This January was no different, and while there is still time left in the month I think I have to call a truce with my sanity. I came out of the shoot with vigor, but the mundane task of actually posting the pictures to the place on their website, the thought of blogging every day about what I wanted to accomplish, well, it was quite exhausting.
Either way, whether I paint each day or not, I plan to continue to think of all of the paintings I would do if I weren’t in the carpool line, or out with my husband, or showing property sometimes in the morning, sometimes the evening but never when I can plan it. (Its the way of the job, which is what I love about it.)
I find my #30 day challenges (PLURAL) on my mind each morning, some scribbled in my daily pages (which have some blank pages but none the less still contain thought provoking and sometimes unbridled ideas I didn’t get from paper to canvas) and many texts to myself in my Iphone as I would make my way far from my easel during my daily routine but the ideas were still flowing.
I can say, I have let the “DO IT EVERY DAY” slide and resorted to “thinking creatively each day”. So much pressure to perform can stifle creativity, but the thought that it “might need to happen” has actually inspired me to do more with what I have ALREADY created.
So with that said, I pull out the first three paintings I did “as requested in the challenge” and a few other things that came as a result of my “thinking and talking about creativity”. Either way, my mind has a comfortable bounce throughout the day between the mundane and the creative. It is how we should be EVERY day.
I am grateful for the challenges and relieved that I have let myself off the hook to simply absorb the creativity that was already living in my world before I decided to make it a daily checklist.
I am noticing the creative food we ate while on vacation (carrots in butterfly form) and the cookie shaped sandwiches my daughter made. The candle I stuck in an old piece of bark that made a fabulous candle holder on my porch. Maybe we don’t have to perform to be creative. Maybe we just let pieces of creativity follow us around and flow when they are ready.
I urge any who are working hard to create, to let go and let LIFE. NO my gingerbread pancake is NOT perfect, but it sure got a chuckle this morning.
Watch out how you waste your creativity, you are probably missing a sunset just as I was about to by reading this! Get OUT and go catch the sunshine, wherever it may happen to be. Notice it doesn’t plan to impress, it just DOES.
Yes, I get it all the time. Wait? Are you that Realtor? That Artist?
“No, I don’t think so,” a fellow acquaintance told someone recently,” she writes for that newspaper.”
I was once told, “If you don’t pick ONE thing you are never going to be successful.”
I see that person now has actually drifted from that one profession into a few of the ones they said I “dabbled” in.
I believe that we are ALL created differently. I get it that many do NOT understand the many faces I wear. It is the way I have lived my whole life, involved to the core, even as a young mom although that span involved fewer “career-like” activities and were more activities such as juggling babies, Jr. League, book clubs, smocking groups and volunteer boards while working.
Over the years I have watched my interests develop and deepen. I now feel that if I didn’t do them all, I would be cutting off a part of me.
They say (we can get away with that as gospel here in the South~ “they” are all powerful) if you are frustrated late in your career, take your mind and heart back to those days, just about age 5-10 (before the world influenced your desires, curiosities and interests) and THAT my friend is who you have always wanted to be.
For me as a child, I loved lining my little sister and friends up on the sofa with worksheets I created and playing teacher. (We also served food through the kitchen window on roller skates so hey, I guess you would say that is my back up plan!)
I loved singing in front of a fat red tape recorder with five black buttons, knowing I sounded nothing like Olivia Newton John but belting her songs anyway, my sister sneaking up to make fun of me. My dad taught me to wire a four component stereo when I was nine. That has served me well as electronics are more cool to me than diamonds. (and to ride motocross before my toes could touch the ground on a Honda 50).
I loved the Sears catalog, dog eared pages marking lime green shag, bean bags and paint colors for me to decorate the play house with. (I resorted to a wooden fort with no walls with access from the trampoline below).
I loved painting, my first class probably in second grade and I still remember the foreground exercise we did. My huge brown, barren tree hanging from a cliff in the front left corner with cotton fields in the background.
I loved writing. I have journals from each and every moment of my life (yes Mendy, you can have those and burn as you see fit). Honesty (at least from my perspective) has always been my downfall. Perhaps some editing and censor would have done me well all these years.
In college I took Real Estate Investing. I majored in Interior Design at BAMA (remember the playhouse decorating? Sometimes the interests stick) and did commercial design for banking and medical clients for ten years. Bama’s was one of the few to be FIDER accredited. I am a state licensed and registered Interior Designers in the State (#250) Finding this coming in handy as I work on specializing in handicap accessible properties in the Tuscaloosa Area as well as in Staging Homes for Sale.
I got my Real Estate license over twenty years ago, motivated by men at the hunting camp discussing a land deal. The words still ring in my memory, “these girls grandparent died and they have no clue what it is worth. I think we can make some money on this one.” That day I vowed to know more than the vultures of the world, hoping to never become those young girls who probably lost that family farm on the outskirts of town. Today I LOVE helping people find a home. I can see the possibilities as they discuss their dreams. We talk about design tweaks here and there that could fulfill them. This month, the small town, traditional company I started here with, transgressed into a new national office. I was offered an opportunity to be a part of Lake Homes Realty, specializing in Lake Homes, particularly Lake Tuscaloosa.
And so, enough reminiscing. I have been quite busy this summer and have a few projects under the belt. Thought I would share them on this, my “almost 50th year of life”- But NOT YET! I’m a Taurus (go figure you say) so I can still say I am barely 49.
Here I introduce the babies I have created with my many faces.
They are each a part of me and I still have some more to get out there:
I love to learn. This from a workshop with Kellie Newsome.
Face 1: MOM
Lets not forget that. Birthing three little beings is quite the face to wear! So proud of each of them!)
(I’ll know when my brilliant one who is going into marketing finds this post. And YES that was our Tiffen RV in the background…had to retire it after a neighborhood pile in on the way to the ice cream shop in Mt. Brook turned into a “crap what is with the brakes” episode! Just sayin!) We went from Harley Davidson to this so hey, I thought it was a safe decision!
Paintings are now on the new SHOPIFY site and ready for purchase~
Click here to see the paintings waiting to come HOME to YOU!
What can I say? I don’t proclaim to know it all, but I sure have fun with my Friday paint group helping them bust out of their “I can’t do art” shell! It makes me SMILE.
Lover of Christmas. And JESUS as the reason for that holiday.
The book I wrote a few years ago is now on Amazon and Lulu.com as a coloring book. Who knew all these adults color!? Either way, this is the year I was determined to remind everyone that JESUS IS CHRISTmas.
Yes, that WAS our first tree in the new house in Birmingham, stood two stories and took our neighbors help to get it into the doors, after discovering it at the local tree farm in Griswold fashion and dragging it behind a not so short Acadia.
Fan and lover of the Alabama Crimson Tide and all things Southern.
A “younger” BEAR and an attempt at a watercolor shotgun. (Do you KNOW that acrylic and watercolor are TOTAL OPPOSITES? Watercolor you start soft and build up your darks. Acrylic, you put in your DARKS and add in with lighter colors and highlights. TRY it sometime! Really! If you want to stretch your brain! That will do it. Forget hours in front of TV.
I have been blessed with the Lake Living Column at Druid City Living where each month I create another reason to be thankful for looking at Lake Tuscaloosa as home every day.
I take writing seriously and have written cover stories for Southern Beauty Magazine about LeAnn Rimes, Emily Procter the mom of Princess Lea on Star Wars who told the publicist,”She was the most thorough interviewer I have talked to, and funny”. Well everyone REALLY did want to know ALL the juicy details and with a “story like mine (the square for all who know)” I had an IN.
I am a member of SCBWI and love meeting other authors and illustrators. Birmingham has one of the GREATEST chapters so if you are interested in that, by all means come to a conference! I have written and illustrated books and have had illustrations in other books (Birmingham Sketchbook) which I wrote the 2400 word history of Birmingham. What about THAT challenge. That’s a lot of history in a few words!
Did I forget photographer? I never thought of it as a job, but the kids will tell me I have stumbled in holes, held them up from catching the train because I was lingering behind to get a great shot while on a trip. You can find many of those (download, buy on canvas, notecards) in my new
This one is the most important to me to share as it includes hundreds of photos from my travels around the world to the things I discover in the back yard. These are now available for media download, on canvas and prints.
And music? I love to karaoke a good Dixie Chicks tune and have written a few songs in my rebellion phase that are recorded, but I pass the gavel for that to my son who is pursuing a grad degree in music at University of North Texas and the teachers assistant for Pat Coil (keyboardist for Michael McDonald)- who doesn’t love a kid who does Jazz and is trained by a Doobie? Charli is in Nashville and just recorded a song she wrote (is working on an album and was just on a video by the BAND PERRY.
I am seeing a bit of me in Brent. He can live for a day in his studio and not come out. He creates classes online to make it easy for others to learn to play by ear. He has taken my RIGHT BRAIN LEFT BRAIN dance to the next level…responsible, driven, focused. (and reminds me..MOM..FOCUS, but he gets the swirl of different vantage points.
I am a bit creative and flighty but I also love to be organized, thus the Creative Journal and Planner (crazy isn’t it? I am all over the place and like to be focused, goal oriented and organized). I have been working on it since my last name had an M in it. It is finally DONE, less some tweaks.
I am sharing it with you here so you can preview it. It is the ONE week journal and the ONE Month Journal and Planner which promises to have you BALANCE your day and start it with God’s word. *Disclaimer~ I am NOT and never WILL be perfect, but every day I wake up just like you to TRY to do better than yesterday.
Wow, getting it all out there, after many days lying in my bed feeling lost, worthless and tired of trying to push things around that were never seeming to make headway feels surreal.
I don’t know when or where it all happened but it is like the 50 year mark has been testing me.
I feel SO much better now that our BFF’s that we go to see in North Carolina, that I paint with and adore and who work out with Chad are 90 and (70ish). Sorry that is NOT gonna be changing..if I exercise its probably the S thing, running from someone or dancing while about to have a heart attack thinking I am looking sexy on a dance floor somewhere..but NOT spending my time on a treadmill (unless someone has one of those walking computer desks, hey I might be DOWN for that) the kids remind me that it is NOT “up for that”…when did they start changing the rules!?
And after reading Esquire’s One Hundredth issue, I retract my “almost fifty” and say instead (learning that life is all in your attitude and perception)……
I’m actually in my VERY latest forties~
And THAT is what I intend to embrace today!
I also know LOTS of prayer (years of journaling with the same prayer requests) has kept me moving forward.
2016 I am praying is the year for the cocoon to burst into life.
No matter what I am doing, I won’t be doing anything I don’t enjoy, that’s for sure.
Life is too short to live on other people’s definitions and terms.
It’s mine to live the way I choose.
I choose to wear and share all my faces.
Blessings to you in finding who you are and living it to the CORE!
We might just be developing some workshops to help you do that! Hey let me call my support group (you know who you are!) so we can collaborate.
Any other ENTJ’s out there? Come to find out, my husband, son and I are all that…ENTJ. Look it up the odds are crazy for that.
Can’t wait to see what YOU do with whats inside. LET it out. YOU have the ONLY SET OF FINGERPRINTS ON THE ENDS OF THOSE FINGERS…EMBRACE THAT. YOU are here for a reason. YOU are specially made. Let all of the gems you have to offer out. Don’t treat me like a pinterest pin…just know..I have struggled for YEARS with all of this. And even my songs are stupid…but guess what..they are mine..I captured them in a little studio in Foley with a crazy ass person who could put them to vinyl in an hour (otherwise I would have gotten distracted). But they were MY feelings and thoughts. They were songs I had to get out and the time.THAT is what you have to understand. Do it all FOR YOU. NO-one else.
I can’t explain how it is finally blossoming, bursting forth. I am just thankful it is…as I was just on the verge of GIVING IN.
Feeling creative? My creativity journal will help you make BABY steps to discover it…let it out. Message me and I will send you one FREE. We all need to discover who we are and who we were made to be.
This Poll will be up for a week~ Let me know what you think!
It’s here! The SOUTHERN version of that relaxing thing you keep reading about and seeing on the news. ADULT COLORING BOOKS! Tested by a business professional in a high stress, computer oriented business who said, “I am actually coloring at night before I go to bed and I haven’t slept like this in years!”
But coloring isn’t just for relaxation. It also connects us with the thing we did most when we were children. We played without thought of time or limitation.
It opens the rusty valves of creativity that still live within us. Check out the book and see if you don’t find yourself looking for more to color!
These are HAND drawn, loose, so there is no intimidation to get it wrong! DIG IN with pencils or markers.
The pages are blank on the back (with ideas for other creative adventures) so you can tear them out when you find the one you want to share or frame.
So what are you waiting for? There is a FREE coloring page for you just in time for
Monday, Nov. 19 – Why Do You Love Being a Woman? That’s a simple question, but one that most likely has a complicated answer. So let’s write a blog post about it.
This morning I hit the ground running with my two business partners in our new venture Fluff! Designers.
After a great meeting to plan a fun Christmas party for a client we veered off to everyone’s favorite meeting place from coast to coast: “Starbucks”. There were college gals meeting up in sweats. There was a woman seriously asleep on her laptop (this was at 11:00 am). There was a line of men out the door, tapping their feet, one pacing in a four inch square so as to not lose his spot, another on the phone talking into his earpiece, looking like a madman bursting into laughter then serious face.
My girlfriends and I gathered at a round table. A scrambled mom came through with a baby on one hip as she juggled keys, a small wallet that she balanced on the table while still holding the hand of a toddler. She looked over at us, “please watch this and be sure it isn’t stolen” she asked us over her shoulder as she herded them towards the bathroom.
As I had prepared thought for today’s assignment by doing some quick morning journaling pages, the topic was on my mind. I wondered, would a man ever take a little siesta at a table in Starbucks? Would a man ask someone to watch his wallet while he dashed to the john, completely trusting that we wouldn’t take off with it? Would a man decide to gather at the table until the line died down (which it quickly did and we went right up to the counter to order as soon as we had unloaded files and a leather clipboard)?
As we sat there going over the schedule for setup and design for the party I shared with them my motivation to complete a blog a day through November. One said, “Oh I should do that!”
The man in my life wonders why.
And as we talked about our project, one threw out another project idea to add to the mix in January, the other an idea for some products to add. Then we bounced back to a recipe, then to talk about travel plans. Wow, I felt such a sense of relief. I have been living in the land of the man for quite some time. I think I forgot that I am not the only right brain~left brain that juggles numerous ideas as well as numerous “lives”.
My other female “sista” who is practically a younger “creating clone” of me (except way more organized) called to tell me some ideas she had for my small paintings and to check on me. When she called last night I had just melted my finger with hot glue (well not really, but hey, it hurt) and she had a BETTER idea for attaching those ribbons to the ornaments I was making.
I thought about how precious my “girl time” is. And not only is it enjoyable, if spent on a regular basis according to research, will add seven years to a woman’s life.
When I told my friends today’s topic while we were headed out the door, one simply replied as she flicked her long black curly locks over her shoulder as a man was opening the door for her to exit,
“What do I like about being a woman? Well certainly, NOT BEING A MAN.”
SOMEHOW~ I missed the MUNDANE MONDAY writer’s prompt.
It read like this:
Monday, Nov. 12 – From Mundane to Magical. Sometimes we can find inspiration in the most mundane moments, such as the wisdom I gleaned from cleaning out my closet. (You can read that post here: http://www.soulinstereo.com/2011/06/monday-motivation-in-closet.html) Take some time to think back on life lessons you’ve learned while doing seemingly dull or ordinary tasks or while out enjoying nature.
So I looked around for something MUNDANE. (as I had not fully read the description of our assignment).
At the time I was at the beach.
I thought about taking a walk by the ocean. I noticed yellow tape at the edge of our dunes, and bulldozers, about a dozen or so, parading back and forth to level the sand being pumped from the ocean to build back the hurricane ravaged beaches. So I sat and watched them for a few minutes, amazed at how fast and furious they worked all through the night. No mundane THERE!
I thought of sitting on the deck counting seagulls flying by. Next door, the house that burned down over two years ago was being re-built and the crew was in full swing (set on fire by teens who thought they would distract the cops while they robbed the houses at the DEAD end road……they got stuck in the sand with all their loot and were caught, then went to jail for arson). NO mundane THERE!
This week on the holiday weekend the owners of what has been a vacant lot decided to put the roof on what has turned out to be a three story towering sunset blocker with walkover to the beach. I went through it after the workers left. There have to be ten bedrooms in there, all with small windows. I don’t understand that at all. But the porches will certainly give them plenty of view. Fortunately, the view to our house is something like looking down from a small plane. They will be able to see my bald spot if ever I get one. NO mundane THERE.
I thought, I’ll sweep the floor or do some laundry. That is my definition of mundane. But as I noticed all the sand, the dog bones, the shreds of paper that my daughter used for a collage, the rubber squares aligned from the kitchen to the den that she was also playing with, I thought, about all of the fun we had collected over the long weekend. Certainly sweeping wouldn’t be mundane! It would be like a scavenger hunt.
So I perused the kitchen for something mundane. There were Christmas tree shaped dolly Madison snacks, chips of every size and shape, shells glued to a piece of paper from yesterday’s crafts. Nothing mundane about that! And then I spotted the one thing that made me think “ahhhhh”.
There was a bowl of tomatoes, some green, some red, that I had bought on the way home from Dallas, Georgia the weekend before. I had displayed them on the counter at home in Birmingham and then carefully packed them to enjoy at the beach. As Friday, Saturday, Sunday and then Monday rolled by, they still sat there in the bowl.
I thought about the joy of the tomato, not so mundane, but nonetheless intriguing. These I knew had come from the ground in a little town outside of Atlanta. They had been carefully planted by hand, tiny seeds, watered, nurtured. As the plants grew, someone reached into the green cover and popped them from their resting place on the vine and carefully arranged them in small bins to be sold to people like me.
I stood in the kitchen looking at a bright red one, like the ones I used to plant in my garden in Montgomery. I remembered taking the time to tear open the seeds at the corner of the packet, seeds I had purchased along with those of cucumbers, watermelon, squash and zinnias (my favorite) one summer. My son who is now in college was only three. My hands were covered in black earth, his enveloped inside my gloves to keep from getting dirty. He helped me squish each one into the ground and water each hole.
When I moved to Birmingham I had two tomato plants by the pool. The vines grew up the fence and every once in a while I would see a glimpse of red through the leaves. That vine was right by the diving board, which would explain why I never got a chance to pick any of those. I saw them squished, tossed, splattered across the yard then eaten by the birds. Kids and gardens, nothing mundane THERE either.
So when I decided to slice those tomatoes that were so red and juicy, the seeds slid across the knife towards the plate. I slapped a wad of mayonnaise onto the top of it, scooped it up and ate it like I would a plum or an apple.
AAAAHHHHH GROSE, came from behind me as my daughter realized what I was eating.
Even eating tomatoes escapes the mundane at my house.
I Did NOT paint this but one day I will 🙂
I am guessing this is Paul Jackson’s but did not note for sure.
Allison is participating in a daily blog challenge. If you tweet, follow it or join in at #bloglikecrazy to read other participant’s entries. Also she is taking part in ART EVERY DAY MONTH #AEDM2012. Check out those as well or visit http://www.creativeeveryday.comwww.creativeeveryday.com
Welcome to Design of the Picture Book! I'm Carter Higgins, and I'm a writer and librarian for kids. I spent a spectacular stint as the Children's Book Editor at <a href="http://www.designmom.com/">Design Mom</a> which I loved! You can find my column <a href="http://www.designmom.com/category/childrens-lit/">here</a>.<br /> I'm a K-6 librarian, a former-ish graphic designer, an SCBWI member, and a huge fan of words and pictures.<br /> Represented by <a href="http://www.rpcontent.com/">Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content, LLC</a>.