In the meantime, I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Martha Graham:
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.
And another from Nelson Mandela:
Your staying small does not serve the world. Who are you not to be great?
And one last thought from a plaque in a gift shop:
She believed she could, so she did.
I share these now, because these are the reminders I need as I look inward for a bit. I thought I might not be the only one who might find them helpful. Be back soon.
I've never been one to make resolutions at the beginning of the new year. It just seems to be a vehicle to set myself up for failure. Grand ideas. Drastic changes. Immediate dismissal of all bad habits, to be replaced by a whole new set of better ones. Lose 40 pounds by Valentine's Day. Not a recipe for success for me.
On the other hand, I am a sucker for a fresh start, a new beginning, a clean slate. I love a blank canvas. And that's how I greet the new year. I leave the past year with gratitude for its lessons and experiences and opportunities, and turn to the new year, with all of its possibilities.
Anything seems possible. Anything is possible. There is magic in that, isn't there? And somehow, at the beginning of the year, when all is clean and new, it seems like a world of opportunity. Fruit ripe for the picking. All I have to do is reach out and take it. It's mine, mine, mine.
If I were to state a resolution for the year, I think it would be to hang on to that optimism for the whole year through. Now, that is an intention I can get behind.
In other news, I was thrilled when Jenny asked me to kick-off the new year as a Crescendoh guest curator. You'll find me over there all week long, sharing my story and providing links daily to other people and groups that inspire my creative journey. I hope you'll hang out over there with me this week, and join me back here, too. I'm working on some new paintings, playing in my journal, and avoiding resolutions. Who's in?
Are these fun, or what??!! Kissing Balls!! I know!! Sort of a funky and modern take on a traditional holiday decoration. I'm going to show you how to do it...and here's my secret...you know all of those skinny little strips you get after you've rotary cut stacks of fabrics for quilt blocks? These are the leftovers! The step-by-step project is on the left sidebar, under "Toot-toot-tutorials".
Since I work during the day, and I made my samples up at night earlier this week, I took my Kissing Balls to the gallery where I work, so I could photograph them in the daylight. This is our window there...we get such great light that I might have to schedule more photo shoots for the gallery. Even on a rainy day, the shots turned out well.
I don't know about you, but the holidays rev up my sweet tooth into a high-pitched warble! What is it about this time of year that makes me say, "oh, just one more...it's the holidays, after all." And before I know it, another chin is sneaking it's way in. Egads.
Well, these Egg Nog Sugar Cookies are a Gilley Family Favorite. I promised you a recipe for Handmade Wednesday, and this is the one. Super easy to whip up, super tasty going down.
Egg Nog Sugar Cookies
Makes 4 dozen (which is never enough, btw)
Mix butter, salt, lemon zest, nutmeg, sugar, eggs, and milk together with electric mixer. Add dry ingredients and mix thouroughly. Drop by teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
While cookies are cooling, mix together:
Beat until fluffy. When cookies are cool, frost with buttercream frosting and sprinkle with festive holiday cookie sprinkles. Pop one in your mouth...you know, to make sure they're okay for everyone else to eat. If uncertain, try a few more until you're satisfied. Have a glass of milk.
I've uploaded all of my new products to my Etsy shop. You'll find not only my original paintings, but fine art prints in two sizes, my Think Good Thoughts cards, boxed notecards, and Art Under Glass pendants. Anything purchased from my Etsy shop today is guaranteed to arrive at your doorstep in time for Christmas. You have my word. Oh, and something new for me: gift certificates. Not sure what to buy? A gift certificate is the perfect gift...let them select their favorite artwork from my shop. Easy peasy.
And, to give those gift certificates the right send off, I think I'll give one of them away. That's right, some lucky winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to my Etsy shop. Stay tuned, I'm going to tell you how you can win.
(Please use your best Oprah voice here) I'm also going to give away a box of notecards! Yes!! You will be championing the art of the handwritten note. No texting. No emailing. Actual pen to the paper, baby!
So, how do you win all these fabulous prizes? All you need to do is this: leave a comment here today, and tell us one of your favorite Christmas memories, or share a holiday anecdote, or tell us your favorite part of Handmade Wednesday and why you're here. Tomorrow I will randomly select the winners. And, it will be so much fun to read everyone's comments today! I know, right? I like to think of us all in one big room, eating Egg Nog Sugar Cookies and crafting little Kissing Balls, while listening to Andy Williams belt out "Happy Holidays". Happy, happy, holiday bliss.
Thanks so much for taking time out of your crazy holiday schedule to be here today. Can't think of a nicer way to spend a few minutes. Hope you'll find a little time to whip up some cookies and catch someone under the kissing ball. The merriest of merry and the happiest of happy to you! xo
I'm giving stuff away, too! Boxed notecards, art-under-glass pendants, mini art prints, and gift certificates!
Hope you can pop by for a visit on Wednesday.
Check this out:
I would have loved to have been in Macy's when this happened, wouldn't you?
As I watched this video for about the 87th time, I really looked at the faces of the people in the crowd. They were so engaged, and for those few moments, all of those people were brought together into community to share that experience.
Hearing the Hallelujah Chorus like that in an unexpected environment really emphasizes how the arts deeply enrich our lives. This pop-up chours made people who were shopping that day at Macy's smile, dance, grab their cameras...it even made this sappy girl cry with joy. Experiences like these make our world a more vibrant place to live.
Inspired to hear more? Contact your local opera, symphony, or theater group and buy tickets to performances this holiday season. What better way to spend a little time with friends and family, while supporting local arts and culture. Amen, and hallelujah!
I was able to squeeze in some studio tonight, between Handmade NW shows up at OHSU. It's been nice to be in here, re-acquainting myself with my art journal and some markers. Simple doodles, but blissfully satisfying.
I've begun to list items on my Etsy shop for sale. Boy...it's been awhile since I've done that...they've made some awesome improvements to the whole procedure. Much more efficient, I think. Now, if I could just get the sunshine to make an appearance for a day of photography. These drizzly, cloudy days SUCK for product photos!
I'm officially through half of my holiday show schedule. The economy is definitely having an impact, but I have to say, it is so much fun to talk to people about my new work, and to see and hear their reaction to it. Heaven, baby. Sheer heaven.
Have a good night, y'all. Sweet dreams. xo
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving: the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I watch it every year. Without. Fail. So, cuddle up to a kid (real or grown-up), have a cuppa cuppa with a little nip (make mine Bailey's, please) and enjoy the parade.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. From our home to yours. Thanks for being here. xo
Am headed to the beach this weekend with my girlfriend Christine. It's our annual Birthday Beach Bash. We leave our families home and take off for two days of crafting, wine-drinking, chocolate-eating, and chit-chatting. It's one of my favorite weekends of the year.
I'm taking along a ton of supplies to finish up a few projects for my upcoming shows - they start next weekend, can you believe it??!! I thought it would be fun to do some jewelry...I'm calling them "art-under-glass" pendants. Glass circle tiles over little bits of my art doodles, on a fun string of beads or distressed sterling chain. I think they'll be very fun. I'll post pics after I get back on Sunday.
In the meantime, since my birthday is Sunday, making me Queen of the Weekend, I hereby decree this a cake-eating weekend, and you all should get out there and get your slice! Enjoy!! xo