November 30, 2011

Delays and Distraction

It's almost 2:30 p.m. and I haven't accomplished much today.  I did work out for an hour and a half, distressed that I still have a muffin top.  Well, more than a muffin top, but I continue to hope that some miracle will occur and I'll get off of the elliptical thinner than when I got on the beast.  I need one of those trick mirrors like the ones in the dressing room at Nordstrom.  The dresses always look great during the trying-on phase, then my picture is taken at an event wearing said dress and somehow the camera added 30 pounds and a puffier muffin.  Ugh.  There are no skivvies tight enough.

I'm distracted by the holidays.  I love the holidays, but it's hard to focus on anything like art and impossible to catch up on housework.  The loss of my studio to my "boomerang" daughter also means the loss of the sacred hiding place for Christmas gifts as they are delivered.  This year, most of the gifts are larger than one can shove under a bed or hide in a shared closet.  As long as we're still fetching the mountains of holiday decorations from the garage, that isn't exactly a safe haven either.  It's good that no one in our family wants their holiday surprise spoiled, so no one is hunting or snooping.  Maybe the best thing is to find time to wrap gifts, a specific paper for each recipient so that I can avoid tell-tale name tags, and "hide" them under a blanketed table in the pseudo-studio, aka the garage.

My distractability has caused more than a pause in being creative.  I'm so glad I turned down the request to paint a cradle (for free, no less).  Now and again when I find myself in the garage, I also find myself sitting at the desk and slopping a little more paint on my art journal.  I had hoped to finish the collage part by last week but, alas, have been constantly distracted and hit snags in the schedule.  My goal today - get in there as soon as the yard dudes are finished blowing dirt all over the front of my house and collage just one page!  I need to make something.

November 18, 2011

Loneliness Stinks

Three and half years have passed since I left a fabulous job at the hospital to be a stay-at-home mom and artist.  In that time, I've done too little.  Worse, I've lost nearly all human contact and, for whatever reason, am really struggling with that issue this week.  The holidays are always fun in our home, though sparsely attended.  Usually the table is set for just my husband and, if I'm lucky, both of my kids are present and accounted for.  We play goofy board games, watch seasonal movies and just have a lot of fun goofing off.  Last year I turned 50 and that meant a MOB at the table, with family flying in from all corners of the country.  What fun!  But my in-laws live hundreds of miles and many states away, and my sister lives across the country and the economic environment has put quite the damper on travel for everyone.  Sigh.

So what do I do?  I feel like I did in high school.  Frequently the new kid (many times as I was a military brat), I would watch clusters of friends that had known each other for years, and I just couldn't seem to wiggle my way into the crowd.  What would it have been like to go to school with the same kids for more than three years?  I'm very outgoing and have a lot of fun talking with people, so it isn't a matter of being shy.  My husband's staff insist that I, "the party," am included in their office lunches so that they spend the hour (plus) goofing and laughing, so it's not that I'm dull.  And contrary to the tone of my blog, my spill-my-guts place, I'm quite the goof in person.  So what is it?!?  I just always feel like the odd girl out.  I have no artsy or craftsy friends locally, as I've fussed about before.  They've got to be out there somewhere.  I'm losing my sanity being alone so much, holding full-fledged conversations with cats.  THAT is the true sign of insanity.

While I've joked about placing an advertisement in the "Want" ads for artsy friends, there's a part of me that is thinking there's got to be a way to do such a thing.  Where do I begin?

Here kitty, kitty, kitty.  I need a chat.

November 13, 2011

Moving Day

The mom and artist tangled today.  On the artist front, it was with mixed emotions that I started moving the contents of my studio from what had been my son's small (8'x10') bedroom when he was younger (he now resides in what had been big sister's room when she was home) to the garage.  On the mom side, my "Boomerang" daughter will be moving back home in December, but she spends so many nights here already that I thought it would be nice to start making the indoor studio more like a special room for her.  We don't know how long she will be with us, though I imagine it will likely be a year or so.  She is struggling with her first semester of graduate school after ending a long relationship, wrapping up a temporary position and applying like mad for a full time position.  Trying to find a job in this economy is a nightmare.  So for now, she'll be back home and I'll enjoy having her company.  We're going to do some serious bridal-tv-watching together.  The boys in the house aren't going to know what hit them.  Bahaha!

The new digs
Trying to make due in the garage is going to be a challenge.  The good news is that I get terrific internet reception on my Mac.  I regret I'll be losing my fabulous wide screen digital tv, but I'm NOT going to pay to have a cable line dropped in the garage for a year.  I can always stream on the internet if I need to hear human voices, or pop a DVD into the computer.  What the heck, I'll just work with the garage door open and chat with neighbors as they pass on their walks.  I may make new friends :-)  It will be a while before they realize they'd better change their route if they want to make good time on their trek.  Ooh, maybe I'll put a coffee pot out there and lure new friends in with the smell of freshly brewed espresso.  I papered the walls with my inspiration images, put up my cork boards and white board, set up my Bernina and connected all things electrical.  I'm good to go.

There are likely to be some distractions outside, such as things like the Goodyear blimp.  I was thinking, "That is the loudest, slowest plane in the universe!" when I stepped outside the garage and saw this visitor passing by...

In any event, not a day goes by that I don't appreciate all that is good in life.  I'm only 12 years younger than my mother was when she passed away and remind myself every day that she dreamed a lot, but didn't DO.  I want to do.  OK, I know that's bad grammar, but it's true.  I had a great day this last week dodging the phone, computer and television and look forward to another day like that tomorrow.  Time to work on a holiday project.  Woohoo!

November 9, 2011

Studio Time Turned Errand Time

I had good intentions.  First, I find NO paper in the house for the printer.  Four people use the paper and printer and not one goober could wave the flag to tell me that they'd taken the last of it, so errand #1 was to get paper.  Then my distractible self saw Cost Plus and I just KNEW there was something I intended to pick up there, but couldn't remember what so I wandered through the store, growing increasingly stressed at the sight of all of the Christmas goodies and the long mental list of things I need to do to get ready for Christmas, so I ran out with empty hands.  Then there was the trip to the grocery store for specific items for a wonderful dinner.  During the grocery trip, my husband called while on a break from stressful board meetings to say that he wants to go out for dinner tonight and reminded me that the daughter for whom I planned this particular dinner has grad school classes tonight.  Duh.  I should have remembered.  Of course it's just as well since the majority of ingredients I needed were either unavailable or inedible.  I ask myself, how can I live in CA and not be able to find a single avocado in the store that I can eat in the next two days?  They're like rocks!  Grrr.  Oh, and I was reminded that yes, there ARE shirts to pick up at the cleaners.  I feel like the maid.

Everyone is on notice.  Tomorrow I will not answer the phone or check in on Facebook.  I am plotting a couple of art projects that are just for the family, so there's no pressure to produce a marketable anything.  I am going to take the great advice I've been offered in the last day and just make something, be creative and have fun.  THEN I'll go to another store and try to find a stupid avocado.

November 8, 2011

Another Brain Freeze

What is wrong with me?  I have the urge to be creative, but sit here with my brain permanently in "park" mode and unable to move ahead.  I started thinking about making holiday gifts, but then I wonder what I could make that someone would actually want to receive.  I think friends and family like my quilts, but it's November (reminder: start making quilts in January!), so that's not a real option.  I look at all the magazines and "how to" books that I've got that cover every medium known to mankind, but the first thing I think is, "What would someone do with this???"

Yesterday I read a blog written by someone that reminded me of myself.  She loves being artsy and craftsy and is drawn to publications about creativity, in awe of the super talents and prolific work of so many others.  Yet, like me, she feared looking too closely or spending too much time exploring others' work for fear that her own ideas and art would be influenced by the work of another artist.  Then there's the part of me that is like a deer in headlights.  I'm surrounded by artistic materials and, more often than not, have the time to be creative but do nothing.  It's depressing.

Today I will at least explore some resources for artistic prompts.  I'm wasting time, wasting opportunity and need a nudge.  OK, I need a really big kick and a shove.

November 7, 2011

A Dream or a Plan?

While I rarely watch bad daytime television, I had the TV on while folding laundry (so much for making art) the other day, unable to find the remote control to change the channel.  I was about to turn it off when I heard Dr. Phil ask someone if they had a dream or a plan, and said that the difference between the two was that a plan has a timeline. A plan means setting dates and deadlines and then checking in to see if progress is being made.  I'm grateful for my most artsy friend Debbie, whom I can fuss about the frustration and who always has kind and positive words to get me back on track.

What can I do to turn my dreams into a plan?  I guess it's time to work on that timeline, or at least on establishing the next single step in that timeline in the hope of creating a real artsy life and (hopefully) business.  Deadlines and I have never gotten along in the sandbox, but it's time to try.  If at first we don't succeed, it's a bad idea to keep doing the same thing over and over again that failed!

November 2, 2011

Published! Sort of....

Last year (or was it the year before?) a friend sent me a link with a video featuring the sketchbook project by the Art House Co-op in Brooklyn.  While visiting their site, I discovered an upcoming project, a project about which I agonized (because that's what I do best) with respect to participating.  I butched up, signed up and participated.  Now after a long, long, LOOONGGG wait, the book for the project has arrived.

Every participant was given three words for which they were to produce a visual definition.  The words were submitted by the general public, and were selected randomly.  One of the three canvases of each participant was to be reproduced in a booklet containing these digital images.  They chose my canvas illustrating the word "atmosphere."  I think there's a picture in the way-back-pages of my blog.  Anyway, the book arrived today and I'm so excited.  It's silly given that all I had to do was participate to be published, but I don't care!  It's a book and it has my name in it, so I'm have a celebratory glass of chardonnay.  Like I needed an excuse ;-)