My sweet Hugo

 I inherited my roommates Flip video camera today! While awesome, she warned me that there probably was going to be Hugo footage on there.

Oh yeah. I forgot that she videotaped him when she first got the camera back in October of 2007. This was right before he got really sick too. Ironically, these videos were taped exactly two years ago, today. There are only three, and they are short and really of him purring...but I forgot how loud his purr was, or how soft his meow was, and especially how fluffy his tail was. How sweet and beautiful he was.

Here's a small video. Its not much, just showcasing his loud purring and his non-meow meow. I miss him.


The Artist's Way and Morning Pages

I forgot to talk about this in my last post!

I have FAILED miserably in doing the Artist's Way. I have actually read through 5 weeks, and do some (very little) of the exercises. I am trying to keep an open mind about it, but it is hard. This goes so against my logical/rational thinking. To think by doing these exercises and writing three pages in the morning, it is going to unlock some powerful things. For one, many of these beginning chapters mainly have tasks focused on reviewing your childhood. That is a problem. I do not remember most of my childhood, and can barely answer most of these questions. Favorite toy? I was told I played with my Barbies a lot. Favorite Movie? Does seeing the Lion King around 14 count? From about 12ish on, I can sort of remember, and from 15 on, my memory is pretty good. I can't get in touch with the past, because I don't remember it.

Another thing. About those morning pages. I've done about 4 or 5 pages in 3 weeks. Obviously I have failed on that end. I have my journal next to my bed with a pen...but I REALLY REALLY REALLY hate mornings. I barely make it to work every day on time (and I live 3 minutes away), and only roll out of bed when I realize I have approximately 4.5 seconds to shower and get to work. My brain does not function like a normal human's would in the morning. No matter how much I tell myself that I WILL get out of bed when my alarm goes off, therefore giving me plenty of time to wake up and get ready, I never do it. I half-remember turning off my alarm (and yes, its far away enough to make me get up), and cuddling right back under the covers. Somehow I most of  time wake up with just enough time to scramble in the shower, brush my teeth, make coffee and run out the door.

So, for those of you who have done and really seen benefits of doing these morning pages, what can I do? I really just want to do them at night. I am such a night owl. It would be a million times easier for me to write them before bed. I would do them every night. She swears in the book that in the morning is the best time, and I can understand, I just don't know how feasible it really is.


Zentangles and Stencil Cutting

I don't know how I stumbled upon it, but I somehow found this Flickr site about Zentangles. I thought they look so FASCINATING and fun, and I really am trying to think outside the box and try and expand my creativity. I have been working on them at work (shhh!!) and at home, and it is addicting. I love how they turn out, and so far it has been harder than I had imagined to just think of random doodles. I don't doodle, and I never really have. I've always just randomly colored things. I like color! I can't draw, outside of triangles, hearts and stars. I have looked at many Zentangles from this flickr site, have written down ideas, but I hope that one day I can do one all from my brain. Here are some I have done. I also tried to do one completely in black and white, but it is too tempting to add in color. The last one I really like so far...even if  I just started it. (click to enlarge) I use different sized Sakura Micron pens for these, and watercolor (Prismacolor) pencils for the color.

I just have started out playing with stencils and spray paint on my journals. Constantly searching for stencils you want and buying them is difficult and expensive, so naturally I want to make my own! I first found this on Michelle Ward's Blog. She does monthly Crusades, a challenge to anyone who wants to participate. I think I am going to work through most of them even if they are over. Some are so awesome! Here are some photos of my beginning stenciling crusades.

As you an see, its a little rough around the edges. It is MUCH easier using a heating tool (found at Michael's) than an exacto knife...but harder than I thought. Any tips on how to make pretty stencils?


Homemade Photo Album

I went to NY this weekend for my cousin's wedding and had a blast. By the time I looked at her registry, most everything was bought, and I didn't just want to give her cash. A few days before I found this website and this tutorial. I thought it was so creative and unique that I decided to try and make a photo album for my cousin. Combining Julie Prichard's Super Nova class techniques and this tutorial, this is what I came up with. The cover is painted in the colors of the wedding, and the quote is from their wedding song. I also hand-carved the "Love" stamp. I thought it turned out pretty well for it being my first try and carving letters.

Final verdict? She LOVED it! :)

Close up of the inside cover. Sorry about the color shift, I have no idea why it shows so damned pink.


Rock Revolution

I (not so ) secretly wish I could be a rock star. How awesome would it be just to go on stage a few months out of the year and play music you love and created for fans who adore you?! If I lived in the 60s and early 70s, I'd be a groupie. Well, not the lets meet the band backstage and have sex kind of groupie...but I'd follow my favorite bands around and just rock.

My journal entry based on...rock! (click to enlarge)


Ahh, Autumn

A glorious season, isn't it? I am lucky to live 30 minutes away from the Shenandoah National Park. I don't go there enough, but decided today would be a good idea to try and go take pictures of the foliage. I had a feeling I was a week or two early for peak foliage, but I am away at my cousin's wedding next weekend (YAY), and who knows how cold it will be the weekend after that!

I had a constrained time period (1.5 hours of hiking time....1 hour of driving), but my boss mentioned going on Humpback Rocks. Sounded vaguely familiar, like I have done it once. Sure, why not! I was just going to drive up there and see what I see. A plan sounded better.

Up in the mountains 10 degrees colder than in town. 45 is a BIT chilly, but I knew once I'd start hiking, things would get better. I park and see this sign:

Hmm. 40 minutes? I can do it! The way down is so much easier than the way up!

I ignored the map to the left of this side as these trails are well marked, and practically sprinted up the mountain. You know, as fast as you can sprint UP anything, and with a camera. And in Danskos
Admittedly, NOT the best shoes to hike up a mountain, but as we can already tell, I don't really think ahead of time. I almost broke my ankles about 10 times, but I am a TROOPER.

What felt like 4 million years later, I  f  i  n  a  l  l  y  made it up the mountain to the most spectacular view.

(click to enlarge any photos!)



Note to self: Check your camera's ISO before you leave the house. ISO1600 does NOT work well for daytime pictures :( These could be so much better...oh well.

After I hurtled my body down the mountain as fast as humanly possible amongst the slick, moss-covered rocks, I decided to look how far up I just went. I guessed maybe a mile up, a mile down.


A: 4.2 miles....lol
B: I did it in 1 hour and 10 minutes! Suck that Mountain.
C: (not pictured) Oh my knees!

There is nothing better than enjoying the day outdoors, feeling the crisp wind across your face as you breathe in nature's beauty. Not a bad way to spend my saturday.


One Day At A Time

This is my new favorite journal entry. Oh, I wish you all could truly see all the beautiful colors and layers in person. It excites me that there are even pages I like when I am so new in my creative journey! That must be a good sign, right? I hope so.

PS: I've read a few chapters of Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. So far, so good. I am committing to the morning pages (day 3...woo!), and doing some of the tasks that she suggests each week. It is very interesting and so different than anything I would imagine myself doing. Do I believe it will work? Not like she is convinced. Do I hope? Yes. We'll see.


Artist's Way

I have read so many positive reviews of this book/workshop for unlocking creativity. I was interested and researched more about it. I stopped researching at "A spiritual path to higher creativity."

No thanks!

I might be the least spiritual person you will ever meet. I don't need to read anything that talks about looking to God!

Time passed and I kept reading positive results from this book. I thought to myself "Well, you can just ignore the God bits and see what happens." Right now I am trying VERY hard to do anything I can to help me unlock creativity that I really want to be deep inside me. To help lead me to some sort of happiness, freedom. What do I have to lose? Nothing. I really don't.

I received the book from the library tonight. Maybe this will be as awesome as people have said. At the very beginning, Julia Cameron says "Do not call it God unless that is comfortable for you. Do not pretend to believe when you do not. If you remain forever an atheist, agnostic-so be it. You will still be able to experience an altered life through working with these principles."

Perfect! Onwards and Upwards.


Be Free

This is a journal entry from last week. I tried my hand at doing something positive. haha.

Free: Independent. Unrestricted. Unconstrained. Personal liberty.

The word  free has always  sucked me in.  I think it is because I long for this freedom from myself, my fears, my worries. To me, that is what freedom tastes like.

Also, in the same theme, I ran across this website today. I have only taken a small glance at it, but I think I'll like it very much.



Mono to Mono

(hahaha...I crack myself up with my post titles)

Thanks to Julie, I learned a new fun way of painting. Monoprinting. I have sort of heard of it before, but never really researched it. All it really involves is transferring a print (in my case...paint) from one surface to another. It was a glorious, messy process, and I loved every second of it!! This is my first try at it. I think I need to actually think more about the placement of the prints, but it was fun. And lots of layers. Who doesn't love layers?

I wish I was rich and could afford to join in Carmen's 'Spill It!' workshop. I watched her promotional video the other day and was captivated by the delicious paintings (why do I link paintings and eating?) in the background and the pure joy and passion coming from her in talking about her class. Sigh. A girl can dream.

Anyway, here is my monoprint! I love learning new things.



My favorite journal entry done so far. Lots and lots of layers.


All the colors of the wind

Nothing makes me happier than looking at leftover paint on my palette and all my colors spread about my table.


Something is missing

I am working on trying to have my journal entries to be more complex. Or at least, complex looking. So for today's entry, I went for that, except it came up short. I think I tried to do too many different things, so there isn't that one thing that ties it all together, you know?

Let me know what you think. Seriously! (click to enlarge)


A few of my favorite things...

I have been thinking about posting my very favorite art supplies, but have hesitated because I am SO new in this field. I just started doing this a few months ago in Julie Prichard's Layer Love class. But, through trial and error and a LOT of reading on various blogs and in books, I definitely have found a few items that I know I love, and probably will always use.

#1: Golden Fluid Acrylics

             I could go on and on all day about these paints. They are artist grade paints, but have a lower viscosity, and therefore spread beautifully on my watercolor pages. They are expensive little devils, but I have bought a few colors at a time to try and work up my collection of colors. I also have tried Liquitex Basic Acrylics (Well, I still have them)...and they are decent. They are student-grade, so they have less pigment in them than artist-grade, and they don't spread as easily as the fluids. I bought a bunch on sale, so I am using them until they are gone. They do the trick, but I prefer the Golden's MUCH better.

#2  NeoColor II Crayons

These make me giddy with excitement. First of all, who doesn't like crayons?! Secondly, they come in a zillion colors. Thirdly, they are water-soluble. (The II's, not the I's) Therefore, you can scribble anywhere you'd like with these bad boys, add some water, and BOOM...just like paint. So great. The only thing to keep in mind is that you can't write over them with pens, and if you get it wet, it will re-activate the crayon. Minor details. I love them.

These also make me giddy with excitement. Ok, all of these do, because I love colors, and now I have so many various ways to apply that color! These water-based pens are being discontinued (oh no!!). So, search and grab them while you can because these are opaque, vibrant, permanent and can write over pretty much anything.

These are my main items I use in almost every journal entry I do. I also have hand-crafted some rubber stamps, and soon will teach myself to make my own stencils. Those will be for another day!

Michelle Ward's Crusade

I have been reading Michelle Ward's blog for some time now. She is a wealth of creativity and inspiration. Each month she offers up a challenge to anybody and everybody. This month, I decided to join in. It seemed simple enough, start a page with a black background. I can do that!

Ok, a few hours later, and my journal entry is done. It NEVER has even remotely ever turned out how I  imagined. I hope one day my skills will improve and I will be able to get from mind to paper. Nonetheless, I  very much like what came out.


I’m running down the road like loose electricity

Oh, how I love this band. The concert last night was great, only upstaged by the fact that I met The Edge. Oh yeah! When I picked my dad up at the airport, we saw a giant motorcade waiting right outside the airport, obviously to pick up the band members of U2. I told him that we must wait and see if we can spot them as they depart from their plane; how could we not?! I will not be so close to fame and walk away from it!

We hovered about the motorcade, and a security guy came up to us. I thought to myself "Great, we are getting kicked out!" Nope. The security guard told us to walk around to a gate right outside the tarmac. He said, "Oh yeah, the plane will land right in front of you." AWESOME.

We waited for about 20 minutes, and then a GIANT jet pulled up. All I had on me was my blackberry, but got a few pictures, that I can't figure out how to get on my macbook.


I just was in awe that we actually SAW the band members come off the plane (and wave), that I didn't notice at first that The Edge was less than a foot away from me! He walked up to the fence where a few of us were standing, shook our hands, and said "Hi" in his awesome Irish voice. I couldn't believe it! These things do not happen to me.

An awesome day, followed by an awesome night. Bono wore a laser jacket with a swinging, lit up microphone for the last few songs. I love him. Here are some pics from the show.


U2 Tonight!!!!

My dad is coming into town in an hour, and then we will be heading off to see U2. I am SO pumped. I haven't been this excited for  concert in years. Bono is my hero. I aspire to be as passionate about something as he is about music...and saving the world ;)

I can't decide which song I would like to hear more, though I doubt I'll get either, but that is ok.


or...Running to Stand Still