Sunday, January 31, 2010

Return to Innocence

I had a nice weekend - Saturday party, today long lunch with an old friend.  Nice to catch up.

This song was playing in my mind, so I decided a video was in order today.  Happy Listening.

Enigma - Return to Innocence

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Riff

Today was the third Saturday this month that I actually went out of the house and engaged with other people.  The first 2 Saturdays were for classes, then I went out to dinner with a friend.  Today, I went to a birthday party.  It was lovely to sit and chat and just be a person. It was a lovely party and very good company.  Another Saturday success.

The bad part of today was that last night I had my little muscle spasm in my esophagus and it went throughout the day.  Everyone was so sweet and offered me water and wine and juice and cake and all kinds of luscious-looking goodies and I couldn't swallow even a drop of liquid, much less any of the food.  It is finally over now.  Grr.

My new boyfriend is Ryan Reynolds.  You might know him from "Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizza Place" (a pretty awful TV show from the late 80s or early 90s), or from the movie "Van Wilder" or "Blade: Trinity" or a few other movie and TV appearances and recently, he was in the movie, "The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock.  Tonight, I am watching "Definitely, Maybe" - this was the first movie that I really thought that he would be good in romantic comedies - he has the right mix of humor and seriousness.  And he is a hunk-a-hunk of burning love. :)  So, for your viewing pleasure, a few photos of Ryan Reynolds.

I'm just saying.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bursting with News I can't Share

I don't like to talk about work here...the whole point of this blog is that it is NOT WORK.


I got a great email today congratulating our team on a job well-done with a special project.


the C.E.O. of the company called to thank us for our hard work. I missed the call because I was in another meeting...but the message was really good. I saved it.

After a week like this one, I feel gratified and happy. It is nice to be recognized when you work hard.

I had to tell someone. But mum's the word. ;)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Little Help from My "Friends"

To avoid a repeat of last week, I just turned on a "Friends" DVD. Season 5 disc 3 (I'm working my way through them all).  This has one of my favorite episodes "The One Where Everyone Finds Out" about Chandler and Monica's relationship.  I love the whole, "They don't know we know they know we know," part when everyone is deciding to try to fake each other out.  Funny, and it prevented me from bursting a blood vessel while watching terrible TV.

I did work on my art journal a bit - I'm not entirely satisfied with it and I know the pages aren't done.  In my head, I see one thing but I'm not executing well.  I just have to power through and try different stuff. It is for ME - it doesn't have to be perfect, I just want to be creative. Some pages I will like and some I won't like.  So, a couple of pages that are works in progress:


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Holocaust Remembrance Day

On January 27, 1945, Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops. Now this day is commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Go here to to watch Elie Wiesel speak about the Universal Lessons of the Holocaust at the opening of the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum. He is one of the most profound speakers of our time. The weight of his duty and history echoes still in his words. He is a man of few words, but I want to hear all of his words and hold them close and try to honor him, honor the people murdered in the Holocaust.

If you have not read "Night" by Wiesel, you must read it. Originally, it was more than 1,000 pages and he edited it down to less than 200 pages - he felt that his memories were unprintable.

In Elie Wiesel's words, "We must become the messenger's messengers."

Never again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Idol" Thoughts

Tonight as I watched delusional contestants warble and screech and cry and challenge on "American Idol", I realized that I was really happy that this kind of show wasn't around during my formative years.  I'm not sure how I would have handled seeing the desperation and humiliation of so many people. I think it would have hurt my heart to watch a show like this. I have a much harder shell than I used to (I know it is hard to believe...), but I still have a hard time watching person after person come in, talent-free, and embarrass themselves.

The first couple of years I watched "Idol", I liked the audition process because you could spot the really good people.  Then for a couple of years, they only showed the really, truly bad singers and "personalities".  I think they are giving more air time to the good singers now, but I still find the length of the audition process a bit much. I would much rather see them focus on "Hollywood Week" and start us on the path to getting to know some of the better contestants.  I don't need to see the scores of untalented people sobbing and cursing the camera and the judges.

I'm not old in years, but I'm old in spirit in some ways.  I'm out of patience with this process. I just want to hear the final group sing. I love the process of watching the people grow and take feedback and come back week after week. I get attached to the contestants and I am eager to see what they will do next.  I think that part of it is much more nurturing - even with the voting people off...  I guess they wouldn't have as much interest if everything was nice and everyone sang well.

I guess this is why I'm not in television. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bird Page and a LOJ List

First my bird page - in progress. I tried not to think too much, which is often a feat.  I just put it together and we'll see what happens.  I have been drawn to images with flowing lines and arms thrown wide.  Something about freedom or flight perhaps?

A List of Jean - I opened up my listing book and got "List all the ways you beat insomnia".  I actually had insomnia for a long time.  Since I was a kid, it would take about a week of school being out before I would be awake.  What I eventually figured out was that if I didn't engage my brain during the daytime, I couldn't sleep at night.  When I stopped interpreting all day every day, I started having insomnia again.  Some of the ways I have combatted the inability to sleep are:
1.  count sheep (or just count...I usually only make it, maximum of 132. Usually, somewhere in the 20s.  I think it has something to do with quieting the brain and boring it.)
2. Get up and do something else until I feel tired.
3.  Drink some tea or warm milk (ick. Doesn't work)
4.  Listen to soothing music
5. Read a book I really want to read. (This used to backfire and I would read and read and read...the whole book instead of sleeping.)
6.  Put a heating pad in the bed for 30 minutes.
7. Wrap up in all my blankets really tight, like a swaddled baby.
8.  Put on "Armageddon" or "Enemy of the State" (Both these movies knock me out EVERY TIME)
9. Episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Downside - there is no Play All on the DVDs so sometimes, the end of an episode will wake me up
10.  Play Zuma on the computer. That will often put me to sleep eventually.

**I still can't figure out why the text centers after placing a photo.  Blogger tried to add a great feature - now you can manipulate the photos more, but you can't get the text to stop centering. It's really irritating.  Oh well. I guess it really doesn't matter.
Goodnight all.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sensitized, "Shirlock Holmes" and some AJ stuff

I went to the movies today and there was an ad for a horrendous looking movie with Nicolas Cage as a knight involved in the crusades who must take an evil, horrible witch somewhere to destroy her.  There were lots of other trailers but this was the one I remember and as I watched it, I thought, "No. No. Not seeing it. Not even on DVD later."  Even while watching "Shirlock Holmes", I thought, how intense everything is.  The movie was too loud and had some disgusting parts and some parts that were reminiscent of those "magician" movies that came out a couple of years ago. Not my thing at all.

After the movie, I was thinking about a scene where they show RDJ sitting in a restaurant and he is overwhelmed by the sights and sounds presented to him all simultaneously.  I know how that feels sometimes and I suspect that is why I am sensitized to these types of movies/topics.  The noise and the attention to detail render much of this work as too much for me - my imagination is pretty active and the scary details just serve to feed that part of my brain.  I don't really need/want any help there, thank you very much.

"Shirlock Holmes" was a better movie than I expected, but to me, the only real reason to see it is Robert Downey, Jr.  I would watch him read the phone book because he is THAT GOOD.  But I would rather watch him in other stuff - stuff with more humor.  Although an "Ironman 2"  trailer made me question if I want to see it at all.  It has Scarlett Johanson and Mickey Rourke in it - ick.  I'm sure I will see it as it will be one of those blockbusters that everyone sees, but I'm not looking forward to the other cast of characters in this one.

So, for my art journal pages, I have a few new pages.  I rewatched Teesha Moore's video on collages because I felt that there was something happening in my ability to do this spontaneously.  I think it was a good thing and so I did a few pages last night.  None of them are complete, but I think they have regained the quality I was looking for - not so planned, not so themed.  I did realize in doing these, what Teesha meant about the white page journals being more difficult in some ways.

Originally, I thought that the white page journal would be exactly what I wanted to do, but it is turning out to be much more challenging than I would have expected.  I think in the future, I may have one spread per book stay white, but will probably paint the other sets of pages.

Here are some of the newer pages, still in progress:
As I said, these are still works in progress.  For some reason, though, I felt compelled to post them - as if to say, I am still working on it - I haven't stopped.  I'm sure you will see more of these images as time goes on. As I said, I was looking to change how I was doing stuff and I think I accomplished that.  These are very different from what I had been doing and I'm not sure if I'm entirely comfortable with this "new" way, but it was freeing - not finding the "perfect" thing, but finding stuff that was interesting and intriguing.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Eternal Weekend Dilemma

Whenever I have something to do on the weekends, I do it and I always enjoy whatever activity I am doing.  When I don't have anything to do on the weekends, it is that much harder to be motivated to get out of the house.  I think after the week of interacting with people all day long, I just like to stay in the quiet of my own home for a day or two.

Today, I looked through some more of the mags I bought from S.C.R.A.P. (see yesterday's post for the link) and tried some new imagery. I'm not sure I'm happy with it yet, so I'm not ready to post any pictures.  Maybe tomorrow.  I'm trying to be more spontaneous and think less, but I am still falling prey to my harsh inner critic...I'm pushing through, but I'm not ready to share.

One good bit of news is that I am almost done with the initial pages of Journal #1.  It is almost ready to just be written in. That's pretty exciting for me - I never thought I would get this far. I usually peter out on stuff like this, but this time, I'm pretty excited about the whole thing.  A completed project! Yay!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Haiti Help and S.C.R.A.P. as Inspiration

I only watched part of the "Hope for Haiti" telethon tonight, but I loved that the artists were singing some old classic music that will be sold on iTunes to add further funding for help to Haiti. I made my donation and will continue to find places to donate as time goes on. This isn't going away any time soon, so sustained giving is a good thing. If you didn't catch the website they were using last night, it was and the funds go to a number of reputable relief agencies - UNICEF, the Red Cross, OXFAM, WFP, the new Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, YeleHaiti and Stand with Haiti Partners in Health. I like the idea of many organizations under one umbrella because clearly these organizations can cover the gamut of needs and may be aware of issues and/or areas of Haiti that most need assistance. I also appreciated having a PayPal option to pay so I didn't have to give my credit card information to anyone.  Help today if you can.

On a *much* lighter topic, I went to work before the sun came up this morning and as a result, was not feeling very arty, although I have been missing my lovely art journal this week.  I realized that my fearlessness of the first couple of days disappeared and I haven't been willing to "ruin" my journal by making a mistake.  Um. Duh. A journal doesn't have to be perfect, Jean.  You could rip out a page, or cover it or change it if you don't like it... Anyway, on the way home, I stopped at S.C.R.A.P. (thank you, Shannon) and bought some items I hope will push me over the hump.  I've stared this demon in the face before, but I'm not going to be stopped by a little perfectionism rearing its ugly head. I bought some magazines I normally don't buy so that I could find some images and words that don't necessarily appear in Oprah's mag every month, if you know what I mean. :)

For those of you who don't read magazines much (I don't really, either, but I have been getting some for the collage adventures) - they are EXPENSIVE!!  At S.C.R.A.P., I got 20 magazines for $4.  I can't even get a copy of most magazines with good images for less than $4.99 - many of them are substantially more.  If you don't know about  S.C.R.A.P., it is the School and Community Reuse Action Program and they have TONS of stuff that you can use for a variety of different purposes - old notebooks, fabric, paper, post it notes, envelopes, magazines, paint, pens, glass, jars, spools, mat board, etc.  And all for CHEAP - it recycles products and you can get them for less money. Win-Win.

So, hopefully, I will get back on the horse.  I have just been feeling like I don't know how to do it right - but there is a teeny part of my brain that KNOWS there is no RIGHT way or WRONG way. Just do it. I just have to give myself permission to experiment, I think.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bad Night of Television - Spoilers Possible

I watched a bunch of crap on TV tonight that I don't normally watch and I so regret it right now.

I watched the premier of "The Deep End" - a show about a bunch of over-eager first year lawyers who join a law firm of smarmy, jaded lawyers and they all wander around making excuses for their unethical, immoral behavior and sleep with anyone that moves in their general direction.  This show should not be on at 8pm.

Then, I watched "Grey's Anatomy", a show that I have tried to like and even watched the first year it was on.  After that, I kept feeling like "if real hospitals are like this, I can't know about it."  I can't stand Meredith except in her voice-overs.  I want them all to wash their hair and take a shower.  They are all smarmy, unethical, promiscuous people here, too.  Tonight, a couple who had split up then came clean about having an affair on the other one and each of them was outraged by the behavior of the other.  I realized tonight that there is not one character on the entire show that I like. I like the actors - all of them except for the one playing Meredith, but I don't like the characters. None of them seem redeemable to me.

Then, as if that weren't enough, I watched "Private Practice" where all the hypocritical doctors have all slept with each other and treat each other and behave in highly inappropriate, unethical and possibly illegal ways.  Tonight, one doctor's 15 year old daughter turns up pregnant and while trying to scare the kid straight, the mom drags the daughter into the private room of a patient giving birth and forces the daughter to watch a total stranger and PATIENT give birth. Ummm...HIPAA anyone?  Lawsuit anyone?  Then, the psychologist of the group tries to help a grieving husband go home for the first time after his wife died...then dumps on the guy about abandoning her child and bawling in his arms.  Um...boundaries much?  I want to like this show SO MUCH...Taye Diggs, Amy Brenneman, Audra McDonald...  I can't stand any of the characters.  Addison is the most steady and she started out the show by sleeping with everyone in sight.

The lovely end of the evening was the teaser on the news - Tiger in Sex Addiction Treatment...

I give up. I'm going to bed.  Thursday nights are a total wash right now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Balancing My Brain

I have had several people comment that my color is better or that I look more relaxed lately. Part of that is certainly due to days off around the holidays and several 3 day weekends since that time. Honestly, though, I attribute about 90% of this change to my artistic endeavors. Not that my extracurricular activities have to be art-y in nature - not necessarily.
As an interpreter, I am a language person. I see the meaning, the whole, then the details, the visual, the colors. I feel things and intuit them and make decisions based on that information coupled with evidence, when available. When I decreased the amount of time I interpret, I decreased the activity level of my right brain. Now, I do a job that is completely left-brained (in my opinion) and it takes a ton of energy for me to operate in that place.

When I started working with my creative side (whether it be writing, blogging, doing my journal, wrecking my journal, looking at art, making art, etc.), I think my brain started to feel more balanced. It is taking less energy to be in the left-brained world (although some days my desire to go there is decreased) and I feel more like I can disconnect from all of that than I could before.

Anyway, it feels good.

Here are some new pages from my journals:

I'm still not as courageous as I could be when I'm putting things together, but I'm still learning. I haven't given up. That's half the battle most of the time - just keep going and don't give up.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Miep Gies - Honoring Courage

Miep Gies died last week at the age of 100. It is hard to imagine all that she had seen in her life even without including the horrors of World War II and her protection of the Frank family in The Netherlands.

In my deepest heart, I want to know that I would have that kind of courage if faced with a decision to protect people from wrong. I'm not sure I have that much courage.

If you want to read more about Miep Gies and the history of hiding the Frank family, go here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Honoring Dr. King

 I did not honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the best way this year. Many folks are participating in a day of service today in his memory. I did not, but now, looking back, I wish I had done something. I'm not even sure how to go about it.

Next year, I will be more active in my remembrance of him. He lives in my mind as one of the greatest men to ever live in the United States. I know he was only human and engaged in behaviors that I might not feel are appropriate for a man of his standing, but he sacrificed everything - including his life, to seek justice and freedom for oppressed people everywhere. That is certainly worth remembering.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Class, Another Technique

I went to a class called "SoulCollage" and had a great time and some good "me" time. :)

The SoulCollage cards are really different than anything I have experienced before - it is more about the authentic attraction to certain images and how the combination of those images can lead to personal insights. The format is 5"X8" and that is totally new. So far, my experience has been on larger boards, but this is to build a "deck" of cards - almost like Tarot or something, but far more personal. You are creating your own deck of meaning.

I enjoyed it and I am thinking about taking some more workshops from this facilitator. She had very good energy and I liked the process.

Here are the cards I made during class:

And all of them together (they seem like a set, right now)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Want My Videostore!!

Hi. My name is Jean and I'm resistant to change.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I can begin rant #2 in two days.

I think I was about 13 or 14 when my family purchased the first of many VCRs in my life. We had a Betamax as the theory was that the heads had to turn less times around and the tapes didn't have to travel as far, so they would last longer and be less stretched and maintain higher quality. Except that they cost a little more. So, VHS, even though it was a lesser quality product, won out. We had our Beta machine for 10 years without any professional maintenance...I had to replace my VHS machines almost annually.

When the Beta died, it was a sad day. I ended up buying a replacement Beta but also gave in and purchased a VHS machine because they were no longer widely distributing Beta videotapes to record on and it was almost impossible to rent anything on the format. Favorites that I had on Beta were replaced with VHS tapes.

Along came DVD. Then Blue-ray. I don't buy as many movies as I used to. I'm not going to keep replacing them or the technology that I have to use to play them. We have been duped into buying all manner of "new technology" that is always more expensive and less effective. I mean, do I really need to carry 193 days of music around on my iPod? I fell for it and I still listen to the same 10 CDs over and over again...

Netflix. Online borrowing is now in vogue. Blockbuster has long been off the list starting with their predatory late fee policies. Hollywood sold to an out-of-state company but seemed to survive...until now. I read on FB that the Hollywood on Hawthorne is closing and the one near Beaverton Town Square and I believe there is one near me closing, as well.

I want to GO TO THE VIDEO STORE. If I want to watch "West Side Story" or "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" or episodes of "24" or "Kyle XY", I want to go get them today - I don't want to put them on the list to watch in 3 months when they are available.

Visually, I like to walk the shelves and look at the covers of the DVD cases - it makes you think of other movies, gives you an idea of the tone/mood of the movie (most of the time). Looking at a list of movies online is NOT the same.

I remember when Powell's City of Books used to have more of their books with the covers facing out. They used to have tables and you could go in and browse the tables in the front room. When they changed it, I had to readjust my whole Powell's experience and it frustrated me. I still love Powell's - don't get me wrong. I just need the kinesthetic value of touching them, reading the back description, looking at the titles available, there, at that moment.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Marvelling and a Rant

Who knew that there was a thriving business in vintage photos and images online? It's hard to believe that there is this whole niche out there that I knew nothing about until now. I shouldn't be surprised - I should have known. The photo above is one example of an old photo from a collection of old photos to be used in art projects or the like.

Last week in my Saturday class, the instructor had old photos from estate sales and antique stores included in her goodie bags. She said she thought it was a shame the photos would be lost. I feel the same way about photos. As I have said here before, that is one of the things that saddens me most - the loss of a person's history and image and the stories of their lives told in photos. When I got home that night, I decided to check out eBay for vintage photos to see what I could find. Oh, my. I found A LOT. So, I bought a couple of CDs worth. I can't wait to use them in some art journals. The images and faces are so unique and fun.

RANT: 3D Televisions
It is almost absurd that I should have to have a rant about the release of 3D televisions and the world's first 3D channel. When I heard about it, I thought it must be a joke. Why would anyone want to buy ANOTHER electronic device and one that requires you to buy completely separate glasses that you can only wear when you are at home? Why would you want to have things seem as if they were jumping out at you all the time?

I may come back and eat my words (it has happened before...), but I'm just going to go on the record and say that I DO NOT WANT a 3D television. I don't even have cable for heaven's sake. I don't have a flat screen yet, either, because I have a perfectly good television that lived through the transition. When it breaks, I will see what I need to do from there.

Next rant possibly about online movie rental versus actually going somewhere to rent one. I feel like I dropped down into bizarro world and I really, really want to get out sometimes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Elephants are Beautiful

I love the colors in these photos and I love elephants.  I have always loved elephants and giraffes.  No idea why, but there you go.

The show went pretty well tonight - I was feeling a little low energy which made it a  little difficult, in addition the the sheer volume of the show.

The best part of this week is that I have a 3-day weekend and I will get to do some spontaneous art projecting. I love that.  I have some other stuff to do, but it's all good.  Divide the "Legally Blonde" movie...I will need to watch that soon to remember the story...

I can barely keep my eyes open and so far, I have typed two or three very strange sentences. I'd better go before my head hits the keyboard.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Place I'd Love to Visit

A few years ago, Marianne Williamson did a pilgrimage to India and one of the places the group was to visit was the Taj Mahal. Something about India, Indian culture (though I know very little), the people, the history calls to me. I want to read more about India (I just bought a travel/history book on India for sale at Barnes and Noble! Yay!) and go there some day.
Here's to a little dreaming - Taj Mahal in many different angles:


Isn't that an amazing building? It is really an incredible feat of architecture.

Another building I love is Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany (and Schloss Linderhof). I have been there - and a couple of other castles built by "Crazy King Ludwig" (I only know that name from my childhood - I should look that up, too). We traveled around Europe when my father was stationed there and had the good luck to visit some of the most incredible places - some very happy and cool (like castles and museums) and some not so happy - Anne Frank's House, Dachau Concentration Camp. There were odd places that I only vaguely remember - Madurodam, a miniature city in The Netherlands, the smallest apartment in the world in The Netherlands. We visited Our Chalet in Adelboden.

Here are some pictures of those places, too:

Neuschwanstein in Bavaria in the fall

Schloss Linderhof - modeled after The Versailles
Maduradom miniature city in The Netherlands
The Smallest House in the World (the Red one) in Amsterdam
Our Chalet near Bern, Switzerland (Adelboden). International Girl Scout/Girl Guide chalet.  When we went there, they had souvenir pins but they would only sell the same number as there were in your party at the Chalet. Only people who have been there are supposed to wear the lapel pin. I don't know if that is still true, but when I was a kid, I loved that. It seemed so exclusive.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We Interrupt this Blog...

I am rehearsing to interpret "Xanadu" this week and I am frustrated that it is taking me away from some of my more artful ventures. I think the show is an easy target for me to take my frustrations out on...lots going on this week.

The show is CAMPY with a capital CAMPY. The energy was a little low tonight and the music was WAY TOO LOUD. My ears are ringing from the pounding music. I had a smile on my face for most of the show, even when the jokes were really bad. I like a show that can laugh at itself.

So, the blog suffers a bit this week - still posting, but no new art, probably no new, deep thoughts. ;) It's all good. There's plenty of time for that when I'm done.

Next show, "Legally Blonde" in February. But this time, better planned rehearsal schedule.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Detour Today

All this introspection and reminiscing is exhausting, so today, I decided I would just talk about some of the other stuff in my life, the world, etc.

  1. Most recent CD - Susan Boyle's cd (a gift from my mother)
  2. Show I'm working on - "Xanadu"
  3. Show I'm looking forward to working on - "The Lion King"
  4. Most recent movies I've seen - "New Moon" (yesterday). "2012" last weekend. "The Blind Side" a couple of weeks ago. I liked it very much. Bought the book.
  5. TV Show I'm most looking forward to - "American Idol"
  6. Favorite commercial - IKEA Ads with the woman screaming, "Start the car! Start the car!"
  7. Books I'm reading - "Julie and Julia", "Heat Stroke" (Weather Warden series), "Productivity".
  8. Book I'd like to read next - "Tiger's Curse" by local interpreter Colleen Houck
  9. Last book I bought for my Kindle - "The Blind Side" by Michael Ohr
  10. CD that will go into my car as soon as "Xanadu" is done - TBD. Anything else. Really. Anything. (It is a fun show, but 3 weeks of it, non-stop...come on.)
  11. What I should be doing instead of making this list - prepping for the show
  12. Most recent FB profile photo (because it is cute) -   

NOTE: I upgraded the Blogger software and now, whenever I try to insert photos, it makes the paragraphs center themselves. I keep trying to correct it, but it won't do it once the photo is in. I just can't quite get this the way I want it...always close, but no cigar.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Art in the New Year

One of my goals for this year is to inject my life with some art and some fun. To that end, I signed up for several one-day classes at the local community college.  The first class was yesterday. I was a little bummed that a very good workshop for interpreters was yesterday and that I was going to miss it, but I went to my class anyway and boy, am I glad I did.

The class yesterday was called "Channeling Your Creativity in the New Year".  We basically started making a visual journal - I wouldn't call it an art journal in the way of Teesha Moore's site or even the stuff that I have been dabbling in. This was more a way of making your pages more inviting and leading you to thinking about your creative goals for the year. We did some writing exercises and a lot of collage and whatnot.

The instructor brought bags of materials for each participant. There were several extras and the instructor didn't want to take it with her, so I brought a bunch home with me. I think most of it I can share at one of the collage classes I'm taking in February and I can use it for the visual journal.  They seemed to have really different feels for me. It was fun because I tried to do some stuff that was really different than what I normally do. The colors she provided were much more muted than the ones I am attracted to, so I was able to explore a new palette without having to spend a ton of money.

We did a Dream List for 2010 and some action items were added. I think this will be a technique that I will continue to use and refine, so I'm going to continue with this and see where it leads.

Here are some of the pages from the journal we started yesterday:

 These are just a sampling. I have been editing stuff and trying to get the colors right.  Anyway, it was good. I had fun.

Also, went and saw "New Moon" today. Definitely Team Jacob. Definitely. (Really, Team Spike, but no one knows what I'm talking about when I say that... hee hee.)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I posted about my dad's birthday on Facebook, but right after I did, I realized that I had frozen his age and posted it wrong. My dad would have been 70 years old today. Of course, I will have to check that...he had fudged his age to get into the army and it was always a little unclear what year he was born. The information I have says he was born on January 9, 1940, so that would have made him 70 today. Time plays weird tricks sometimes.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Dad!  I miss you still.

This is a picture of my dad the first time he was in Germany in the early 1960s, I believe.
This is my dad the summer before he died, I believe (there's no date on the picture).  I tried to edit out the child with him because I didn't feel comfortable posting their picture, but I couldn't figure out how to edit that without editing my dad's face - hence the white blob on the right side.  I like this photo because my dad is actually smiling in it.  A big happy smile was a rarity for him.

Creative Every Day 2010

I decided that I liked the idea of doing something creative every day - especially when I read about the idea behind the challenge.  As I said a couple of days ago, I don't want to put myself in a position of failure, but creativity is so broad. Sometimes, figuring out how I can get a lunch break is a creative endeavor. Sometimes it is posting here, working on the journals, writing something, solving a problem, organizing something into a pleasing display...the list is endless.

I'm not going to write about creative lunch-taking here on the blog, but I did think I should mention the new badge for Creative Every Day. If you want to learn more, click on the badge and it should take you to the website.

For today, I worked on some new journal pages. I'm standing at the precipice of courage in art...but I haven't given in to it yet. I'm still thinking too much about what I am doing and if it will be what I want.  On the positive side, I am finally able to cut out pictures from magazines more regularly. For some reason, I have a hard time cutting them up...I have that "What if I need this again someday?" feeling and then I hesitate.  I just bought a bunch of magazines that I wouldn't have purchased otherwise and started taking out pages and pictures and words and I am feeling more comfortable with it. I realized, however, that if you read all the same magazines month after month, they all have the same ads. You have to go outside your comfort zone.

These pages are nowhere near done, but I like how they are shaping up.  I haven't decided what else they need - just text or more photos...I like the black and white quality and I don't really have a bunch of black and white photos from magazines, so I have to ponder. I'm trying to find a quote about things not being black and white, but I won't know the quote until I find it.

Here's a peek:

 I liked the images of this woman...there was one more in the magazine I had, but I would have had to cut up Meryl Streep's face to get it and I just wasn't prepared to do that. The teensy quote says, "Inspiration is virtually everywhere."

I will be playing more with these images/pages tomorrow. I am having fun and that's what counts, right?  We'll see what they look like in the end. I'm just trying to keep moving forward on it.


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