31 January 2011

Drumroll Please...

Oh goodness gracious! I'm so excited. I have big news for you, my sweet readers!

The most lovely Connie from Dirty Footprints Studio is hosting another round of the 21 SECRETS workshop -- and she's invited me to be one of the featured artists! Amazing, yes? I'm so honored and thrilled and ready for this big adventure! I can't share too many details yet, but here are the important bits:
  • 21 SECRETS is led by twenty one beautiful, talented women who will be sharing twenty one individual techniques, inspirations, creative philosophies, and approaches to art journaling. Basically, it's one big celebration of color and passion!
  • All the material will be taught online - anyone can be a part of it!
  • The individual classes will be announced in the beginning of March;
  • 21 SECRETS will be going on sale on March 14th, and...
  • The spring ecourse will officially open on April 1st!
You can read about last year's 21 SECRETS course here and get an idea of what might be coming up, though all the courses will be brand new and perfectly unique, created by each of the women. Be sure to go visit Connie and meet one of the most radiant, sunshine-y people I know. She really is a lovely, lovely woman.

I do hope you'll join me in this big artfest! Whether you are a beginner or an advanced artist, there will be plenty of juicy goodness for you. It'll be amazing.

Be sure to continue to check My Peacetree for updates!
Lots of love,

28 January 2011

Toward the Light

I have to admit, I am so happy to be back at university. I was completely dreading it, but I find that here I am finally able to begin decompressing and looking objectively at how I've grown and changed over the past few months. (Especially on days when so much snow falls that all classes are cancelled!) I think this year I may have unknowingly begun a journey into some serious self exploration! Perhaps as I discover new things and rethink old beliefs, fears, and goals I will find my way back to my passion for creating. I feel I must, for the time being, anyway, follow where my intuition leads.

With such extreme change happening around me, I have failed to recognize changes occurring within. I've suddenly noticed that I am drawn to new colors - pale pinks, creams, and turquoises - as well as things (images and clothes, for example) feminine, delicate, and soft. In the past, I was (and at moments still am) attracted to bold, bright, energetic colors, colors that suggested action and strength and vivacity; I was never a fond of what I very judgmentally considered "girly" or "weak" colors or design. Yet here I am, wearing neutrals and pinks and wanting to dress in lace dresses and put flowers in my hair.

I really believe that this is an important representation of some inner change I can't quite understand or explain as of yet, and want to see where this world of pastels and softness will take me. This change is so sudden and surprising that I must admit that I'm not really sure how to respond to it! But tonight? Tonight I break out the paints and explore a new palette and a new side of myself with no judgment and no expectation of being able to understand perfectly. I'll let my heart do the talking.

22 January 2011

Reflections on 2010, Part II

Last year my word was "emerge" - and emerge I did, into change and newness and activity galore! This new year snuck up on me and I was a bit late on choosing a new word to guide and inspire me throughout the next twelve months. However, I suddenly was struck by the word "honesty" (in the middle of a shower, as it happened), and haven't been able to shake the thought of it since. In fact, it is part of what pushed me to write - and publish - the last post. So, honesty it is; I am so curious to see where this word will lead me!

In lieu of new resolutions - I intend to continue my three goals from last year - I have begun making a long list of life dreams, goals, and hopes. Check it out here! (You can also find it in the left column under the link "Dreams, Hopes, & Life Goals".) I'd love to hear about your list if you have one or make one!

In order to have a balanced look at 2010, I want to celebrate the good and the beautiful as well as the challenging. Though many moments of this year were overwhelming and difficult, many wonderful things happened as well: I met many new friends, created quite a few things, celebrated My Peacetree's first birthday, and surprised a beginning art journaler with brand new art supplies. I stepped up and moved forward, reenrolling in college after three long years, and my dear Boy visited no less than three times and made me a very happy girl. I struggled, I laughed, I painted, and I studied. I was courageous, creative, and assertive. This year was not entirely unhappy nor unsuccessful.

As I've mentioned before, however, I am still struggling with finding my creative spirit. I miss feeling that constant tug, an itching to get my hands messy and play with paper and glue and images for hours. I hope my muse - my inspiration - returns soon. How have you been inspiring yourself through these dark winter months?

And you, my dear friends - I hope that you are happy and healthy, and know just how sparkling and radiant and captivating you are! (You really are quite so, dearests.) And oh, you are so very loved!

15 January 2011

This Dear Community

Blogging has been such a wonderful, healing experience. Every post I send out into the cyber world makes me feel lighter and happier, and serves as a lovely reminder of things accomplished, dreamed, created, and seen. But what has humbled me most is finding such kind, artistic, gentle souls and an amazing support system that has surprised me again and again. I feel loved and so, so blessed! Thank you so much, you beautiful things, you, for the sweet word and the good wishes. I soak it up deeply - and can assure you that I am sending lots of warm fuzzy thoughts and big bear hugs to each and every one of you.

12 January 2011

Reflections on 2010

Hello once again, lovelies! Happy New Year! I hope that your holidays were magical and that you are jumping into 2011 with exuberance and sparkling eyes.

I've tried several times in the past few days to begin this post. The new year has arrived and we are already midway through January, yet my mind is still in 2010. I have come to realize that, in order to move forward and to be able to properly embrace the future, I must be more honest with myself, both in the real world and in this space.

You see, the past few months things have not been happy ones – in fact, they have been very dark and difficult. In an attempt to think positively and to refrain from bogging others down with my troubles, I have neglected to bring these frustrations into this space. I feel, however, that I am not representing myself accurately, and have found that my ability to blog has been completely blocked; trying to a faux picture of myself (an eternally happy, positive, growing self) while feeling less than okay is damaging and bars my ability to be creative. I have realized that to try to completely ignore the negative is just as harmful as succumbing to it; as always, balance is the key.

The year 2009 was one of imprisonment. I felt confined, stuck, and smothered in my town and my life, unable to help myself or to find a way to escape. This past year has been entirely different; my everyday reality has gone from inertia to ever-increasing, overwhelming momentum. Within a single year I have moved from home to a new city to a new state, fought countless obstacles, experienced extreme emotional highs and lows, and have plunged once again into the academic world. My family is shifting and has been a huge source of strain; my mother is engaged and has just moved in with her fiancé, and I have had to move with her - my home has disappeared and struggling to readjust has become a constant in my life. A difficult past has complicated matters and causes emotions to run very high.

Life has gone from zero to sixty so quickly that I am still trying to process things that happened months ago. I have been unable to paint, journal, or take photos due to my academic workload and preoccupation with a incredibly complicated and dysfunctional personal life, and there were moments where I was under such mental strain that I became physically ill. In general, 2010 caused many tears and has left me feeling raw, vulnerable, and fragile.

Challenging moments are a part of life, but acknowledging the negative things releases me from them. In being more honest with myself and others while refusing to dwell on dark days allows me to move forward into the sunlight and adopt a fresh, clear perspective - for the time being, at least.

Ahhh. I feel better already. Here's to a new beginning!


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