27 June 2010

Time for Creativity

From a large canvas painting that has been sitting
in the corner some time, waiting to be finished.

All too often, we are swept up in our obligations: work, study, events, children, errands. So many of us find that there is not enough time in the day to not only complete the things we need to do, but do the things we want to do. Art, photography, and general creativity may fall to the wayside, waiting for us to take it up again "when we have the time".

This is a sad circle that is easily begun and, in some cases, never seems to end. I've found myself in this situation recently, caught up in schedules and places to be; my art has been suffering. I miss creating and experimenting in my art journal. I miss blogging. I miss doing the things I love to do, and I miss interacting with the wonderful friends I have made here.

The solution, I believe, is to fly in the face of any excuse you might tell yourself by starting immediately, without allowing your mind to debate. If you have fifteen minutes, ten, five, or two, use it - don't read, get on the internet, or lie down. Pick up a paint brush. Cut images from a magazine. Write half a page on a topic that interests you, or simply make a list of things you'd like to write about. Snap a picture or two. You don't have to do anything grand, complete, or impressive.

I find that once I begin creating, no matter if I'm tired or uninspired, I feel art's pull once again and am able to ride a creative wave - and in the end I feel relaxed, inspired, and centered. The trick is to just begin. As you finish this post, why don't you close the browser window, let the computer sleep, and give yourself a five minute craft break? The time is there; you - and I - just have to use it!

25 June 2010

Note from the Universe

And look - how appropriate in light of my last post!
"With self-confidence, Ingrid, the world bows to greet you and coincidence becomes your partner.

And self-confidence comes from loving yourself.

And loving yourself comes from knowing that you are, still, exactly who I most want to be.

And so I am,
The Universe"
You can sign up to receive your own daily dose of love from the Universe here. Happy, happy weekend, my loves!

24 June 2010

Healing with Love

Photo via glenrichards

Every one of us struggles with our identity at some point. We question who we are and what we have to give to the world. We compare ourselves to others, and wonder if we truly are unique or if we are merely a drop in the ocean. We face criticisms and complaints from others and from ourselves, and sometimes our faith in who we are – and what purpose we have – is shaken.

We are often told that to recognize and accept the things we treasure about ourselves is immodest.

"I have beautiful eyes."

"I am a very good guitar player."

"I am intelligent."

We can (and should!) accept and celebrate ourselves – and it is not at all wrong to love oneself nor to be unafraid to admit it! We can certainly do so in a positive way free from narcissism and arrogance.

We are undoubtedly our harshest critics. There is a quote - “We judge others by their actions, and we judge ourselves by our intentions.” Only we can see the inner workings of our mind; we experience our darkest thoughts and our most unkind feelings. We censor ourselves to the outer world, but are completely exposed to ourselves, and so we berate ourselves for harsh things we have not said and cruel things we have not done. We often judge ourselves for these unexpressed things – but how unfair that is! “We judge others by their actions, and ourselves by our intentions.” Pay attention to the kind things you have done and the sympathetic words you have spoken, for actions speak so very much louder than words – especially words that are unsaid.

From today forward, be gentle with yourself. Show yourself love, kindness, and patience - as you would any dear friend. And remember these four Truths - for they are undoubtedly, absolutely, unchangingly true -

  • You are appreciated.
  • You are wanted.
  • You matter.
  • You are loved.

21 June 2010

Everyday Happenings

Oh, my - a whole week since I've blogged? Time is flying by so quickly! Let me give you a little update on what has been happening in my life recently.
  • I've found some wonderful friends and we have been swimming, barbecuing, window shopping, and giggling together.
  • I won a giveaway from the talented Erin Knepp!
  • I've finally found a job and have been working the few hours I've been given (and trying to snag some more).
  • I've been reading and reading and reading - I've finished more than fourteen books in the past three months!
  • Celebrating the first day of summer.
  • One of my photographs has been accepted to be published in a free NYC brochure, along with my name and a link to my Flickr account!
  • I've been updating a few things on my blog, too. Check out the left sidebar - find out more about me and My Peacetree, browse my favorite blogs, leave a suggestion, read my copyright, or find all of my Day Zero Project in one place. [Update 2014: these links have since been removed or incorporated into other pages.]
How have you been, my loves - happy and well, I hope? Have you been creating and playing and soaking up this beautiful sunshine? Summer always makes me feel like I'm sparkling; I'm all smiles, full of energy, and so grateful to be alive! The color that surrounds me makes me burst with happiness, and I love the sun's kisses on my face.

I shall be back soon, I promise - and with pictures, too!
With love,

14 June 2010

Beginning Artist

My mom will be moving later this summer, and there are many emotions involved for a number of reasons. I came home this weekend for my brother's high school graduation, and I have been packing my things as well as celebrating and spending time with family. While sorting through what to keep and what to throw away, I came across my first art journal. It is unfinished and will likely stay that way, as the book contains hundred of pages that are not meant to hold paint; I was less than a third finished and the spine has already cracked.

It is so interesting to go back and look at one's own art from the past. I feel that I've developed so much since then, and only through playing, experimenting, screwing up, and trying again have I reached where I am now. How satisfying it is to feel that one has grown better at something!

I remember my frustration while working in this book, annoyed and often disappointed in the outcome of my art. I wanted to be like iHanna and Lynne Perella, and I wanted to be like them now. I am so proud of myself for not giving up because my art wasn't the way I imagined it to be, but continued to push and learn what worked for - and what expressed - me.

Don't give up, my loves, because you are frustrated, and don't wait to start because you fear what will appear on your page. Create, just for the sake of creativity, and do it again and again and again, and soon you will see the beauty that lies beneath it all!

12 June 2010

Face Painting

Last month I did something a little crazy. After seeing this article, I decided to do a similar experiment of my own. Check out the photo below - I painted my face painted to look like, well, a painting of a face! It was so much fun, and not nearly as painful as I thought to remove. Click on the photo to view it larger. Have you ever tried any strange art projects?

09 June 2010

Fill the World with Love

This song is simple and the video somewhat amateur,
but the message of the music is one of the most lovely I've ever heard.
Song is by Libby Roderick.

Do you remember, dearest, that you are loved? It's true! You are loved beyond measure, so very overwhelmingly, outrageously, and deeply. You are surrounded by it at every moment; you are held by it.

Your efforts are not going unnoticed, and your kindnesses are not ignored; you are seen, heard, and appreciated. You matter. You belong. You are not in the least bit flawed or broken - no, you are perfect in your imperfections! You are simply gorgeous, inside and out, my sweet, and you give so much to the world. I'm amazed.

Love you!

05 June 2010

Woven Details

I was only able today to upload these details of the spread I posted yesterday - last night the internet suddenly decided that it wasn't going to cooperate with me anymore. I'm pretty pleased with these photos. Check 'em out!

04 June 2010

An Intense Need to Create

One of the latest spreads from my art journal. The note on the top left says, "There was no rhyme or reason, just an intense need to create." The left page still needs a bit of writing, I think.

Happy, happy weekend!

02 June 2010

Summer Approaches

I arrived home on Monday night sunburned, happy, and covered in sand, smelling of ocean and sun lotion. I strongly believe the ocean can do amazing things for the soul and the spirit!

I was blown away yesterday when I realized that it's June. June! Every first-of-the-month post I write expresses amazement at how quickly time passes - I am genuinely surprised at how smoothly the days turn into months. The word for June is JOY - joy that summer is a mere few weeks away; joy that life is a beautiful, incredible journey; joy in the ability to create and imagine and wonder! I so look forward to fireflies dancing above the grass at twilight, swimming in cool water on sticky hot days, road trips, and bare feet! What are you celebrating in your life, and what are you joyful for?


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