Friday, June 25, 2010


May Love soar joyfully through your weekend!

Much Love!
Carol B.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trusting The Process

Here is a picture of the messy table in my art studio, but that's ok because it means I've been working!
My daughter gave me a journal with a blank cover and asked if I'd put a design on it. If I had thought of it, I would have taken a "before" photo but I forgot. I'd like to show you the "after" photo but I can't because my daughter hasn't seen it yet.
But what impressed me today was The Process. You know, that scary "Process" where you are working on something and you think it could be good but you're not sure and you're doing this as a particular assignment for someone so it has to be good but that just makes "The Process" all the more scarier.
I was sure I had a good idea for a design and I even practiced the design on another background and I got more excited and more sure that it was going to be good.
the more I worked the design on the actual journal the more scared I got. After all, I couldn't make a mistake on this, and what if the idea I had didn't work after all? Or it didn't look as good as I thought? Or I made this HORRIBLE, UNFIXABLE mistake?
So this is where I started finally practicing this thing that I have been thinking about lately and that is
As much as I have wanted to do this, as much as I have read about it, as many self-help books as I have, actually DOING it is very foreign to me. But I have realized that some things are not going to magically fall upon you, like fairy dust. There are some things you have to grab a hold of and not let go until you see things through.
So that's what I did.
And you know what?
It worked!
Usually when those Evil Voices of Fear start whispering in my ear ("You're not good enough. Who do you think you are? You might as well forget it"), I shudder and quake in my shoes and then I quit.
But then I thought, what power do those voices actually have, other than the power I give them? They're not like a character in The Godfather with a gun to your head, insinuating you have to do what they say because they're making an offer you can't refuse.
There's nobody there.
They can't really touch you.
All their power is FAKE. It's only what you give them.
And then I thought, yeah, but what do I do about those voices? If I try to fight them, I'll just get worn down and end up giving up. If I cry or plead, they'll just see my weakness and pounce all the more.
And then I remembered.
Hey, Carol, you're a Mom. My kids are adults now, but I remember when my son was young and he used to do what that little character does on "Family Guy." I used to be washing dishes with this little TV on a shelf in front of me that I had on to distract me from the pain of washing the dishes so my mind was already concentrating on several things at once and my son would come up to my side and say "Mom. Mama. Mommy. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mama...."
You get the picture.
And because he did this a million times a day I learned to tune him out.
Not all the time, so don't look at me that way.
Just sometimes.
So I decided to do that with The Evil Voices, saying "Ok, yeah, whatever, later," as I kept working.
And they went away.
And I finished the journal, much more quickly than I thought, and yes, I think it's beautiful!
But what I'm even more excited about is what happens when you tune out the chatter and learn to Trust.
Trust yourself.
Believe in your work.
Trust the Process.
Wishing you Blessings,
Carol B.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Flower Fantasy

My daughter works with this young woman who is said to offer thought provoking questions to the people around her, just to get them thinking.
Last week, my daughter asked me the latest question that her coworker had asked, which was, "If you had a thousand dollars, and you had to spend it all at once, and you couldn't use it to pay bills, what would you spend it on?"
Seems simple enough and yet, to our surprise, many of us have had a difficult time answering that question.
I realized that I desperately wanted to use this money to pay off some bills, and yet that was not allowed. I thought it would be easy to think of something else, and yet I couldn't.
"Are you sure I can't use it to pay some bills?" I asked my daughter, as if the money were real.
I couldn't think of what else I would possibly spend it on, which I believe, in itself, is supposed to tell you something about yourself. At least, I began wondering what it was telling me about myself.
It wasn't until this week that I really thought about what simple thing within my reach that I was not reaching for could make me happy.
And then I got it.
Of all the things that I could whine and complain about that I do not have and that I wish I had, I have been trying to make a more concentrated effort on being grateful for what I do have. I am doing this because I have found that it is far too easy for me to say "I have nothing!" when in reality, despite what I don't have, I have really been blessed with so much.
I realized that, despite the way things have been and the stories you hear about people losing everything, today I do have my own home. I do have a roof over my head, and as much as I complain that my backyard is ugly and bare, that is of my own doing, because, unlike many people who look out their back window and have no backyard, I do have a backyard.
I don't have a green thumb and so sometimes I plant some flowers and they die. Then again, I mostly buy the flowers and then they hang around in the plastic pots they came in until they die. Even then I'll start crying about how I watered them so how come they died? Until my mom and dad, who have a beautiful backyard, told me that you have to take them out of the plastic pots or they'll die.
Anyway, I said all that to say that one of the things I have always longed for was a beautiful, wild type of backyard garden, and that if I had that I would be so happy.
So, back to the thousand dollars, I realized that if I had a thousand dollars I would use it to pay someone to create for me as much of the garden of my dreams as I could create for a thousand dollars.
Of course, that thousand dollars was not real, but it made me think, if having that garden would honestly make you that happy, why not just make it happen?
It doesn't cost that much to buy some plants, even if I only buy them one or two at a time. Then get down on my knees and take the few minutes to put them in the ground and water them and before I know it, little by little, I can have that beautiful backyard garden I have always dreamed of.
So really, how hard is that? I mean, compared to complaining about what I don't have?
So that is what I am going to do, even if it is one plant at a time.
I'm writing it here so I can be accountable.
Meanwhile, I had fun painting this canvas of pretty flowers! Until I get to the Garden section of Target, this is a wonderful start!

Wishing all your dreams come true!
Carol B.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Color Of Peace

When I turn on the news and see that the world is crazy I want to fix everything I hear and see. This makes me crazy and then everything else around me starts turning crazy.
That's when I know it's time to turn off the TV, pull out my sketchbook, and do what I know is the only thing that will bring me peace.

I start to sketch, which usually turns out to be a face.

I decided it would be fun to bring out the box of Crayola Crayons, as well as the watercolors, just to see what would happen.

Painting brings clarity to my heart and to my soul.
And then I can see much better.

It does not do the world any good for me to add my craziness to it.
But maybe, just maybe, when we bring a little color to our world, it might add a brushstroke of healing to the world around us.
Carol B.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Life Well Lived

I never knew who John Wooden was until I met my husband.
My husband told me all about the legendary man, who my husband looked upon as a father, the kind of man who was the perfect example of a life well lived.
In this new media where people can become famous for doing stupid things, the exemplary life of John Wooden is like a breath of fresh air.
His principals of a successful life are simple, direct, and something we would all do well to consider.
All those who know about the man are sad that he had to leave us. Nevertheless, we are happy for him because we know how much he wanted to be with his wife Nell, who passed away 25 years ago.
For me personally, I want to thank you, John Wooden, for showing me that it still pays to live an honorable life.
May we all learn from you.
God Bless,
Carol B.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ahh! The Joys of Painting!

I love designing jewelry,
but painting..
How I missed it!
I went into my studio and pulled out some paint and brushes.
Then I unrolled a large sheet of butcher paper, taped it to my worktable, and went at it.
I randomly brushed on some color, then outlined in black paint whatever design came into my head, which usually ends up being flowers, leaves, and hearts, which I really love.

I slashed on more color, just listening to the music playing on my CD player, as well as in my heart,
just having fun.
Later I scribbled in some Caran d'Ache water-soluble pastels, which are sooo nice to work with.

For now, I'm finished, but I just might decide to add some other touches later.
There is a precious thing about art, in whichever form you choose; and that is that after you have finished running around, stressed out from life, the joy of Creativity is always there, waiting for you.
'Til later,
Carol B.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Congratulations Graduates!

Isn't this the most amazing graduation picture you've ever seen?
It shows the ultimate joy and exhilaration of a long and difficult job well done.
I know that is the way I felt after I graduated from Cal State Long Beach 11 years ago.
This is a picture of Angela, my daughter's friend, who just graduated last Thursday. She also graduated from Cal State Long Beach, as did my daughter two years earlier.
The funny thing is that I graduated on Thursday, May 27 (11 years ago) and Angela graduated on Thursday, May 27. My daughter told Angela that she and I now share a special bond for sharing this special day.
When I graduated, it was a day long overdue. It was a difficult journey, what with being a single mom, having been divorced just a few years earlier. There were many lonely times when I was studying, hour after hour, wishing I could forget the whole thing. But when I marched down the aisle and up to that podium, Pomp and Circumstance marking my every step, it was the proudest moment of my life, one I will never forget.
So to all the Graduates of 2010, I say CONGRATULATIONS!! Blessings to you all for a job well done!
And in case you're wondering, the picture I posted was taken in the fountain of Cal State Long Beach. The young woman in the graduation gown in the front is Angela, and the lovely young woman on the left, with the long dark hair and purple print dress is my daughter, Dionna.
Of course, no one is really supposed to be in that fountain.
So if any officials are looking at this pic, then never mind. I don't really know the names of those people in that fountain.
'Til later,
Carol B.