Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I left the classroom to be a stay at home mom and was certain that I wouldn't go back into the teaching field. Fast forward 15 years, I'm once again a student who is taking classes to be re-certified to teach. I explored several hobbies that could have turned into careers, but I always seemed more interested in helping at my children's schools. I'm one third of the way through the required work needed to reapply for certification. I'm on track to apply for jobs for next fall. My quest to reinvent myself cleared the cobwebs and dusted off the path I've been on for decades.
I AM a life-long learner. I will always be a student and a teacher.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
For the first time in 12 years, I'm not the coordinator or president of a volunteer group. I somehow learned to say no. Now that the kids are back in school, I'm gifted with a little extra time to do something for myself (I'm still volunteering and substitute teaching, but my creative side can focus on art rather than fundraising.) I loved the online class I took this summer and want to take another soon. Several start in September. I have a shortlist of classes that meet my beginner's mind. I am most excited about Brave Girl Art School because of the variety of mediums explored. The course reminds of me of the arts and crafts sessions at summer camp. Only better because the participants are all there for the art.
Likely, my next online course will be in the winter (after holidays and birthday). But a girl can dream. Here is the video for the Brave Girl Art School in case you are looking for a great course and community.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Here is my latest painting from Pages and Paint. I have a lot to learn . . . boy, is this fun!!!
8x8 gessobord with acrylic paint, chalk pastel, collage, gel pen, pencil, gel medium paper transfer with a gel medium wash over the surface.
The painting in my head hasn't happened (yet:-). I consider this a study. The colors and composition don't feel like mine (partly because the mushroom is a transfer and the colors feel heavily inspired by Sarah's pallet rather than my own).
1. Boarder was painted in acrylic.
2. Red, green and yellow lines were painted first. Red circles were added (one is covered in final).
3. Mushroom is an ink jet paper transfer. How-to: print image on ink jet printer, cover board in gel medium, cover ink-side image with gel medium, put gel medium to gel medium (careful not to get gel medium on back side of paper), squish out air bubbles, let dry completely, spray back of paper with water and rub off paper. Expect some ink to come off because inkjet ink is not permanent like laser jet.
4. Gel pen used to outline mushroom details that were either removed during transfer or too light.
5. Chalk pastels on mushroom only.
6. Collage added with gel medium.
7. Blue and green above and next to mushroom are watered down acrylic paint.
8. White paint washed over boarder that felt too saturated.
9. Pencil used to outline color squares and collage.
All methods used in this painting are new to me. My mind's eye did not envision this final. There are a number of happy surprises that I can incorporate into future paintings.
My first reaction to the final was to toss it aside. A few hours later, I'm pleasantly surprised. I'm looking forward to what I create a few months from now.
Friday, August 3, 2012
"Traincase" grew out of the lessons I learned during the month. This piece follows Jenni Horne's technique and composition style most closely. I've completed three paintings in her classes and this one on my own. I feel like my paintings are poor imitations of her work (I'd rather buy her paintings). Now that I have a better feel for paints and collage, I'll be experimenting to find my own style and will continue to buy Jenni's art.
What a wonderful journey into the world of paints and mixed media.
p.s. the photo above represents the colors beautifully, but not so much the proportions of the board (14"x11"). my battery ran out before i could correct the angle of the shot.
p.p.s. the suitcase is meant to go with the vw van. :-)
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
My teenage son had friends coming over, so I needed a large spread. Pork roast tips, potatoes, fruit, and a few left over garden veggies from dinner the night before were available.
|From The Yummy Life|
During my search on the web, I found plenty of recipes, but most weren't going to appeal to my family. I've read volumes of cookbooks, prepared countless meals, and tried multiple cuisines--I can taste a recipe when I read it. When I read Carnitas by Monica, I knew that this was soon to be a family favorite. I managed to get the meal on the table 3 hours after starting. Ideally, I would have let the meat spend more time in the oven as directed, but the kids were hungry.
I set up a Taco Bar so that everyone could fill their own tortillas:
- Shredded Pork
- Tomato Salsa
- Mango Salsa (Costco)
- Shredded Lettuce
- Shredded cheese (would have liked to leave this off, but the kids wanted it)
- Sour cream
- Black beans
- Fresh corn cut off the cob (1 ear leftover made a nice little garnish)
- Fresh Cherries
- Mashed Potatoes
- Turnip Greens (leftovers from another night, which went to lunch with the hubby,who is the only one who really loves them in our house :-)
Monday, July 9, 2012
Lucky me, I'm signed up for Pages & Paint. My month long creative journey is here. Everyday, Sarah will guide us. She'll share her techniques, will offer inspiring prompts and will fostering a community. It's the online version of squam.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
A month ago I went to Jenni Horne Studios for the "Paint Something" Workshop. Her technique was perfect for a beginner like me and long time artists loved applying her techniques to a their own work. The weekend was filled with "puffy hearts" (I hear Jenni's voice when see the phrase).
|My childhood phone was almost identical!|
|Work in Progress|
Choosing colors is one of the most important steps for this project. I used my bedspread as the inspiration. The phone in the painting was going to be turquoise, but the background vetoed the choice and called dibs on the blues and greens. The red, in the final, really pops. Funny how art has a mind of its own, if we are brave enough to listen.
I had the advantage of taking two classes back to back, so that when my mind was stuck on one painting, I was able to tweak the other.
My final projects are pictured below. The frames (not fully shown) complete the pieces. The technique and frames feel uniquely Jenni, but I love how they make my work shine. The phone is on my wall and the bug is at my Father-in-law's. He loves it. I'm proud of my two beginning pieces. I'm looking forward to the next class in July (see the badge on the side to sign up).
|"Hit the road with the top down"|
Sunday, June 3, 2012
June 8-9, I'll be near Atlanta for my first painting class with Jenni Horne during her Paint Something Workshops. WOOOHOOOO!
- I knew Jenny long before she changed the spelling of her name to Jenni. I'm pretty sure that the spelling was actually changed to J-e-n-n-i(puffy heart dotting the "i") during middle school, a time when paint pens, Limited Express, and Madonna were all the rage. If I had any wild and crazy stories about Jenni, I'd sooooo tell them . . . but we were really good kids who were known more for giggles and school leadership than drama and pacts to keep secrets about wild escapades. Keeping in touch with friends and family is a top happiness project resolution.
- Moving and visiting family was a way of of life for me growing up. Over the years, I've become a homebody. Not a bad way to spend my time, but I crave more hitting the pavement adventures. Heading to Georgia without the family in tow will be fun.
- Create more! Going to a museum is awesome. Reading book is engaging. But creating my own works is life-giving. The only time I feel a real sense of envy is when I see artists and writers following their passion when I'm not doing the same. I'm happiest when I'm creating . . . crafting, cooking, and/or writing.
Friday, May 18, 2012
- Use fun paper and pens
- Accept my handwriting
- Take credit for completed items
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Below is the guide for this week, which is taken directly from Gretchen Rubin's "Starter Kit". My brain needs time to process concepts like this, so I'll be thinking about my "Personal Commandments" tonight and tomorrow morning. I'm sure the refining will evolve over time.
Enjoy the process!!
Resolutions report – how is everyone doing?
The entire group, or the group divided into twos and threes, discusses their success in keeping their resolutions since the last meeting. Remember, be specific! Vague generalities like “I saw a lot of movies, and it was great” or “I didn’t do a good job with the walking, I just didn’t find the time” won’t cut it! Ask each other:
- How often did you manage to stick to your resolution?
- If you stuck to your resolution, did it make you happier? Do you want to tweak it?
- If you didn’t stick to it, what got in the way? Do you need to find a different resolution to help you make the change you’re seeking?
Second half of the meeting:
Your “Personal Commandments” are the overarching principles that you want to guide your actions and thoughts.
Activity: write your list of personal commandments. Aim to have more than five but no more than twelve.
For example, my Twelve Commandments are:
My Twelve Commandments:
1. Be Gretchen.
7. Spend out.
2. Let it go.
8. Identify the problem.
3. Act the way I want to feel.
9. Lighten up.
4. Do it now.
10. Do what ought to be done.
5. Be polite and be fair.
11. No calculation.
6. Enjoy the process.
12. There is only love.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
- Make my bed every day.
- Do dishes immediately after dinner.
- 10 minute tidy of the house by everyone just before bed.
- Plan Meals for the week (goal to eat out less, to eat healthfully, and to spend more time with family in the kitchen).
- Make a To Do list everyday and mark off items.
- Buy new clothes.
My plan for tweaking my resolutions:
- Define my guiding principles
- Make a chart of resolutions, so that I can track daily progress. Every moment is an opportunity to chose to keep things as they are or to make changes. In order to see the successes, I need to track them.
- Journal about my progress. I need a way to evaluate my thoughts and actions. Maybe some resolutions are not really meaningful to me, but are things I think I should be doing. I can drop those. Maybe some resolutions need to be broken down into small steps. Or maybe, I've mastered a resolution and it's just second nature and no longer needs to be tracked. Also, a resolution may scream to be made once I define what I want to achieve.
- Report back to the group and listen to their insights about the first 2 weeks.
Friday, April 20, 2012
- identify elements of your life that you want to change
- find concrete, measurable resolutions that, if kept, will help you bring about that change
- hold yourself accountable for keeping your resolutions
- decide whether you want to adjust, toss, or re-commit to a resolution
Find more joy in life.
Rent a movie once a week. Make Saturday plans with a friend.
Appreciate the present.
Keep a one-sentence journal.
Be a more loving parent.
Go to sleep by 10:30 p.m. to avoid morning grouchiness.
No more doughnuts for breakfast. Eat a big salad for lunch.
Resolutions tend to fall in certain major categories. Here are some common resolutions, with a few examples:
- Attitude: Give positive reviews. Don’t talk about my irritations.
- Clutter: Put dishes in the dishwasher immediately. Make my bed each morning.
- Creativity & writing: Write a novel in a month. Keep “morning pages.” Take a photograph each day.
- Diet, exercise & health: Take a 20-minute walk each day. Eat protein at breakfast.
- Family & children: Make my children dissolve in laughter at least once a day. Read a chapter out loud every night.
- Friends: No gossip. Show up.
- Fun: Try a new restaurant each time I eat out. Go to a game instead of watching it on TV.
- Gratitude: In the shower, count my blessings. Sincerely thank two people each day.
- Helping others: Volunteer at the thrift shop. Sign up for the breast-cancer walk-a-thon.
- Memories & traditions: Organize all the photos in tidy boxes. Take a 5-minute video of my kids each Sunday night.
- Mindfulness: Don’t listen to my iPod on the way to work.
- Money: Pay down twice the minimum on my credit card debt each month. Buy needful things.
- Relationships & marriage: Don’t expect thanks. Think of small treats.
- Religion & spirituality: Read the Bible every day. Meditate each morning.
- Work: Go to a professional conference. Sign up for training on the new computer program.
**"Topic 1: Your first set of resolutions" is slightly adapted from Gretchen Rubin's "Starter Kit". Please refer to the Happiness Project website if you would like get a copy.
I'd started my happiness project to test my hypothesis that I could become happier by making small changes in my ordinary day. I didn't want to reject the natural order of my life--by moving to Walden Pond or Antarctica, say, or taking a sabbatical from my husband. I wasn't going to give up toilet paper or shopping or experiment with hallucinogens. I'd already switched careers. Surely, I'd hoped, I could change my life without changing my life, by finding more happiness in my own kitchen. (from The Hapiness Project)Happiness is not waiting for me across the pond on another continent. I enjoy my home. I love my friends and family. I like my ordinary days. I don't want to leave all this behind to chase after increased happiness when I know it is right here, right now. I want to cultivate a life where I'm living in the moment rather than planning the next thing I have to do. Worrying and wanting "to get it right" take up energy that could be devoted to laughter and fun. Creating a happiness project is a way for me to turn my attention toward enjoying the moment and making more opportunities for happiness.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
The Happiness Project grew from a desire to focus "on the things that really matter." Gretchen Rubin explores the wisdom of philosophers, practices strategies from experts, and creates her own experiment. Each chapter highlights a month's worth of small steps leading toward a bigger resolution . . . increasing happiness.
I’ll facilitate the first gathering. Big thanks to Rubin for providing a starter kit, which we’ll use to get going. The group will decide if we will follow her guide, create our own version, or a combination of the two. Our individual projects will be as unique as each of us. The purpose of coming together is to share ideas, provide encouragement, and to have fun.
To start: pick up a copy of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, browse the book’s website, and sign up for any of her daily or monthly emails that appeal to you. I suggest reading the first 4 chapters before we meet. That will give you a great springboard for creating your personalized project.
Feel free to post comments, questions, or suggestions about our quest for years of happiness.
See you soon!
p.s. Here is another resource http://happinessprojecttoolbox.com/. I haven't signed up, but thought I'd share the link for any of you that might be interested.