Monday, March 02, 2009

A Never-Posted Post from a Few Weeks Ago

Things here have been very…umm…up in the air. We have been waiting…baited breath and all…for the next step in our lives to arrive. We’ve been hoping and planning and working and waiting and anticipating for a couple of years now. We thought that the time had arrived. December was a tough month…and the first two weeks of January weren't so hot either. We’re coping…barely. I feel like that’s the best we can do right now…it’s all we can do to be honest. I think we’re both just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other…repeat...let’s just get through this day…repeat…let’s try to get at least a little bit of sleep tonight…repeat.

What’s making it even harder is that we don’t know where to go from here. This has shaken us…deeply. And as we attempt to piece things back together, to grieve and to accept and to move on, we are left to wonder which direction to turn.

Needless to say, I haven't felt much like creating. I haven't felt inspired. I haven't felt like doing much of anything at all. Depression rears its ugly head. We're old friends, but I refuse to let it in this time. I'm trying to keep busy...mundane things, organizing, working, laundry, baking. I need to nest. I need to rediscover the things I love, the things that make me happiest.

Send me warm thoughts for these chilly times. I'll bounce back soon enough.

Brutal Honesty

It has not been a good day. I’m irritable and restless and generally irked. I want more….something more…anything more. And yet I realize the folly in wanting something…anything…different. It can be summed up in the old “the grass is always greener” adage.

I try to picture myself as a stranger driving down the streets of downtown small town Wisconsin…seeing the quaint houses, the small businesses, the drawbridges over the river…I try to imagine myself pulling up to my house for the first time. It has tremendous curb appeal and it’s fabulously quirky inside. I try to remind myself to focus on all I have and not to get restless…not to close my eyes and wish myself elsewhere.

We’ve had such a sunny winter…unusually sunny, I think. And yet, I’m so restless, so aimless and drifting. The icy landscape isn’t helping.

Here’s to writing a gratitude list tonight and to a better day tomorrow.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Artist’s Life

Years ago when I was working as an editor/writer, I dreamt of spending my days making things. I’d already served a brief stint with dried flower crafts, explored the world of polymer clay, learned the fine art of tole painting (remember tole painting??), and spent years with various paper crafts. I had recently discovered stained glass and my obsession was growing. I LOVED MAKING THINGS. And that is how I really wanted to spend my days.

And so it began, my life as an artist. My co-workers and I sold the magazine we had started, and I began working full-time at a local stained glass shop. Under the owner’s generous tutelage, I spent the next year learning as much as I could and growing my glass collection at home.

During the next few years, I spent practically every weekend at an art show or street market selling my glass wares and eeking out a living. Once I moved into the organized goodness that is wholesale marketing, my days became a bit more routine and the weekends became mine again.

Working as an artist is a dream come true. And I would not change a thing. I work independently and the amount of money I earn is proportional to the amount of work I put in. Plus, I spend my days working alone in the haven that is my studio. My personality is well suited to this arrangment. I thrive in it.

But the reality of working as a self-representing artist is that 80% of my time is spent running the business (paperwork, taxes, marketing, ordering supplies, budgeting, product shots, etc.) and 20% is spent in the act of creating. I spent years trying to shift this ratio. But it is what it is. As soon as I spend too much time in my studio, my business suffers. And the hours upon hours of playing paperwork catch-up is never worth it.

I love working as an artist. I love the freedom and independence. I love the kind emails I receive from customers. I love working with shop and gallery owners. I love being home all day with my dogs. And I have truly enjoyed the quirky personalities with whom my occupation allows me to interact. I even love going to the occassional art show.

My desire to spend each day making things is as strong as ever. And the itch to explore new mediums is alive and well. Yep, life is good.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Today's Tune

Lovin' the dance tunes. Here's today's tune...just try to hold still while this is playing!

"P.Y.T." by Michael Jackson

Dance on!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blizzard Bliss

It's been snowing all day. ALL DAY. It's peaceful and clean and beautiful and quiet. I love the snow. And I was so ready for it today. This week has been a little on the warm side, which left us with low, dirty snowbanks and muddy grass.

In celebration of the yummy crisp white landscape we awoke to this morning, I spent the morning making bread and cooking a BIG lunch. Lunch consisted of my take on chicken tetrazzini...complete with shredded rotisserie chicken, mushrooms, onions and broccoli and baked to perfection. It was delicious. Smile.

The bread was for dinner and was my first attempt at following the French boule recipe from my new favorite book. It turned out perfect and it was SO EASY and SO FAST!

Yum! Fortunately, I have enough dough for three more loaves calling to me from the bottom shelf of my refrigerator. I'm super excited to continue making our own bread, and I can't wait to try the other recipes in the book.

After that big lunch, a simple supper hit the spot. It consisted of fresh bread slathered with butter and a warm drink.

Is there anything better? Nope. Not today. Good food + cozy handmade blankets + comfy couch + finally accomplishing some weighty tasks = perfection.

Tomorrow is sewing day. I hope to finish some simple purses for the shop. I'm super excited to work on them. I'm using some scrumptious fabrics from Anna Maria and Amy. SO PRETTY! It will be hard to part with them, but I hope that they'll find a home with someone who will love them as much as I do.

I also want to finish the fabric portfolio and lunch bag I promised Rit for Christmas. Yes, I am two months late. December was busy and I was sick. Luckily, Rit is patient. I'm trying.

I hope your weekend is as relaxing and peaceful as mine.


The Soundtrack of My Life

Has anyone else ever had the sensation that the music they are listening to could very well be the soundtrack to the movie of their life? Is it just me? Those who know me well know that I always have something playing in the background...something going on to keep my mind occupied while my hands are busy. So, I've decided to share the love and post songs that become the soundtracks of my days.

Today's song: "Written in Chalk" by Buddy Miller.

He's phenomenal in concert. Enjoy.