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Art Supplies for Tomo: Part III

Ivy, taken July 2010.

Hello, my loves.

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today. I sent Tomo's package early last week, but, due to reasons that I cannot go into for her sake, she did not ever receive it. I am struggling to find balance between sharing exactly what the situation is and protecting Tomo's privacy. If you have donated and would like to have an explanation that you so rightly deserve, please email me and I will do my best to provide an appropriate one.

I apologize so profusely. If I were able - if I had the money to spare - I would refund you all in full; perhaps I will be able to at some point in the future. This entire situation, which once left me giddy with joy and excitement, leaves me deeply saddened for Tomo. I hope that some day in the future she will be able to create, discover, and grow with wild abandon.

With love,

Written Journal


I have two main journals - my art journal and my written journal. I often forget to add writing to my art journal, getting caught up in paint and details and stamps, eventually feeling that the spread is complete without journaling. Occasionally I'll use words cut from magazines to add text, but the majority of my writing happens in my daily journal.
I am not one to write in detail about my days, expressing what happened and where I went and who said what. I instead doodle, make to-do lists, sketch, prepare blog posts, take notes, or every once in a while express feelings of anger, frustration, or joy over a specific occurrence.


The journal that I use now - which is almost complete! - is one I hand bound from a recycled pizza box. (I once got asked if it was a cookbook/recipe book!) The pages are plain printer paper and suit me well for my purposes; the binding is imperfect which leaves me more comfortable to "mess up" its pages.

Do you have a journal? What sorts of things do you write in its pages?

And So it Goes

August has been a bit bare of posts, hasn't it? Frustratingly, my "borrowed" internet has been discovered by others, and so once again I struggle with a temperamental connection that has a grudge against uploading photos. I was asked some time ago about my written journal, and I'd hoped to be able to share some peeks with you today. I will have to postpone this for a little while, I think; my school dorm has wifi and I have high hopes that it will be conducive to blogging!

Today will be an incredibly busy day - it is my last before leaving this city after my short four month stay; Wednesday I will be moving to campus. My to-do list includes packing, sorting, and cleaning, and this morning I will finally head to the post office to send Tomo's package! I did try on Saturday, but arrived two hours after the building had closed. Tomo is looking forward to it just a bit, I think:
"OH MY GOSH!! I'm so excited!! It's all I've been thinking about these days!! .. I'm sososososososooooooooo thankful for everything you've done for me!! I really appreciate your hard work as well as that of others who have helped you help me."
I once wrote that it's a truly wonderful feeling to have someone make your day, but it's a thousand times better if you make theirs. At the moment, I believe that more than ever.

Wishing you a beautiful, creative, love-filled week!

Art Supplies for Tomo, Part II

Dear Tomo -
If you would prefer to be surprised when your art supplies come - don't read this post!
Love, Ingrid

To those who have been so generous in helping me supply Tomo with needed art materials - thank you! I'm so blessed to know such kind people as you! Together, we have raised thirty seven dollars, and a box of loved art supplies has been donated. Yay! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Today I went to the art store and bought some things I thought were important for Tomo, as a new art journaler, to have: large tubes of acrylic paint in red, yellow, blue, black, and white; paint brushes; a glue stick; and water soluble pastels! It was such fun picking out these gifts, knowing that they will be cherished and well used. I will see if I can find any more papers, stickers, or ephemera to send along as well. I will be sure to include a little note with all the names of those who have been so kind and have helped her reach a dream!


If you would like to help, there is still plenty of opportunity! Shipping for these items will be pricey, and I (and Tomo!) would be grateful for whatever you have to give. Every dollar will be put to good use, and should there be any leftover money it will be put into a fund for other artists and given away on this blog. (Do you know of any beginning or needy artists who could use some help?) You can donate by PayPal or debit/credit card by clicking on the "Donate" button on the bottom of my left sidebar. Remember, too, that if you would like to instead donate art supplies, you can shoot me an email at mypeacetree2(at)gmail(dot)com.

Within the next few days I'll be putting everything together and sending it Tomo's way. More on this lovely little story to come! (Read Part I.)

This Moment


Oh, my loves, where to begin? Please forgive me for the sparse postings as of late; the past week or two has been filled with frustration, tears, and trepidation as I choose a path for the next part of my journey. (Could you perhaps guess by my last post?) And, just two days ago, and a huge decision was made: I am going back to school this fall. Hooray! This means I will be moving taking - taking another leap of faith - in just two weeks' time.

I am not one who makes big decisions gracefully. I worry about making the "right" one (when in truth there is no "right" choice) and I fear that I will be forever confined to the choice I have made. I do not like eliminating opportunities by choosing one path to tread, and so often find myself lingering in limbo, neither moving forward nor experiencing any of the opportunities I might have had had I acted.

In the midst of all this struggle, I translated my inner turmoil onto paper. Taking a photograph of how I felt in that moment, surrounded by chaos, confusion, and uncertainty, I captured a single moment in my life - an unpleasant one. I printed the image and added color and detail. As I worked, my seething emotions ebbed, and the calm that stood in their place if only for a little while was absolutely lovely. I hope to work this painting into my art journal soon.

Dearests, yes, your art journal is a place for you to celebrate beauty, joy, and gratitude; but remember that it is also a good friend with eternally open arms. Into its pages you are invited to spill sorrow, anger, hurt - any negative emotion that weighs on your heart and mind. Your art journal will never judge you nor spill your secrets. You are a complex being, filled with the lightest light and the darkest dark, and that is what makes us such interesting, beautiful creatures. Do not be afraid to pour your heart onto its pages, weep, mourn, rage, splutter; express all of yourself, both the beautiful and the ugly.

Let your art journal reflect who you are - body, mind, and spirit!

PS. I will be buying art supplies for Tomo this week! A thousand thank-yous to each and every one of you who has been so, so generous in helping a new art journaler realize her dream. For more information on this project and to find out how to help, please read this post.

Confessions of a Restless Mind

Detail of the background of a newly prepared canvas, waiting to be brought to life.

Every once in a while, I get restless. I long to leave behind all this routine, stress, and day-to-day ordinary and travel the world. I want to climb mountains, swim in oceans, make new friendships that will last a lifetime, paint, photograph, explore; I want to be a nomad, with nothing to tie me down and no responsibilities to hold me back.

Oh, but these daydreams are simply that -- daydreams. As much as I wish it were so, I cannot dream away the life I am slowly finding my way through; I do not have the means (nor the courage, I think) to embark on such an "outrageous" and "senseless" journey. I am blessed with everything I have, I know -- but sometimes, I want to trade it all for something that is less tangible but feels like so much more.

Maybe someday.

PS. Hooray! Artists are coming together to gift dreamed-of art supplies to a new art journaler. Find out how to help!

Art Supplies for Tomo


All photos in this post are via Tomo's flickr. Go here for more peeks into her art journal.

Hello, dear friends!

Earlier this week, a young art journaler emailed me. Just beginning her journey, she wanted some advice on how to make the most of her limited art supplies. We had a very long exchange. Here is part of what she wrote:
Hi Ingrid! My name's Tomo, and I just discovered your art journals on flickr yesterday and got REALLY inspired to do my own since I'm exploding inside and usually can't think.

The thing is, I'm so limited to the things I can/want to use for my art journal. I know it's no excuse for an artist. My usual tools include watercolor pencils (I use the shavings to paint), highlighters, and markers for coloring. It gets me down, especially as an artist who's always been under supplied.

Could you give me a few tips [...]?

Tomo has a huge passion for art that is very apparent in her writing, and her newly begun art journal shows promise. Though she is determined to stay positive, my heart aches for an artist who has so few art supplies with which to express herself. I sent her a few small things, but here's what I've been thinking - and I haven't yet told this sweet girl any of this yet - I'd like to raise money to buy Tomo a few tubes of acrylic paint. Will you help me?


I would like to donate 10% of any purchases in either of my Etsy shops (here or here) towards this; I've also set up a PayPal account - you can donate directly using the new button in the sidebar or by clicking below. If you have any spare art supplies of your own you'd like to send to Tomo, please email me at mypeacetree2 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Acrylic paint is fairly cheap, about $4-5 per tube; I'd like to get her the basic colors - red, yellow, blue, black, and white. All donations will be used to buy and ship Tomo's paint, and if there are a few spare dollars I will purchase a few paintbrushes or other art materials for her. If it is cheaper to buy it online, I will do that instead of buying and sending it myself.

[PayPal button has been removed.]

And I will, of course, share every step of this process with you!


Thank you so much for your kindness and generosity, sweet readers. I look forward to seeing how this all turns out!

Much love,


{EDIT}
And this, my friends, is what makes me think that she deserves, needs, and would be eternally grateful for your help. (She just received my initial package of a few art journalling papers and magazine cutouts today, after I wrote this post.)
"I GOT THEM I GOT THEM I GOT THEM!!! OH MY GOSH!!!! I just went to check the mail 3 minutes ago and saw a BIG package with super nice handwriting on it and was like "OH MY GOD!!! IT'S HERE!!!" I haven't even looked at EVERYTHING yet. I read the letter and I'm so thankful for everything you've done to help me get started and continue my art journaling experience. :) I'm so excited!!! I seriously appreciate everything, and I know I say it a lot, but I really can't say it enough!! *hug*

Thank you so much for every bit of inspiration you've given me in the one week we've known each other!"
Now, is that passion and excitement or what?!

Ripe Summer's Queen

Summer flowers, taken July 2010.

So here's what happens when I check my email and see that I have a few new comments on a blog post:
  1. I click on the link, and read what has been written.
  2. I make an "aww.." sound, and a smile slowly spreads across my face and turns into a gigantic, silly grin.
  3. I feel supremely, totally, amazingly loved.
You guys are the bestest. I wish I could give you all super big hugs, and then we'd sit down and talk for a long time about life and adventures and wonderful things, and I'd pour you tea or lemonade and offer homemade cookies. Then we'd lie on the floor and cut out magazine images and spread paint across journal pages and get messy and silly and happy.

I am so very blessed to have such friends as you. You make my day, each and every day, and I can't thank you enough for your kindness, support, love, and encouragement. You all are such beautiful individuals!

I have been writing back to many of the comments that I've received via email- have you gotten my messages? I worry that you are not receiving my expressions of gratitude, answers to questions, and responses to things you've said. I read every comment and I appreciate every single one immensely, and I do want you to know how humbled and thankful I am.

So - have you noticed? It's August! We are now two thirds of the way through 2010. How are you doing on your resolutions? I've been better to my body; I'm eating more healthily overall, though I'm not getting as much exercise as I was earlier in the year. I am creating more, and though I've taken a few leaps of faith, I am still working on being more fearless. I still have some work to do on all of my goals.

The new word of the month is remember. What sorts of things do you think back upon with fondness; which experiences do you try not to recall? What moments have made the biggest impact upon you? When were the times that you felt most beautiful, frightened, creative, adventuresome, foolish, or sad? Looking back into our past, even into the difficult times, can be healing when explored in a journal or art journal. Remember that you are loved and supported, and you do not have to relive unpleasant memories without the comforting warmth of kind people.

Do enjoy this last beautiful month of summer! Be in the here and now, soak up every last ray of sun, appreciate the smell of cut grass - and, yes, even the sometimes tiresome task of mowing! - sudden thunderstorms, and days at the pool. These days will not last much longer; and I do think that knowing that they will come to an end makes them all the more delicious.

Much love,


PS. This post's title comes from the following poem by R. Combe Miller:

Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer's queen,
The hey-day of the year!
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear.

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