A Flower Strewn Path

FlowersfromRandy

 

I’m home! I have a long way to go recuperating from surgery, but I’m home and it is lovely to be here with my family and the comforts of home. There is a lot I could say about the last couple of months. But it is still forming in my mind and heart and feels too raw and dear to put out there in a blog. I have no idea whether I will ever write here about this experience, this lenten journey I’ve been on. In so many amazing ways, I was indeed led to a quiet place. Not one I would have chosen myself. And I do feel I am still on this path.

The beautiful thing about this path is that it has been strewn with flowers! And cards! The above watercolor I made prior to landing in the hospital. My husband, Randy, brought home a bunch of gorgeous flowers for me. I can remember during those hideous days of nearly 24/7 living in a bathroom, that the few moments I had to draw or paint were such a welcome diversion. Once in the hospital, where I stayed for three weeks, the flowers were lavishly sent…tulips, azaleas, dahlias, carnations, roses, mixed bouquets, etc. And the cards…wow, the cards! They are still coming! I love looking at and reading each one. The thoughts and sentiments behind each bouquet and each card overwhelm me, in a good way. The outpouring of concern and care has been staggering. Randy and I are so very grateful.

I only wish that I could’ve made a little painting of each and every bouquet. I do have some pen sketches in my writing journal that I made in the early days at the hospital when they were trying to arrest the Ulcerative Colitis by different medications, none of which my body seemed to respond to. The flowers kept coming in even after surgery and the second surgery. The beautiful azalea is now planted in our front yard, and I look forward to it blooming every year.

One of the things I long to hang onto from all of this, is a slower pace in life. To that end, I will not be blogging as often as I used to. I’m considering combining my three blogs into one, and continuing Letters to An Artist on an “as I can” basis. When you’re given a new lease on life, it is only natural to rethink how you’ve been living and make a few changes. I hope, dear reader, that you will continue to check in with me here on Drawn2Life. There is so much Beauty to share with you. And as always, I hope you’ll join me in looking for and creating a bit of beauty in your own life.

A grand THANK YOU to all of you who have sent healing thoughts, prayed for me, wished me well over the last month. I am truly grateful for each of you.

Note to Self

20121227-103155.jpg

To my knitter self in future:

If you see a cute pattern you would like to knit and you think a particular person would love to have this, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT ask said person to choose the yarn.

‘Cause if you ask said person to choose the yarn, they just might choose a very dull colorway that does not inspire you in the least.

20121227-103838.jpg

And if the colorway doesn’t inspire you, then you are apt to knit said item very slowly, finding all sorts of other things to do rather than to knit said item.

And if you’re finding all sorts of other things to do rather than knitting said item, then you will find yourself putting this item away in favor of knitting other items.

And if you are knitting other items with lovely vibrant colors, then you will forget all about said item you thought would be so cute for her.

And if you forget all about the dull color thing, then it might just sit in a closet somewhere for a year.

And if it sits in a closet for a year, and if you find it and have also forgotten about the dull color, then you just might start knitting it again.

And when you start knitting it again, you’ll get bogged down in the dull color and will need to call forth your inner stalwart knitter to keep on knitting no matter what.

And when you keep on knitting no matter what, you’ll realize you do love knitting just for the sheer process of it, the genius engineering of it all, the clicking of the needles.

And even though you realize all of this, you will still know that it is COLOR that makes those needles sing…bright, lovely, gorgeous color!

And so next time you see a cute pattern you want to knit for someone, you will, hopefully, NOT ask them to choose the yarn, but rather pick something that you think they would like AND that you would love to have moving through your fingers for the duration of the project.

This is my note to myself!

*If you are interested in knitting these very cool Yoga Socks: Click Here for Patons free pattern! Just be sure to choose a yummy color you LOVE! 🙂

A Garden of Hope

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I spent a couple of hours working in the Garden this week!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In December, you say?? Yes. This is a year-round Garden.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A unique garden whose rows and vines are shelving structures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The food “grows” on these shelves and then gets harvested and bailed into bags

to be given to school children in Guilford and Forsyth counties.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Please read more about this amazing Garden here!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve written about the Out of the Garden Project before, which you can read about here. I really do love the mission

that Don and Kristy Milholin have planted.  (Don pictured above)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The growth of the Garden is astronomical: they now serve over 900 children and their families in over 50 schools.

 That’s 900+ bags of food EVERY WEEK OF THE SCHOOL YEAR!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can see from my photos, the shelves are quite bare. A Winter Garden to be sure.

But this Garden needs to be producing all year round and especially so at the holidays!!

There are many ways you can help:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you’re local, you can give canned food and/or volunteer to pack and deliver bags!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you live anywhere, you can donate money! And this is the best part of it: For every $5 you give, you receive an Honor Card (the little painting is by yours truly. 🙂  This makes a wonderful gift to give on someone’s behalf.  The back of the card has a space for you to write the name of the person in whose honor you have donated to OOTGP.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No matter where you live in this wide world of ours, consider giving in some way to those less fortunate than you.

In so doing you will bring hope to the children of the Garden!

Trumpet Call Announcement!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

An Art Show to help a Garden Grow!

Thursday, November 29th 4-8 pm

Featuring Artists from the Triad area

(one of whom is ME!)

Put it on your calendar to come enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres and music while browsing fine art & craft for your holiday shopping! Entrance cost is $10, and a portion of anything purchased goes to continuing the growth of our Ciener Botanical Gardens!

It has been a loooonnnngg time since I’ve done something like this and I’m soooo excited! I do hope to meet many of you at this lovely event! I will be featuring my drawings and paintings of downtown Kernersville, as well as offering Genevieve Cards and Prints.

This is a one evening event! Please come by and say hello!

For your invitation and ALL the details of this event, click below!

Small Works of Nature

**Several of my works created on location at the Gardens and downtown Kernersville area will be displayed and offered for sale!  The above drawing of Angel Trumpets was created while sitting at the Ciener Botanical Gardens drawing and enjoying the flowering purple basil next to it!

Give and You will Receive!

As a special thank you to ALL who have already given and to any who might wish to make a donation to Maddie’s Mission to Cure Diabetes…I will give you a Genevieve Print of your choice!!

Just click on the highlighted words Maddie’s Mission to Cure Diabetes and for any $15 donation or greater, I will send you one of the above Prints of Genevieve (value $12) to thank you!!  You choose which one you want!

This offer closes on Saturday, October 27th, 2012…the day we Walk!!

Ready for a New School Year

Teacher work days start today for Genevieve! She is off to school with tons of ideas for fun art projects for her students, a grand vision for our Art Show in February, and some New Threads!!

Thanks to her family’s generosity on her Birthday, she’s now sporting some very Frenchy clothes (at least she thinks so!), like her new J.Jill outfit, a leather orange-flower purse, and some money for a pair of boots.  I haven’t actually purchased these yet, but I saw some the other day that looked oh-so-awesome!!!  But the price tag was NOT awesome, so I’m thinking of buying a less expensive pair of boots and possibly seeing if I can paint/stain the leather!!

If any of you out there know how this might be done…let me know! And yes, I know I should check out Pinterest…someone has prolly done this before!!

Thank you family, for getting me ready to start the school year in style!!

A Dreamy Gift

Recently, Genevieve was given a Dreamy Gift! It’s one of those gifts where it is obvious the giver has taken great care to make it especially for you. I am now the proud owner of this most fantabulous piggy bank!

My friend (who happens to be a “Jennifer” also) discovered that I have a Dream to one day visit France.  So her creative mind set to thinking how I could save toward such a grand dream.  She bought this totally awesome vintage travel (cosmetic?) case, and decorated it with all sorts of stickers with a France theme. It’s in my favorite blue color (notice how it matches Genevieve’s dress) and all the stickers make it look so Frenchy! It even came with a few dollars and coins already donated to my “dream”…HOW COOL IS THAT!!!  It’s a really awesome thing when friends hold onto, and encourage, a dream you have.  Thank you Jennifer!

So Genevieve has been tossing in “leftover” coinage and inviting her family to participate in the “the Dream” ;).

Un de ces jours…(means: one of these days…)

…je vais voyager en France!

What I Have to Give

When the basket passes by, I often wish I could give something other than money.  Not that I always have that to give.  We’ve been taught that, MORE than our money, God wants our Hearts.  So I often imagine my own little self inside that basket, being whisked away for use in His Kingdom.

I don’t often talk about my faith straight on, here on this blog. This is purposeful, since I really want folks from all walks of life to find something here that encourages them, either in life, or in drawing, or both maybe.  But I think it is universal to artists of all kinds to want to give in some way through their art, no matter what their faith background.

About fifteen years ago, I ravenously read through, studied, highlighted, underlined, absorbed, mulled over, ingested, and rejoiced in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way.  The above affirmation was enlightening to me, for I had never really thought that my creativity could be a gift back to God, in gratitude for all that He has given me.  You can find her 10 Basic Principles, of which the above is number 5, on page 3 of her book.

In a very real sense, this blog is the basket in which I place my drawings/paintings/writings and other various creative ventures.  It is a very small way of putting my heart ALL IN with gratitude.

It is, quite literally, what I have to give, along with all the rest of who I am.

Drawn2Zine!

A Zine…what is such a thing? From Wikipedia here’s a definition:

“A zine (play /ˈzn/ ZEEN; an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is most commonly a small circulation publication of original or appropriated texts and images. More broadly, the term encompasses any self-published work of minority interest usually reproduced via photocopier.

A popular definition includes that circulation must be 5,000 or less, although in practice the significant majority are produced in editions of less than 1,000, and profit is not the primary intent of publication.”

The only Zines I had seen (hm, no rhyme intended:) were those of Andrea Joseph and Dan Price.  I own two of Andrea’s Zines and they are terrific!!! You should treat yourself sometime to one of her zines…her mad drawing skills will delight you to no end!  Though I do not own one of his zines, I have read one of his books, How to Make a Journal of your Life, and can imagine the zines being just as wonderful.

I have no idea why Andrea or Dan create Zines, but I just thought it would be fun!  Fun to create, fun to offer, fun to see a bit of my blog stuff in a little booklet.  I thought my kids might like them one day to add to all the paintings and sketchbooks they will eventually have dumped on them!

But the other reason, was just for myself.  When I started this blog, I really didn’t know the specific direction it would go.  I just wanted to share drawings, paintings and other things I like to do creatively.  Now that a few years have gone by, I am able to see some overarching themes that pop up fairly often.  A Zine was the perfect way to highlight just one aspect of what gets covered here in Drawn2Life and in my other blogs.  So there are plans for more Zines on different topics, of course with artwork!

Thank you to those of you who have ordered one of my Zines thus far! You’ve really made my day! And that’s the icing on the cake: when something that I enjoy, is in turn enjoyed by others.  I know there are many of you who enjoy visiting my blog…and I am so grateful for each of your visits! Drawn2Life is getting close to having 100 followers! Can you believe that?  When it hits 100 followers, I plan on having a little giveaway! No, maybe a BIG giveaway of several goodies made by me!  Keep popping by to see when that will happen so you can add your name in the hat!  If you’d like to subscribe to my blog, please do so! It’s always free!!!