Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Year's Wishes

I always love new years, new beginnings. Clean slate. Another chance to "get it right."
I know I'm not the only one who is more than ready to let this year go.
There have been hard changes and challenges for many of us. We have endured the losses of friends, family, much-loved pets, good health and jobs.
Here are a few of my wishes for myself this year.
I hope you grab them for yourself as well if they resonate with you. 

I'll give myself permission to pull in when I feel the need to hibernate.
If this is what it will take to restore my broken parts then I will fill that need.

I let myself down so much this past year by wasting lots and lots of time and losing myself in the process. This new year I will allow more balance in my life and more quality "me time." I think there will be a noticeable difference inside and out. 

I'll continue to find beauty everywhere. I will walk with my eyes and heart wide open.

I'll accept the storms when they come, and they will come. But I hope to sail through them with grace. And I hope to always understand the lessons they bring.

I'll continue to find inspiration in my daily blessings.
I'll continue to believe that possibilities are endless.
I'll continue to seek wisdom. 
I'll continue to honor my true spirit.

And finally, the hardest one for me is I will try very hard to work on self-acceptance.
I practice loving kindness to others but I always leave myself out.
How can I ever achieve my dreams and goals if I feel undeserving?
From now on I'll matter to me. I think I can do it.
So, starting right now I'm going to show up for myself!
I'll be right here when I need me. And day by day as it gets easier to be kind to myself.
 I will be able to finally believe with all my heart what you have been telling me all along.

I am enough.

Thank you all for being with me for another year. I treasure what this blogging family has come to mean to me. And I deeply mourn the ones we've lost too soon.

May each and every one of you reach for the stars this year, and may all of your wishes and prayers be answered.

Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Illustration Friday: Winter

Even though all the trees in the wild birch forest look similar, the white raven always returns to the same one every winter.

Legend has it that it was the tree she was born in.

She took her first flight from that very branch she's perched on.The other ravens of the wild birch forest honor and respect her for her true heart and sense of place.For those of you who believe you can never go home again, you've obviously never had the good fortune of meeting the white raven and feeling her magic.

This is a busy time of year for many of us, so please excuse this repost.
We're hunkering down for a forcasted blizzard, and I for one am excited about it!
Bring on the snow!

Be safe everyone♥

Friday, December 24, 2010

Offerings and Gratitude

With all my traditional holiday touches, it seems I left an important feature unadorned. This beautiful statue of Buddha once sat in my zen garden in California. I don't dare place him outside here because a hard freeze could cause him to split, and I can't keep moving him because he weighs over 100 pounds. So here he has sat in a corner of my dining room for the past year.
He's a bit out of place, really. But I get to walk past him every day and when I pause to dust him off a feeling of gratitude always washes over me.
So today I gave him an offering. I was looking for a place to put my dollar store snowflakes and then said, "Aha! A perfect mandala!"

And as for gratitude, much of it stems from my blog relationships that have formed over the years. Some of you I have met in person where hugs sealed special bonds. Some of us have spoken on the phone, shared laughter and tears, exchanged gifts, and sent cards for no reason other than to let the other know they're loved and thought of.
I'm truly grateful for all of you, even occasional visitors and art critics.

May your Christmas, Kwaanza, Hannukah, Buddhist or non-religious winter celebration be all you need it to be.

As for me, I'm just going to continue to appreciate the magic around me and try to keep myself open for an inspiring new year.

~Winter Blessings and Love~


Monday, December 20, 2010

More Monday Holiday Glimpses

I like that so many of you have joined in and started showing the holiday touches around your homes.
Here are the last few of mine to post before Christmas arrives. And we're having our first snow of the season today which is putting me in a festive mood!
This is the railing and windowbox outside my studio. The other side is exactly the same. I love the mixed fresh greens and the way they are draped.
The large ornaments inside and the hanging santa came from the dollar store! The berried sparkly branches were found at Michael's.

This old jug was here when we moved in. Each season I change the contents, trying to always keep it timely and pretty.

This is the railing near the back door that we use.
Don't you love that bright blue recycle bin getting in the picture??

This is a front view of the planter box filled with greens and berries as well as a few sparkly ice crystal picks and pine cones.

Here's our little holiday greeter! In the warmer seasons he has flower pots to watch over.

Little twinkly lights in the kitchen window.

Very simple touches for the built-in hutch.

I added the plate to our little French pig. I think they look nice together.

~ a nesting dove~

A beautiful sidenstricker glass ornament from Brian's mom, and right beside it is an ornament his dad made in his wood shop. It's the shape of the state of Massachusetts and it has the Mayflower on top.
We'll always keep these two ornaments together in their memory.

Here's Brian's skating bear that he loves! He also has a skating walrus and a Boston Bruins mouse but the photos came out blurry so they got cancelled ;)

I dolled up this little footed brass planter that I found at a consignment shop.
I love the tiny animal feet and porcelain handles. It was a find! 

And finally my friends, a few lights in my studio window to keep the holiday spirit glowing.
Merry always, merry everything!!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Illustration Friday: Mail

Remember when the mail was delivered by carrier pigeon?

This is a repost of one of my favorite paintings on an envelope. It now resides in Malaysia with my friend Caroline who won the giveaway!

Now I must get back to writing my holiday cards so I can get them in the mail!!

(acrylic and colored pencil on brown craft envelope, cancelled stamps)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Swan Story

On a very chilly Fall day my friend and I were out on a photoshoot. Our destination was the famous carousel not far from the house. After we shot a million pics at the carousel we went for a walk in the park across the street. On our way down the stairs to the little stretch of beach on Narragansett Bay, I saw this guy preening away, oblivious to us. It looked like he was covered in something yucky, not sure what.

He looked footless in the mucky sand! I got closer to see if perhaps we needed to call wildlife to do a well check on him.

I think this may have been his way to tell me he was fine, just doing swan things.

Along comes this pretty gal to check him out. It may even be his significant other, who knows.

She's just scoping the situation.

He showed no interest. He just continued with his obsessive preening.

Little missy got closer, but still no reaction from sticky feathers.

He finally looked up!
Ah, too late little guy.

And once again he was back to his preening, alone.
I think she'll be back.

Happy Animal Wednesday!
It's around 2 degrees here today. My fingers are blue!
Why did I leave CA?????

Monday, December 13, 2010

More Monday Holiday Glimpses

Like many of you, I had trouble photographing the tree lights.
I have NO idea what setting I had the camera on to get these hearts!♥
And the glow makes the house look like it's on fire. It really doesn't have this effect in the room.

The tree sits on a built-in cabinet in the dining room. I'll figure out what to do around it soon. Maybe when I get the darn thing decorated!
The room to the right is my studio.

I found these little trees buried in an old box.
I painted them forever ago. Too bad the detail doesn't show.
And too bad the driveway isn't white with snow instead of brown dead stuff!

The reindeer is one of my favorite little holiday things.
He's really dwarfed on top of this tall chest of drawers. Still, he looks regal up there.

This little wreath is on a vintage ceiling tin. It used to hang on my french doors in Pacific Grove.

Now it has a place of honor above the bling I showed last week in the upstairs bathroom..

The window in the same bathroom needed a little something.
I saw these sparkly branches at Michael's and I knew they were the right touch for the vintage apothecary jars. A few silver balls were added too.
I have to unscrew that whole window to take it out in order to pull my storm window down. As you can see, the screen is still there!
So much more to get gifts made and cards mailed.

~Happy Monday, and don't stress!~

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Illustration Friday: Phenomenon

To me, one of the most unbelievable phenomenons is the march of the Emperor Penguins.
I'm sure most of you have seen the documentary by now. If not, what are you waiting for?
Their strong will to continue their species is like none other.
I don't know how to add a video, so click below to see the trailer of the film.

This was a fast little piece for me today, but seeing as "IF" chose my word I thought I'd better show up!

Happy weekend everyone!!

(acrylic and colored pencil on patterned scrapbook paper)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Animal Wednesday : Part two...sketchbook project

I went to an old friend's house today for homemade soup and a play day.
It was so good for me to get out of my own space and just DRAW.

It didn't hurt that she has an adorable, loveable dog named Harry who is enamored with me.
The feeling is mutual.

This drawing is in my sketchbook project moleskine: "It's Raining Cats and Dogs."
Plain old Bic pencil as my tool, image inspired by the latest L.L.Bean catalog.
I made up the mistletoe-hangy-thingy.

Who doesn't love a puppy?


Animal Wednesday: She Be Stylin'

As promised to Robin, here is The Squirrel Huntress in her new winter coat.
The color is really more of a persimmon, not a HUNTERS Orange!!

I'm not one to dress my dogs, but let me tell you this little ten-pounder is freezing her butt off in these temperatures and it's only going to get worse.

Sorry for the , ahem, personal shot, but Emma wanted you to see her jacket from all angles. She's so vain!
Okay, back to the SQUIRRELS!!!!!!!!!

Sorry I've been a bit spotty here and there. Post and run and comment as I can in this busy season ;)

Happy Animal Wednesday!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Holiday Glimpses

My friend Jeannine over at Four Rooms decided to show a bit of her Christmas things each week. I really liked that idea, so here are a few things I did around the house yesterday to nudge me into the spirit of the holidays.
I do love to decorate!
This is our first tree in at least eight years. It's around 4' tall and sits on the dining room built-in nook.  Next week I'll show it decorated and lit up. 

~My little French piggy asked for a red ribbon~

~another view~

When we first moved back to Rhode Island, I bought this rooster for Brian.
Rhode Island's state bird is the Rhode Island red chicken.
I bought a candle centerpiece for under two dollars and wrapped it around her neck. 

Quite pretty, don't you think?

I love these vintage reproduction boxes I found at The Christmas Tree Shop,
both under $12 for the set. I'm a bargain hunter!

This adorable little cardinal was found at one of my favorite gift shops that carries my holiday candles: Frasier Fir by Thymes. Pricey, but wonderful!!
The little cardinal has sass, doesn't he? I love him.

And we mustn't forget to add a little holiday cheer to the bathroom!
This glass compote usually holds shells and driftwood.

But now it holds ornaments the color of the sea.

So that's what I did yesterday.
Stay tuned for more as I add things here and there.

Care to join us in sharing your holiday spirit?