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,
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
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!
Carol B.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beauty Truly is in the Eye of the Beholder

Have you seen the latest YouTube video sensation?  
I wanted to post it here, but apparently it is now so popular that it has been disabled from being copied.
So instead I will tell you that this is Susan Boyle.  I think she is from Scotland.  She was on the British version of American Idol, which Simon of American Idol also judges.  
I can only tell you to go to YouTube and look up Susan Boyle.  You will see many versions of her appearance.  Pick one of the longer versions that are over seven minutes long.  
As you will see, many people were starting to ridicule this woman who wanted a chance to display her talent just because she is so far from looking like what the world deems as "good enough," which means physically "beautiful enough."
But did she ever give everyone a smack in the face, including Simon.  
It is beautiful.
It is awe inspiring.
It will bring a tear to your eyes.
So go watch it, already!
Carol B.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I've been thinking about this mysterious thing called Creativity.
What is it?  
How do you get it?
How come I am not as creative as so and so?
So many things you go through when your heart's desire is to be creative.  
What I find to be true is that the desire to be creative is the desire to express yourself.  This desire to express yourself can come in many different ways according to the person you are. Maybe you want to paint or sing, play an instrument or garden, cook wonderful meals or take photographs of the world around you. 
We all have different ways to express ourselves.  Expressing ourselves is expressing how we see something, whether it is with color, design, taste, sound, or touch.  And then there is happy, sad, bold, quiet, peaceful, raging.  The list is endless.
For those of us who may have difficulty expressing ourselves, what stops us?
I believe expressing ourselves means believing in ourselves.  Believing that our voice counts and that we, as human beings count.  
So how do we believe in ourselves?
By Honoring our spirit.
This is such a loaded topic in which I have so much to say, and so much more to explore.
But what I want to say is that being creative doesn't mean being perfect and waiting until you can paint that perfect painting or take that perfect photograph or cook that perfect meal.  It means honoring the voice of your spirit by picking up that paint brush and brushing it across the canvas, digging up the ground and planting those flowers, picking up the camera and pressing that shutter.  
Just take that first step, and do it day after day, just to show your spirit that you Honor it, that you Honor its voice.
The skill will come later.
But just for today, Honor your spirit by giving your spirit a voice to express itself.  Let your spirit sing with Creativity.
It has waited long enough.
Express yourself today.
Carol B. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Painting in Progress

Hello again and I hope you all had a great Easter weekend!
I'm continuing what I started as my post on Friday.  I thought it would be fun to show a painting in progress.  I have never done that before.  I have always shown a finished product. But I love to look at other sites where artists talk about how they do their work and when they show how that work progresses, so I thought I'd try it myself.  I hope you enjoy it.
If you read my post on Friday you know that I had started to post this on Friday but I had no idea how to post pictures in the place and order that you want to post them.  Every time I tried to post more than one picture they would all post at the top and not in the order I wanted them, so I could never tell a progressive "story" with my photos.  I asked on Friday if anyone could please help me with that.  
So the first thing I have to do is acknowledge the wonderful Ms. Julie King, who quickly came to my rescue, and I mean in a snap!  So I will also tell you that you have to go visit her at her site which is located at
You will see her wonderful artwork, photography, and very uplifting and inspirational writing. Of course, do not go there until you have seen my wonderful post first!  HA HA HA!
All kidding aside, I thank her for generosity in helping me to do this and you can go see how wonderfully she posts her pictures because she really likes to show off with how she posts all her pictures.  HA HA HA!
Ok, before she decides she will never help me again, I am going to show the photos of my work in progress.
I started off with a little idea which I sketched in my notebook.  I played with the colors.  
This is what it looked like:

I then sketched in the design on a canvas.  I did not take a photo of the initial painted sketch I did on canvas.  But the next day I worked on the face and this is what it looked like:
Since I took this photo I have worked a little more on the background and of course I still have to work more on the face and everything as a whole, but this is to show the beginning of this work.
I have to say, when I first started to paint in the face I panicked because I had not done a face in a long time and it was not at all coming out like I wanted.  But I took a deep breath and I said, "yes, Carol, you can do it," and I continued and I must say, I am very pleased with the positive direction in which things started to go.  I can't wait to continue and see how it turns out.
So, now that I have posted my pictures and wrote about them I can see that the information Julie gave me really worked!  It's so exciting when you learn how to do something that you thought you would never be able to learn.  In case you have a site and don't know how to do this, go to my post on Friday, April 9, look in the comments section, and you can read the directions Julie gave me.
So again, thank you Julie, and I now give you all permission to leave this site to go visit her!
'Til later,
Carol B.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

You can't please everyone.
But have a Happy Easter anyway!
Carol B.

Friday, April 10, 2009


It's funny how I want desperately to paint, and yet I find myself dancing around the situation. The difference nowadays is that I make sure that, no matter how much I want to procrastinate, I still make sure to get to it.  
So today, after I did this, that, and that, you know, all those important things, I set up my paints, put on some Joni Mitchell, and started.
Originally, I made a simple sketch of an idea in my notebook. 
This is it:
Then late yesterday I started to put some paint on a canvas.  Today I have just done a bit of work on the woman.  I was going to show you the next picture, but I cannot get the picture to follow these words.  It keeps going up above this post.  
I have tried to do this before, where I want to post pictures in a particular order but they keep scooting up to the top.  By an absolute miracle, I got this sketch to come out in the middle, after my first bit of writing, but I cannot get the second photo to come second.  I will have to wait to show you the photo in my next post, probably Monday, unless I do a quick post tomorrow.
Meanwhile, since EVERYBODY but me knows how to post pictures in a way where you write, then post a picture, then write, then post a picture and it goes in that order, if you are reading this and you know how to do it, PLEASE let me know!  You can either let me know in the comments, or write me at
Have a great Easter weekend!
Carol B.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

God Bless Your Dreams

I was going to talk about painting today, but here in the Los Angeles area our hearts our heavy with the tragic news about the death of Angel's pitcher Nick Adenhart.
Last night the 22 year old rookie was the starting pitcher here in Anaheim, playing against the Oakland A's.  Nick pitched a perfect shutout in the first six innings.  After the game he and three other people were driving in Fullerton going through an intersection when they were broadsided by a drunk driver running a red light.  The car Nick was in belonged to a young 20 year old woman who was also killed.  Another man was killed and the fourth person is in very critical condition in the hospital and, from what I hear, fighting for his life.  The person who ran the red light took off on foot but was later caught by the police and is in custody.  It turns out this young man, who is also around 20 years old, has a history of DUI.  Don't even get me started on the issue of drunk drivers and the pain they cause.
As the mother of a 23 year old son, my heart goes out to his parents who live in Maryland. It turns out his father had come over here to watch him pitch last night.
In looking at the positive aspects of this young man's life, I heard that he had just come up from the minors.  He had struggled to pitch as well as he knew he was capable.  The wonderful thing to hear about him was that he was a young man who grew up always wanting to play in the major leagues and had fought to make his dream come true.  As tragic as the end is, at least last night, in his last game, he pitched those perfect six innings.   
It makes me think of wanting to make my dreams come true and how, in my past, in too many areas, I have given up so easily when things got hard. 
What is up with that when I continue to be so blessed with so many chances and so many people cheering me on? 
Those of us who are here today have been blessed with still another chance.
And so now I better get to work.
Carol B.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Make Yourself Smile

This morning I was feeling really blah.  I think because I didn't get enough sleep.  I tried everything to distract myself.  I watched the news, thinking that everything happening outside my own world would get my mind off things.  It didn't.  I ate a breakfast I thought might make me happy.  It didn't.  I listened to some motivational CDs I believed would get me out of my funk.  It didn't.  I did all the "right" things I thought I should do to change my state of mind. 
Nothing worked.  
What to do?
How about making yourself smile?
There are so many things I used to do that made me happy and made me smile that I stopped doing years ago.  Simple things, like listening to music, dancing in my room with the door closed, going outside in the backyard, lounging in a comfortable chair and reading a book.
In the seriousness of trying to get along in life, I gave up so many things.  I don't know why. Maybe it was self deprivation.  Maybe it was plain old despair.  All I know is that I took out so much of the color in my life.  
I had been thinking about it lately.  What does it cost to play a CD?  To pick some flowers and put them in a vase to brighten the room?  To go outside in the backyard and pull up a chair and read a book?
So while I was putting on my makeup, instead of listening to all the negative thoughts running through my head, I brought out the CD player and put on a CD that I knew would make me laugh and smile and dance. 
And yes, it worked.
What things have you stopped doing that used to make you smile?
Think about it.
Choose one today.
And make yourself smile.
You're worth it.
Carol B.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


A dear friend of mine recently sent me an email saying she has to do a self portrait for a class project.  She said she "loathed" the idea because she can't stand looking at herself, and that the whole project has her defeated before she has even started.  I wrote her back saying, "as for those feeling you wrote about yourself, I want to slap them out of you, as I want to slap them out of myself."
Of course, I don't really want to  "slap" them out of her or myself.  But the point is that if we have those feelings, we need to really take a look at them and the destruction they cause.  She might not have realized the truth of what she said when she said those feelings had her defeated before she even started.  
Yes, those feelings do defeat us before we even start.  Those feelings of "not being good enough" have stopped me from doing so many things I love because I feel defeated before I have even started.
The truth is, wanting to "improve" the outside of ourselves is all well and good so long as we remember that it is the spirit within us that is our true self and that the spirit within us is already beautiful and whole. It always has been.  
It always will be.
When we remember that, anything truly is possible.  
And we will know we have the victory before we have even started.
Here's to your Victory.
Carol B.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Color Of Healing

Oh, my.
So how many months has it been?
Too many to count.
I had all but given up on myself.  Because of some setbacks I had decided to give up on the true me.
But I was not happy.
You will never be happy when you are not true to you.
I have decided that, what ever road I might follow, whatever job I might have to take on, if I give up my art, I will never be happy.
I have decided to be happy.
I have decided to heal.
I have a piece of writing that was given to me, many moons ago, by a young niece.  When she gave it to me she said, "I know how much you love art.  I saw this and I thought of you."  She gave it to me soooo many years ago, but I always saved it.  Even when I had left art, I saved it.  Once in a while I would come back to it and sigh.  I would put it away, but I could never run away from it's truth.  It says;
"What would a woman artist miss if she gave up her art?  She gives up her dreams.  She gives up struggle, harassment, disappointment...She gives up the song of the angels...the miracle of being alive."    
-Miriam Schapiro
I am no longer willing to give up the miracle of being alive.
And so I am here.
Carol B.