Goodbye September

It's the end of September already???  WHAT?  I feel like it just WHIZZED RIGHT BY.  My mom warned me about this....that time flies by faster as you get older.  DANG.

On today's plate:  get some good booth shots, so I can attempt to enter some art shows in 2017!  A sweet, sweet friend is stopping by who knows a thing or two about photography....she's taking the pics for me.  I just need to set up my tent, and display my artwork on the front lawn before she gets here.  What's comical is there is a garage sale going on two houses down....I hope they don't get confused. HA!

Here is a journal spread I did earlier this week.  It didn't occur to me until today, that water and barriers have been on everyone's mind...and maybe that's what I was working out here. Good news....flooding in CR has been much, much less than anticipated.  We'll take it.  Happy Friday, friends.

Kind People Rock!

And here are my morning ramblings for today.....and I do mean ramblings. This "retirement" thing is funny.....and weird.....and I'm still finding my way, figuring out what the hell I'm doing.  On today's morning walk, with the pups, my thoughts drifted to how blessed and lucky I am.  I didn't come from a life of privilege, and I've worked my BUTT off most of my life, just to survive, and take care of my children.  I've overcome obstacles....several of them....over the years.  And my business managed to survive and then thrive in spite of them.  I really got used to the hectic, manic pace that was my life.  And now I get to sit back a bit.....and figure out what's next.

I'm delivering this painting to a customer today, Yay!

This is thanks to the GOOD, kind people in my life.  I'm blessed to have a good support system....friends who encourage and support me, neighbors to drink and laugh with, a husband who just keeps letting me be me.  It makes me want to be good person too.

Goodness encourages more goodness.  Kindness breeds more kindness.  Light and love will blur out the darkness and hate.  We have GOT to keep standing up for kindness and goodness.  What's next, who knows?  One foot in front of the other with an open heart will get me there, and I do believe this for sure.

More in the journal

What is it about the journal that is so freeing???  It's crazy, how "in the moment" and almost "zen-like" it is to layer and paint in the journal.  Perhaps it's the thought that it's just a page.  If I don't like harm done, just turn the page and move on.  So much less intimidating than a canvas you've spent good money on, right?

Here is another spread I worked on a couple days ago.  I've been trying to challenge myself by both limiting my palette, and covering up things that I love, in an effort to push past the attachment that holds me back.

In other news, our community has dodged a bullet, of sorts.  The Cedar didn't crest as high as predicted, and where it has flooded, the emergency temp walls are holding so far.  Heck yes!!!  Everyone is ready to get on with life around here.

Happy Hump Day, friends.

Moving my Hands in the Journal, waiting on the Cedar

Good morning friends!  Thought I would pop in, say "HEY" and share a couple pages in my journal from yesterday....which was an angsty day.  Our lovely city of Cedar Rapids is facing down another big flood.  2nd highest in the history of their keeping records....we are expecting the crest tonight, or early tomorrow morning. The good news is, we are much more prepared than the last time....2008, which was the worst on record, EVER.  So yeah, we are a little twitchy....but we're gonna make it.  Besides that, just the "climate" of this country is making me twitchy as well...and hopeless.  In which case all I can do is MOVE MY HANDS.  Add beauty and sweetness to the ugliness.  And wait.

P.S.  Our home is safe, thanks to those of you who have reached out.  The Patricks are a few of the lucky ones.  XOXO


So back in May.....I did these wings.  Did I tell you that?  May was my last month of running my store front in uptown Marion....I was winding things down...but my sweet friends Gae and Deane at The Chocolate Shop wanted me to leave behind a happy mark.  So we concocted the idea of butterfly wings that folks could pose in front of and have their picture taken. 

 Sweet, sweet Deane....he allowed me to sketch them on some large pieces of plywood, and he cut them out, sanded and primed them so I could do my thing.  On a joyous Sunday, rocking out to some awesome music, I banged out the colorful markings that would become this happy little landmark in Marion.

When I let Gae see them for the first time, she cried.  Which made me cry.  Which made us giggle, and realize that this was going to be a really, really good thing.  For all of us.  Gae has even started a Facebook if you are local, stop by, take a pic, and share it HERE.

"If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies."  -Anonymous

Find Your People

Greetings, earthlings!  I've been meaning to share a few words and photos about a little adventure I went on last weekend.  I drove to the fabulous Shelly Massey's art barn in Springboro, Ohio for some flower painting, and bonding with some amazing women!  Oh much goodness much kindness and openness and sweetness!  Shelly's art barn was such a warm, welcoming space, and the little town of Springboro itself was adorable! Speaking of adorable, Shelly's daughter Harper became my fast friend.  We hung out, she doodled in my journal, and we tattoo'd each other with paint pens!  These women, though....they are my peeps.  My peeps, I say!!!  

The definition of the word "retreat" is "to withdraw, the act of moving back."  And that's why retreats are so good for pull away from every day life for a while, and immerse ourselves in something new that challenges us or brings our senses to life again.

The girls and I: Shelly, me, Jessica, Jenny, Sarah and Mary

As a fellow creative, you are probably fully aware, we are a different animal.  Many people do not think or feel the way we do about things.  We see things differently....we handle ourselves differently.....and when you can spend time with like minded weirdos such as yourself, it fills the well back up!  

Works in progress, and lots of smiles!  The studio is a great space!

This group was just so easy to be with.  Such lovely ladies, each with their own unique journey in life...some things, so different about us, but so many, MANY things in common.  We laughed so much.  And we got right to the heart of matters as well.  (several late night "world saving" sessions)  Big shout out to Shelly's mother in law, Ruby, who prepared delicious food each morning for our breakfasts!  So wonderful!  

A night out for dinner with the girls!  

Oh yes, and of course, we painted....under Shelly's wonderful guidance!  Who doesn't LOVE a bursting bouquet of flowers???  So interesting how each of us had our own unique perspective, and you can tell whose is whose.  

Can you tell which one is mine?  I made a few finishing touches when I got home.

I believe I've made friends for life.  That is the most wonderful gift of all!!

Tough girls with temporary tats!  Me and Harper.

Shelly gave us each a cute little house. I made superheroes for everyone.

For info on Shelly and her retreats, click HERE.