Sunday, July 31, 2011

Goodbye, July

It is hard to believe that July is over today. All we have is the rest of the day and then we are on to August.  Time goes by so fast sometimes, it amazes me.

This week is "Les Miserables", so I will be rehearsing and seeing the show and then interpreting on Thursday. I'm excited for the new production and nervous at the same time. I always ALWAYS love the show, but they keep cutting little bits away and I miss those little bits when they go. I'm also nervous about the new set and costumes and everything. I remember people saying, "The show is so GREY." I always thought they were crazy. Eventually, I realized that if you only see it one time and you haven't listened to the music since 1985, the show might seem grey.  For me, all the color and soul and beauty is in the words, in the voices, in the stories of redemption, friendship, love, sacrifice. I don't need the chandelier from "Phantom" or the color and movement of an action movie. There is something so rich about this particular story for me and I guess since it is part of me, I've been listening to the music my whole adult life, that makes a difference.  Anyway, I am anxious to see what the revival brings.

A new Nablopomo starts tomorrow, as well. I've forgotten the topic of the month, but I never really follow those themes anyway.  More on that later.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Managing Expectations

Most of the time, I know enough about human nature that I can sort of manage my own expectations.  Really, the problem is not how other people react, it is when they don't react the way I was expecting them to that is ultimately the problem.  I had plans with friends that just turned out to be a lot harder and a lot more frustrating for me than I would have expected. After I let go of my attachment to the outcome, it became easier. It didn't become EASY, just easier.

I also worked most of the day, so maybe it would be best not to combine the two - day at work and a "project" type outing with friends. Sometimes, after work, you just need a bit of normal.

It all ended well and I hope everyone had a good time. I just exhausted myself with worrying about it all and trying too hard.

Friday, July 29, 2011

KITB: What Could You Start Today?

From Kick in the Blog:  What are you putting off that you could start today?

Wow - this is a loaded question for me...there are so many things, from the ridiculous to the sublime...and at the same time, I have been doing more of the things I tend to put off than I used to do.

I think the biggest thing is finishing my degree. If I had started taking a class a term back when I first thought of it, I would have a doctorate by now.  So, I need to buckle down and just do it. I have to find out what credits will still count, how many credits I actually need and in which areas and then figure out how to proceed. I have this dangling over my head and I just want to get my bachelors degree so that I can be done with it.

Other than that, I think the other important thing I have put off is continuing to write down Roby stories. I started them and have a few thousand words of it, but I stopped abruptly last year when I got really busy and I haven't picked it back up again.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Little Fail, but I'm All Right

Okay, so I have fallen down on the "30 Days of Get Your Art On". I was worried about it when I knew I had a show next week. It is hard to fit art (physical art) in when I work, go to rehearsal and get home at 9:30pm, cook and eat dinner...something had to give.  I've been ready to beat myself up over it for a couple of days, but then I realized that is silly. I'm just doing it for me. It feels good to commit to something, but it is also good to take care of myself and my schedule. Sleep is a good thing and that has been the option for the past few days.

The other part of this that makes it easier is that the missed days are all in the name of art. It is certainly a different kind - being involved in theatre feels like making art sometimes or being near art or party to art. :)  Especially "Les Miserables".  It always uplifts me. I can't wait to see it again next week.

So, a fail in some ways, but a WIN in others. Not beating myself up about stuff does not come easily to me, so I'm happy that I have felt like I could give myself a break. I'm hoping to do some art journal stuff over the weekend, so I know I will be able to finish up the 30 days, even if I did miss a few days.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

KITB: What Do You Love To Do?

Prompt from Kick in the Blog:
"What Do You Love to Do?"

At the last blog conference I attended the delightful Patti Digh challenged us to change things up when we're out and about. "Instead of asking people what they do, ask them what they love to do."
So, I'm asking you.
My response:
I don't think that any of my answers will be a surprise to anyone who spends any time here, but I think it is a good exercise to think about all the goodness we have in our lives - even when we aren't necessarily DOING those things actively.
I love going to see musical theatre. I love listening to music and particularly musical theatre. I love doing my art journal and I love playing Pictionary. I love going to the beach and I love the water. I love going to the movies. I love reading. I love snuggling down in a warm bed to read an old favorite. I love laughing with my friends. I love when we all get together and tell the same old stories we have told a million times and laugh until our sides and cheeks ache. I love interpreting. I love interpreting shows - but mostly the part where we get to play around with language and meaning and try to figure out how to make it all come together. I love blogging and I love the people I have met and the things I am loving doing BECAUSE of blogging.
I think I could go on for a long time about things I love - I'm basically pretty happy. I love having FUN.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Love Mr. Hummel on "Glee"

I was watching Season 2's DVD extras "Glee Jukebox" over the weekend and realized that I LOVE Kurt's Dad, Mr. Hummel (I can't remember his first name as I didn't watch the episodes, just the jukebox).  I have my favorites on the Season 1 DVD set - particularly Kristin Chenoweth singing "One Less Bell to Answer/A House is Not a Home"

but my favorite episodes are with Kurt and his Dad. When I was watching the jukebox this weekend, I especially enjoyed his wedding and the song the kids sang at the reception.

I love that this father is so tender with his son and so loving. I love that he is confused by a son that doesn't fit into any of the molds he thought a boy/man would fit and he struggles to understand but he never stops loving his son. When I see the characters interact, I always wish that Roby could have had a father like that. He didn't. I just think it is so beautiful that finally a show has captured a parent who loves unconditionally even through their own misconceptions and confusion. I cry every time I see their scenes.

When people ask me why I watch "Glee", I usually talk about the music, about the talent of Lea Michele, about having the arts in schools, but one of the main reasons I watch "Glee" is for Kurt and his father. And Chris Colfer. Of course.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today is Day 25 of 30 Days of Get Your Art On

I did some art today but it isn't really anything ready to photograph. I was jumping around some blogs yesterday and saw someone doing a calendar project for their art journal, which I thought was cool. I decided that it might be fun to do something for the other journal that I made - the one that is smaller.  I thought it might be fun to have a unifying piece on each page like the bee that I have been adding. I went to "Tumble Fish Studio" and "" and found some cool stuff. Basically, I found an element I liked and pasted down the 10 or 12 I printed onto pages. I haven't finished the pages, so I'm going to wait to post the photos until I have completed each page if I decide to post any. I want to use make a journal that really is more focused on the writing portion of it and to do that, I may or may not post some of the pages.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Catch Up Sunday - Days 22 - 24 of 30 Days of GYAO

I love, love, love the "30 Days of Get Your Art On" Challenge.  It helps me to think about art every day and helps me to stay committed to doing it. I just do it for myself. Sometimes I think that my gluing down colors and images isn't really art, but it IS creative and it does express something. I want more - I want to do more, learn more, but I also know that sometimes things happen in time.  I'm just happy to be doing it. It keeps a weight off my shoulders - doesn't take it all away, but it is very Zen-like - you have to be in the moment when you are trying to put something together visually. I need that.

On Friday (Day 22), I chose images I wanted to use as focal images for the last two pages of my J.O.Y. Journal #2.  I have completed the journal's collage portion, which was exciting.  Now I have to get to the pen work.  I did some on Friday - some added embellishments to a couple of pages and pouring over images and backgrounds for the last two pages.  Here are the pages with some embellishment.
Also, I added some glitter to the front cover of the first J.O.Y. journal, but I didn't take a photo. I feel like I have posted a million photos of that cover, so I decided to leave well enough alone. :)

Some of the embellishments were fairly minor, so you may not even see the difference unless you are REALLY looking for it.

 On Saturday (Day 23), I went out with a friend, collected my fused glass (pictures to come), we took some photos together at Cathedral park (mine sucked), ate at my favorite Thai restaurant and drove out to Lacamas Lake (not sure if I'm spelling it right). It was beautiful out and I got a little bit of sun on my arm that is sore today.
I did one art journal page when I came home:

Today, I thought about doing some "spring cleaning", but I didn't. I listened to some good music, did some art, enjoyed some of the sunshine, surfed the net for a while. Nothing exciting, but very nice in terms of weekend.  Today is Day 24 of  "30 Days of Get Your Art On".  Here's my page for today. I'm sort of fond of it.

All in all, a good weekend for art, sunshine, relaxing. I wasn't super-productive in other ways, but that's okay.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Good Day, Out of Time

I have a bunch of stuff I will be posting tomorrow - I went out with a friend today and did all kinds of stuff, got a little too much sun, picked up my glass that I made. I worked on some art journal stuff, but no light for photos. I will post all tomorrow. :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kicked in the Blog - A New Blog Destination

A Facebook friend posted about a new blog called "Kick in the Blog" which is providing different prompts to encourage/help blog writers when they are feeling the stress/pressure/blankness of writer's block or whatever people suffer from when they feel they can't write.  This is just what I have been talking about in terms of wanting to write something different and maybe more meaningful (at least to me). I need something between "List the 5 celebrities you want to sleep with" and "Write a letter to your Self in 10 years. Describe the goals you have achieved.".   I think I'm going to try it. It's inaugural post ran yesterday and I decided to participate.

The inaugural prompt was:  Who believes in you today? Who believed in you in the past?

Who Believes in You today?
When I first read this post, I was worried I would have a hard time figuring this one out. After a little thought, though, I had a couple of realizations.  People believe in us for many different reasons - to be a member of a family, a work place, a community, a friend, a peer.  Sometimes, I feel lonely and I miss the days when I was surrounded by my friends. We can't keep that up our whole life - we have the years when we are surrounded by friends - years when we are young and still learning who we are and what roles we are expected to play, what roles we want to play and how we want to move through the world.  As we get older and more confident, our circles sometimes get a little smaller, or they seem to. We don't see all those people every day or every week, but it doesn't mean they aren't still out there, believing in us. We are growing and still learning, but don't need the reinforcement in the same way we once did.

I realized that I have an army of believers who stand with and behind me. Some of them are faces in my world on a regular basis. Some of them are occasional visitors who are no less present for their lack of physical proximity. My family, my friends, my chosen family, my co-workers, my peers, my boss, my company, my blogging community and fellow art journaling sojourners - I'm sure the list is longer than I can even imagine.

The reason I can even write this, however, is due to all the people who have believed in me in the past. Their support, their love, their trust and belief led me to the place where I can say that I believe in myself. Isn't that the ultimate goal? 

Who Believed in You in the Past?
Instead of rehashing all the people who have contributed goodness to my life here, I direct you to my December 2008 Nablopomo posts where I did a month of THANKS-giving to the people who have so positively influenced me and my world. I know that there are many, many more people I should name and thank - these were the big ones and the ones I felt I could write about on the internet. I am grateful for the love and support of all - not just the people I listed in some blog posts.  It was 3 years ago, after all. I know I have added a few people since then, so please don't be offended if you are specifically mentioned. is the brainchild of Jessica Rosenberg ~ It's my life...
Come back often for new prompts to kick you out of your blogging rut!

P.S. I'm working on some art now - will post tomorrow.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 21 of 30 Days of Get Your Art On and Overload

I always write my post titles in the wrong order. I guess it doesn't really matter, but in my head, you should write about the first think in the post title first. It doesn't matter, but I do it on a regular basis.

So, overload.  I feel like everything is out of control and CRAZY.  Drivers and people who don't take responsibility for their kids, the crazy political kabuki theatre antics, the outlandish way issues and situations are portrayed by the news media.  This week, all that "stuff" is just like a burr under my saddle. I know it will be okay - I will work my way out of it soon, but for now, it is a little bit exhausting.
In an effort to combat the sensory overload, I did work in my art journal a bit. Again, I struggled a bit with the color matches, but I'm pretty happy with the end result.  I only have two pages left in J.O.Y. journal #2. Pretty exciting. :)

I just love the colors on the focal images. Makes me very happy to see ANYTHING neon. :)

And, tomorrow is FRIDAY!  That's always good news.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 18 and 20 of Get Your Art On

I am unpaused today and realized I had another journal page I had not posted yet from Day 18.

 I love the model's dramatic eyes in this photo. I'm not sure I picked the best background pieces, but some of them I really like. I think this page will benefit a lot from some pen work.

I am absolutely IN LOVE with the color of this dress. I love fluorescent colors. This photo just jumped off the magazine page at me. I didn't want to put super dramatic background colors on it because I didn't want to detract from the brilliance of the dress color.

I have decided that I will finish this J.O.Y. journal and the 30 Days of Get Your Art On and then focus on pen work and starting to integrate more journal writing. I decided I will just use the prompts from one of the classes I took. I'm going to go in order and just let it take me where ever I'm going to go. Writing in the journals is a lot like writing the blog - I just need to develop the habit and DO IT. Kind of exciting to realize that and decide to go for it. I don't know why I shy away from it, so I'm going to try to conquer my hesitation/fear of writing things down. I used to write my whole life down, so I'm hoping that this will be an easy transition.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pause for A Break

Well, I didn't really pause for a break so much as I paused for rehearsal. I am getting ready to interpret "Les Miserables" in the beginning of August.  I didn't get home until after 9:00pm tonight and then I had dinner and watched Masterchef. I thought about doing some art but I just couldn't bring myself to get everything set up, then do the art, then break it all down again.

I am skipping a day and I will not feel bad about it. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 17 of 30 Days to Get Your Art On and A Blogger Rant

Here is the art journal page I worked on yesterday. I really have been enjoying the work.  There is definitely something zen about it - ripping paper, gluing, arranging, etc. I do think that I want to also be posting OTHER stuff - that's where I'm heading. Somewhere between the Ralph Waldo Emerson posts (FAIL) and All Art Journal - All the Time. :)

You may recognize this photo from yesterday's post. It slipped in. I was hoping to post what I had done THAT day, but I have fallen into posting what I did hte day before. Sometimes, I get overly enthusiastic. :) Sorry about that. 

RANT about Blogger's new interface:  Just because you CAN make it different, doesn't mean you should! For heaven's sake. This isn't any faster or easier or better. Now I can't find stuff, I can't figure out how to manoever around. Many of the features show up on a white page with white text and a little orange box around it. I'm sure I have the old IE or something. I like things that stay the same. The world is constant chaos. I would like for something to stay the SAME. 

What is the drive that causes people to want to radically change something or discontinue a whole service because you MIGHT be able to connect 2 nanoseconds faster or you MIGHT be able to run a video and talk on the phone at the same time?  Who the heck knows what the impetus was behind the change in Blogger. I'm sure it had something to do with the Google/Blogger merge. But at least Google is easier to use.  I finally found a groove and was really able to manage the old interface. Now, I just feel frustrated. :( Bad Blogger. Bad.

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

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 16 of 30 Days of Get Your Art On

Well, yesterday was a big day for me.  I went to Art Media and purchased some art supplies. It was sort of impromptu - I had to go to the bank which is conveniently located in the same strip mall.  I used some of the money I deposited as a special treat for myself. I got some metallic water colors, some sponges, a couple of pencils and pens. It wasn't too extravagant, but I enjoyed my little "Artist's Date".  I'm close to being done with my second J.O.Y. journal collages and I want to do something a little more involved in the next journal - whatever the type.  I still need to do some pen work in both the J.O.Y. journals, but I'm going to finish the collages and then do more.
I also received some fun supplies from friends and family for my birthday that I can use in the art journals. All in all a nice day and weekend.

Here is the page I completed yesterday. I did some pen work on other pages, but not enough to warrant posting photos of them. Perhaps when I finish, I will do side by side comparisons. Who knows?  I'm also looking at some of the prompts that come with the classes. I might use some of them to write in the journals and I might even use some of them here. Exploring my options. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 15 of 30 Days of Get Your Art On

Here are the things I worked on yesterday. I had the day off, so I got to play for a good part of the day. I'm pretty happy with these pages. It's funny how that happens sometimes - things just fall together and feel right.

I just love the gloves she is wearing in this photo. I'm trying to use some colors or patterns that I wouldn't normally use, so this spread was fun to do.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Days 13 and 14 of 30 Days of Get Your Art On

I know I have not been great about getting my pictures posted daily recently. With the show and long work days, I have a hard time getting good photos sometimes at night, so I have to put it off.

Crappy photo, I know.  This is the inside cover of the new journal. I decided that I was going to put whatever I wanted on this page and the next (in terms of celebs, pics I have used before, etc.). I think this journal started out as something I wanted to do differently.  

This is the next page in the first spread of the new JOY 3 Journal. :)

this page is a little too much for me. I started with the black and white designs on the left side and had a hard time after that, so I just decided to experiment.

Cool Oprah quote. :)

This is the spine of my new book. I made it from the J.O.Y. art journal workshop techniques. If you want to know more, go here.  

I will say that as I was playing around yesterday, I felt like I'm not doing the ART part which is why I used "art-y-ness" because gluing photos down isn't exactly the height of being artistic. I think I'm sort of afraid of the art part. That's the "different" purpose of the new journal - I want to try some different stuff and not be worried about messing it up. :)  We'll see. Maybe I'm just a gluer. I'd be okay with that. I enjoy it. That's what it's supposed to be about.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Birthday Extravaganza, "Harry Potter" and Art-y-ness

Today is my birthday. I usually don't work - since I was a summer kid, I never had to celebrate my birthday at school and I have just sort of carried it over to my work life. I get a "personal holiday" each year and I mostly use it for my birthday. This year, I had to work due to some needs. I was a little annoyed, but I decided that I could either be annoyed and let it ruin my day or I could just enjoy it. People are lovely on your birthday - everyone stops by to wish you a happy birthday. Yesterday, a friend brought homemade cupcakes - decorated and everything! for everyone to enjoy. It kind of made me rethink the whole "take your birthday off every year" decision. Maybe taking a three day weekend the weekend after my birthday is the best thing. That's what I'm doing - tomorrow, I'm off!

On the birthday theme, I have been on the fence about going to see the last "Harry Potter"movie tonight for my birthday. For one thing, I know I will get a little tired. Sad, huh? I'm usually up until 12:30am or so, but I'm not usually in a darkened theatre. But I know this movie will be filled with battle and excitement. I have seen every movie since #3 at the opening show, so it feels appropos.

As for art-y-ness, I did work on my new journal, journaled in my first J.O.Y. journal and took some pics for days 13 and 14. I haven't doctored them up yet because I have to leave for the movie. I know I'm kind of taking a chance going so late, but I'm not willing to camp out to see a movie. I'm sure I will get a seat. :)  I'm going to a more rural location to see the movie because I know that it isn't as popular as some of the local theatres.  So, tomorrow, pics of my art journaling for Days 13 and 14. Really. I will post them.

So, all in all, a very good day. Thanks to all of you who helped to make it so. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

HP Fail :(

Well, not only did I not manage to read the last "Harry Potter" book before the movie is released, I barely made it through the first chapter. Disappointing, I must say. I thought maybe I would spend part of the day tomorrow reading it but it turns out that I didn't get my requested time off for a variety of reasons.  Ah, well. It is sort of par for the course in my reading right now.

I did work on my new little journal today. I'm kind of loving how it turned out so far.  I worked on the inside front cover some more and I taped all the signatures into the cover. I didn't take any photos because, again, I didn't do the work until late in the evening, so it is too dark and the lighting is poor for photos. I will post tomorrow.

I have a lot of stuff percolating in my head, so I'm kind of itching to do some work in one of the collaged journals - just haven't made the time this week. Sometimes, I can't decide if I do that to allow the percolation or if I do it to avoid writing stuff down. Maybe a combination of both.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Craptastic Day and Zen in Art

For reasons I won't go into here, I had a kind of craptastic and long day.  I decided that I needed a different journal - the J.O.Y. 2 journal is bigger than I am used to and it has been challenging and interesting to fill it. I still have pages left for collage and TONS of pages left to write in and to do pen work in.  I made a 1/2 size journal from 9X12 watercolor paper, so this one is 4.5X6.  Should be interesting. I also decided it needed a firmer cover like I did for my first J.O.Y. journal, so I used an old Barilla pasta box for the cover. I haven't put it all together yet, but I made a good start.

Sometimes, even when I don't love the product, I love the process. Looking for images, thinking about colors and images and textures, putting them together - very ZEN for me right now. I need that.

First photo is the completed collage from the page I did on Day 10. I finished it last night but I don't love it. I just couldn't feel what was supposed to happen with the page, so I forged ahead. I think writing and pen work will save the page at some point. I have more I can do, but I had to leave well enough alone for now.

The next two photos are the beginnings of the new journal. The first photo is the front cover and the second is the incomplete inside cover. There is a little window in the cover which I'm excited about. Something fun will have to peek out of that little window. We'll see what happens.

Tomorrow will be a better day. I just let myself get upset about stuff that I shouldn't have today. I have to remember to breathe.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Day Late...

I finished a page tonight and did some doodling on another, but I didn't take any photos yet. This time of night, it is really hard to get good lighting so that the colors show up right and the tint isn't that weird orange.  I have decided that I will post Day 11 tomorrow. As long as I DO the art every day, I'm okay with posting a little late.

I didn't sleep well last night - it didn't cool down enough until right about the time I was supposed to wake up. So, instead, I hit snooze and went back to bed for an hour. I'm still tired, so I'm off to bed.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday and Days 9 & 10

I went to sleep pretty early last night so I woke up feeling pretty refreshed and ready to do some art.  I went to the movies and finished my page from yesterday and started a new one for today. I didn't finish - I just wasn't feeling it, so I decided to take a break.

I started to re-read "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" and see if I can finish by Thursday night. I'm not sure if I will be able to, but I'm going to try. :)

The first focal image in my page reminded me of Madonna from her first album. I had fun putting that one together. The second one was more of a struggle - trying to find something that felt right. It's weird how you get a sense - nothing concrete- but you know what things should go on a page and what things shouldn't. I don't always get it right, but I find it fascinating how it all usually comes together.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Day 8 of 30 Days of Get Your Art On

I found some pink wrapping paper and tissue paper from my birthday last year so I didn't have to enlist any commercially made paper like I thought I might.  I had a bunch of stuff to do tonight, so I only worked for about 35 minutes, but I like the results.  I think I'm done with monochromatic pages for the time being. I like themes, but I also like to be able to finish a page in a sitting (at least the collage part).

Anyway, here is my Day 8 piece:

Here is the spread that I put together. I didn't intend on having them be so similar in layout (which I just noticed). That's okay, I suppose. I wasn't paying attention and I really struggled with the pink page. Also, I have to add my little bee into the pink page. I will do it tomorrow.

Thank goodness it is Friday!

Friday, July 8, 2011


I do not like this new interface. I don't know if I can get out of it though. I can't find much and I don't know how to work it all. :(


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