the next level, and what you do at the highest level of creative power.
"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."  ~ William James, psychologist
As I settle in to a new location and deal with the uncertainties, challenges and crises arriving in my life, I've found myself struggling with this; with feeling overwhelmed and sidelined with doubts, negativity, fear.  It took a reminder from my daughter "Mom, remember:  thoughts become things!  Choose the good ones" to move me in more positive directions.

And it's true - what we take in affects (and this includes self-talk) what we put out and what we receive and experience as reality on every level of our existence.  If my mind is focused on negatives then that focus gives those negatives power.  If I'm surrounded by negative people, it's harder to remove myself from that negativity.  But just as we react to other people's moods, words and projections, we also react to our own.
The things I allow into my life affect me on subtle, but very real levels.  If I believe that I am unworthy, unloved, incapable of good; if I choose to believe in my insecurities and uncertainties then life conspires to fulfill those beliefs and make them a part of my reality.
There are times in everyones lives that negatives can't be avoided; times when, like this past week for me, there are crises to deal with, or times when we truly need to cry or grieve.  A lesson that I continue to learn is that it's important not to submerge ourselves in them.  Acknowledge them; honor them as part of your life experience; process them and move on.  Actively look for the positives around you.  Honor yourself by learning how to change your creations into positives! 
The patterns of your life won't change overnight, but time and practice will truly help.  Reminders are good - they work!  They can serve to call us back to ourselves and realign our lives with our joy and our positive creative power.  As Oprah stated "The smallest change in perspective can transform a life.  What tiny adjustment might turn your world around?"'s your Bibo??

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fantastic Giveaway

Look what I've found!!  This is a fantastic, totally generous and huge giveaway on a newly discovered blog.  Definitely enter the giveaway, but explore the site too.  Lots of great techniques, projects, photos, ideas and more.

Oh, and the giveaway?  It includes some wonderful embellishments, lots of stamps, distress stains & ink, Tim Holtz papers/stamps and Configurations box,  a signed copy of the book: "Teach Yourself Visually Collage & Altered Arts", alterable tins, boxes, book, coasters, etc.  And a Vera Bradley tote to tuck all the goodies into!
Ah!!  I SO want to win!  Lol.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Update

Easter almost passed me by this year.  I don't think that it would have registered on my radar if it weren't for my grandson!  To all of you who celebrate, I wish you an Easter holiday and season filled with blessings.

I'm settling in at our new location - as much as possible until I find a place of my own.  I love it here so far.  Ontario is a small town; just a little bit country.  There is a carpet of stars in the night sky; I can look up and see the constellations and a hint of the Milky Way.  But the sky, day or night time, seems so vast!  In more than a week, I've only seen one small plane flying overhead.  The air here has a precious clarity and freshness too.
Looking out the front door of my daughter's apartment, I can see a field that's home to a few cows and an occasional horse.  Beyond that, and beyond the highway, is the Snake River.  And on the other side of the river, I can see hills in Idaho still dusted with snow.
A neighbor has chickens and a rooster who loves to greet each day.  It seems like a clarion call to me, urging us to wake up and celebrate new beginnings; to sing new songs and create things anew.  Oh, and for those who like to nap in the early afternoon, he also has a special mid-day call, lol!
And this IS a new beginning; an adventure...I can't wait to see what new discoveries I make...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Back to Kindergarten!

Still crazy after all these days!  Time for art is still usurped by organizing, packing, cleaning and all the other myriad things that come with a major move and transition.  So, although I don’t have any new art to share, this has been much on my mind:

Listen to Mustn'ts, child, listen to the Don'ts.
Listen to the Shouldn'ts, the Impossibles, the Won'ts.
Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me.
Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.
-Shel Silverstein 

There are times when we just need to move our minds and creativity away from a world that says things should be a certain way; that there are right ways and wrong ways to be ourselves; that feeds us full to bursting with expectations and rules and can silently and insidiously steal away the gift of our creativity.

Remember when you were a child and every moment was an exploration, a joy, an inspiration?  Where every new creative act took place in the now and was met with enthusiasm and wonder?  When it was okay to color the sky purple, to build a house for the fairies or a shelter for a frog? 
All children have the capacity to live in the moment; to create from their hearts and experience joy.  It’s only as they grow and take in the “mustn’ts, the don’ts, shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts” that they lose touch with their creativity.  I love it when my 2 year old grandson climbs up next to me, asking to make art.  That pure creative spirit that brings him joy in the act of creating inspires me and lightens my heart!

Give yourself the gift of reconnecting to the child within you!  Keep it in Kindergarten, as one of my mentors used to say.  Simple, uncomplicated and fun…Here are some ideas to start with:
  • Watch the clouds!  What shapes, animals, newly created wonders can you discover there?
  • Look online for free coloring pages.  You can use these to simply color, as patterns, or as a springboard for simple collages that will use up some of your paper scraps.  The inspiration for my “Vision” collage was a coloring page!
  • Cut a crown out of card stock or colored paper, decorate it to your heart’s content and wear it.  Be Queen of all you see for a day!  Add a beautiful, handmade wand and be your own fairy godmother!
  • Sandwich various colors of tissue paper between layers of waxed paper, make a frame out of colored or scrapbook paper and hang in your window for a stained glass effect that is beautiful in its simplicity.
  • Finger-paint!  Mix salt and flour with a little water to make a paste (the consistency of thick gravy).  Divide into small containers or dishes and add just a bit of food coloring to create different colors. 
  • Create temporary stamps from vegetables—cut a green pepper, cucumber, etc. in half or cut a simple raised design into the raw side of half a potato.  A red onion, cut in half and allowed to dry out makes a lovely rose stamp – as does the bottom of a celery stalk!  For more permanent, reusable  stamps, cut a shape out of the bottom of a clean styrofoam meat tray.  Clean well, then use a pencil or pen to press a simple design into the smooth side of the foam.  My  kids and I made a whimsical floral stamp one year, which we used to decorate gifts, including a gardeners apron and tee shirt.
  • Stir up a batch of bubbles, and revel in some fun!  To one quart of water, stir in 1/2 cup of sugar until the sugar dissolves, then stir in 1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid.  You can make bubble wands out of coat hangers, making sure there are no sharp edges.
Feel free to discover and add your own inspirations (and share them with us)!  If you’re in a place where creativity seems to have packed up and taken a vacation, giving yourself the gift of playfulness may be just the thing needed to invite it back into your days.
 An Arthur Rackham illustration from a vintage children's book, circa 1902

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hooray! My first post!

I’m two weeks away from a major move across state.  Preparing for it is challenging – trying to get everything done while also focusing on keeping my fibromyalgia symptoms and pain levels to a minimum.
I’m also practicing a bit of faith and not yet packing all of my art supplies.  Somewhere in all the activity and exhaustion there will be time for art!  As my two year old grandson says “Art!  Make art!  Me! Me! Me!”  He shares my heart, lol!
This blog, and my move, are the first steps on my newest grand adventure!  I’m winging both on the encouragement of the amazing people I have in my life, both online and off;  the belief that life, and all it entails, is essentially good and knowing that I have gifts yet to gather and yet to give.
I appreciate you being here and welcome you to sharing the adventure with me!

Friday, April 1, 2011

[blog under construction]

This is just a test post so that Maisy can see something on the blog when she is choosing text and colours etc.