Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finding Similarities & Loving Differences

As much as l love the month of February, when it ends I am certain that it has only just BEgun.

There are things I customarily DO on the last day of each month, and then there are things I intend to complete each week and each day within that week.

Of course, this is ordinary Life.

And my Life?!

It is less ordinary than others’ lives, those who have work to go to and children to raise and family commitments to meet and and and…


Keeping myself different, dissimilar, outside of, and apart from people or “normal” Life is a recipe for a tiny adventure into the Land of Disaster & Chaos.

I am NOT those things at all. I am just ME living My Life Now.

I’ve been working on some Pretty Big Deal For Me Stuff this week. This month, really. So in a sense it is nice to reach the 28th of February with a sense of completion.

In this Spirit of feeling good and happy, I am taking a page from the books of others I so admire and combining Artist’s Play Room #46 and Photo Art Friday 1 March 2013 into this one post.

The themes, inspirations, or if you like, challenges of both could NOT BE more different… Yet, for me, they are nearly one and the same.

You see, APR and PAF act as two sturdy bookends in my weeks. 

They provide me with opportunities to learn and try and fail and laugh and make discoveries and wanttotearmyhairout [sometimes] and try again and see WhatHappensIf?! and, well, they just give me a container [or, really, a door to walk through, out, and BEyond] in which to live my Life one little breath at a time.

Though their theme, prompt, or challenge this week are BLORANGE [for Blue & Orange] and Vintage, despite the differences, they’ve intersected in some pretty darn cool ways.

At least for me.

Paradise is an entirely digital collage. 

Of course, it started out as all my collages DO with some sweet time of sifting papers and finding the ones that sang to me. 

I then spent several deLIGHTfull and engaging hours scanning and composing on my scanner AND another one "painting" without gluing the paper to my substrate.

I spent a good long while digital fiddling in both Picasa and Pixlr Express, liking some of my results and BEing surprised by others. I had many moments of WOW!!! I DIDN’T KNOW THAT WORKED LIKE THAT!!??!!

What started as my intention to make an entirely digital painting, [or two, one blue and the other orange, mostly] unfolded with surprises and deLIGHTs too numerous to list.

I did also make two collages with some of those papers I’d sifted. And I did that first by photographing them and second by gluing them down and scanning them. It was/is quite an enJOYable process.

BElow are the photographed versions, Blue and Orange:

And BElow Here you can see the glued-down and scanned versions of Blue and Orange:

And so here’s the thing about Photo Art Friday… after I’d scanned and photographed and fiddled and played with these blues and oranges and whatever all spoke to me, I had a “something I THOUGHT would BE my singular BLORANGE offering” which turned out NOT to work as I’d thought it would, so I decided to further fiddle with it as something a little more like Vintage…

Take 1, a variation on the theme of BLORANGE…

Which is totally almost ALL ORANGE and no real BL[ue]…

Turned to VINTAGE with a little help from Pixlr Editor and then Pixlr Express. I’m sharing both versions as I simply got too cross-eyed to pick just one. 

Amazing thing is, Pixlr Editor works exactly like what I was hoping Photoshop Elements 8 would DO, meaning it is intuitive and less affected by my bumbling and stumbling…

So there is my Journey, gently guided and encouraged by Artist’s Play Room and Photo Art Friday.

It’s been quite a day this week… such a lovely thing, er, two lovely things to keep me grounded when I start to “lift-off” and get lost in the clouds…

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Photo Art Friday

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Only connect" ~ Photo Art Friday 22 February 2013

The desire to BE inspired by a theme trumps my unfortunate inclination to BEcome overwhelmed by it. 

At least this is what I tell myself…

Having the freedom to DO whatever I want with “Only connect” is brilliant.

It sent me on a delicious errand exploring quotes, wandering down sideroads that beckoned, and letting the words others have spoken or written settle in round me, like besties at the campfire.

I love the challenge sewn inside Photo Art Friday. How it encourages me to stretch just a little BEyond my reach.

It used to BE that I got brain cramps with the digital fiddling piece, yet over Time that has shifted. 


Like when I had learned to read enough to just keep reading…

Remember that?!

Therein lies connection. From TRYing to DO to BEing in the flow of a thing.

For my daily Gratitude posts I have an entire process of digital fiddling that is like the peanut butter and jelly part of making the sandwich.

The PB&J just dance there Now.

Like breathing.


Now, without further aDO, the past week of my poeming + digital fiddling from I Love You, Currie...

The Gift of Openmindedness 2.15.13

The Gift of Prayer 2.16.13

The Gift of Quiet 2.17.13

The Gift of Respect 2.18.13

The Gift of Sincerity 2.19.13

The Gift of Time 2.20.13

The Gift of Unconditionality 2.21.13

Photo Art Friday

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Artist’s Play Room #45 ~ Books & Thinks

I’ve been thinking this week about writing a book. Well, compiling a book, actually.

I have written quite a LOT that I could happily transform into simple [mayBE, too, deLIGHTfull] little books.

Last year, my blog, 366 Daze of Grace, was done one-day-and-one-photograph-at-a-time, with the intention to make it into a perpetual calendar.

It occurs to me that this is perhaps the easiest and most fun way to DO writing a book. No grueling hours tearing at my hair in front of the blank screen, just one page a day. Simple. DOable. A pleasure.

I’ve been encouraged over the years to “write a book” so I’m in the process of sifting through my daily Gratitude Practise for DOing just that.

For me, books are NOT some Very Big Deal to entrust to some publisher to “like” and “choose” in order to share them BEyond the small pond in which I share them Now. They are a way to make a gift of what I totally enJOY DOing for others to enJOY as they may.

Although I have great respect and love for books and the written word, I haven’t got quite so much for the whole publishing rigmarole. It is enough for me to respond in the affirmative to my friends who have gently prodded me to DO a book.

As I continue to pare BElongings down, I’ve found myself happy enough with my Kindle and my Zune for keeping books at hand [and ear] without the “heft” of the “real thing.”

How nice then to make “my” books as accessible to others.

So, this is my contribution to APR #45… a page from 366 Daze ... 

Comes in a gazillion
 DeLIGHTfully Delicious Flavours

and a recent one from my Gratitude ... 

Somedays I am quieter than others. Perhaps this is true for you as well. On these quiet days I am listening to something the daily noise of Life seems to drown out. It is the sound of Peace and Hope and, well, God…

While it seems many people talk with and to God, and many of those hear God talking to them, I sense something altogether different in the spaces BEtween the noise of Life and my connection with God.

I sense the Generosity of Life.

I sense the Possible woven in and through what so long I imagined IMPOSSIBLE.

I sense, too, how God has gently guided me toward what daily unfolds as my Life. Now.

In the noise of all that I felt was Lost, Deleted, and Forever Evaporated, I hardly thought about God. Or even Peace and Hope. I banged about and charged headlong into this then that, simply hoping against hope I’d find somewhere I fit and would BE welcomed, gladly, and generously…

This is NOT what happened. NOT even when I pretended with all that I had in me it was. As I tried to squeeze myself into spaces I’d BEcome stuck, never EVER ONCE thinking it was a gift I did NOT fit there…

In the quiet of realisation I found God.

I love you, Currie

AND, finally, a little fun I had with making a giraffe bookmark.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

BE Genuine Photo Art Friday 15 February 2013

I’ve been swimming up the waterfall this week. Today I am pretty much all ME again. Yesterday was a HUGE improvement on Tuesday which was a HUGE improvement on Monday.

And so it goes, Life… BEing its extraordinarily ordinary fickle self.

We make plans and set goals and learn and grow and change and then Life just does what it does.

And we follow the bouncing ball. [the only problem with it is when there are numerous balls going in various directions!!!]

A little bit about this Photo Art Friday’s photo art.

It helped me get through some of the rougher parts of the waterfall. If ever there is a sure “shaker-upper” to move me past something it is digital fiddling.

And writing. These little 4-worders are from a much longer one of my poemings. I chose these few that sang to me.  [and I enJOYed their songs!!]

The Bamboo Dream texture Bonnie so generously shared was seeming a little tricky for me. And yet its trickiness was another opportunity to shake my mood up and DO the hokey-pokey.

I clearly took it into a different colour space, yet that made it even MORE fun.

Again, I worked with Picasa and Pixlr Express, though Now I am DOing some new sorts of fiddles which are starting to make more sense to me.

I think this is what I love about these two freebie programs. They make my inexperience an asset. They leave me feeling, well, competent, even capable.

I added in one of my heart paintings:

fiddling with it: 

and the Bamboo Dream texture :

separately and then together. [in other words… I HAD FUN!!]

I appreciate so much the encouragement and kind words you all share with me. I just wanted to say so, to ALL of you, since some of you I canNOT email back to thank you properly and personally.

I don’t know exactly why I hesitated to participate though I am so glad I stopped letting whatever it was stop me. This is by far and away the most encouraging cheering-on to BE had!!

Love to all!!!

Photo Art Friday

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hearts & Thoughts Artist's Play Room #44

Funny how often I get into a project and then all the wheels fall off the wagon when I get to the part about following through with it. Such is the story with my painted hearts…

Last year, having got a wild hair to try some painting with paint [as opposed to paper] I painted up 18 little 4-inch by 4-inch canvasses in primary colours and then in secondary colours. I had a blast and actually came away from the experience with a bit more gumption for painting with paint.

And yet here I am one year later, and 16 of them sit and sit and sit right to the left of where I am typing away. My son came in October and took one home for his wife and another for him. I couldn’t have been more pleased!!

I got another blinding flash a few weeks ago, and made up 11 little 4-inch by 4-inch canvas boards into heart paintings. It was great fun dribbling the paint colour by colour, again with sort of the primary and secondary idea.

A few APR’s back I popped one of the hearts at the top of my post. I heard it was delicious. I actually have it taped up on my window and it really DOES look quite enticing.

Anyway, today I got through my little Monday morning fit and start by digitally fiddling with the canvas boards and making them into real Valentine’s Day cards by printing them on postcards. Great fun, deposited me into Monday afternoon in a better frame of mind, and I am actually quite excited.

I was thinking I generally DO my APR stuff on Wednesdays, but for a change I did it just Now and I hope it might just get me back into posting on this blog with some consistency. I’ve hit a bit of a hallway and things just aren’t firing on all cylinders, if you know what I mean…

For this one I used several textures from Pixel Dust Photo Art and oh me oh my are they amazingly juicy. I also fiddled in Pixlr Express, and I canNOT BEgin to tell you what I did. Other than have a LOT of fun!!

I am hoping no one will mind me using their email address from comments to send them a Valentine. And for those who comment but they are no-reply, DO let me know your email and I will pop a Valentine off to you straightaway!!

And thanks, Jenn, for lighting the Valentine’s Day fire under me!!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mama Said There'd BE Days Like This...

Normally, Photo Art Friday is the highlight of my week. I am NOT saying it's NOT this week, I am just saying that this week everything feels a little slippery and hard to hold onto.

I suppose that means I should simply Let Go.

Anyhow... I actually have enJOYed losing myself the past several hours playing with Bonnie's challenge. I canNOT tell you how I got here, but there are a few things I know...

I started with pdpa Dropped Petals background/texture and tweaked it a bit in Picasa. Then I played with pdpa Heartache by the Number, also in Picasa. 

From there I went to Pixlr Express and added a pinch of this and a dollop of that and pretty soon I decided ENOUGH...


I had another image I'd wanted to use but just couldn't get it to work. Instead I re-layered Dropped Petals and Heartache by the Number flipping and turning them like I knew just what I was DOing!!!

Ultimately I gave up on the other image [and 3 others I tried] and added a bit of poeming taking all back to Picasa where I am most comfortable with the digital fiddling process.

I enJOYed learning by DOing and especially I enJOYed NOT worrying about anything BEing "right" or whatever all I manage to fret myself with sometimes... 

Ahhhhhhh... growth.
Photo Art Friday

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Artist's Play Room #43 ~ In My Pantry?!

I admit to BEing utterly stumped by this prompt. In the Wee Cottage, what might BE considered my "pantry" is actually this cupboard so high up I need a step-stool to reach most things, and it is woefully out of place in this tiny little home of mine...

Well, I thought, let me try this. I have a couple of things up on the glass doors. One is a bookmark with this quote from Dr. Robert Schuller:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?

The other a little note, the source of which I canNOT recall which says:

Darling, I love you just the way you are.

Which is something that makes me smile several times each day.

Little things like these, along with my boxes of tea and a few pantry-ish items, always give me a good feeling. I didn't realise this until this prompt, so I am grateful. I think it's been very intentional. 

Who knew?!

Anyhow, BEyond that, and a good bit of digital fiddling, that's it, that's all...

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