When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say,
"I used everything You gave me."
~Erma Bombeck

September 18, 2014

If we're being honest: My studio table...

Today, I came across Seth Apter's The Altered Page blog. I was so inspired by his latest entry Studio Table: The Reveal. It's a blog hop of different artists and their studio tables "unaltered, uncensored, and most likely unkempt".

Yes, I was so inspired, I decided to share mine. Drumroll please... here we go....

I am learning to love this space regardless of the fact that it is in my dining room and almost NEVER tidy. It is the first area you see when you walk into my home. I have much gratitude to have space to myself even if there isn't a door to close it off. Some creative souls have little to no space to spread out. Very fortunate I am. You can visit the other artists in the hop via Seth's page here.

September 9, 2014


"I think my painting days are over." she said, holding my hand.

The words were not strong as her body was ailing. Looking back, it was only two days before she passed. Yes, I'm writing about Mom again.

I feel I must ask forgiveness that I am writing about this yet again, but seeing as how this past Saturday was what would have been her 66th birthday and we are approaching the date that will mark 5 years since her passing, she is heavy on my mind.

For several weeks I have not been feeling exactly up to par. I have had some dull pains that match the symptoms of my worst fear. Once the kiddos were back in school, I decided to finally face the fear and make an appointment.

Last Friday, with hubby and little man in tow I went to see a doctor about lower abdomen/pelvic/lower back pain. After listening and some examination, the doctor recommended an ultrasound to rule out my fear...ovarian cancer. Any one who knows me and knows of my Mom's story, knows that she passed after an awful fight with this disease. Thankful I was finally going to get some answers and know what to do next I scheduled the ultrasound for Monday afternoon.

The weekend wait was not a fun one. My mind went the places I should not have let it go. I maintained a peace, but still thought about a lot of things, including my Mom's words, "I think my painting days are over." I thought about what could happen if I had to have a fight with cancer. What it would mean to my children and my husband. What it would mean to me.

What if I lost a battle with cancer?

Would those around me know how much I loved them?

Would my children have learned what I wanted them to learn from me?

What would my legacy look like?

Did I live the life I wanted to?

Did I face the fear and carve out the time to create?

Did I touch the lives of others with my gifts?

Would I have regrets?

Fast forward to Monday. I went to my appointment and set to waiting what I thought would be at least 2 days. Thankfully, I have a doctor that doesn't waste any time. She called to let me know that the ultrasound showed no cancer. I do have a cyst on my left ovary that is causing the discomfort and pain. It may or may not need to be dealt with by my doctor. It could just go away on it's own. The relief I felt after this call was nothing short of wonderful.

A scare can be a blessing sometimes. The questions I asked myself, I didn't like the answers to. I don't want to wait to make myself healthy, to show love, to teach my babies, to create a legacy, to live the life I want, fulfilling my creative dreams and touching the lives of others with my gifts. And when "my painting days are over" I hope I have no regrets.

March 17, 2014

Monday Musings...Messages...

At the top of my blog here you will see my favorite saying. It is by Erma Bombeck. "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me. "" I get the message that we should use our talents that God has gifted us, over and over and over again. It's like it is my calling to carry that message through. My blog, my creative endeavors and my business are being built on this.

I have known deep down for a very long time that I was meant to carry on my mother's creative legacy. Last fall, I was going through photos on a cd that my sister scanned for Mom's memorial service. I found these newspaper clippings featuring an "emerging artists" article from the Mesa, Arizona Sunday paper.

I'm pretty sure my mother agrees with my thoughts on Erma's quote and she wants to let me know this. Because if you look closely at the caption underneath her painting of lilacs it says:

"Lilacs" by Barbara Whitlock. Whitlock says talent should not be neglected. "If you have a talent, it is a gift from God. It is given to you for a reason, and it is a shame not to pursue your talents, no matter what they are." she says.

Pursuing my dreams, carrying on the legacy and using my talents...

January 27, 2014

Monday Musings... Coming out of hibernation

(image courtesy of stock.xchng)

Hello! I've been gone from the blog for a while. I have been creating some, but not really blogging. I hope you will bear with this post. It is just something I needed to write to finish off this time of turning within myself.

For the longest time I have been kind of hibernating. As everyone knows, my mother passed away and I had major jaw surgery for sleep apnea in 2009. It took months to recuperate physically and emotionally, well we all know that pain never really goes away. It gets better and softens around the edges a bit, but never goes away.

At the beginning of 2010 I celebrated my 40th birthday. Two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with my third (and last) child. I was just getting things under control when this beautiful surprise set me into kind of a tail spin. Of course, he is my blessing. I was just completely surprised and caught off guard.

At that time, because my youngest was in kindergarten, I was volunteering at the girls' school. I made a few mom friends there and I did my best to keep up with the "You are a stay at home mom. You have time. You should volunteer for everything!" mentality. When what my heart was saying was "you should create, create, create!"

I ruffled a few feathers when I decided to resign sharing home room coordinator responsibilities for my daughter's kinder class. It was middle of the year and my sweet friend that I was assisting was a very capable seasoned HRC. I resigned via email, politely stating my reasons. In hindsight, I wish I would have had a conversation with my friend before resigning. I missed the fact that she was extremely busy with other volunteer positions and it was her busiest time. The email was sent to 4 people. Only one responded. She responded sweetly, telling me she understood completely and wished me luck in my creative endeavors. But the damage was done. I blackballed myself so to speak and this was confirmed the following fall by a friend of mine at the time. She told me I was right, when I had assumed this out loud to her. Of course I was 8 months pregnant at the time, so I didn't really care. I had no energy for volunteering or creating!

When I was pregnant with Kyle. I started whittling down the volunteering even more. I am one of those moms that is kind of a homebody with my babies. I don't like to run here and there, dragging my infant carrier with me. Now I know if you have older children, some running around just cannot be avoided, but my daughters were old enough to understand that some of their activities were going on hold for a few months.

Enter the beginning of my hibernation. It started when I had had enough of trying to explain myself and resign from a volunteer position from a group my daughters were in. Knowing that I was not going to want to take Kyle with me everywhere, I started trying to resign when I knew I was pregnant. It wasn't until he was 5 months old I finally got my point across. I admit that I might not have gone about it entirely the right way, but I had been trying to kindly quit for quite a while. Long story short as a result of issues with the group, I had to quit abruptly to be heard. It was ugly. I lost what I thought at the time was a friendship, when really it should have been an acquaintance relationship. The emails and voice messages that flew my direction where the nothing short of nasty. I shared a lot of personal stuff with someone because I thought she was a friend. This stuff was thrown in my face in the worst way. My character was attacked, my marriage even became fair game. I was even threatened to watch out in public if I ran into this person. The hibernation began as a result of this. What was said to others about me? How could I go to my children's activities? I guess this is what the goal was. For me to feel small and scared and to question myself. I shut down. My closest friends knew this, but I didn't really until recently.

I learned so many, many things from this incident and now after 2 years, I am finally feeling back to myself (maybe even better!). I learned that not all acquaintances are true friends. I learned what a real and true friend is. I learned to use better discretion when it comes to what I share with others. I learned that my husband is my greatest supporter. Over and over he told me that the people who really, really know me, know my character and what kind of a person I am, wouldn't believe anything less than good about me. I learned that it doesn't really matter what other people think about the dynamic of my family and household, it only matters that it works for us. I learned my children don't need to have more than one extra curricular activity to fit in and be happy. I learned I don't have to be everyone's all, I only have to be all I can for my family. And they are so much happier for it. Life has it's ups and downs and this was a down I needed to go through to learn all of those things.

So, now the so called hibernation is coming to an end. I have felt in the past couple of months the burden I was putting myself under lift. I am reconnecting with my "real" friends. I am stronger both physically and mentally. Best of all, my creativity is beginning to soar. I am really excited that I am no longer fearing creating art. I don't and won't hold myself back from sharing the talents I have been blessed with.

I have been blessed with many tools to help me on my creative path. I have my own crafting/art space, a great camera, computer, printer and support from my family and friends. I'm looking forward to sharing my creative endeavors with you. I can't wait to experiment and try new things. I can't wait to meet more creative people. I am wide awake, stretching and ready to go. No more hibernating for me!