Friday, October 30, 2009

A Crazy Day

I've been mad all day.  
I don't know why.
Just one of those days when I'm mad at all the world.
I notice that this seems to happen a lot right when I think I'm going to change and be this wonderful person and maybe I've written this positive post the day before and so I guess the bad spirits want to say HA HA HA, WELL, TAKE THIS!  BAM!!
Yuk.
And so I stayed mad all day and thought terrible thoughts about everyone just because.  And everything was boring and I didn't even eat yet, even though it's late because everything in my house seemed boring.
And my husband is about to come home so I thought I would call him and ask him to pick up some food from one of our favorite places but he doesn't get very good cell reception where he works and so I thought I would probably call him and he wouldn't answer and then I would be madder.
Sure enough, that happened.
And so I got madder.
But just then he called me up because he noticed a call had tried to come through and so I told him what I wanted and he was very happy to oblige me.
And I felt bad, because I had thought bad thoughts about him, too, even though he really didn't deserve it.
And so I went to read some positive writing from somewhere and finally, after having been messed up all day I finally calmed down and I have come to realize something (for the millionth time) and that is, even when life seems to slap you in the face and you think that from now on you are not going to be a nice person and you don't even care anymore, you are going to be just as mean as you want to be, well, guess what?  It never really works out.  Being at peace in your heart is so much better than carrying the anger.
And guess what again?  Just as I was writing this I got a phone call giving me some really good unexpected news, and then I got another call right after that and it was my husband calling to say that he is about to get the food and will be home in just a few minutes so, even though my writing must be pretty bad and rushed right now I have to leave so I can greet my husband at the door with lots of love, gratitude and thankfulness to the lesson learned on this crazy day.
Wishing you a peaceful weekend,
Carol B.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What If?

What if, for one day, I refuse to focus on all the outside events that I believe wreck havoc with my life?
What if I put aside any thoughts about food and losing weight that otherwise take up so much of my time?
What if I pretend there is no such thing as my past bad relationships? (because guess what? They really do no longer exist).
What if I refuse to focus on any thoughts about lack of money?
What if I choose to believe that my kids really will make all the right decisions and be alright?
What if I believe that I am a good enough artist?
What if I choose to believe that I am already destined to have a great life?
What would I think about then?
Funny how that seems like a very scary door to open, 
and how I almost feel safer locked in this room with all my insecurities.
Better to get up, open that door, and see what it's like to step out into a brand new life. 




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You and Me, Happy As Can Be

Wow!  How long has it been since I wrote here?  I don't even want to look to find out.  
Sorry it has been so long but I have been going through some major changes.  They are good, but it means taking time away from all the time I used to spend on art.  Oh well.
Anyway, what I had been doing was working on this painting and I finally finished so I just had to show you!  Isn't it beautiful?  I do have to say, I was very pleased.
Of course, that is the short version of the story.  Originally, I was asked to do this painting and I thought "Oh, no!  I can't!  I don't know how to!"  And all kinds of other dumb stuff.  
Actually, Janine, my son's girlfriend, said her mom wanted to commission me to do a painting. I freaked out because I thought, "oh, no, I can't!"  Janine, who always very patiently talks me through my insecurities said, "yes, you can, Carol."  So then I asked what her mom wanted me to paint and she said "Anything" which freaked me out more.  
Isn't it funny how you wish people would want your work and commission you, and then, right when it lands in your lap, you freak out and want to throw the opportunity away?
Well, maybe that doesn't happen to you.  Maybe I'm the only weird one.
Anyway, I thought about it and of course I wanted to but was filled with doubt.  
Then Janine told me her mom liked waterfalls and she talked about maybe if I had some waterfall and some kids or something.
And then it clicked.
I thought about how Janine and her mom have been together on their own since Janine was young and I pictured her and her mom looking at this waterfall under the moonlight and it being this beautiful whimsical look and how they would be sitting together, hand in hand, under the starlit night.
So I sketched and sketched and then made a large drawing to transfer to a 16x20 canvas.
And then the really hard work began.
It is funny how you have this idea how you want it to look and then realize it is a whole other challenge to transfer that image from your mind to the canvas.
Well, I had so many ups and downs.  First I liked it, then I didn't.  Then I realized I didn't really know how I was going to paint this or that.  Then I got excited about how it was turning out. Then, when I was having problems, I got so discouraged I almost painted over it and said forget it.
It was at these times that I could hear my hero, Tim Gunn from Project Runway saying "Make it work!"
And so I geared myself up telling myself there was no such thing as quitting, but that I would just have to make it work and I did!
When I was finally done I was so excited!  I really did love the way it looked and I was so glad I did not quit.
I don't know how the painting is going to look up on this post.  It probably doesn't look anywhere as good as in person, but I promise you it really is beautiful and totally my own design.  
The end of the story is that Janine's mom really loved it, which was the number one thing I wanted most.
The name of the painting is "You and Me, Happy As Can Be."  
A mother and daughter, filled with hopes and dreams, knowing that whatever the future may hold, together they will have all they need.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Faces

Faces, faces.
I love faces.
This is an unfinished oil portrait I've been working on.  Needs more work, but I like the way it's coming out and I love playing with oils.
Of course, now that I am looking at it posted I see all the things that are wrong.
It's funny how you can work on something and look at it from every which way, far away, close up, upside down, or reflected in the mirror.  You look for what you need to work on, and just when you think you can't find anything else, you post it or hang it up and suddenly you think "how did I miss that?"
But just the fact that you are able to see something you previously missed means you are improving.
And that's what it's all about.
Wishing you all a good weekend,
Carol B.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let Your Creativity Flourish

Creativity.
Creative.
My favorite words.
How necessary is creativity?
I spent too many years running from the creativity I so loved.
Why?
Oh brother.
Too many issues to even get into.
One thing I know.
It is necessary.
It is necessary to live.
It is necessary to breathe.
Don't let anyone tell you it is an irresponsible waste of time.
Even if that anyone is your own inner voice.
Why, even people who are not the most religious people call God the Creator.
So, how important and responsible do you think creativity is?
And how important is it for us to follow our call to creativity?
Whatever form it comes in.
Whether it is painting or drawing or photography or sewing or designing a beautiful garden or cooking a wonderful meal.
Let us no longer run from our heart's calling.
Let your creativity flourish.
Always,
Carol B.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thanks, Janine!


Here is the picture from my art journal that I posted the day before.  
Only last time, I was having a problem with my scanning in that it was not posting the entire picture, which I felt left out a lot of important images.  
BUT THANKS TO JANINE WHO STILL HAS NOT GOTTEN MY SON TO SAY "I DO" AND THEREFORE THAT IS THE REASON I STILL DON'T HAVE GRANDBABIES...
Oh, sorry.
Got carried away.
I was going to say thanks to Janine who is a whiz with scanners and helped me fix my problem so that I could rescan the picture and post it showing the entire image.  Thanks to her also for encouraging me to play with the colors.  I don't have photoshop.  Just the little tools that come on my Mac iphoto, but it was fun playing with the little bit of tools I do have.  Maybe one day I'll get into photoshop and find out about all the fun everyone else has digitally playing with their art.
'Til later,
Carol B.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Goodnight, Sleep in Peace

Knew it was coming but still a shock.
Maybe because after his last interview with Barbara Walters several months back I was hoping a miracle might happen and he would live.
Yesterday Patrick Swayze lost his battle with cancer.
I want to say, why does a man like that have to die while idiots like Kanye West continue to run around causing havoc?
Sorry, but I just had to say that.
As it is, the thing with Kanye West had me so furious yesterday the only thing that took me away from the anger was the sadness over Patrick Swayze.
So let's focus back on a real man.
God bless Patrick and his wife and all the rest of his family.
Rest in peace, Patrick.
Carol B.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Images

Playing with images in my art journal.
Just whatever way the brush turns.
Wondering if there is a message hiding within.
Don't know if there is, but it's fun playing!
Analyzing,
Carol B.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remember

Remembering those who died.
Remembering those who fought for our safety.
Remembering those who still fight for our freedom.
God Bless.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Integrity

Integrity is being true to yourself, to your vision as you know you were created to be.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Making It Personal

I was going to whine and complain about other things, but first I am going to whine and complain about the fact that I really need to learn how to fix the color in a scan or learn photo shop (even better) because I see this journal page I did looks not that great as a scan when it looks much better in person (honest).  (If you click on it, you can see it close up and it looks better).
This morning I was going to post early, only I was feeling really whiney about my life and something told me to wait and I am glad I did.
My main complaint (or at least, on the surface) was that I was going to whine and complain about feeling fat today even though my hubby and I spent yesterday evening pigging out.
"Why me?" I would cry today.
Hmph.
As they say, "why not you?"
But this morning I was feeling the world was out to get me.
Then I saw Obama's speech to the students.
Contrary to some public opinion, it was not about indoctrinating the kids into socialism.  
I am not knocking people's opinions on that, I am merely stating that I heard the speech and I can assure you it was not about socialism.
Anyway, the main thing that was said was that, no matter what you are going through in life, your life is your responsibility.
Yes, you can have problems, even very unfair things happening in your life, and things might be harder for you than for others, but, in the end, making your life work is still your responsibility.
That's the message in a nutshell.  It is more detailed and specifically focused on students succeeding in school.  As a former teacher, I was saying "YES!" because, even though there are many things to fix in the school system, teachers and everyone else could be working really hard to make sure students learn, but if students are not going to bother to do their part, they are not going to learn.
Anyway, putting aside politics and my views on the educational situation, I heard the speech and realized that the message was also relevant to everyone's personal life.  At least, it was very relevant to my personal life, especially to what I had been feeling this morning.  
The fact is, no one puts that extra food in my mouth except me.
No one puts the majority of those negative thoughts in my head but me.
And if someone does, no one keeps them in my head but me.
If I want to succeed in whatever area in my life I want to succeed, whether it is my health, love, family, self acceptance, and even art, no one is responsible for doing that but me.  It could be really hard but that doesn't mean I can't do it.
Now, after this very nice revelation, I might be back to complaining tomorrow, but from now on I want to make it a point to stop taking the easy way out, complaining without taking responsibility.  
Yes, sometimes life is hard and we have the right to take some time to heal our hearts, but I am speaking specifically to myself when I say that enough is enough, I have complained too long, and I need to take responsibility and make my life happen the way I want it to happen because we really do have what it takes to make our life be what we want it to be.   
So today I'll try to eat healthier, and do some more art and see what else I can do today to make my life better tomorrow.
One day at a time.
'Til later,
Carol B.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rest In Peace

It has been more than two months since Michael Jackson died and today they are finally burying him.  
At the time when he suddenly passed I, like so many other people, was shocked to hear the news.  I was glued to the TV and constantly checking out TMZ to find out what was happening. It seemed like there was no news other than Michael Jackson.
My husband told me, "don't worry.  Before you know it, everyone's going to forget and it won't be news anymore."
At the time I thought that comment was absurd.  This was such big news it seemed like nothing else would ever matter, at least not for a very long time.
But sure enough, it has been so freakin' long that they have had him on ice that, even though this is the big day, it no longer seems like news.
It really is such a shame that all the scandals and family fighting would have him just lying there.
My husband felt the most for Michael's mother, Katherine.  In my husband's first marriage he had a son that was killed in a car accident when he was only 14.  A parent's worst nightmare. Knowing all too well what a parent goes through, he was angry at the Jackson family and all their bickering that would put Michael's poor, long suffering mother through this.
"Let the woman just bury her son," he said.
And so now, all the international hoopla aside, a mother can finally bury her son. 
Rest in peace.
Carol B.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Cuz!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my cousin Karen in Arizona!
Should I tell everyone how OLD you are?
HA HA HA!
Even though I am older than you, I can make fun of you and pretend you are older since this is my blog and I can do anything I want!
But don't worry.  Since I'm nice I won't do that.
I would like to thank my Cuz for showing me and my hubby a nice time this past weekend.  She and her hubby were out here in L.A. for a few days.  We took turns taking each other out and on Saturday she took my hubby and I out to a wonderful place for lunch.  She also treated us to see our very first Harry Potter movie and I have to say, it was great.  It was the latest movie, the Half-Blood Prince.  I know everyone talks about how great these movies are and they are shocked when we say we have never seen one.  We have never bothered to go to one, but when she said she would treat us, we said, what the heck!  Free?  Why not!
So we saw the movie at an Imax theater and we really enjoyed it.  Now we want to go and rent all the other previous movies so we can catch up on them.
The funny thing is that we went to this apparently new area that is around the corner from Disneyland called "Garden Walk" in Anaheim.  My husband and I spend our weekends trying to find new places to walk around and hang out and we had been going through a dry spell not knowing where to go except to hang out at Barnes and Nobles and Target.  My cousin had to come all the way from out of state to show us what we had in our own backyard.  She also tells me stuff that is going on in my own family that I don't even know about.  She tells me something and I say, "I didn't even know that!  How come you are out of state and you know that and I don't?"  And then she says, "Do you ever call your mother?"  And I say, "Ok.  Never mind." 
Anyway, I hope you are having a good birthday today, Cuz, and to anyone else out there who might be sharing a birthday today or any other time this month I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
Wishing everyone the Best Always,
Carol B.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Whole Week

Has it been a whole week since I last posted?
Oh, brother!
Right when I was doing really good.
I was asking myself "why?" and the only thing I can come up with, once again, is when something happens that gets to my insides I end up hiding out.
This time it wasn't anything really drastic, well, in a way.  But I can tell that it was Ted Kennedy passing. 
When I was a little girl, I idolized the Kennedys.  It was all that idealistic talk of the 60's.  I was around when President Kennedy was assassinated.  Even though I was very young, it really devastated me.  And then Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, and again the devastation.  I put all my ideal hopes in Ted Kennedy but after Chapaquidick (I probably I spelled that wrong) everything went down the tubes.  At the time, I was still too young to understand what all the scandal meant, so I kept my hopes up for the Kennedy dynasty but when Ted ran for the presidency and lost, it all fell away for me.
Later, when I was older and realized what all those Kennedy scandals meant, I turned my back on them, disgusted.
So when we knew Ted Kennedy was going to die I thought I didn't care, but when they announced the news last week, it really got to me.  I felt terrible, and yes, I can now see that is when I stopped blogging.
Sure, we all knew he was going to die and, after he didn't show up at his sister's funeral, it looked like it was about to happen soon, but still it was a shock.  
I think it was another Kennedy dying, and how that connected with the deep feelings I had when I was young.  So that, despite the fact that I had said I didn't care about the Kennedys anymore, all the feelings came flooding back and there I was, back in 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated, and 1968 when Bobby was assassinated, and it was all too much.
It's funny how I had no idea I was going to write all this.  I was just going to mention it as a little line in passing and talk about other things.  The fact that I had this much to say shows that I was hiding my feelings more than I thought, which always proves not to be a good thing.
If I had known this was what I was going to write about I would have put up a picture of the Kennedys.  But, as it is, the Blogger system is not working well right now and I could not even put up a default picture.  I will be lucky if this whole post doesn't go down the tubes and not publish, like it is warning me in little red letters right now.
Oh well.
So here I am, back again.
I'll catch up on other things later.
'Til then, hoping you are having a great day!
Carol B.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Giant Leap

It is through this beautiful door that I have been walking through these past Monday evenings. It is where I take art classes at the Plaza de La Raza in Lincoln Heights.  
I am taking classes with Margaret Garcia, a renowned Chicana artist.  
The Plaza is a place that offers a multitude of classes in the arts to the community.  Everything from the visual arts, to music, dance, theater, you name it.  There are so many classes, and all at a low price.  It is a great offering of love from so many people who support the desire to keep art alive in the community, especially to children.
I have received brochures from the Plaza for several years.  I have been wanting to take art classes but had not gotten around to it.  When I saw that Margaret Garcia was teaching, I was astounded, and jumped at the chance.
Let's rewind.
The first time I saw Margaret's name, last fall, I was astounded, craved after the opportunity, then told myself no.  "You shouldn't spend the money," etc. etc., anything to deny myself of what I knew would truly nurture me.  You know, the self sabotage thing.
The second time I saw her name, last spring, I thought about it again, then denied myself again.
The third time I saw her name, for a class over the summer, I almost told myself no again but then I thought, "hmmm.  It starts in July, in fact, the day before my birthday.  My family has to give me a present anyway, so why not tell them they could all chip in to pay for the class?"
I told my husband and he said he would give the class as a gift from himself.  
So, thanks to my honey I finally signed up.
We have already completed seven classes and our last Monday is next week.
We first did this little practice painting, then a portrait with a live model, and yesterday we completed our second live model portrait.
Here is my second painting, a young woman named Alexandra;

We only worked on it for two sessions so ideally it could use some more work, but I say not bad for a semi-beginning!
The other thing about this class is that we are learning in oils.  I have attempted oils very briefly in some classes I took a million years ago.  Otherwise I have only used acrylics.  It was wonderful to be using oils.  It is such a great medium.
I am attempting to cram seven weeks worth of thoughts into one post but I will not so I will stop here.
Just wanted to say what an absolute thrill it was to finally allow myself to take what was for me a giant step in moving in the direction I was meant to go in so very long ago.
Do the same for yourself.
You will be glad you did.
'Til later,
Carol B.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Daughter

The other day when I talked about missing my son I WAS GOING TO GIVE EQUAL TIME TO MY DAUGHTER (HA HA!) except that she freaked me out and had me all upset with worry.
She does not live at home so on Monday I had called her for something.  I could tell she was out somewhere and she told me that she and her friend Lorraine from work were at the Long Beach Aquarium, which my daughter loves. She then said that she had told her friend that the Aquarium in Monterey (near San Francisco) is even better.  At the same time, they both realized that neither of them had to work the next day so they looked at each other and said "ROAD TRIP!"
My daughter said that later that evening they were going to pack some stuff and drive all night from Los Angeles to Monterey, stay the night, go to the Monterey Aquarium the next day, and then drive back to Los Angeles in the evening.
WHAT???
JUST HOW MUCH ANGST CAN A MOTHER TAKE???
I tried to talk her out of it, but when she is determined, forget it, and since she does not live at home I could not lock her door to keep her home (not that she wouldn't go out the window anyway).
So all this time I resisted looking up her facebook or twitter, trying to keep the faith that all was well.  
So today is four days later AND SINCE SHE DIDN'T CALL ME I was beginning to wonder, when she suddenly showed up at my house today for an unexpected visit.
WHEW!
All is well, thank you, God!
But she did leave me a picture from when she went to the beach at Monterey, so here is my baby daughter at the beach;

Ok.
Since she's twenty eight years old, she doesn't look like that, either.
But whether my kids like it or not, that is the way I'll always see them, even when they're 93!
In truth, they have grown into two wonderful young adults, both of whom I'm very proud.
And that's all I can really ask for.
Except for when they both get that great job they can then buy me a condo in Maui!
'Til later, hoping you all have a great weekend!
Carol B.





Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Kindest Thing

The kindest thing I can do for myself is paint.
Whether it is on canvas, my art journal, or just playing in my sketchbook, I am happiest when I am painting.
Suddenly I am not hungry, I am not overweight, I am not depressed, I am not anxious, I am not worried, I am not angry, I am not in despair.  
All that exists is the paint and the magic that happens when the brush slides over that surface.
There is nothing like it.
It is all I need.
So, before I finish off that pie in the refrigerator, I will go back and paint!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Piece By Piece

I always do things in extreme.
And I'm always disappointed.
I'll decide to eat healthy, but just one taste of a forbidden cookie will have me throwing out the entire effort and raiding the kitchen.
When I went back to college, I spent the first several years staying in a class only if I believed I was going to get an A.  If I thought I was going to get a B, I would drop the class.
My belief in myself has been "live your life perfectly or go back in your hole and hide."
Which is why, in the past year of having this blog I am either running gung ho or I appear to have dropped off the face of the earth.
But I'm trying to look at life in a different way.
Maybe it is not about perfection.
Ok, so I already know you cannot live your life aiming for perfection.
Let me reword this.
Maybe it's not about putting your life in a microwave, pressing the button, and expecting it to be done perfectly, in a flash.
Maybe we could look at living life as if creating a quilt?
You design and cut and arrange and rearrange and put together piece by piece, stitch by stitch. And if it doesn't come out the way you want you can always pull out a few stitches and piece it back together again.
Up until the past two years, I lived my life saying everything I thought I was supposed to say, doing everything I thought I was supposed to do, thinking this was the way I was supposed to live my life until I no longer had any idea what it was to live life as me.
The past two years I have been trying to "be me" but that's a hard thing to do when your goal is perfection or nothing at all.
It seems like every week, no, every day, I have to try again.  Arrange, rearrange, piece together, then maybe rearrange again.
But you know what?
I have decided that's ok.  I have decided that from now on I will try to look at life as if piecing together a quilt.  And if it is a crazy quilt, so be it.  
And if I forget about looking at life this way and I find myself once again aiming for perfection, and once again being disappointed, and once again wanting to hide, I will pick up that quilt, pull out some stitches, arrange, rearrange, and piece it back together again.
Sigh.
Who would have thought imperfection would be more hard than perfection?
Who would have thought balance would be more hard than extreme?
But life can be more colorful because of it.
And as an artist, color is good.
'Til later,
Carol B.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Go Manny!

Tonight I'm going to my first Dodger game in ten years!
As excited as I am, it's nothing compared to my hubby.  I forgot to ask him when his last game was, but I know it has been longer than me (I went to my last game just before I met him).
You should have seen him when we went to Dodger Stadium to get our tickets this past Saturday.  He checked out the map to see where our seats were but then later we went into the stadium (which was empty).  The lower levels were blocked off so from the second to the highest level he was leaning over the rail, trying to find out seats.  I wish I had had my camera so I could have taken a picture of him, looking like a little boy, counting out the seats in deep concentration, to mark out the view he would soon get at his first ball game.
We have to leave extra early today because he wants to get there right when the gates open, which is two hours before the game.  He's hoping if we go early we can watch batting practice.  I hope so, too, if we're going that early!
So I'll eat a Dodger Dog and a bag of peanuts for you, and here's hoping our Dodgers win!
Go Manny!
'Til later,
Carol B.

update:  Dodgers: 7   Cardinals: 3
Go, Dodgers!

Monday, August 17, 2009

My Baby

Here's a picture of my baby!

Ok.  So he's twenty four years old, so he doesn't exactly look like that anymore.
But he does to me!
Sniff.
Just tell me this;
why is it that when your kids are living in your home you think AREN'T THEY EVER GOING TO LEAVE?
And then, as soon as they're not there anymore you can hardly stand the silence?
My son still lives at home and he's not leaving forever.  He's only going to be gone for two weeks.
But still.
No music that you can't understand the lyrics and you don't want to playing.
No leaving the TV on in his room when he's actually spending time in the living room.
No leaving the TV on in the living room when he's actually spending time in his room.
No cigarette butts in the backyard that he says doesn't belong to him but belongs to the cat, a cat we don't have.
Sigh.
I remember when I was a young mother at home and people used to tell me "Enjoy your kids. They grow up so fast!"
And I would think "oh, brother.  They're never going to grow up."
And then, poof!
They're all grown.
So if you have young children, remember today to enjoy them.
They do grow up so fast.
My son doesn't read my blog but his girlfriend often does.
So Janine, if you're reading this, tell him I said,
"ERIC, HOW COME YOU DIDN'T CLEAN THE BATHROOM BEFORE YOU LEFT??"
Sigh.
Kids.
'Til later,
Carol B.



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just Being Me

I keep wondering when it is that I will get the message that you don't have to be perfect to have your life matter.  
When I will stop saying, "yeah, I like my paintings, but what if someone else doesn't?"
"Yeah, I like my photos, but what if someone else doesn't?"
"Yeah, I like my writing, but what if someone else doesn't?"
Sigh.
I search and search other people's blogs, and the thing I like the most is when someone shows me their true self.  That is what I find the most magical.  
I look for others to share their true self, and I think what I am actually searching for is the courage to share my true self.
I want the courage just to be me.
How simple is that?
And yet, how hard is that?
So, once again I am saying
"I AM HERE!!"
And you know what?
That makes me very happy.  
I truly love being here, in Blogland.
I so miss being here.
I love writing here.
Besides, if I don't write here, then when I finally write to my out-of-state cousin I end up "talking" her ear off with all I have left unsaid.  I need to give her a break.  So I will write here instead.
So, Hello again, Blogland!
I will be here once again,
just being me.
Love to all,
Carol B.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Stand Corrected!

Ok.  So after posting what I thought was a really cool post yesterday, I find out my theory was wrong. 
I told you about my doll from when I was little and how I thought she was giving the sign for Rock and Roll.

I had almost hesitated to write my theory because I was wondering if maybe she was indeed signing a message that other people would know about.  The only problem was I did not know how to go about finding that out.
I had emailed my daughter to read my post because I thought it was pretty funny.  Well, she knows some sign language and she called me up and told me that the doll was actually saying "I love you" in sign language.
Bummer!  And I thought I was so cool!
At the same time, I was pretty amazed that this doll from so long ago had been made to give a message in sign language.  So, on one hand, I guess I was right when I said that I thought the doll was trying to tell me something.  Very beautiful, actually.
Another person who told me was Miz Katie, who gently called me on my error.  Speaking of Miz Katie (don't you love that name?) you have to go visit her site.  She has some great artwork and photography that you just have to see.  
So, there you go.  I hope I didn't offend anyone who does know sign language.  It was the psych major in me that just has to analyze and find a reason for everything.  
Finding out that all this time my Doll was trying to tell me something so beautiful really is very comforting.
But I still like my other story better!  ;p

So, to all those reading this, "I love you" and "ROCK AND ROLL!"
Carol B.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rock and Roll!

Ok.
So, like, dude, I am always trying to tell my kids how cool I am.  
But do they believe me?
Noooo.
So, now I've got proof.
I had this doll when I was little.  I don't know how old I was, but my mom tells me Santa Claus gave it to me (yes, that's why I have problems).  I had forgotten all about it when my mom told me a while back that she had recently found this doll way back in her closet and did I want it?  I told her yes.
I had forgotten about it when she gave it to me the other day.  She said it was dirty but she had cleaned it up as best she could.  She even washed her clothes and put some new lace and elastic where it was needed to make the doll look as good as possible.
Did I tell you my mom really is a sweet person?
To bad she doesn't have a computer so she can read this and get all happy.
Anyway, I checked it out and all these memories came flooding back, including a very unusual memory.
I took pictures of the doll but forgive me if they are a little dark or if the eyes shine too much and make it look a bit creepy.  They would have come out better if I could have taken the flash off my camera, but since I am a techie dork I don't know how to take off the flash.  
But here is an overall picture of the doll:

As you can see, it looks pretty old fashioned.  I'm not going to tell you how old I am, but yes, the doll is on the older side.  I was going to say vintage because I thought that would sound cool, but on second thought I think it makes me sound more ancient.
Anyway, here is a picture of the doll waving:

Here is where the weird memories come in.
The thing I always remember about the doll is that the fingers on the hand that is waving were fashioned a bit strange.  At least, I always used to think they were a bit strange.  I remember thinking, why are her fingers like that?  They look kind of weird.  They even sort of bothered me.  I don't know why.  It looked like she was trying to tell me something.
When I was looking at the doll the other day after my mom gave it to me, I was looking at those fingers again.  
And then I saw it.  
She was trying to tell me something!  If you look at this close up picture, you can see that she is giving the youth sign of today that says "Rock and Roll!"

Wow!  Was I freaking out when I saw that!
Ok.  So I googled the sign to make sure and I found that in the real sign, the thumb has to be turned in.  
But, who knows?  
Maybe this was the Real sign.  The Original, For Reals Rock and Roll Sign!  Maybe it was just later distorted by today's youth who does not know any better.  Even my son freaked out when I showed it to him.  He got sorta scared and said, "Why is she doing that?"
Who knows?
Just take a look at this innocent, little face:

It makes you wonder how such an innocent, little doll from way back then could know of such things.  
Maybe she was trying to tell me way back then not to worry, that whatever might happen in this journey called life, that it would be all good, cool, and oh so groovy.
If anything, she is back to tell my kids that whatever they might think of their mother, she does have it going on, and always will.
But even if my kids don't believe it, The Doll knows.

ROCK AND ROLL!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Wonderful Mother's Day

Hello everyone!
It has been over a week since Mother's Day, but I hope all of you that are Moms had a wonderful day.  
I had written that the day before Mother's Day I was going to a Mother's Day Tea with my mom with the ladies from her church.  That sounds nice enough, but on that day, in order to make it a nice Garden Party type of tea, we were supposed to wear hats and gloves.  If you read my post, you know I was freaking out.  I mean, honestly, I was getting very nervous.  I finally decided that I would go pick out a hat and gloves at my mom's but if I really felt I just couldn't do it then I would have to chicken out.
On Saturday, before the party, I went to my mom's and looked through the hats and gloves.  My mom was so excited but as I went through hat after hat I could not help but think how ridiculous I looked.  In reality, maybe I didn't look that bad, but since I am not used to wearing hats, I felt uncomfortable.  I finally made a deal with my mom.  I would take the hat and gloves, but if no one else was wearing them, then I would not wear them.
Since the house we were going to was close by and we figured there might not be a lot of parking, my father was going to drive us there and drop us off.  It was so cute because my dad wanted to chauffeur his ladies in a proper manner so he ushered us both into the back seat of his beautiful pearl colored cadillac, flipped one of those 1930's "newsboys" caps on his head, and chauffeured us to the party.
When we drove up, there were a lot of ladies walking up to the house but none of them were wearing hats and gloves!  That was good enough for me!  
"Sorry, mom, but I'm leaving the hat and gloves in the car!"
My mom was disappointed because she wanted to wear hers, but she didn't want to be the only one.  I finally saw a couple of ladies wearing hats, so I pointed them out to her and encouraged her to wear hers.  She left the gloves but happily wore her hat.
The party was in a huge, beautiful backyard set up with lots of tables and flowers.  A lot of women showed up.  Only about a third of the women were wearing hats, so I felt ok about not wearing one and my mom felt ok that she was.
My mom introduced me to the ladies who were all very wonderful, gracious women.  There was a lot of good food and we had a great time.  I was trying to take a "myspace" picture of me and my mom, but I still don't do that very well. One of us kept getting cut off, so one of the ladies at our table offered to take our picture.  So here is a picture of me and my lovely mom in her cute little hat:

It was a very nice gathering, and many thanks to all those who worked so hard to present everyone with a wonderful day.
The next day we had a bar-b-q at my mom's house.  We usually do this because going out to a restaurant on Mother's Day is such a hassle.  You have to wait forever, it is horribly crowded, and then they are trying to push you out as fast as they can.  I find we can have a much nicer time if we just relax in the backyard.  My mom does prepare a few things, but the men bar-b-q. It is nice and quiet, with good food and a nice time with the family.
It is also wonderful because I get to see my daughter, who doesn't live with me, and since she otherwise never visits me, I have an excuse for her to see me.
HA HA HA HA!
Ok.  I better not make her mad, cuz then she'll never visit me.  
This is a picture of me and my beautiful baby:

Please ignore the fact that I do not have on my mandatory lipstick (we had already eaten so off it went).  In case you're wondering what my daughter is doing with her hands, no, she is not pointing at me to say I am crazy, she is pointing at the words on her shirt which say "I love you" in Spanish and then she is pointing at me to say "I love you, Mom."
Ahhh!  
I love you, too, Baby!!
It was one of the nicest weekends I had in a long time.
I need to remind myself that, despite any hard times lately, I am, indeed, very blessed.
'Til later,
Carol B.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Life Goes On

Yowie, zowie.
I can't believe it's been a week and a half since I have been here.
Sorry to all those who might have come here and found nothing.  It's just that this past week and a half has been one of those times when your whole world gets shaken up and throws you for a loop.
I once told my cousin, who reads this blog, that when I am not coming here and writing it is usually because I am going through some stuff and I start to withdraw.  The problem is that when I stuff everything down, I then start to spiral downward until I finally decide to face it and write about it.  Only then can I finally move on.
Not that something really terrible happened, like a family member getting hurt or something. It's just that my whole belief system got pretty rattled.
For the past week and a half I, like many others, have been caught up in an internet art community scandal.  A post in a particular blog that revealed a lot of stuff has already generated almost 1,000 comments.  Yes, you read that right.  Almost 1,000.  I am sure it will surpass that in a day or two.
Even though it was stuff I was already suspecting, it was difficult to finally learn the truth.  If you don't know what I am talking about, I know you might be thinking SO WHAT IS THE SCANDAL??  I know that when I read a post that is vague and does not give the specifics I get really upset because I want the blogger to spill it.  At this moment, I am not going to give the specifics.  Why?  I don't know.  I just don't want this post to be about that, but only about it's effects.
What I am trying to say is that I was really believing in a particular person and what they said about life and even though there were times when that inner voice that keeps you in check told me to think twice, everything was painted so pretty that I would tell that little voice "what do you know?  My whole life has been tough and not very pretty and now I have this pretty corner in my life so unless you can offer me something better, leave me alone!"
Deep down inside, I know I have beliefs that are strong and true but there were times when I felt they let me down and this other world was so pretty so I continued.  So to finally have to face the ugly truth was pretty devastating.  Devastating, but I know in the final count will be good.  Good because after running after a lot of pretty beliefs, yesterday, in a deep funk, I knew where my real solid foundation was all along.  Though having your disillusions revealed hurts, it is a good thing.  Like getting your teeth cleaned.  Is as uncomfortable as heck, but you know it's for your good.
Another thing that might sound funny to those who do not have this problem, but to those who have it you will understand, is that a lot of my life long beliefs in my battle with food issues has also been revealed for what they are.  After years and years of trying every trick in the book to reprogram my beliefs about food and the weight battle that goes with it, it is all finally paying off.  And it is so wonderful, and yet, dismantling those life long beliefs still hurt.  Finally coming to the realization that I am not going to find any real comfort or the answers to life's problems in a bag of M&Ms or Chips Ahoy is wonderful, and yet, at the same time, pretty devastating.  I know that sounds like a joke, but it is not.  I am exhilarated and feel ever so free to be able to embrace this new revelation, and yet, after relying on this belief since I was a little girl, releasing this belief is also very sad.  Nevertheless, I am so happy.  It is really paying off and my life in this area has made leaps of improvement.
The last set of beliefs I had shaken up was in that of motherhood.  Boy, that is the area that can really throw you out the window.   
Now, I know we all go through things.  We all say things we shouldn't have, but I tell you, when your child says something to hurt you, it can really do a job in stabbing you through the heart.  
For once it was not my daughter-who-is-always-mean-to-me.  (hee, hee!  I am saying this because I know she will be reading this) (hi, Baby!).  This is about my son.
Now, again, don't get me wrong.  My son has become a wonderful young man and usually treats me very well.  We have had our issues and I have had my part to play.  I am happy to say that life is usually good with us.  But he has been going through some stuff and last week he took it out on me and said some extremely hurtful things.  Again, I am not pointing a finger.  I am writing about this simply to get this out of my system.  
Anyway, it all hurt like hell and made me very bitter in my questions about being a mom.  I have always tried my best to make sure I was raising my kids to be good people.  When you try that hard, you usually end being told that you are controlling.  And yet, if you try to let go so as not to be controlling, you can be accused of not caring enough to be a better guide.  Either way, you get screwed. 
It is terrible because there are no clear cut rules.  You can read all the books in the world, and yet it is all still a crap shoot.  Yes, I was strict with my kids, but it is because I did not want them to be a bunch of brats.  And they are not.  They have always been complimented about being such respectful, considerate people.  But yes, when you try to guide them carefully, you can also get too careful, and then it backfires on you.  You get somebody yelling at you that "you always do this" and "you always do that."  
But it is hard to know when and where to let go, and how much.  Especially if they are still living with you.  If they don't live with you it is easier.  You don't know their comings and goings so you don't have to feel guilt about whatever choices they are making in their everyday life.  As it is, I have let go of a LOT of my beliefs.  My kids are both adults, so I finally told myself, "no, you are not going to be a terrible mother if your kids choose to do so and so, because they are now adults and it is their life to choose."  Even then, you feel guilty like you are being a bad mom if you don't say anything.  But I guess it is all just life's way of showing you another place where you need to let go.
To anyone who read this far, my apologies if this all sounds like one big complaint.  I just needed to get this all out, and it has actually worked.  After feeling bad for the past week and a half, I am already feeling a lot better.  
And now, after being so stuck, I can finally move on.
Wow.  What a rollercoaster it has been.  It is never fun to have everything in your life rattled, but hopefully it all turns out for the best.
And then to top it all off, last night, here in L.A. we had a pretty yucky earthquake.  Everyone's fine, but it can really rattle your nerves.
As well as rattle your world.
HA HA.  
God must really be laughing at the point He was trying to make.
Yes, Carol, we're going to rattle up your world to wake you up and set you off in a better direction. 
I just wish He would find a gentler way to do it.
By the way, all of you who don't live in the area, please keep us in prayer so we don't have to go through any more earthquakes.
Although it's sure a lot easier than being a mother.
HA HA.
Ok.  No more remarks on motherhood.
It's all good.
Life goes on.
I hope you have a good day, 
and thanks for listening.
'Til later,
Carol B.    

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Wishing all you Moms out there a Happy Mother's Day!  
I hope you have a great day.
I will be reminding my son of the 37 hours of labor I had with him to see if I can get an extra special present (hee hee!)
God Bless you all!
Love,
Carol B.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Yikes!

Sorry I have not been posting any art here.  I have been working on the painting that I last posted.  I was almost finished but not satisfied with the face.  I thought of changing it but I thought, "what are you, crazy?  The background is almost finished.  What if you mess the whole thing up?"  That would usually have kept me from making any change, but then I thought, "I might mess it up, but I will never be satisfied if I don't try."  And so I did the most daring thing in playing with the face.  Right now I like it but it doesn't match the style of the background, so I have to see where to go from here.
The problem I have had in my art is that when it looks decent, then, even if I would like to experiment, I am too afraid to "mess it up" so I stop in fear.  I hate that I am afraid because it keeps me from growing.  Lately I have been in the process of "breaking out," trying to push things and get out of my comfort zone which I have rarely allowed myself to do.  And you know what?  It is so cool!  Yes, I might mess up that painting, or something else I try might not look as good as the old tried and true, but to free yourself out of a self imposed prison is wonderful!
But I am afraid I have reached an impasse in which I am really scared.
Why did I post the above photo?  Because of something I have to do this Saturday.
My mom invited me to go to a Mother/Daughter Tea from her church.
No, that's not the problem.  Honest.
The tea is being held in someone's backyard which will be really nice but in order to give it that "Garden Party" type of look, all the women have to wear hats and gloves.
Hats and gloves, people.
I am not a hats and gloves type of person.
I told my mom I don't even have a dress to wear, much less to be seen in a hat and gloves.  My mom said, "but you have to wear a hat a gloves!"
I was not taking the whole thing too seriously but I suddenly started to worry.  I might think I am cool not wearing some silly hat and gloves, but, on the contrary, it will probably be me who looks silly not wearing a hat and gloves if everyone else is wearing a hat and gloves.  Besides, my mom was adamant about me wearing a hat and gloves.
That's ok for her.  She is crazy about wearing hats and gloves.  I remember when I was young and we would all go to church and it was the early 60's (ok, so don't be calculating my age) and the Jackie Kennedy look was in and there was my mom in her Cassini inspired suit, pillbox hat and gloves going to church all spiffy.  That was ok for her because my mom is a teeny weeny woman and on a fat day she weighs 90 pounds (and no, I am not exaggerating; any relative reading this post will confirm this).  She has always liked to dress up in that classy type of look and she grew up in those decades when it was chic for a woman to wear a hat and gloves so it is all perfectly normal for her.  Me, I have never worn a hat and, even though I have seen some very cool hats that I would honestly love to wear, and I admire women who can wear hats, I feel I look silly in them, at least, uncomfortable.  And if I don't have a dress I am going to feel silly wearing a hat and gloves with some dumb pants, especially when they are not made to go with a hat and gloves look.
Anyway, to make a long story short (too late!) my mom found me this long, summery dress that use to belong to her but she says it looks too young for her now and she told me to try it on and, lo and behold, it fits! (it stretches) and it actually looks really good on me and it even has that kind of look where you could picture it at a Garden Party with a hat and gloves.
So at least I have a dress and my mother told me to go to her house early on Saturday and she has all kinds of hats and gloves for me to try on and see what matches.  
At first I thought that would be cool and that I could actually do this, but now I am getting pretty scared.  
What if I freak?
What if I run out and say "NO, I CAN'T DO THIS!" and my mom gets really hurt and starts crying?
I ask you, WHAT KIND OF MOTHER'S DAY WILL THAT BE??
Ok, so I am being dramatic.  
But I am still getting scared.  So if you pray, just say a little prayer for me.
AND NO, I AM NOT GOING TO POST PICTURES.
Unless I end up looking really cute. ;)
Who knows?  Maybe in breaking out of this "no hat and gloves" box I am in, I might find out I really like it!
We'll see.
I'll also try to get my art together and see about putting up some stuff.
'Til later,
Carol B. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sharing Encouragement

So I'm not crazy!
In my last post I wrote about how May reminded me of spring flowers and the beauty of springtime.  I had this whole picture going on in my mind and I was wondering why.  Thanks to Del for saving my sanity!  He wrote me a comment on that day's post where he directed me to a story about May Day on Wikipedia.  Suddenly I remembered how I had learned about that in my elementary school days a million years ago and how we actually used to learn about that day and make May Day baskets out of construction paper and the whole bit.  Funny how I had totally forgotten about that and yet it was plastered back there in my memory like you always read about.
Speaking of Del, you have to visit him at his blog which is Sunday Afternoon Noodle  You will really enjoy it.  He is a wonderful person with a very positive sense of life.  He has emailed me with some very encouraging messages which have been such a blessing to me.  He has also posted this great Youtube video called "Winston Churchill backed by band from the future."  It is a video of Winston Churchill speaking to a group and the person who did this video put music and some other stuff to make it sound like Churchill is singing a sort of rap song.  It is hilarious and amazing how it is done.  Check it out. 
As for all of you who have sent encouraging comments, I thank you very much.  I love encouragement.  There is something magical about it, whether you are receiving it or sharing it. It carries a very real healing that reaches across into someone's spirit, whether it is spoken in person or is carried through these airwaves of the web.  
Isn't it amazing when you think about it?  You can actually feel this physical healing balm, even if it is coming from people across the country or even other parts of the world.  I am beginning to see the truth when people talk about how changing our spirit can actually take a part in changing the world, and how if all of us join together reaching out in a more loving spirit, how all of us can have a part in changing this world for the better.   
Now, don't get me wrong.  As beautiful as these words sound coming from me, tell me to remember them when I am driving on the freeway.  
But I have tried doing that and, believe it or not, it does help to change things.  If anything, it helps to change me, which, I have to admit, is where it must all start.
Wishing you blessed thoughts for a great day.
Love,
Carol B.

Friday, May 1, 2009

New Possibilities

Today is the first day of May.
May is my favorite month.
Why?
I love the sound of the word.  And the way the letters look together.  
And when I think of May, I think of spring flowers (my favorites) and sunshine and green grass, blue skies and a gentle breeze.
Ok.  So I know it sounds like a corny commercial.  And in L.A. we don't get that many blue skies.  But it's still the picture I get when I think of May.
I think it is also because, deep down inside, I think of new beginnings, which bring new possibilities.  On a day like today, you can start life anew.
I have been visiting people's blogs and seeing the new things people have done.  I have been talking with people, via blog comments and emails.  Everywhere I see and hear the hope in people's lives, the desire to get the best out of life.
Are you an artist?
If you are like me, you struggle with the doubts.  I keep thinking I am the only one, because I keep thinking everyone else's remarkable talent helps them to breeze through it all, but from what I hear, I am not the only one.
Why do we do that?
Maybe it is because people who are artists are sharing the deepest part of their life and putting it out there for all to see.  Whatever your art, whether you paint or collage or sing or play an instrument or take photographs, that can be a scary thing to do.
I know that doing any kind of work has its insecurities, but I believe artists also have the doubts that come with the belief that what we do doesn't really matter, doesn't really count. "Why are you wasting your time with that?  Shouldn't you be doing something important?  That's not something you put your whole life into.  That's just something you do as a hobby."
Maybe you've never thought that way.  If you never have, consider yourself blessed.
As for any of us who have struggled with that, why do we have to continue?  Who says?  Who are they to say that?  Who is the world to say that what we do doesn't count?  Why can't we start a whole revolution that turns the world around so that artists are the rock stars of the world who makes tons of money and are held in awe for their remarkable talent, talent that everyone else wishes they had?
Yes, I know it's a wild thought.  
But it's not impossible.  
And you know what?  I think it starts with all of us planting a seed to make it that way.
How?
By considering our art time one of the most important and necessary parts of our day.  By not being embarrassed to show someone our work.  Hey, by making sure we never belittle our work.  By being proud to tell others that we are an artist, instead of shirking away thinking we won't say that until we reach some imposed level of "good enough."  And by thinking of our choice in life as being as important as someone who would say that they are a doctor, or an attorney or CEO of some grand company.
No, I haven't been outside sniffing the L.A. smog.
I am just tired of having spent my whole life living by other people's opinions, views, and dogma, as Steve Jobs said in his words I shared in my previous post.  I want to live my life, not someone else's.  I want to believe in my hopes and dreams, and believe they really can come true.
At least to know that I tried.
And so, on this first day of May, the first day of new possibilities, if you are an artist, I bless you with a new beginning, a belief in your hopes and dreams.  I bless you with permission to believe in you.  I bless all of us to believe that, as artists, as creators, we are linked with thee Creator of all creators.
So let's go out there, plant our seeds of Hope and Belief, and make it come true.   
Here's to you and your new life.
Always,
Carol B.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Truly Words to Live By


I just listened to the commencement speech that Steve Jobs gave to the graduating class of Standford University, 2005.  I tried to post the video here, but it would not post, I presume because of copyright.  So go check it out on Youtube.  Choose the video that is 15 minutes.  You will be glad you did.  
I wish I could have heard this when I was much younger, but then maybe I would not have gotten it.  Now I do, so now I am going to run with it. 
As Steve Jobs is one of the most brilliant innovators of our time, (you know, Apple and Pixar) you can trust these words coming from him.  As a taste of the video, I will give you one of my favorite parts of his speech:

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."  

Carol B.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Happy Anniversary to me and my Hubby!
Saturday, April 25 marked seven wonderful years that we have been married.  
And here is our picture:

Ok, so that is not us, exactly.  In a perfect world that would be us but I honestly don't have a picture of us together, so I figured this was close enough.  HA HA!  At least I look a lot more like Selma Hayek than he looks like Antonio Banderas (hee hee!)
Anyway, we met ten years ago and seven years ago we got married.  This is the second marriage for both of us and it better be our last because I'm not doing this again!
Actually, I so wish we had met when we were young because, as cliche as it sounds, I totally believe we were made for each other.  It would be nice to know that we had gotten to this age and we were still together.  But, as I told my husband, I'm just glad that we finally met and that we have the years that we do have.  
For anyone out there who is older (not that I'm that old.  I mean, I do have a daughter who is 28, but I had her when I was only two years old).
Where was I?
Oh, yeah, for anyone out there who is older and you do not have that special someone and you think you are too old to find that someone, I am telling you that I found my most special someone a lot older.  Ok, so I wasn't going to say, but I was in my forties.  Anyway, if I can find my perfect, special match at that age, then anyone can find that special person at any age.  Not that you have to be matched up with someone to have a great life, but just in case you're looking.
So Happy Anniversary to me and my hubby.  I love you, Sweetie!
And I wish us many more, forever and ever.
Por Vida,
Love,
Carol B.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Art Heals

My son's girlfriend has been trying to teach me to scan but I still have a lot to learn.  It's not that she is not a good teacher, it is just that when you are trying to teach me something technical my response is "huh?"  I am even there with my handy dandy notebook, writing everything down, but it is still tough.  
I mean, I finally learned how to do the basics.  I put this picture in the scanner and it scanned, although obviously not that well because I was trying to fit in the page from a book.  I am also not good at trying to fix the color and stuff.  I did not even try to do that here.  Later on I will try to play with it.
This is a page out of my art journal.  The colors look much more dynamic and beautiful in person, but there you go.
The point was playing with everything, from text to photocopies, paint, pastels, etc.  The photo is of an old movie star but I don't remember her name.  I could get up and look it up, but I won't.
But as it says, "Art Heals.  It is Dynamic.  It is Electric."
And that is how I feel.  
After days of doing those things you have to do in life, I took time out yesterday and today to do some painting.  Yesterday I worked on the painting I originally showed you I think last week.  Today I have been working in my art journal which is great because you don't have to try to be perfect or anything.  You can just let go.  And if you don't like what you did, you can just paint over it.  Other than that, nobody has to see it but you.  I am finding it a must in just letting go and freeing your art spirit.
And now I am happy.
Still, the business of life awaits me, but I can go back and try again.  
Art Heals.
Don't forget it.
Art Heals.
Wishing you a great weekend,
Carol B.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crayola Love!

Lookie, lookie what my hubby bought me!
It's the Crayola Ultimate Art Supplies box!
It's funny how you can have a ton of serious art supplies just waiting to be used and yet Crayola art supplies can still give you goose bumps.  At least, that's the way it is with me.  Whenever we go to stores that have a Crayola display with all the new creations, as well as the old tried and true, I can spend forever checking them all out, wanting each one.  I guess it's that artist in me who still remembers her first box of 64 Crayola Crayons, you know, the one with the built in sharpener.
And this is the way it looks when you open it up: 
Isn't that the coolest?
My husband loves photography and during the weekends he usually has his camera and we drive around here and there and when he sees something he likes, he takes his pictures.  He's really good, too.  Everyone tells him he needs to enter them in a show or have his own booth in an art fair.
Anyway, when he is taking photos, I keep wishing I had some cute little art supply carrier so I could draw/paint/color while he takes his photos.  So we were at Wall-Mart and he saw this and I was looking at something else and I did not even notice when he put it in the basket until we were checking out and I was wondering why he bought that and then he said, "why, it's for you, of course!"
What a sweetie!
When I was thinking of writing this post and showing this I realized that it has been a while since I have done any artwork.  I have been spending this week taking care of some regular chores that I had to do and I noticed yesterday that, even though I was having a good day, I was in a really grouchy, snippy mood.  I was feeling even more angry and depressed this morning and I finally asked myself, "what is wrong with you?"  And my spirit said, "I NEED TO PAINT!!" And I realized it was true so, even though I have other stuff to do, I am going to stop and paint right after I leave here.
If you are having a hard day and you are thinking you feel more down than usual, ask yourself if you are neglecting you.  Chances are you are running around doing what you have to do but you are neglecting your inner spirit that is starving for attention.  I know when I am starving I get really grumpy, and so does your spirit.
So if you have been too busy lately, give yourself a break and put a little color in your life.
Oh, and FYI; my husband bought the Crayola art kit at Wal-Mart for $10.99.  Later that day we went to Michael's to check things out there and they had the same Crayola art kit for $19.99! That is almost twice the price! 
I love Michael's and I don't mean take away from it, but hey, half the price at Wal-Mart?  I mean, saving money is saving money, so I just thought I'd tell you.
Unless you are Donald Trump wanting to play with Crayons, and then you can buy it wherever you want.
'Til later, 
Carol B. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Catherine Holman Giveaway!

Hey, everybody!
No, this gorgeous painting is not mine, darn it.  It belongs to the wonderful and talented Catherine Holman.  She is having a giveaway, and this wonderful painting can be yours!  All you have to do is go to her blog which is located at catherineholmanfolkart.blogspot.com
Go to her Saturday, April 18 post where you will see this painting and leave a comment about the painting.  You will then be eligible for the giveaway.  The painting is called "Beloved" and comes with the most beautiful little story.
You will have the greatest time looking through her blogsite.  She has the most beautiful paintings.  I sincerely mean that, which is why she has been on my "Favorites" links located on the side of my blog since I started this blog.  After you go visit her just remember to come back and visit me!  :)
I have also "spoken" with Catherine a little bit by email and she is the sweetest person.  Once you go visit her, you will be hooked!
The deadline to be entered in this giveaway is Friday, April 24 at midnight, so go visit her now!
Of course, I want to be the one to win this painting, (hee hee!) but if I don't, I hope you do!
Good Luck!
Carol B.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thank You, Edie Britt

I can't believe I cried over the death of Edie Britt.
In case you don't watch Desperate Housewives, Edie Britt was the neighborhood slut.  Last night, they killed her off.  
Despite the character she played, there was something likable about her.  Maybe it was when they showed, deep down inside, how vulnerable she was and how much she wanted to be loved. There were also times when they showed her strength and determination to survive no matter what the tragedy.  I guess I'm just a sucker when a "bad" person shows their softer side, which is why, in my past, I got involved with too many bad boys I wanted to save.  (Don't try it.  It doesn't work).  But it was the ending that really got to me.  
I wish I could quote the exact words, but I was too busy brushing away the tears to remember, so you will have to know that the lines I write are paraphrased.  But as the final scene was being played out and Edie is talking about the final days of her life and death, and they are showing the vanishing neighborhood of Wisteria Lane and moving up to the heavens, Edie says something like, "They say dying isn't so bad if you've really lived, and boy, did I ever." 
You can hear the smile in her voice because, even though she did not live to see 50, she lived such a wild, full, adventurous life that she could say goodbye with no regrets.
It was this that made me cry.
I thought, could I say that?  Could I die today with no regrets because I had lived a full life, with all the gusto I could have ever wished for?
Hell, no.
I know I could say that I have a lot to be grateful for, but there is sooo much of life that I have never lived because I was either too scared to take a chance or I walked away from chances that were right in front of me.  Why?  Because deep down inside, I wasn't nice enough to myself to go for them.
I'm not saying I want to do wild, questionable things.  Even when I was young I never drank, smoke, did drugs, partied, or ran around.  I certainly don't want to do that now.  But there are so many of those little, everyday things I could do that would make life so much sweeter.  So many times when I could have started up a nice conversation with the person sitting next to me while I sat in a waiting room.  Going to visit my neighbor who lives two doors down from me and yet I've never visited her and the only time I talk to her is when I see her at the store she works at, even though our kids grew up together.  
Spending one whole day painting without feeling guilty.
Dancing with my husband who, this Saturday, I will have been married to for seven years, and yet with whom I have never been out dancing, even if it means I just turn on the CD player and make him dance with me in the livingroom. 
As I write this, I realize this is just the beginning.  As I write this, I realize this is another thing I will have to sit down and write in detail before the days, months, and years continue to fly by, dull and dry because I never took the time to even know what would make me feel like I truly lived a full life, much less actually lived it.
I don't want to die knowing I never truly lived.
So I will write my list.
And you can bug me and say, "Carol, have you done something on your list?"
And I will thank you.
And if you have a list you want me to bug you with, 
I will bug you, too.
Carol B. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Taking Time To Plan For You

There are so many things I first heard about years ago that I am now finally processing.
I don't know why I do that.  
When it comes to learning things in school, I am very good.  I was always an "A" student.  And yet, when it comes to learning things about life, it takes me years of being knocked on the head before I get the lesson.
I was thinking today about what I heard another artist talking about.  She was talking about designing your perfect day, and asking what it would consist of for the perfect life you want. Not perfect as in nothing ever goes wrong, but that you are living the life you truly want to live.
What exactly would that day look like?
What exactly do you want?
Not, "oh yeah, I want to make a living as an artist" (or whatever your dream is) but what exactly do you want? 
What are the details?  What would each hour of each day consist of in order to live the life you want? 
Lately, I have been seeing some of the things I have wanted getting back on the road after having been sidetracked several months back.  But I can tell that I am still wasting a lot of valuable time and I am not anywhere near as productive as I know I can be.  
After listening to this particular online artist talk about not being vague with your dreams but to look at your life and define exactly what it is that you want, I realize I have not done that.
I heard that lesson a million years ago, about having goals and writing them down in detail, but that looked so boring and like it would be too much work and take too long to do.  It has finally hit me that yes, it takes a little time and work to do, but it would have taken maybe just a little afternoon to do and it would have probably saved me years and years of wasted, unproductive time.
I remember when I was getting my teaching credentials a few years back we had a lesson called "Spending Time to Make Time."  Not being Ms. Organized, I thought, what a stupid waste of time detailing every minute of every day's lessons.  Through trial and error I finally learned that yes, guess what?  If you take the time to write out beforehand everything you need to do, it saves an enormous amount of time because you have already planned out everything and prepared for every lesson, as opposed to the way I originally did things, which was to do them thinking I had everything under control, and then finding out I hadn't properly planned for this event or I forgot the materials I needed for that event.  Once I started planning my days and lessons in detail, what a difference it made in productivity as well as success.
I am glad I talked about it here because I can see that just in writing my thoughts about this down here in detail, I now feel more excited than ever to get down to the business of making a detailed plan for what I really want in life.  And I will be anxious to see the results.
I hope you don't take as long as me to learn lessons.
If you do, heaven help you  ;)
Hope you have a great weekend!
Love,
Carol B.