I was recently one of 14 artists to take part in a special tag collaboration that Tina Walker organized for StencilGirl. The collaborators included: Janet Schmitz, Sara Branson, Michele Kosciolek, Leigh Ann Bierman, Tracy Krueger, Kathy Luckey, Nina Fickett, Kathy Adams, Susan Brown, Tracy Villaume and Melissa Johnson
It was so much fun to receive the artists' tags in the mail from all over the country.
The focus was StencilGirl stencils. We had to create backgrounds on size 5 tags and send 2 to each collaborator. Once we received them all, we had to further embellish the tags in any way we wanted, and create a book using all the tags.
I chose to use a poem I had written and embellish the tags to tell that story.
Some of the StencilGirl stencils that were used:
Click HERE to go to Tina Walker’s post on StencilGirl to see everyone's different and glorious tag books! I am so honored to be among this company and relish in the uniqueness of the projects. Enjoy!
I recently attended the ordination ceremony for Pastor Angela at my church. The room was jam-packed and the positive energy and love in that sanctuary was palpable. As always, folks from all walks of life were there. But on this day, people from various parts of Angela’s life and journey were there to celebrate her. I liken it to a wedding, when friends and family gather from far and wide and from all stages of your life. They don’t know each other and it is your life flashing before your eyes. Kinda surreal.
I was a blubbery mess! Not a full-on ugly cry, but I was really moved! The first thing that made me so emotional was the pureness and the beauty in the fact that Angela has found her true calling in life. Wow. And I don’t just mean it in a religious way. I believe that we are all called. We are all here for a reason and it’s our challenge to find out what it is. I mean otherwise what.is.the.point? Do what you love. Figure out what makes you YOU. Witnessing the clarity of that in Angela was a gift in itself. The joy in it. The peace in it. Just breathtaking.
And the next tear-jerker was that all of these people in this room were there to celebrate just that! It was a group “Atta girl!” A collective “You go girl!” These people from all parts of Angela’s journey made the time, prioritized the occasion to just come, be there and use their presence to say “It is wonderful that you found your calling and worked hard to fulfill it. I am here for you and I celebrate you. You go.” Part of the ceremony is called the Laying of the Hands where Angela kneels and a group of people put their hands on her shoulders as a visual representation of support. It was beautiful and awe-inspiring.
And it made me realize that we do not do this enough in general. Do we prioritize time to be with our friends to voice that we are happy that they have found their true passions? Do we “show up” for our friends to ask them what they are up to on that path or tell them that we are proud of them? Would it be a better world if we all did more to support each other’s journeys and celebrate each other’s joy? In my humble opinion, yes! And isn’t THAT.the.point?
My little boy is a perfectionist. Maybe we're all born with some of this...some more than other though, I think. You can either feed the ugly beast or tame it along the way. But there it is. Spencer's only 7. But his beast actually tries to stop him from even trying new things. New experiences, new sports, new everything.
It comes down to the fear of being wrong or being seen as wrong, or silly, different or not good enough. Fear can be crippling in any field. As an artist, it is very hard to put your work out there, for fear than it won't be liked. It is my daily struggle, vacillating between confidence and fear, between THIS CAME OUT PRETTY DAMN GOOD and OH NO, I COULDN'T POSSIBLY ENTER THAT CHALLENGE!
This week, I got a "Thank you for submitting your artwork. I appreciate your creative efforts and taking the time to share your work with us. Unfortunately, we are unable to fit this particular submission into our editorial schedule." (I thought it was damn good, by the way, and frankly would have fit very nicely into that particular call.) AND I got a letter from a local coffeehouse that hangs some of my work. It read "Thank you for allowing us to host your beautiful artwork. Enclosed is payment for "Brave." Someone, off the street, loved and bought a piece that I made with my heart and hands.
I showed both of these to Spencer. Told him that life is walking a path of all kinds of experiences, including fear, disappointment and yes, pure joy. That if you don't spread your wings and TRY to fly, you'll never know to what heights you can soar.
Also, this little baby robin was born in our front tree. I named her Liberty since it is the week of Independence Day. (I don't really know if it's a girl, but let's go with it.) How dainty and fragile she is. Much like our egos. Soon, she is going to have to spread those wings and try to fly too. Happy Independence Day. ;)
So.....I have always wanted to start a blog. It is intimidating, right? But, what isn't?? So, here I am stepping out of the proverbial box o' comfort. Yay, me.
I am just back from what I am calling my mini art retreat. I took two classes from artist/teacher Seth Apter at an art shop in Alexandria, VA called Artistic Artifacts. One was on Friday night and the other all day Saturday. So I decided to stay the night in a nearby hotel, making a lil' trip out of it. I also went early and walked around Del Ray and Old Town, two areas of Alexandria I have always liked.
I adore my life and my family. Don't get me wrong. But I have learned something about myself in recent years. In order for me to enjoy the noisy bits of my life--ie, I have a 6 year old and a 7 year old--I HAVE to have some silence. Some ME time. O.M.G. the TV + the bickering + loud toys + all the noise that is already in my head at all times = Cray Cray Kerry. I feel so over-stimulated when it is like that. I wish I could tune out some of it, like some people can. But, alas there it is.
So, YES to grouping my two classes into a length of time that felt like a tiny get-away. I allowed myself to just walk around and follow my heart. Wander into shops. Sit and journal in cafes. Sit on a hotel bed and read a newspaper and magazines and a book. I kept a vow to myself that I would not even turn on the TV! YES to quiet.
And Y E S to taking art classes! I will be a lifetime learner. I believe we all should. I love coming home with new experiences and new ideas and techniques to try in my work. Both with Seth Apter, I took a class on altering photos and one on stenciling. These are two things I don't do too much of in my work so I was glad to try them.
Learning, meeting people at the classes, being surrounded by lots of creativity, self-paced art-making, quiet, self-care. Yes, please.
Now I am home with all of the crazy that that can mean...and I love that, too. Off to pop some corn and watch a movie with all my peeps. xoxo
Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Spring is here. It's my favorite season for its newness. Rebirth. Clean slate. There are a few other times of year I like for this reason too...New Year's Day, of course. I love how that always feels like another chance. Another chance to set goals. To feel clean--helps when you put away all the Christmas decorations. Another time is the first day back to school for the kids after a long summer. But, yeah, nothing feels as good to me as s.p.r.i.n.g. Ahhhhh. The green buds poking through the old brown leftover plants in my yard!? Yes, please! Pink buds on my naked winter trees! Yay! Seeing sprigs popping up where I had forgotten I planted new bulbs last year! Woo Hoo!
Today I went to Occoquan where I get my hair cut about every ten weeks. The town is sweet and eclectic. Getting my hair done makes me feel better--a fresh start, like spring! Best part--scalp massage! After the salon, I allow myself to wander in and out of shops. I don't know that area that well, so I enjoy the idea of freely meandering without worry. I sat outside at a cafe and had a salad. Then I got a mani-pedi at a cute little nail salon. It was more relaxation and I loved it. Best part--calf massage and hand massage! :)
I highly recommend getting out once in a while to rejuvenate. Wander around a cute town for an hour or two. Sit at a sidewalk cafe and sip an iced tea while people-watching. Especially this spring. Get out there and let the rebirth inspire your next move. Ahhhhhhhh.