Tuesday, July 22, 2014


...many people dream of abundance... myself included...
But I have to remember that abundance can mean many things...
from having enough... enough to pay the bills, to fill the stomach... to even having something come into your life that you didn't think you wanted or needed... but there it is... and it's perfect.

I think as artists, we have this mythical ideal in our head... probably spurred on by someone else's propaganda... as to what we should all accomplish as some sort of measurement... in having "made it" and become "successful."
I think a lot of us have this false belief that  the way of living as an artist; is somehow comparable to other work fields... ie: we think there ought to be some sort of quality review every few months... where we are following some sort of ladder on the way to "making it big"... like there is one set course for it all... and somehow we must follow it.
And other artists promote this idea as well... simply look at the plethora of books out there ... on... follow this step... write for an hour every morning... set up your studio to look like this... buy this website... hire this manager... ... well ... you get the idea.
All with this idea of reaching some sort of end goal where you have tons of money... some amount of fame ... not to mention a contract for further tchotchkes and collectibles based on your work.

And it works for some. Which is awesome.
But for myself... I need to remember that to measure yourself against anyone... is a bad idea.
To measure success... and whatever that means to you... based on someone else's path...
probably won't work for you.
You have to carve your own path.
To blindly compare yourself to others... well, it's sorta like high school.
I don't know about you, but I was NOT the cheerleader. Nor could I even remotely do a somersault; let alone a round-house... or whatever other miracles those double jointed beauties could do. And to compare myself to them would never end well.... on any level.

So part of my goals over the next few weeks is to figure out what success actually means to me.
What are my short term goals to getting there?
What can I do right now... right where I am... that can help me on that road toward doing what I love.

Monday, July 21, 2014


I'm not sure where to begin with this one.
My Brina is not doing well.

She injured herself over the weekend; and to be honest; I thought she was being a bit of a drama queen... which she has done before. But she was limping; and carrying her back foot most of the time. I couldn't see anything wrong with her foot or her pad.... but I've been helping her up and down steps; and up and down from the bed/ couch, etc.
I was putting salve on her foot, just in case... but it didn't seem to be helping.
She seemed to be absolutely fine, save for the hopping about.

Today she went in for her first ever! Haircut and shampoo at a professional puppy salon.
(She was not thrilled).... but looks very cute.
I decided afterwards, to take her to my local vet to check her foot; and she was given a thorough check.
Long story short; she really messed up her knee... and because she is not really a candidate for surgery at the age of 15 1/2 yrs old ... it will take a bit to heal. Proper medications were written for pain and swelling to the joint.
On an aside; I mentioned that the last couple of times Brina has urinated; she had some bloody staining to her fur... and it looked like she had some clots as well. No signs of infection, and she seemed to be eating/drinking/ enjoying herself regardless. She didn't seem to be uncomfortable in any way... but there it was.
Some tests were done; including a urine test where there was markedly more blood than pee...
and she most likely has tumors in her bladder; with a somewhat poor prognosis.
Again, medication has been prescribed... but...
I am gutted.
Simply gutted.
And while I knew she would not be here with me forever; it is still a sword to my heart.

And while I have made every effort since she adopted us as her family; to make her days special... all the more so now.... and for whatever time she has... be it weeks, months, or a year...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

for the weekend

This weekend; I am at an arts/crafts show.... HERE.
I am excited, as I haven't done one in months... but nervous; because I am sorely unprepared.
But hey... that's the way it goes sometimes.

The good news is.... hopefully I will be more prepared for the next show (in just a couple weeks), and the one after that;
as I have ordered a couple more folding tables and some earring display stands.
It's amazing how you make a decision to do something (in my case, going back to my art business full-time)
... and how things start to fall somewhat into place.

Anyway... the weekend is about to be in full-swing... and I hope you have a great one.
Here are some cool links I've saved for you to look at:

*Living from Your Heart - ways to intuitive living
*the daily routines of 26 of the world's most creative minds
*1000 drawings
*food!  One pot pasta meal... and un-stuffed cabbage rolls
*creative uses for pallets
*Artist Diana Beltran Herrera--- on FlickR... and here ... and here
*Artist Akino Kondoh 
*and the beauty of abandoned places.... here .... and HERE.

Bonus: things you didn't know your iPhone could do

Friday, July 18, 2014


First, I am sorry about not posting yesterday.
Second, I am sorry for posting late today.
I have had a migraine for 5 days in a row... and a show to do tomorrow.

But I am not complaining.
I am relieved... and excited... and more than a little scared...
but I am pressing on with life... and the fact that I will now (and once again) be working from home and doing my art and jewelry business.
Yesterday was a busy day at the Artisan Center.
We had some new applications/ submissions to review... and a big open house/ meeting afterwards.
It's hard to believe we've been open 3 months already... and yet, I know we are just beginning.

Today was my first FULL day off in months... and it was the first day when I wasn't committed to doing something for someone; working somewhere, or otherwise tasked with something major... and although I got nothing productive done... it was glorious.
(although I must admit that the migraine over-came me; and I ended up napping with my Brina for most of the late afternoon/early evening).

Earlier today, I ran some errands, visited a couple of people, and went to the local Farmer's Market.
My goal has been to go to every Farm Market day that I can here (friday afternoons) and get as much fresh, local and organic that I can.
This week's haul included fresh bread, blueberries, currants, spinach, salad greens and russian cucumbers.
In week's past; I've gotten honey, jams and jellies, baked goods like scones and danish, fresh local made cheeses and yogurt, onions, potatoes and horseradish!
If you have the opportunity where you live to support something like this... by all means.. do.
It helps them, helps the local economy, and your body will definitely reward you for eating well.

--- see you all tomorrow

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


... and today I am petrified.

Self doubt.
Was it the right decision?
What will people think of me for quitting the only job I had?
Ie: will they see me as a slacker or someone who is unwilling to work?
What if they are really mad at me or hate me?

I am overwhelmed.
I felt like nothing I did was ever good enough at the job I just left, and today at my volunteer work; I had the same feeling.
Nothing I am doing here is good enough.
Nothing I do here will ever measure up.
I am nothing.

I am sure we've all had these thoughts.
A friend of mine would gently say, that's fear talking... and she is right.
I am scared.

I am scared of failure.
I am scared of what other people may or may not think.
I am afraid that people will be mad at me.

--- and perhaps most telling...
I am afraid that taking time out to do my own art, to build my own business is selfish.
I am afraid no one will like my stuff.
I am afraid I will never make any money doing something I love.
I am afraid it will not be enough... that I am not enough.
That my work is in vain.

According to the book I am reading... one of the suggestions is to make a list of your "heroes."
People you admire; no matter their field of expertise or talent.
Then to list the qualities in them that you admire.
She then goes on to explain... that if you showed a list to a friend... of the qualities in those you hold high... they would think they are of you.
So, say for instance; you admire John Wayne. (and I do)
What is it you admire about the Duke? (my answer... that he didn't take crap from anyone)
If what she says is true... then that is a quality that I have.

And yes, in most instances; that is indeed... very true for me.
So why the self doubt today?
Lots of reasons... but her suggestion is that I "muster up" those qualities during periods of self-doubt... and (today for me) self loathing.

So. I ask myself... What Would JOHN WAYNE do?
(I've always used WWJWD as opposed to WWJD.... sort of a play on the popular catch-phrase)

"Courage is being scared to death... and saddling up anyway." --- the Duke

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I moved back to PA in October.
I had some odd jobs... and then had a temp job for Jan-Feb-March.
In April I got a part time job working at the junk shop.
I have learned an awful lot from these jobs... not the least of which is about myself:

- I am NOT a morning person. I always knew that, but it is now a proven fact.
- I do not want to have to take boards again. Which means, I am not going back to being an RN.
- so what have I done besides nursing? I waitress-ed, I cooked and cleaned for people, I worked as an organizer, I worked security, I worked in a floral shop. I even once sold chain saws. I've sold online for over 15yrs. I've worked as a photographer since 1986. I've given art/jewelry/ craft classes. I worked in a gallery.
- I am not suited to most 9-5 minimum wage jobs.... for many reasons, not the least of which is my systemic lupus; and having some chronic health issues that sometimes prevent me from working a steady work-week.
- Therefore, I am better suited for the "unusual, the odd hours, the more flexible" kind of job.
- Unfortunately, a lot of jobs that fall into this category ... can be illegal, immoral, paid under the table... slightly off center... kind of work... that usually doesn't pay well.
- and... (and certainly not the least of the reasons)... having been self-employed for 10yrs; I am very independent, self-motivated, and much more suited to being my own boss.

But I had it in my head that I had to get a "real" job.
Partly, because I had several people in my life telling me that; and after so long; you begin to believe them...
and partly, because as an artist; that whole "self-doubt" thing creeps in and you think you can't survive on your artwork, you think it has less value, and you feel like you have to settle for the "status quo"... the regular, the dependable, the secure.

Not that there is anything wrong with having a dependable, secure, job.... but I was slowly but surely dying in mine.
I liked the job, and I liked the people I was working with... but there is only so much you can do in a situation that sucks.
And so I quit. Today.
Well, technically, I told my manager on Sunday, and again when I saw him yesterday... and still not being able to get a hold of my boss... I told my manager again today.
I am done.

What (are you all saying) will you do for money?
I have no idea.
My husband is unemployed; and working very hard writing a book.
I believe it will be a success... but it is a work in progress.

But I am (radically)... and perhaps foolishly... stepping out in a massive LEAP OF FAITH.
I am going to work on building my own business.
Not unlike my art business that I had in Albuquerque... but hopefully, on a full-time, balls-to-the-wall level.
And without the benefit of relying on my husband's steady income.... which he no longer has.
It is a HUGE step, and not one I am taking lightly... but I know without a shadow of a doubt that it's the right thing to do.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Big, Big changes... and a HUGE leap of faith.
Will tell you all about it tomorrow.
Wish me luck.