Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Website and Blog Location

I would like to announce that I have moved my website and blog to a new location hosted by WordPress. The WordPress site gives me more flexibility and features.

My new website is located here:
https://www.maryartlife.com/

New blog posts will appear here:
https://www.maryartlife.com/blog/

The links to my website and blog have been updated on the sidebar.

Thank you for your continued support!

Mary

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Quilt Retreat

I went to the Heart of the Valley Quilters 3 day quilt retreat last weekend and had a great time! There were 50 quilters at YMCA Camp Hazen in Chester, Connecticut... talking, sewing, laughing, and eating. I haven't been motivated to sew/quilt since the move so this was a good jump start for me. 



I created a Facebook page for the group yesterday and they were thrilled to have a place where they can post photos of their quilts to share. Social media is a good thing and it brings people together around common interests. I have a lot of friends online that I've never met and that greatly expands your universe.



Going to a retreat like this lets you leave things behind and think about what you are doing and where you are going. It brings you into a greater awareness of self. Well, it does that for me. But it wasn't until yoga class saturday morning that I fully realized what is going on with me. My balance was off and my body was shaking in some of the advanced poses. The meditation at the end crystallized things for me.



I need to seek balance. I am working too hard at work... way too hard. I need to stop pushing myself so hard and take breaks. I am running around too much on nights and weekends. I am wanting to do too much. I am scattered and going in a million different directions. I am doing things with friends and family, working on an e-book, starting to plan a new Wordpress website, making jewelry, sewing/quilting, reading a lot, the list goes on. I have applied to teach my mixed media altered card decks locally and in a major online venue... scary but exciting! I hope I get in because I love to teach.



Life is short and need to enjoy it. Family and friends are so important! Namaste <3


Saturday, October 29, 2016

For the Love of Books and Words

I went to the Portland Library book sale last weekend with Aurora and her mom. We walked there from my old house. I love books and I love how you can paint a story with words.




Much to my surprise, there were the quilting books I had donated to the library last winter when I downsized for the move. I picked up one, then another, and before I knew it I had an armload of quilting books too heavy to carry. When I dropped them into my tote bag I scraped my arm badly. Sometimes I am awkwardly clumsy :-)




Books bring you on a journey to other worlds and expand your horizons. I have e-books in my iPad too, but there is something magic about holding a book in your hands, like poetry by Rumi or paintings in Creative Revolution by Flora Bowley. 

I have started working on my first e-book, Inspired Every Day, and it is exciting for me to watch it slowly unfold. It is not unlike birthing a child.



Sunday, October 16, 2016

Art from My Studio

Just saying the words "my studio" makes me all happy inside! It is so nice to have a place of my own to make art. Before this I made art on the dining room table, which meant hauling my art supplies up and down the stairs and either clearing everything off at dinner time or eating on the coffee table. It is so nice to be able to leave everything out and take my time. The work may not look much different than before, but I am making more thoughtful, less rushed pieces.



Recently I got a 12-pack of 10"x10" pre-stretched canvas with a half price coupon at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I love that store!  I usually paint/make art in art journals but decided to try canvas again. I also tried writing with my new Posca paint pens. I am more interested in treating myself to new art supplies than new clothes. We all have our priorities :-)



I made an art journal spread yesterday and I am so happy with how it came out. I had a breakthrough and cleared out some bad energy Friday night. I am trying/learning to do some work with energy healing but this just happened spontaneously, or maybe that is the way it happens. I could feel that unblocking myself came through in this piece and made me feel better.



Fall in New England

Fall is my favorite time of year. The days are sunny and warm, the nights are cool, and the leaves gently rustle in the wind. The leaves turn red, yellow, orange, and brown and they start to cover the ground as they fall from the trees. There is a special feeling that lingers in the air, with the promise of change, rebirth, and renewal.




For me, fall is a time to reconnect with my inner self and acknowledge growth and transition. I ask myself where I have been, where I am now, and where I am going. I start to set my course for the coming year.




Noticing things is important to me. When my car climbed the last hill on the way home Friday night, I noticed the almost full moon rising above the trees. It was getting higher in the sky as I drove by the lake, so I hurried home to get my sneakers on and walked quickly down to the lake. The moonlight was breathtaking and my spirit felt renewed!




Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ikea Run

My son Joe and his girlfriend Aurora and I made a run to Ikea in New Haven to get furniture for my art/quilt studio Saturday afternoon. I had already picked out furniture last month when we made an IKEA run to get furniture (two apothecary cabinets with glass shelves) for my son's dining room. So I had all the aisle and bin numbers on printouts in my huge pocketbook and we bypassed the store area and headed right for the product picking area. We found everything on my list and Joe looked at our cart full of boxes and the conversation went something like this:

Joe: I don't know if this is going to fit in my car. This is a lot of stuff.
Me: Well, it will probably be tight but hopefully it will fit.
Joe: If we get it going fast enough, the mass will decrease and it will fit {that's physics}.
Me: You need a bigger car, like a minivan :-)

Being an engineer, he managed to get everything into the car (he has 60/40 split rear seats in his VW GTI) but there was not much room left for the rear passenger. I' m small so I jumped in the back seat before he could say anything and held onto the table on top of the pile so it wouldn't hit me in the head. Off we went and I managed to text from my precarious position while we were underway :-)



An hour later we were back at the condo at Lake Pocotopaug and Joe and Aurora unloaded the car and started assembling the tables. I am not the strongest or handiest person in the world so my job was to break down and cut up all the cardboard for the recycling bins. And I moved the temporary wire cube shelving and all the art/quilt stuff in there out of the way. After they got the tables set up, they put together the 5 foot by 5 foot Kallax cube storage shelving unit. It looked complicated but they said it was easy. They had to run out and meet friends for dinner and board games so they worked fast :-) Afterwards I rearranged all my stuff and sat on the love seat totally amazed. It looks beautiful! And I am living in a smaller space yet it seems so big to me.





Monday, September 5, 2016

Art Journaling Again

I started art journaling again this weekend! My art/quilt work space is not fully set up yet and I still need to get 2 work tables and a big storage shelf from Ikea. My supplies are unpacked into temporary shelving. There is just no work surface other than a small card table and that is too small and has a sewing machine on it.

Determined to get going finally, I dragged my art journaling supplies upstairs to the dining room and set everything up Friday night to get motivated the next morning. Many trips up and down the stairs after forgetting numerous things, one at a time of course, so who needs a Stairmaster? Not me! I spread out all over the place and made a big mess like I did at my house before this, but I was more careful about flinging paint around :-) I have been nesting around here... I made curtains and got new chair cushions at BBB. And I don't think the carpet would look good with paint spatters.



It was heaven, nirvana, joyous, an epiphany. I totally lost track of time and anything that was bothering me disappeared. I immersed myself in the process which for me is totally spontaneous. The first thing I do is choose 3 or 4 contrasting and harmonious colors of craft paint. I like Craftsmart paint from Michaels. It comes in 2 oz. bottles in a ton of great colors, it flows well, and it's cheap. I keep a rainbow of about 40 colors in a medium size Sterlite plastic bin with handles. Once I get color down on the page I let the work, my art supplies, and random thoughts inspire me. I do not start with a plan and I just let things happen. Wish I could be more like that with my life. It is very freeing!