life is a gift. let it be lush.
enjoy every damn minute!

photo fabulousness

Posted: July 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: environment, inspiration | No Comments »

and on this Friday Eve I debut a new addition to the blog–my photographs (figured it needed some color). only the ones I find brilliant and fabulous, of course. i’m not a pro (as you’ll notice) but every now and then i get a good one. so i hope they trigger your imagination or inspire you to create….or at the very least, get out and take your own damn gorgeous pictures!

in this one, a spider makes camp on the chives…


doing what you love WILL make a difference

Posted: July 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: inspiration | 2 Comments »

how can the seemingly small things that I want to do be important at all in the face of so much turmoil in this world? tell me. how?

why should I bother writing or drawing, or trying to inspire people to be creative and feel good about themselves, when there is so much suffering due to earthquakes, flooding, wild fires, droughts, and even man made environmental pollution and destruction?

can my little efforts be that important? sometimes I have serious doubts. can it reach far enough to make any lasting positive change in this world? it all feels so insignificant. so small.

I care deeply about our earth and all of its inhabitants–people, animals, insects (yes, really), plants, trees… it almost seems selfish of me to do the little things I do, and NOT be out there fighting for some cause. we should all be doing that, shouldn’t we!? or should we?

ok, so maybe I’m really not ignoring anything. because it’s in doing what I do that I honor and give voice to the things that really matter (at least to me). right? even in small ways.

no, it IS my way of fighting. I want others to see my concerns so I draw and paint the pictures, and I write the little blog posts. I also want others to feel creative and be able to express themselves and let people see THEIR love for this world…so I try to inspire.

and as a good friend reminds me, everything is connected. one tiny movement can have far-reaching effects.

so now I feel better about my mission…and all the little things I do, knowing that somewhere along the line they just might make a positive difference in this world to someone, or something.


little plan for achieving big goals (little ones too)

Posted: June 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: inspiration, life in general | 2 Comments »

…according to me, anyway. this may not work for everyone but from personal experience I find the four steps below to be the simplest yet most powerful formula for achieving many types of goals.

about 6 years ago I decided I wanted to move out of the state I lived in. I was bored and miserable and felt I had given it a fair shot. It just wasn’t the place for me, even though I rather liked my job at the time. I was there for 6 years and it was time to make a break for it.

my goals? I wanted to be happy, in a place that was near the ocean, in a warm climate, and not too far from family. I wanted a place to learn and be creative. I needed more connection with people closer to my age and lifestyle. I was also single at the time.

So, I chose a place to go according to my criteria. I updated my resume. I collected a big handful of links where I could regularly search for job listings and apartments for rent. I created cover letters, organized folders on my computer to store everything, and committed several hours per week to searching and sending. I did a little each day.

I had NO CLUE how this would all turn out. I just knew I needed a big change to be happy. and I knew I had to do SOMETHING to make it happen. I also had absolute faith and confidence that I would eventually get there (where ever ‘there’ was). I felt fearless. I was going for it and I would succeed! This attitude was absolutely essential to my motivation, and commitment to my goal.

The result of my consistent first action steps would eventually lead me to something better than I imagined. I met my husband online, got a higher-paying job, and moved only one state away from my original destination! Each step I took led me to the next, and the next, and so on. So I didn’t need to know everything right off the bat.

here’s how I break it down:

  1. determine your ‘destination,’ where you want to end up – how do you want to feel, ultimately? do you want to be in a different place physically as well as mentally? and what are the circumstances that will make this feeling possible? write all this down in as much detail as possible. sights, sounds, smells, people/places involved, your ideal typical day.
  2. have some vague outline of a plan to get there – it doesn’t have to be perfect and you may not know all the details involved until you start doing the very first steps and working your way through. but at least figure out the details for your first few steps. do the research and determine how to begin on your particular path, even if you don’t know exactly where these first steps will lead you. don’t worry about that yet. and, literally, write all this down too. or type it, or draw pictures, or lay it out like a treasure map!
  3. DO that first step! – seriously start taking action. do a little every day or every other day, but DO it. make the time. wake up 30 minutes earlier and get something done. do it in little chunks. or big chunks. even break that step down into smaller steps to make it less overwhelming. then do one little thing each day. don’t worry about the end result, just DO!
  4. be flexible, open to other possibilities – it may turn out that your plan leads you down a new, unexpected path at some point. be open to this, see where it goes, and then determine whether it works for you, makes you happy, still takes you to that place you need to be. be open to changes and willing to explore each new possibility. you’ll know if it feels right or not, but always be open to it.

Another couple things I should throw in are visualization and attitude.

keep your goal in mind, make it real: visualize in great detail exactly where you want to be as if you’re already there. add sights, sounds, smells, people, place, etc., to your mental picture. make it all real in your mind. see yourself there anytime you stop and think about it, try to ‘see’ it at least once every day.

trust in the process, have faith and confidence in yourself. know that YOU WILL SUCCEED. tell yourself that you already have! most of all, BE FEARLESS! …and that reminds me of a quote I love…

“If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” Thomas Alva Edison

so go on, Astound Yourself.

writing this post was for my own motivation as well as yours, if you’re reading this. I have some goals to achieve (who doesn’t?!). this is my reminder to get off my ass and follow my own advice. so off i go…


World Oceans Day 2012: the celebration starts at home

Posted: June 8th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: environment, life in general | No Comments »

here’s a question, would we even have a World Oceans Day or celebrate our oceans at all if they weren’t so threatened? I would hope so. wouldn’t it be wonderful to find out?

to celebrate today I share a few things you can do at home to help our beautiful, bountiful oceans…

- stop using plastic bags: we banned these completely in my house and only use re-useable bags for everything from groceries and produce to clothes shopping and farmer’s markets. I even drag them into the Home Depot if we’re getting smaller items. I personally love Chico Bags. we have a large collection and keep lots of them in our cars, near the door, in my backpack, etc. they stuff into tiny little pouches so they’re easy to carry.

- eat organic: another big one for me. we try to find everything organic when possible, especially fruits and vegetables. even our garden is mostly organic (it wasn’t always possible to find organic starter plants and we didn’t have time to start everything from organic seeds this year). pesticides and fertilizers are not only harmful to our bodies, but the toxins running into our oceans also harm marine life.

- use less plastic: this is difficult, I know. but also possible. and if you must use plastic that can’t be reused then try to use plastics that are recycled in your community, and make sure they actually hit the recycle bin! our city only recycles #1 and #2 plastics. and I’ve noticed a few food companies recently that have converted their packaging to fully recyclable. I also only use non-disposable silverware and real coffee mugs, and never ever use styrofoam. my next step is bringing my own tupperware for restaurant leftovers.

- clean with natural cleaners: your home and your body. typical household cleaners and soaps are big contributors to ocean/water pollution. in our house we love Dr. Bronner’s organic soaps for hands, showers and dishes. we’re still searching for a good laundry soap and all-purpose household cleaner. but we use vinegar in our laundry rinse cycle and for some cleaning jobs around the house. check out these household cleaner recipes!

for more ideas see the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal, and go celebrate!


from the sketchbook…

Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: sketchbook | 2 Comments »

embellished zig zag.


scuba diving 101 [bloop..bloop...]

Posted: June 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: life in general | 8 Comments »

went scuba diving (in a pool) one night last week with W. It was so cool. we had Groupons for it, kind of an intro to scuba diving. we’ve never done it before. once I got used to the breathing I was so relaxed and amazed. it’s cool knowing you can breathe under water and float around like a fish. had fins on and everything. focusing on the rhythm of my breathing was almost like meditation.

my only problem seemed to be my ears. maybe next time I’ll be able to hit the deep end without agonizing pain. I practically grew up in the water but could never master the art of popping my ears. it also may have been the fact that I still had the tail end of a cold.

I’d love to take the courses and get certified one day. I’ll add that to my life checklist. for now though, it’s nice to have had the experience. it brings to mind images of coral reefs, colorful fish and blue-green waters, and the feeling of floating among all those things. soft and quiet, only hearing your breath bubbles…


random doodle

Posted: June 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: sketchbook | 1 Comment »

I think I’m off the monster gig for the time being, even though I thought this almost looked like one. just can’t keep that up. but at least I’m still drawing. here’s one of my latest sketchbook entries…


inspiration collection: what inspires you to create?

Posted: June 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: inspiration | 3 Comments »

I can’t remember where I read this, but it’s a great idea, so thank you to that person, who ever you are. ‘Collect’ the things that inspire you: look around, remember times/places/things that inspired you and write them down. collect things/objects that remind you of inspiring times or places. make a list and keep it close. refer back to your collection whenever you need it, or do this on a regular basis…and then get back to creating.

Below is a collection of things that inspire me to paint or draw (and sometimes make jewelry). They conjure up colorful, crazy images in my head, and therefore a need to get to my sketchbook once again.

 

1. cool words (see THIS post for my favorites)

2. food movies – Bread and Tulips, Big Night, Mostly Martha, Julie & Julia, Chocolat, and many more

3. other peoples’ sketchbook pages – you can do an image-search for these

4. marine animal photographs – anemone (love this word too!), leafy sea dragons, sea fans, etc.

5. browsing the colorful aisles of art supply stores

6. lots of colored pencils in jars and vases

7. collections of ‘small colorful things’ – beads, buttons, etc

8. looking at other artists’ art: Yellena James, Kaffe Fassett, Lotta Jansdotter

9. being in clean, wide, open spaces – big white rooms, long stretches of beach, looking down from a mountain

10. talking to my artist friend on the phone; we can inspire each other

11. a few hours in IKEA, just ‘looking’

12. books – Artist’s Way, Painting from the Source, anything by Tom Robbins

 

and I could go on…in fact, I know I’ll be adding to this.

 

what’s on *your* list?

 


how do I want to change the world?

Posted: May 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: inspiration | No Comments »

if you read my about page then you have an idea what this blog is about and what I’m trying to accomplish for my life. but it’s still quite broad. below is my attempt at narrowing it down a bit.

over the past several years I’ve researched starting a business, creativity, motivation, finding my passion, etc. out of all this reading, writing, watching, and listening, I formulated a set of questions for myself.

The questions came to me about 5 months ago and seemed like THE *BIG* questions (at least in regards to starting a creative business)…and if answered, would lead me to that fulfilling life I wished for.

My answers to them only just recently started to take shape. they’re off the top of my head and are still evolving but have given me great ideas and more of a direction for this blog.

Maybe these questions can help YOU in your pursuit of a creative, meaningful life…

 

how do I want to change the world?

I want to brighten dark places, make things beautiful, add color, texture, and shapes, and lots of movement, waves and swirls… both literally and figuratively, I want to pass this on to others.

 

who do I want to change/influence/motivate?

the person who wants to be creative or just wants to create something beautiful for themselves or someone else; the person who thinks they aren’t creative at all.

 

what do I tell them, what is my message?

everyone is creative. be open to experimenting and finding what you love to do and keep doing it. practice, practice… develop your style and enhance, embellish, and deepen your world, both visually and spiritually.

 

why do I want to tell it, why do I want to tell *them*?

I see too many sad, unfulfilled, bored, hopeless people who could be creating and feeling more connected to their creative and spiritual selves, and therefore, more fulfilled and happy. I want people to be happy and inspired. people who want to be creative should have the tools to begin, i want to give them those tools.

 

how do I tell it, how do I make the message fun/inspiring?

give them ideas, inspiration, projects, stories, eye-candy, assignments, perspective.

 


monster #7

Posted: April 16th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: sketchbook | 4 Comments »

so I’m not going to add the “-a-day” thing anymore since I can’t seem to draw these everyday. but I will keep numbering them. here’s another crazy one from over the weekend. possibly this reflects my current mental state… heh.