Friday, September 13, 2013

Not So Fabulous July 5th.... Flying and Crash Landing

I woke up July 5th, 2013 with the sounds of my dear husband outside calling for help and banging on the side of our house, just outside our bedroom window.  A husband calling for help cannot turn out well.  I ran outside to find a ladder leading up the roof, but no site of husband.  "Where ARE you??!!!" I cried out, looking frantically for him up on the roof.  "Down HERE!" he hollered back at me from down beneath the back deck, on the ground.  Looking down, I immediately realized he had two broken legs - and who knew what else was broken that I couldn't see???!!!  Later he would tell me he was trying to fly, and the flying was great but the landing gear failed to work.  Baaaaddd understatement!

Thankfully, by some miracle it turns out his only injuries were the two broken legs, ankles included.  I say "only" wistfully as his legs are badly broken, one more than the other, and yet by some miracle he has no other injuries from his knees up.  The ER docs and trauma docs that followed were all amazed not to find any spinal fractures, broken neck, head injury.  Apparently My Man knows how to fall and somehow bend his knees "just right".  But both tibias took the high velocity impact and after two surgeries his prognosis is good, full recovery.  Right now he's almost half way into his third month of non weight bearing existence!  This is a man who knows nothing about slowing down and not doing, doing, doing - whether at work or at home. 

The first two months we were in the capable care of our son and daughter-in-law Chris and Lacey, and the three grandchildren there.  We don't know what we'd have done without them opening their house and arms to us.  Chris and his friend Jason immediately built a ramp into Chris' "Man Cave" to turn it into a wheelchair friendly Mom and Dad suite if we wanted to move in.  We did of course!  In addition to all their help, they live just 17 miles from the medical center that took on my husband's complicated case.  We were there to see littlest grandbaby Ashlyn take her first steps and advance to walking!  Now she literally runs everywhere! 

On the art front, I have some news and will get to that shortly.  I wanted to touch base and let you know my absence was a bit out of my control this time!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

HAPPY 4TH of JULY

I can hear firecrackers and see fireworks and its barely dark!  Sancho, my Art Dog is laying on my bed with a look on his face as if he were thinking, "Is all this noise really necessary?"  

It is. Celebrations, family gatherings, friends of friends gathering all to celebrate Independence Day and one another. Much to be thankful for in this Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. 

Five art quilts out for consideration; two actually accepted & delivered, and three in the judging process elsewhere. Two on the drawing board, and a couple more in my head. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Out Of Sight, But Working Behind The Scenes

Well....
No excuses.  Blogging took a backseat this last YEAR.  Has it been that long?  Time is supposed to fly when you're having fun, right?  Though I HAVE had my share of FUN - I've also had my share of challenges.  Having said that, it's about time I get it together and start sharing on this blog that had so much potential when I started it, and then when I was busy revamping it into a new blogspot... almost like jumping in the pool before learning how to swim! It's getting there.  I may need to honestly hire a webmaster pro to set me up correctly.  Until then, I'll work on making regular blog dates to keep me in the loop with all you artsy friends and pals I am so fortunate to have, and have yet to meet.  There's a lot to be said about talking art to get one into the art mode - I've been dabbling and actually have been making art behind the scenes... just not tooting my own horn.  That's okay too - sometimes we just need to take a break and focus on other areas of our life that are important.  I like to think I'm constantly growing and learning, so perhaps I can say it has been a year of growing pains in a positive manner!

I am VERY excited to tell you I have TWO art pieces accepted into the 2013 Sacred Threads exhibit!! I am honored to be a part of this exhibition.  You can access their website here:  http://www.sacredthreadsquilts.com/
Once my work debuts at the exhibit opening, I will be able to display my quilts on my blog.  

Thanks to you art buddies who have sent mail art, emails, good words and wishes and kept me afloat with your encouragement.  Look out, here I come... I'm baaaack!  :-)
 
P.S. - I've been working all morning attempting to merge my old and new blog pages into one site.  It looks like I lost some of the photos in my Gallery and will have to re-post or find some newer ones to share. :-)  Otherwise, I think everything transferred post-wise and comments, etc.  

Posting TWICE in ONE day.  Put the laptop away and get back to art!!
Happy Artful Day!!
~Kate
 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy 2012!!

Here we are, a new year already.... I'm reluctant to let go of the holiday season of 2011 just yet... it was one of those mostly warm and fuzzy ones that you dream of.  You know those - the ones where you have christmas pajamas and love is abundant and there's little people smiles everywhere and good food, good family, good friends and just plain good times... this was it.  :-)  Thank you family and friends, big and small, short and tall... tails and tail-less.... may the warmth we share continue into this new year!!  (HUGS) and ART we go!

Especially very dear to my heart was "WHO I AM" which SOLD in December at the Copper Shade Tree Art Gallery in Round Top, Texas.   


I am most honored that this piece spoke to someone.  The poem is also an original.  I can truly say I put my heart and soul into this one.


This piece makes me happy; I hope it brings much thought and happiness to her new owner.


Happy Dance!














These are two sided ornaments - faces on front,
hearts with sentiments on the reverse. :-)      

 








These are two sided ornaments - faces one side, hearts & sentiment on the reverse:


 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

HAPPY CHILDHOOD MEMORIES

The other day while visiting with eldest son Matt online, we were talking about our favorite camping spot when the boys were little:  Cascadia State Park in Oregon.  If you click on the link, there's a picture of three little boys playing in the river.  We both are wondering if this could possibly be the boys from way back when....!  It looks exactly like they looked playing in the river there.  I might have to dig through some photos to see if I can see the same swimsuits to confirm my memory - too fun, right?  I emailed the website to see if we could get a positive identity or larger look at the picture.  We would be honored if it were them featured on their favorite childhood camping spot webpage.  We'll wait and see.  In the meantime, check it out to get a feel of the fun we had there...

**Update**  I heard from the nice people in charge of the web content at the Oregon State Park Service.  They sent me two pics of the boys so I could get a better look at their faces and alas! No, these three dopplegangers are NOT my boys from years ago.  But it was fun solving the mystery and it brought back so many good memories of camping and playing with them at Cascadia.  I'm going to have to still dig through the photos and find some of those great days.**

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Making Art with Heart

The Work of Angels

Courting Crows


Heading Home
  
I Think You Hung The Moon and the Stars

















Requiem (Dillworth Texas)
 This was part of a gallery exhibit - a challenge to interpret a poem which was titled "Requiem".  The Poem was written about the old Dillworth, Texas cemetery.  The names on the headstone reflects the names of the families buried there.  My heart-shaped whirl-wind, the road runner, barbed wire fence and other details of the quilt reflect elements mentioned in the poem.



Sunset in the Piney Woods

Twisted, Tangled, Tattered Heart

Waiting For Spring

Friday, November 11, 2011

Done For The Day

Talk about totally different!! Changing the theme/layout on this blog again today.  I'm trying to get a format that's easy to read and I got welcome feedback from my dear friend Sonja that the black background with white text was difficult to read. So I'm bouncing in and out of here in between projects - yes bouncing again but trying to get my hands on as many things as I can today.  It's been way too long, and though I don't want to over do it and wear my fingers out on day one, it feels so good to be able to manipulate text, colors, words, fabric.  Oh, what we take for granted, that which we do mindlessly and effortlessly most days. Happy Artful Day my friends.
 Sunset In The Piney Woods
Hi there!
I've decided not to give up on FlutterbugArtgirl Blogspot as of yet.  Head over there for updated and under construction.  Let me know which is easier to read.  Or I'll just decide if you don't care - ha!

Good Morning!
This morning we are under construction.  I'm trying to integrate FlutterbugArtgirl with Kate Owens.  Lively vs dull? LOL  Not quite but the opposites do attract. :-)  Different characteristics of my persona I guess you'd say.  So I'm editing and some changes were made here with colors, layout, banner - and has rendered some blog entries as unreadable!  I'll tweak the font colors on those as we go.  I hope you enjoy this new format as much as I do.  We'll try it on for size and see how it goes.  More current pictures to follow.  Happy Artful Day! ~Kate

Friday, September 30, 2011

Exposed!

Oh my gosh!! You've caught me still in the trying to figure out how to design the space both here and there (re: the "new" and "improved" blog - though I'm not so sure about improved).  And its not so new as I've been neglecting these this year.  But it is the "Season of Change" for me this year, so everything in its time.  It'll all get there, slowly but surely! I worked a little on this one last night and jump back and forth trying to experiment.  In the process I lost my followers - well they're not lost really, still there in my settings but not displaying for some reason.  I deleted the old Sketchbook 2011 gadget and added a pic of the logo for 2012 and in doing that somehow it has affected Followers displaying properly.  I'll figure it out eventually, I'm sure! But I'm ALWAYS OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS AND DIRECTIONS AND HELP.  I'm probably over thinking of course, and this original Flutterbugartgirl blog here holds sentimental value in my heart, but I'm torn because I like the clean lines of the other one.  We'll see as we go.

Speaking of going I must for now, thanks Sonja and BIG Brother who's always watching over me!!

Ciao-Main
I've been over at my Flutterbugartgirl's blog site and entered an entry.  Thought I'd check over here too and see what more I need to do.  I'm trying to figure out how to merge the two so I have just one.  This side will probably be the newest and one I decide to use.

Ciao for now,
K

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Editing and Power Outages

All right, this is how it works with me:  I carve time out today to dedicate to working on my blog.  Who knew a big wind storm was going to come blowing through?  First thunder rumbling in the distance, getting closer; lightening every so often, getting brighter; then rain, and lots of it (Hallelujah!!).  Soon the howling wind caught mine and Sancho's attention so we ran to the door and opened it to watch the system moving through.  Exhilarating until this ever louder howling continues and a huge WOOOSH! follows with a wall of rain -- literally pushing it at high speed across the yard.  The front porch door flies open, the side ways rain turns into a huge wall of water, almost wave like, and the little dog and I run to an inner room, no windows.  You can never be too careful, home alone, a girl and her dog.  After the big woosh! the lights fell dark.  My net book was on its last charge - plugged in about 10 minutes.  Lost all my edits!!!  Just recently got the power back and and jogged over to see if I can see my new page.  Nope.  What is this love/hate relationship blogger has with me?

I'll hunt those pics down.  I'm trying to make tabbed pages, one will be a Gallery of Work to share.  That's the plan.  So I won't keep you any longer.  Check back soon and maybe I'll be successful and there'll be something interesting to look at.  Hopefully inspiring!

Ciao!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday Evening, September 14, 2011

Tonight I conquered one more battle:  Adding pictures to the Gallery over on the new Kate Owens blog spot.  Its not quite set up like I want, but there's tomorrow to see if I can make it work the way I'd like.  If not, I may just settle back here, with my original blog spot.



The past few weeks have been quite productive for me.  I've been following my muse and bright colors called to me so that's what the majority of pieces have.  I'm leaning toward abstract with thread sketching.


The current theme is Sketchbook Doodles. These four postcards were part of an exchange with fellow artists.  The final one should be arriving at its final destinations this week.  So far one has made it to Hawaii, one to New York and the third en route to an old pal in Oregon.

The fourth postcard art gets to stay in the studio with me in my collection.  I have several bigger projects in process, not quite ready to show here.  I'm catching up on commitments and am working on a commissioned piece in addition to these current works.  I like bouncing back and forth between projects - it keeps me fresh and helps prevent burnout. Do you prefer working on one piece at a time or many at once?  Or does it vary, depending on your mood and your deadlines?

Tomorrow is my brother's birthday (technically I see we're already 39 minutes into "his day".  He thinks he's way too old for birthdays, but I think he's missing out on a really great excuse to have cake.  Any kind, flavor, frosting, filling, ice cream.  Or LOTS of cupcakes, for that matter.  We'll see how his day actually unfolds.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEVE!!!!  Bet he's sleeping right now even if he is two hours behind me, timewise.....Is it logical for me to eat a cupcake on his behalf or in honor of him on his day?  I think yes...

Off to sleep then back up to play with my Muse and the little Art Dog too --
Happy Artful Day, all!
~Kate 

Editing This Blog

Tonight I conquered one more battle:  Adding pictures to the Gallery.  Its not quite set up like I want, but there's tomorrow to see if I can make it work the way I'd like.  If not, I may just settle back over with my original blogspot: flutterbugartgirl.blogspot.com


The past few weeks have been quite productive for me.  I've been following my muse and bright colors called to me so that's what the majority of pieces have.  I'm leaning toward abstract with thread sketching.


The current theme is Sketchbook Doodles. These four postcards were part of an exchange with fellow artists.  The final one should be arriving at its final destinations this week.  So far one has made it to Hawaii, one to New York and the third en route to an old pal in Oregon.

The fourth postcard art gets to stay in the studio with me in my collection.  I have several bigger projects in process, not quite ready to show here.  I'm catching up on commitments and am working on a commissioned piece in addition to these current works.  I like bouncing back and forth between projects - it keeps me fresh and helps prevent burnout. Do you prefer working on one piece at a time or many at once?  Or does it vary, depending on your mood and your deadlines?

Off to sleep then back up to play with my Muse and the little Art Dog too --
Happy Artful Day, all!
~Kate 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WELCOME

Hi there,
I'm working on this new page for my art-o-sphere, and it's limping along.  Talk about rusty at something!  I have new appreciation for the phrase: "You don't use it - you lose it."  Just figuring out how to make tabs or pages has been a struggle this afternoon.  Now I'm working on filling up my Gallery page with photos of my work.  Though subject to change, all of this is!  My other "old" blogspot is flutterbugartgirl.blogspot.com if you want to see earlier blogs.  You'll see I've been remiss in writing over there too.  I'm figuring a new start will be like moving to a new space - fresh and new and exciting.  Well, fresh and new anyway!

Til later,
Kate

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dateline: PORTLAND, OREGON

A rain sogged morning, gray and beautiful and peaceful.  Wet and clean, bathing the jets before they take off down the runway.  Starbucks, inside PDX; missed flight.  Slept through wake up calls; 99 of them Cowboy's.   Ninety-nine.  I slept through over 100 wake up calls/ and an alarm.  TIRED  must be an understatement. A missed flight, kind ticketing agent re-booking me on the next available seat 6 hours later and he keeping my bags for me so I can relax (sleep?) as I await my next chariot in the sky to home.  Into the arms of my Cowboy but I'm leaving a large chunk of me here in Oregon with my Dad and StepMom. "Call me Mom" she instructs, and so I do.  I rub her bald head, little sprouts of hair beginning to return as the weeks since her last chemo treatment get further and further away.  She looks up at me, her eyes the bluest blue they have ever been, searching my face for an explanation of what's happening to her.  Sometimes she forgets, thinks we are going on a trip to Australia when she gets well, and other times talks to me about the trip she will be taking that we cannot accompany her.  "Did you tell those people you couldn't come with me!" she demands to know one night as my brother and I visit with her.  "No," he tells her gently, "we didn't tell them that.  But we can't go on that trip with you because it's not our turn."  She ponders this thoughtfully, looking back and forth at both our faces searching for understanding.  "Why is it I have to go first?" she asks us, a reluctantcy in her voice. "I'm not ready."   We smile, telling her she's the one who got picked first, that she won't go until she's ready, and that we will join her there later, we promise.  "Oh... okay." she says, a soft smile scrolling acrossed her face.  "If you promise to come."  We assure her we will and she seems satisfied, yawning and settling into sleep for the night.


I will do what I can from a distance again, coming back if needed.  How they have fed my soul as much as me theirs.  I am so lucky to know these people, to belong to them, to have gotten a chance to see them through new eyes.  My Dad and I will be forever connected in another way: terminal illness taking our spouses.  I'm nearly 20 years down the road from my experience, remarried to my wonderful Cowboy and looking back remembering how I wondered how we would survive Den's death.  Three teenage boys who were my anchor; keeping my chin up for them most especially.  It is remarkable what is survivable.  You don't think so at the time you are wading through it, but once on the other side, you always look back and wipe the sweat from your brow and say, "Whew! Made it.  Again."  Sometimes I wonder if you ever run out of that tenacity to survive; but I've seen people recover from the most dire of circumstances, more than I could imagine trekking through, and they find the perseverence to keep on keeping on.  My stuff is so nothing compared to theirs, but it is mine, and the load is heavy sometimes even for me.  But here, now,  I look at my Dad; my Daddy, papa, Granddad to my children -- the other day I unconciously called him "Pop" for the first time.... I see the worry, the pain, the impending loss in front of him, and  I ache that he is going to feel the loss of love.  And my Stepmom, Carol -- she is a symbol of strength, independence, fighting for it right up to the end.  Some days she surprises us with her strength and unflagging determination; we helplessly watch her bad days creep into the increasingly fewer good days.  Dad can no longer manage her at home and up the endless flight of stairs to their apartment.  Stairs that make me, two decades younger, pant.  I can now make it up them without pausing to rest midway, and without that nagging pain in my left knee.  I'm getting in better shape you think?  Smile.  Smile at how they climb the mountain to the tiny enclave at the top for all these years because my Dad wanted to be there, and she followed, reluctantly.  But that was their life and their choice and when living at the top of those stairs became a hazard - they had to part.  So now Dad drives to see her daily, and I was honored to be his personal chauffeur during my stay.  I got reacquainted with the folks in new ways that would not otherwise have been possible without this terrible illness.  Finding some good in the bad?

I want to cry again, but I'm holding it.  The gush will come when I finally see my Cowboy's smiling face and they won't stop until my face is buried safely in his chest and his arms are snug around me.  He always has a way of making everything all right.  He is my knight in shining armour, my rescuer, the one who rights all wrongs. Kind of like my Dad used to do when I was a little girl.  Maybe this is why tradition has the father giving away his little girl to the groom in a marriage ceremony.  A passing of the guard, so to speak. Even as my Cowboy comforts me this afternoon, so will we together comfort my Dad, in the days and weeks to come.

Another Skinny Cinnamon Dolce' Latte please  ... and a tissue.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

EATING MY WORDS

I could bore you with the details, but if you follow or have stumbled here by divine intervention, you know I have NOT blogged more often.  Life has a way of intervening, blowing me off course, ruffling the best of my intentions into a jumble of would have been ideas.  I'm full of excuses, which pains me and makes me cranky.  ;-)

So... I'm eating my words tonite.  Making new promises that I'll keep to myself this time until they really do happen, because I'm so hard on myself when I wander off course.  Discipline!  Self Discipline, Using Time Wisely, Remembering to Play and find the joy again in just letting art happen and not forcing it or making art that I "think will please others" instead of following my heart, my instinct, my raw desire.  Trusting in myself and following my own path.  Being true to myself instead of trying to be something or someone I'm not.  

I'm going to focus on being my genuine self, take it or leave it, especially in my art.  I've found that not doing that makes my art stagnant and  mediocre, as if it is actually anything else.  It matters not; it matters what joy it brings, either in the making or in the recieving.  My art has lost its voice and so have I.  Literally, for one month.  

I've been on the road, visiting home and family in Oregon; missing my family and friends on the "other planet" whichever end I be, I miss the other.  I long to comfort and be comforted; I long to be needed and helpful and yet I long to rest.  I want to make a difference in life and in my art.  Maybe that's this month's lesson that I haven't quite grasped.  My art supplies are meager but packed and calling.  I am afraid.

Afraid but grateful, in many things, for many souls. What am I trying to say?  What am I trying to tell?  In words, in color, in pen and in ink.... in water color washes and meandering doodles... it's swirling in my head much as my life does around me.

I'm hanging on and letting go all at once, in different spaces, realms and aspects.  Accepting, regretting, wanting do overs in so many ways.  I can do better, I promise...

Good night sweet dreams, jelly beans...tummy full.  Burped a word:  Gratitude.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blogging A LOT more...

I know... I know... it's been six days since the last blog entry.  But think about it... blogging now IS a LOT more than I have been in recent memory.  Alright, that's copping out, isn't it?  Does it count I've been sick, under the weather, yukky, blah-blah-blah and avoiding the computer, emails, everything?  I see... not.  OK.  I offer you no excuses.  

But I have had a lot of time to think and doodle and contemplate where I'm going in my next projects, and finishing up a couple more too.  A break is good now and then, just not too long a break.  I've almost convinced myself I can easily be a hermit.  I haven't made it past the end of my driveway in so many days, I can't remember.  Well I'm not trying that hard to remember, either.  This last week has been so full of excitement and invitations and events and I've had to decline all of them.  I'll probably never have another week so full of fun things to do.  Isn't that the way life works out sometimes?  It all works out one way or the other.  It does.  

Now to get busy.  I owe valentine art work to three artists and they are nearly ready to go... and then finishing up a wedding present for a gorgeous couple and then two projects in the early stages, too soon to talk about (that way it gives me the chance to change my mind, my direction, or maybe just change period without any self-imposed guilt??) ha!

Here's a couple pictures from my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project:
 To the left is the cover.  The photo on the right shows the front and back covers opened flat.  Faces... just faces/expressions.  Ok - til later.  Sooner rather than later (fingers crossed!) *smile*

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

TRYING OUT A NEW SPACE

Trying out a new space and design just to see how it "feels".  Haven't made my mind up  yet... but thinking about it.

Life Is Good!!

Cowboy at the Copper Shade Tree Gallery
Life is good.  I'm in the middle of so much activity, I need a little time to sit down and share it all with you.  For now I will leave you with a wonderful picture of my dearest Cowboy relaxing on the front porch of the Copper Shade Tree Gallery in Round Top, Texas.  We attended the Artist's Reception for 22 Texas artists selected by esteemed judge Ginny Eckley to participate in The Art In Fiber 2011 at CST.  Yes, I was juried in and am one of those 22 Texas artists!!  My juried piece is entitled, "Sunset In The Piney Woods" and there it is on display at CST!!  
Sunset in the Piney Woods

I have seven other works on display that I will share with you shortly and also will share some wonderful fellow artists whom I have come to know, love and count as friends in my local Studio 105 art group. 

 If you get the chance to visit the The Copper Shade Tree, you will be in for a treat.  My Cowboy and I discovered Gerald and Debbie's gallery about 5 years ago after it just opened and we were thrilled. Little did we know we were making new friends, but the art we saw was absolutely stunning  -- and you should see the gallery and how it's grown now!!  You will be impressed at the talent that abounds in Texas and CST will become a regular destination.  You really must check out the wonderful place Round Top has become and if you are looking for a wonderful place to stay the night, David and his side kick Billy Paul at The Round Top Inn will treat you like family.  And the morning breakfast... More on that I promise shortly.  And one last question before I log off til tonite....

I am contemplating dropping "Flutterbugartgirl" from my blog and just having my name... any thoughts?  More "professional" sounding?  I love dearly my FlutterbugArtgirl persona.... so.... just contemplating.... ideas/thoughts....? I'm going to be blogging a LOT more frequently because I have a LOT more to share.  Life is good... in so many ways!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Good Things

I've been lucky enough to be able to spend a few extra hours in the Artistphere even during the holidays.  That makes me unbelievably happy.  For the first time in a long time, the various pieces of work in various stages of process leave me with a calm feeling.  Not panic.  No urge to rush, to do over, to make it perfect.  Permission came out of Nowhere - to put something aside when it seems "stuck" and just pick up something else and begin where I last left off.  It's become a soothing process to have multiple back up projects.  Therefore, whatever mood I'm in - I have a project.  If it's hand work, its here.  If its machine work... there's these.  Need a little painting and drawing time?  Yep.  I can bounce and be productive at the same time.  A not so novel idea that finally found me. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

FAMILY TREE

In the travel down my humble and imperfect road of life, often I am reminded what defines family to me: Unconditional Love.

It doesn't matter if you are biologically connected, adopted, step, foster - or a friend who is close enough to be considered family. Sometimes our friends treat us better than our family does. What kind of family member are you?

When you pass by a family member figuratively broke down on the side of the road, do you pass them by, hoping they don't see you? Do you pass them by, honk, wave and make fun of them? Do you share his/her misfortune with others for a laugh when actually you are humiliating them? Do you kick them when they're down? Do you drive by, then after a few miles turn around to see if they need help? Do you immediately pull over and offer assistance? What kind of family member are you?

You probably know one of my favorite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi who said, "Be the CHANGE you want to see in the WORLD." We could borrow from his words and apply it to our personal lives: "Be the CHANGE you want to see in your FAMILY." Are you the kind of member who has your hand out taking, taking, taking from wherever you can get it? Are you the kind of member who turns and runs, hides behind closed doors and unanswered phone calls when a fellow member is in need, whether it be emotional support, help doing a task, or whatever else? Do you make promises to assist and then don't follow through?

Do you help cultivate the family tree? A family is like a garden: if you only pick the fruit and flowers and don't put any effort back into the crops - watering, pulling weeds, trimming, nourishing the soil - then soon you've used up all the bounty and failed to replenish the tree, the plant, the garden -- and it withers, becomes weak and dies from neglect. The next time you want an apple or pretty flower there's nothing there.

I'm not saying we should enable bad habits, contribute to irresponsibility, but I'm talking about genuine help/need; of helping someone who is doing their best to help themselves. Or maybe someone who's made a mistake or errs in judgment and now is trying to make it right. We're all there, every day. We all goof up, make a bad decision, and most of us can take care of those little uh-oh's ourselves. But lilfe happens and sometimes is unfair, and sometimes we let things snowball out of control, or life happens beyond our control. We all get there one way or another eventually, (if you are human, LOTS of times!), whether we recognize it during the journey or at the end of the journey when we are trying to cope with losing and loving and letting go. How many times do we enable one family member, but refuse help to another? Do we lower the bar or expectations for one person and raise it for others? Do we only help if there's something in it for ourselves or do we treat each other equally and with that same unconditional love, dignity, and respect we want to receive in return?

It would be so easy to just be ourselves with our closest people: family. If we treated each other by the standard set by the Golden Rule: "Do Unto Others as You Want Them to Do Unto You." In other words: "Treat other people the way you want to be treated by them."

Sometimes we have toxic relationships in our family. Sometimes we have relationships in our family where the person is doing the best they can with the skills, tools and knowledge they have. I'm not talking about people who are a danger to our mental and physical well-being. I'm talking about people who are just plain difficult or just not there for us. We gauge for ourselves what closeness, distance or boundary is healthy for us with that person. But do we stop loving them unconditionally?

You might be thinking, "I'm there if someone asks. If they don't ask, I they must not need my help." Well, some situations are so obvious, some are so embarrassing, and some are so painful that asking for help is a hard thing to do. If you see it, do you ignore it, or come to your member's aid? Do you broadcast it to the world and have a good laugh or are you discreet and trustworthy? Have you considered that even if you offer assistance and the person declines, they know that you are there if they need you and they are not alone on the road? Next time, perhaps when they notice you are in need of a hand, they will take the initiative to offer assistance. Maybe they will follow your lead and you can depend on them to be the first one to show up to help YOU.

Think about it. What kind of person/family member are you, really? We are taught as little kids to be kind, considerate and courteous to everyone we meet, even people we don't know. Hopefully we teach our own children social skills: being polite and having manners. How many times do we treat our friends better than our family? Do your actions speak louder than your words? Are you full of words but no action? Are you dependable? Do you put conditions on your affection and attention? When you have a request of need help, do you expect others to jump for you but when the tide turns, do you keep putting them off? Little things do mean a lot. A simple request unfulfilled speaks volumes more than words that keep offering promise. Have you said, "I love you" to someone and they replied sarcastically, "It shows." Everyone laughs. Think about it. What is that really saying about YOU?

"BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD." It's simple. It's easy. It's unconditional. You will make someone feel like they matter. And there is something in it for you: you are tending your family tree and it will be there for you when you need it. Best of all? You are making a difference to someone. It will make you feel good inside. For a long time.

I'm off now to turn on the garden hose and drag it over to the Family Tree to see if it's parched. Have I been doing my part? I'll reevaluate myself to see what I need to do better because I depend on the Family Tree so much. I've spent many a hot day in the comfort of its shady canopy...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Change

I imagine we all find ourselves here periodically throughout our life more often than we care to acknowledge.  Change is unpredictable, it is scary and exciting and full of opportunities we have yet to discover.  Yet I sit in the middle of change contemplating, over-thinking, over-analyzing when all I really need to do is jump in feet first and enjoy the exhilarating rush change always brings.  What did I say the other day?  Renew, refresh, rejuvenate.  If only I could remember those three R's when I have self-doubt.

This post I'm keeping relatively short as I review I see more time spent on uploading cleaned up art studio pics rather than finished work.  The art studio (again using studio term with a hint of guilt at the moment) - is seldom tidy.  When I'm actually working on something it's a literal tornado alley in process and in the aftermath of creation.  Do you suppose God had a tornado alley place when he finished creating the Heavens and the Earth?  Who cleaned it up for Him so he could start the next project?  Maybe He cleaned it up after he was finished admiring his work... 'cause how would He find His tools and supplies unless He was super organized which I never quite seem to be once I start pulling stuff out to use.  Just wondering...


Before I leave, one word about The Sketchbook Project. I've been sketching regularly in my moleskine journal since before we went to Hawaii (more on THAT later!!)... and here comes the sketchbook project (Thanks, Annie!)... not that I'm all that great a sketcher or painter or artist, but it reminds me what I learned from reading Melanie Testa's blog and articles: practice, practice, practice. You really can see the improvement from page one to the last page.  A metamorphisis if you will excuse the cliche'.  YOU can participate by clicking on here: http://arthousecoop.com/projects/sketchbookproject/features or on the icon over in the upper right hand side of my blog under "Cool Places".  Think it over, it might be fun.  I just have a calling to this project and to promote it.  Maybe it's part of my "change".  LOL  Can THIS be my "change of life" era?  hahahahahahaha

Happy Artful Day to all.  Off to the drawing board, literally!
~(if I can find it)...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Good Morning!
Today I find myself up early uploading pix to the computer to share. First request was of my new art room/studio/place/hideaway. I'm moving into a smaller space so I've been unpacking and sorting and ever so carefully going through my things deciding what I can and cannot live without. What a tough decision, and also what a mess! That's my theme. It all looks so pretty when you get everything organized and then here comes that first project and the organization all goes out the window! I am a messy maker, love to just fly by the seat of my pants, digging in drawers and pulling out supplies and getting into the flow and not stopping to tidy up. *SIGH* Maybe I can conjure up an art angel who will tidy up behind me, fluttering here and there and scolding me but happily organizing everything just right.
Or not. Accept the unchangable; stop fighting the Universe, Katie!! So here's my space, my new place of being:















These are my table skirts as you can see - I didn't have enough of one material to cover both tables, but I loved both of these fabrics and decided what the heck, go for it. I wanted to use fabric I had so these are what I had the most of. I'm really drawn to turquoise, lime green, hot pinks that line of colors this year.

My very favorite thing in my art room at the moment is my peg board. I painted it layers and layers of color so you can see pinks, greens, blues, turquoise... and my two original Spirit Dolls reign over the area. Painted soup cans hold pens and pencils and various hooks hold various supplies as you can see. Since this picture was taken, I've already re-arranged the pegboard; the paintbrushes are no longer kept in the basket near the bottom and there's more "gadgets" up there where I can see and reach them!

The pegboard hangs over my main table for drawing, painting, etc. To the left would be my sewing/cutting table, the first table as you walk in the room.

Then there's my supply drawers and plastic cabinets shown below, you can see they sit beside the book shelf of supplies to the left of the room, behind me when I'm working at my table.














You know my space wouldn't be complete without a place for Art Dog Sancho and he quickly designated under the window as his place. So I set up a pillow and one of his favorite blankets on top of a storage bin right under the window for him. The window is framed with lights and old lace curtains that have not yet been replaced. Also there is a new window waiting to be installed. The new window is an energy efficient window with the prairie design. It will allow more light into the room! This is an east facing window that looks out onto the front porch and front yard. Roses and pots of geraniums are beginning to bloom. Not only can he combine his Art Dog skills with his Guard Dog duties, but Sanch can also catch a nap in the afternoon sun. :-)














Now that you know what my space looks like, are you going to show me yours? *smile*
Next post will be what I've been working on (fingers crossed!!).
Til next time (sooner rather than later!!!) ~ K

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The QUEEN of CUPCAKES


Where DOES the time fly to? I meant to post sooner rather than later, and here it is later. Geeze. Another mental note to post inside a head that's already overflowing with things to do, places to go, people to contact and ideas to make! *Grins* So just a quickie here as it's dinner time (well actually past) and the Cowboy is patiently wondering what we're having. (Hint: it has to do with take-out). *smile* I was pleased with my latest drawing/creation - she's going to be incorporated into my Studio 105 name tag, probably ATC's and a couple Valentines. Who knows what else? She's actually Queen of Cupcakes -- oh I've been craving cupcakes for a whole month! I'm in search of the perfect cupcake; I havent had the perfect cupcake since I was with Lauren last August in California at a place called... Vanilla Moon Bakery I think!! Something tells me I'm not going to be satisfied tonite unless I have a cupcake... do you think Cowboy will settle for cupcakes for dinner? I'll let you know...


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Computer O Computer

I've been driving myself crazy trying to fix a glitch in my computer - it won't stay connected to the internet suddenly, but the rest of the computers in the household have no problem. Persnickity thing thinks it's smarter than me! So far, it is. I considered dropping it out the window on the second story, but I decided to wait until we get the bigger windows/door on the front of the house would be more fun. (Hopefully by then it'll be working and death by dropping won't be necessary). Meanwhile I click away on the dinosaur laptop that seems at the moment to be out performing the newest model.

Last night after a few hours and several Advil I thought I had found the problem! Yay! But closing one door opens another. Now my antivirus is missing a component and won't reinstall per it's very specific instructions. Somethings are better left alone until we are in a better mental state to cope. That's when the delusions of dropping things out of second story windows began to amuse me. Crawling up on the bathroom counter to reach the window stopped me from acting immediately. I know that was it.... hehehehehee

That's the way most things work: you fix one thing, another problem raises its ugly head. Or you pull up a little flooring over there to fix and you end up having to replace the floor in the entire room (and sometimes the adjoining room too!) Ask us, we know all about that! We can smile about it now thank goodness! Now we're trying to find a reputable insulator to insulate the entire flooring under the house - Cowboy researching and four different insulators with four different opinions as to the proper materials/method to use. One arrived with the wrong size/R factor insulation he was going to staple and "piece" to fit between the joists - nevermind Cowboy crawling under there and seeing it gaping 4" on each side of each joists - thank you to an alert F-I-L who was here when they arrived while we were at work!! Do you have to do it all yourself to get it right or the way you want? Cowboy has been doing so much and working full time and the decision to pay someone to do the insulation was not easy to come by. But so far its been an ordeal researching and finding someone who will show up, let alone do good work. I'm even considering crawling under there to help him! Now that's bad. Don't dwell on the visual of me under the house. What happened to the time when a person took pride in a job well done and you didn't have to worry about being taken advantage of? Or am I looking back fabricating a perfect world that never truly existed at all? Naive? Wishful thinking? Just being impatient? I know it all works out, sometimes not on my internal time frame, but it works out in its time. I look at my art space, getting organized, boxes piled high, a small clean space with a cutting mat, pencil and some paper. Fabric and boxes of supplies here and there and even things that don't belong in that space find it's way "for just a second" while some other room gets attention, then that "just a second" turns into a week because, you guessed it -- something else cropped up while preparing that other room.

Here I am writing about it rather than getting it done. I DO have an agenda today and it will involve MAKING A LITTLE ART TODAY in addition to getting some order to the space and our house in general. Yes you saw from yesterday's picture Farmhouse is a little rough around the edges, but you should see how soft and comfortable it's become already on much of the inside. I'll have to snap some inside pics to share. It's coming along, slowly but surely. I remind myself daily of the progress and Cowboy and I remind each other. At the end of the day when we're upstairs in our little hideaway snuggled in bed talking about our hopes and dreams for this place, I am reminded of something else: there's no place like home, there's no place like home.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR


Welcome 2010! As though it would never get here, my blog sat vacant for too many months. Months that seemed to me only weeks; weeks that had been days ran long into months before even I began to notice. And I hid, not wanting to confront the sadness and the fear of even starting this blog let alone keeping it going. One flippant comment wounded me so easily. My inner critic raised her ugly blonde head and began, "I told you so.." My Creative Muse withered in the back of my mind, ignored.

Oh, how I ran! Ran as psychologically far as a mind can get, Then BANG! Happy New Year! 2010 finally arrived! New beginnings, new adventures, new outlook. We're allowed to be out with the old and in with the new, whatever that be, is up to us. It's funny how, when you're ready, everything looks better in a new light. And so we begin again, or perhaps pick up where we left off.

I am humbled and thankful for so many things. Life has been a whirlwind the past few months - but everyone is as the holidays approach one after the other and the year winds down and we look to a new one on the horizon. We hurry to finish up loose ends only to begin weaving more.


This fall left us with an empty chair where Mom O sat and commanded us. Yes commanded us. We were lost this season without her here to organize and tell us where and when to be. She was, it seems now, the glue that kept us together, the organizer of all things family. And we had learned helplessness. We didn't have to think anything, just do and follow the lead. So we had much to overcome in the oddness of the celebrations, the sadness of the captain missing at the helm. But having said that, and surely she would shake her head at us (she did NOT like new traditions and let us know more than once)... we did attempt a couple new ideas, if not traditions, in the very least they were new experiences. And with that we found comfort and joy in unexpected places, and in not forgotten familiar faces. Big arms, warm hugs, family, friends and food. What more is there in life?

Cowboy and I - we don't do drama. We don't do it well and prefer not to do it at all. Know what I mean? We are a mixture of someone who doesn't like confrontation and someone who believes that if we just talk about it, we can solve anything. We had so many warm and loving invites over the season, and we took you up on a few and the rest we tried to find some semblance of "normalcy" within our inner circle of parents, children and grandchildren. Sometimes We were the parents, sometimes WE were the children. We ebbed and flowed and sometimes we didn't get a good bearing on decision making til the last minute. But it all worked out, it always does, doesn't it? No stress, that's what I tell my daughter-in-law - "No Stress Allowed" - And I like it that way, I think we all like it that way. I’m trying very much to live my life as such. So if we didn't get to sit at your table and break bread, it didn't mean we didn't want to; simply we had something else we needed to do or decided we needed to do or just plain it's where we ended up. It's all good. And that's what I'm looking to for 2010 - it all being good no matter what it is.

What does any of this have to do with art? Well it's the art of living life, of making way for more creativity, an exercise in thinking outside the box. At least that's what I'm telling myself. At least it's getting me dusting the cobwebs off this blog and thinking about clearing a bigger spot to work on my art table. In my new art room. Studio? Can't quite get there with that word yet this year.

Ahhh new art room you ask? Yes. This fall Cowboy decided we would move to his mama's house and we have affectionately nicknamed it the "Farmhouse". We spent so much time going back and forth working on it and collapsing at the old house we finally moved in and decided to work on it as we go. We’re still moving bits and pieces of ourselves here, in boxes and bags and more stuff than we can imagine two people could possibly collect. It is definitely a labor of love, will be a long labor of love as we do what we can, when we can, as we can. Everything in its time. And that's okay. It's life, it's how it works when you stop fighting the universe, stop trying to figure it all out and just be; be yourself in your own skin in your own little niche in the world. So this is it for us: and it's a piece of his mama and her mama and daddy, and all the aunts-uncles-cousins-friends of a few lifetimes. It is an old house, with good bones and loads of character, rooms full of memories of good times and more still to come. Grandchildren and grandchildren’s children have slammed the screen door and swung in the porch swing. It stands tall, tired and worn, but familiar and comfortable like your favorite pair of jeans. I look at it and I see what it was, where it is, and what it longs to be. A lot like me. Possibilities. Potential. A work in progress. It is Home.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In The Art Studio Again

The last month or two has been filled with family losses, Grandma followed by Mom-in-law (yes it is she who was my topic a few blogs down in Cougars from Passion Island - Ms. Joy Nell Puckett Owens, most fondly known as Mom O by me)... and though our hearts are heavy we pick up where life left off. Gradually. For the first time in weeks and weeks and weeks I had an art day in the studio. Yay! It was tough at first to focus and allow myself to let go and play, but little by little my Muse took me by the hand and pulled me in. In the middle of things I gave myself permission to be happy about what I was doing and began to delve into creating. I had signed up for this fabulous online Graffiti Art class by artist Alisa Burke and I missed the entire class due to family responsibilities. Wonderful as Alisa is (not to mention kind and understanding), she is keeping the site open longer and I was able to finish up a project and post it to the website! Yay! A big accomplishment for me! Thank you Alisa for enabling me to get back into creating and teaching me some facinating techniques! I'm still practicing and watching the videos, but I had to share what I've competed so far:

Well, this morning my computer or blogger is not allowing me to post my pictures. Dang! As soon as I figure it out, I'll add them. It may be this evening as I'm off to work here shortly...Happy Artful Day Everyone!!



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lost in Cyber Space

I'm amazed it has been this long since I've blogged. Time has flown past in the last month or two. My life has been topsy turvy with the loss of three important people in my life. Two of them dear women in my family and the third a southern gentleman - all of whom my life has become richer in character because of them.

My art has suffered as I've been on the run - not spending much time in art turf. One thing I've learned along the way is that you need to be selective who you share your art with. Sometimes your Creative Muse gets bruised (or is that your artistic ego?) and then the Inner Critic reemerges and says, "I told you so". Funny how we tend to believe the critics and people who ridicule or belittle our efforts and yet it's much more difficult to accept a compliment. So perhaps my art has suffered in ways because of this too. Intentional or not - let's be kind about our opinions of someone else's work. After all, beauty as in art, is in the eye of the beholder.

I'm telling myself this morning not to be afraid to get my hands dirty again, play with the paint on my fingers if that's what's calling to me, think outside the box and expand the process and don't be confined to the anal "you-are-childish wow-you-finger-paint-woo-that's-so-hard" attitude of others. Hey don't knock it if you haven't tried it! Not only does something as freeing as fingerpainting free your inhibitions, it makes for good therapy too! *smile*

So let's get out our paints, brushes, fingers and whatever else we choose and get on with our creative spirit. I'm yearning to color with crayons this morning - maybe I'll take a pack to work with me...

Happy Artful Day!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Grunge Art Play


My newest inspiration is Alisa Burke http://alisaburke.com/. I've had her book, Canvas Remix for a while and have been wading through prior commitments so I could try some of her wonderful techniques. I'm anxiously awaiting the start of her online class: Grafitti Chic.
In the meantime...
Yesterday I got to play in the studio - and I do mean PLAY - I actually ended up eventually using my hands to smear the paint! I can't begin to tell you how much fun that was and so liberating and free. At first I was stifled and trying to make it "perfect". It didn't look anything like I was picturing in my head. I was frustrated and didn't want to get up AGAIN to clean brushes so I globbed paint on my finger and patted around daintily. The next thing I knew I had a kalidescope of colors on my hands - both of them - and messy and finger painting and smearing. Not only was it a lot faster and freer - I think it was more of an open expression and made for good art. Isn't that what our Creative Muses keep trying to tell us? Don't over think it - just DO it?

So I did. Try it. It was FUN FUN FUN. Yes, it may look like a horrible mess and accident gone awry, but it was the very look I was trying to express. The first doll body above was not gessoed first; I think if I'd have had a neat print fabric for a base, it would work. But I stopped at this point because I'm going to gesso over it. See the second doll body picture? That is the first doll body I did, but I gesso'ed it before I started adding paint. The colors are more vibrant and it has more of a canvas texture for the paint to adhere to. I thought maybe the gesso would make the doll body too stiff, but it's not - still quite pliable. I think this is the beginning of a new generation of Flutterbugartgirl Spirit Dolls.