Friday, June 29, 2012

Roses, Red and Markers as Watercolors

If you've been following along the past few weeks you may be aware that I am taking Color Love with Joanne Sharpe. Now, I'm a photographer and a jewelry artisan who loves to doodle and sketch.

A friend asked me, in the kindest way, if I was playing with markers and taking non-photography e-courses as a diversion or avoidance. See, I am also working on creating my own e-course and focusing on taking more pictures. I thought about it, because it's a good question, and the answer is no. What most people don't know is that I've known for the past few months that I was going to be getting injections in my knees (an alternative to surgery) and I also knew that this would probably mean that my taking picture expeditions were going to be limited while I worked through physical therapy. And, I was right, PT has been more intense than expected and just my normal walk everywhere in NYC, assigned exercises and climbing the 3 flights of stairs to my apartment has been enough.

Color Love has given me a diversion in the evenings after my long 'day job' days to stay creative and to release stress. I cannot write after my day job, I am just too spent.  It is why I wake up every morning early to write before I go to my day job. So, this week I played with markers and painted.

So, Tombow Bloom was an assignment in Color Love and this month Louise Gale's Creative Color Challenge color and theme was red and roses. I didn't quite follow Louise's full color palette of inspiration because I added blue but there is red and I did create roses.

I used Tombow markers, blended and painted with water.  I'll be honest here... I had no idea that Tombow markers existed until I saw them on Joanne's supply list. I also didn't know that I could turn them into watercolors and paint when using them. So much fun!

For my first Tombow marker, water painted piece...I'm quite pleased.

So, I'm not only going to link up with Louise Gale and her Creative Color Challenge I am also going to be brave and link up Paint Party Friday for the first time. Which is totally inspired by the lovely Tracey Fletcher King. You have to be brave sometime, right? Ok, I'm pressing Publish now so I don't change my mind.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WOYWW - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

I am hooking up with Julia over at Stamping Ground

It has been too long since I shared my desk but below is why. My desk doubles as a cat perch (prime sunny window seat in my tiny apartment) and it has become the catch all for my supplies. I need to create more space in my apartment I just haven't figured out how or where to do that. My decision honestly is to move but in NYC that isn't easy so I will need to figure it out soon.

But, as you see there are some yummy buttons, markers, an inspiration deck that needs attention and piles.

Where I create has become the top of my bed. There is just more space. So, armed with newspaper and wax paper I often spread out and create. Besides the occasional cat stepping on something or often getting their nose painted this works for me.

Below is one of my inspirational decks. I am participating in a swap with the other ladies from 2011 Flying Lessons e-course. Many of us still keep in touch on Facebook and I signed up to do 2 decks and they are due next week so I need to work fast. This deck will all say 'small steps BIG celebrations'.  I believe that we need to celebrate the little accomplishments on the way to achieving our goals - it makes the journey more enjoyable.

A regular deck of playing cards and gesso then for this deck watercolors and waterproof markers.

Then I am also working on my Creative Color Challenge piece. This month the colors are red and Louise threw in a theme roses. So, inspired by photos that I took of a single rose while visiting my Mom I drew the below. Tonight I will use Tombow markers and water to add my color (thus fulfilling my Bloom page for my Color Love class). Wow, way to link all the fun creative things together - yahoo!  Check back on Friday when I post the finished piece and the photos that inspired me.

Do me a favor and hop over to Julia's blog at Stamping Ground - randomly pick 5 people from the long list of people who play along and visit their desks this week. 

You just never know what might inspire you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Shared Messages from the Universe: Me = Love

 It is my belief that messages from the universe speak to me and remind me of something that is inside of me. When I first see them, I often don't even know what is really being advertised. Instead, the message conjures emotions or thoughts relating to something that is going on within me; in my heart, in my mind, in my soul. I see them on billboards, in magazines, store windows, church plaques...everywhere.

I secretly call them soul whispers.

The messages are all around us

If you follow me on Instagram then you may remember this photo. 
It was taken during the first week of May and I was just starting my flower challenge. That's also the reason for the boots.

Me = Love
Love = Me

There used to be a time in my life when I would have walked right past this, may have not even noticed it or if I did I would have just grinned and kept going.

Now, they touch my heart.
This touches my heart.
Things, like the above, make me smile from within and I smile for blocks.

Me = Love

I walked for the next hour doing errands but smiling deep within myself (and every once in awhile smiling for no apparent reason) because yes, me, I equal love. 

Had I not been present. Had I been too busy trying to get to where I was going. Had I not noticed I would have missed out on that hour of inner bliss.

I choose to be aware of my world around me. I choose to see the little things and to harvest joy from them. I choose...and now it is who I am and I do not have to consciously is just the way I am. 

I notice things that most people walk past. I believe that each of us can harvest the simple beauty of each day if we only noticed the little things a little more. So, I feel that it is part of my responsibility to help you see the world that is around you for the first time by sharing how I see my world.

How I do this is by being present. 

Being where I am, which in NYC, often means I am surrounded by hundreds of other people who are so focused on getting to where ever they are going that they miss where they are in the moment. They rush, they are rude, they push, they don't smile, they don't make eye the way, I choose to smile, to say thank you and excuse me. I choose to be present not for them but for me.

Me = Love
Love = Me

My dear friend Renee at Happily Ever After is hosting the sumMEr of ME - a calling forth of self care. Hop over and visit her blog, click the link on her post and watch her video it will make you smile and then choose - decide how you are going to care and honor yourself this summer. 

Too often we put others before our own needs and we forget that by honoring what we need, who we are and where we are going - we actually provide more for those around us. 

So, Me = Love, Love = Me... I encourage you to become more present in your every day, to notice those little things that you used to walk past, to embrace your journey because You = Love.

How are you going to begin? 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Snippets

I am linking up with Tinniegirl today and her Sunday Snippets.

A collection of photos from my week. No need for words. Let the pictures tell me story. Love this.

Hop on over to Tinniegirl's site and enjoy a few other posts of people telling their story via pictures.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summertime Colors

 I am linking up with 52 Photos Project today. 

The theme this week is Summertime Colors and I always think of flowers. I used to spend a few weeks each summer as a child at my Grandparents house in the big city of Milwaukee, WI. I and my little brother, no parents, it was so much fun. 

My Grandmother had some of the most beautiful roses and lush flower gardens in her back yard. In the morning she would tend to her garden while we would play in the yard.

My Mom now has beautiful flower gardens (which is where all of pictures included above were taken recently during a visit home) and I know in my heart that if I had a yard I would too. In the meantime, I visit the gardens of Central Park.

Visit 52 Photos Project to see the wonderful pictures of everyone else's interpretation of Summertime Colors. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW) - Color Love

I'm linking up with Julia at Stamping Ground again this week for WOYWW.  My desk is still a mess and I have been creating while I sit on the bed - hopefully this weekend I can change that but until then this is it.

I've been playing along with Joanne Sharpe in her Color Love class and learning so much. I am learning to play with supplies that I've never used before - heck, I'll admit it I didn't know they existed. :)

She asked that we create a cover page in our journal using Prismacolor pencils, Inktense pencils and watercolors. I love the way the colors just pop due to the layering of the supplies that she had me use. I couldn't help but doodle a little on the page.

She next introduced me to watercolor crayons. Can I just say that I felt like a kid again! 

I love the idea of learning and creating a journal where the how to use a product is on the left and the creation is on the right. A great reference for later after the class is over and I need to refer back to something that was taught.

For the journal page, I created it using colored pencils and watercolor crayons I chose to use a color palette that I honestly don't gravitate towards. I'm more of a red/yellow matched with earth tones sort of girl but I made myself a promise that I use other colors during this class (it is called Color Love) so here are the pinks and purples.

Now I need to get caught up with this week's lessons. 

This is so much fun!

Make sure that you hop on over to Stamping Ground and hand pick a few other blogs to see what they have been working on this week. 

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shared Messages from the Universe - home

It is my belief that messages from the universe speak to me and remind me of something that is inside of me. When I first see them, I often don't even know what is really being advertised. Instead, the message conjures emotions or thoughts relating to something that is going on within me; in my heart, in my mind, in my soul. I see them on billboards, in magazines, store windows, church plaques...everywhere.

I secretly call them soul whispers.

The messages are all around us


Will the road you're on get you home?

I walked by this sign last week. There is a Baptist Church on Madison Avenue between my day job and Madison Square Park. I walk past it at least once a week. This message to the universe was on the kiosk.

I thought about it in the back of my head while I enjoyed the warm summer rain.

When I first read this I did not think about "home" as in where I live, or where I grew up but "home" (and yes I do understand what the church was implying), for me, means my heart.

And, as I walked, in the rain without an umbrella taking pictures...I love to photograph in the rain...I thought about this:

Will the road I am on get me home?

I thought more about home as in "my heart". 

You know the feeling you get when...
                you dance alone,
                you sing along to your favorite song,
                you are doing what you love.

You know when you get lost for hours and smile deep within yourself.

Will the road I am on get me home?

Say this out loud. 

Will the road I am on get me home?

Then think about it...

Are you on the road to making your heart sing?

If you are like me, you many need to still travel the day job road while you occasionally take detours on the road to get you home. I think this ok, just make sure that you detour often!

Oh, and do me a favor, wave every once in awhile when you pass me on the road.

Have you noticed any messages from the universe?
Share your message by joining my flickr group by the same name: Shared Messages from the Universe and post or link your photos. Share those written messages that you walk by most of the time. Those message that all of sudden you notice, you read, you react and they move you forward.
I'd love to see the messages that have inspired you!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Color Snippets

This week I want to take you back

to my Mom's flower garden.

Her Clematis was such a

beautiful blue/purple that

I couldn't resist taking a few shots

when I was visiting recently.





I hope your Sunday is full of color.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What's On My Workdesk Wednesday

I am linking up with Julia over at Stamping Ground today for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday even though I'm going to cheat and not share my desk. It is honestly buried and I've been creating my sitting on my bed while Superman occupies the couch. (For those of you who are new to my blog I live in a 300 square foot studio apartment in NYC - space is limited.)

I have decided that I need to learn to use my watercolors and markers a little better. You know learn to blend and to combine. I find art journaling and doodling relaxing after a long day at my day job. So, I decided to take another of Joanne Sharpe's classes this time Color Love 101 (eventually I am going to have to go back and take Letter Love 101.)

Our first task was basically to take inventory of all the colors that we had in our arsenal.

Now remember, I'm a photographer, so to create color swatches of all the colors I have would never have even been on my radar. So far I have done my Prismacolor Colored Pencils, Derwent Inktense Pencils and my Prang Watercolors.

By the way, Joanne's classes are very affordable and you have unlimited access so 6 months from now if I want to go back and watch a video I can. So awesome.

Now to see just what I am going to create with all of these fun colors. Stay tuned an check back next week.

Thanks for stopping by - now hop over to Julia's blog, Stamping Ground, and visit a few other desks.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Shared Messages from the Universe

It is my belief that messages from the universe speak to me and remind me of something that is inside of me. When I first see them, I often don't even know what is really being advertised. Instead, the message conjures emotions or thoughts relating to something that is going on within me; in my heart, in my mind, in my soul. I see them on billboards, in magazines, store windows, church plaques...everywhere.

I secretly call them soul whispers.

The messages are all around us



Do you often find yourself with a long list of things to do?

Do you get overwhelmed with all of it?

Is your mind often thinking about the next 6 things that you need to accomplish?

What about what you are doing right now? Are truly savoring it?

Are enjoying the moment? Did you notice the flowers that you just walked past or the beautiful building that you just drove past? Or, are you just rushing to get to where you are going and focused on what comes next instead of the now?

I believe that too many of us rush through the moments of our lives trying to get to the next item on our list and we forget to enjoy where we are, we forget to enjoy the journey, we forget to be.

The photo above is one of those moments that I almost missed. I was doing laundry, in my world this means that I bag my dirty clothes and I carry them six city blocks to the laundry mat. Or, often Superman carries them and we pay by the pound for a service to launder them. But this time, it was my turn to actually do the laundry.

I walked past this photo opportunity five times before I captured it. Five times. I was so oblivious to the opportunity. I was so focused on getting to the laundry mat, running an errand while it washed, getting back, being bored, calling my brother, reading my magazine...that I missed the simple experience of the warmth of the newly laundered clothes. The smell - I love the smell of a dryer.

By the way, once I slowed down and by the time I was folding my last load I was finally in the moment. I was embracing where I was...I was in the state of being in the moment, in the now.

As I left the laundry mat, carrying my two bags of freshly folded clothes and blankets, this is when I noticed this message. I literally stopped, as you see my feet positioned in the photo above, to reposition the bags I was carrying and I laughed out loud. I snapped the photo with my phone.

The universe was reminding me to be. I walked home carrying the laundry with new eyes and a new heart. I noticed the sounds of the nearby restaurants, the colors of the fruit at the corner fruit stand, the traffic, the sky...I noticed the moment.

So, today, embrace where you are, the moment, the situation, stop living in the what if and savor the now. Be.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Snippets

Today I am linking up with Tinniegirl and her Sunday Snippets.

{sunday snippets} A collection of photos from your week.
No need for words. Let the pictures tell your story.
Visit Tinniegirl to see some other great shots.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Little Bliss

I am linking up with Liv Lane today and her Little Bliss List. I am really enjoying sharing what has brought me happiness and joy this past week with you. The real truth is that it makes me more aware throughout the week, more grateful, more positive, more present. I love it!

1. Superman is the sweetest. He hid the note that is on the left in my luggage so I found it once I arrived at my parents house.  When I returned home, the note on the right greeted me. I just love him to pieces. xoxo

2. I've been paying attention to the sky more lately. It's forever changing beauty makes me smile. This usually happens after a trip home to the Midwest where the buildings are no where close to NYC high. The world seems to open up for me and now that I am back I want to hang on to that expansiveness. 

3. I stopped on my way into work on Monday to pick up breakfast and the staff asked me if I had been gone on business or pleasure. They welcomed me back with smiles. In a city of 8 million people I guess I am not that invisible. 

4. To the man at the Mandarin Hotel who saw me walk so slowly past him and asked if I needed a cab. I was not a guest. I said thanks but that I could make it around the corner to the taxi line at Columbus Circle. He said nonsense and hailed me a cab so I could go home after getting injections in both knees. A moment of kindness that touched my heart

5. Your sweet comments. The feedback from those of you who participated (linked up or visited) during my May Flower Challenge was so inspiring. Thank you for playing and for enjoying it so much!

How has your week been?

Did you have little moments of bliss? 
Did you savor them and let them touch your heart?

Click the button below and visit the link party and share the love with a few other blogs. Get inspired and remember what brought you bliss and touched your heart this past week.
grab your badge for the little bliss list

Monday, June 4, 2012

Shared Messages from the Universe - Om

It is my belief that messages from the universe speak to me and remind me of something that is inside of me. When I first see them, I often don't even know what is really being advertised. Instead, the message conjures emotions or thoughts relating to something that is going on within me; in my heart, in my mind, in my soul. I see them on billboards, in magazines, store windows, church plaques...everywhere.

I secretly call them soul whispers.

The messages are all around us




I remember the day that I took this photo. 
It was a day that I took off from my day job 
to specifically explore the city and take pictures. 

I remember because I had been walking 
around for hours 
and this reminded me 
to breathe, to pause and to take a break.

This is exactly what I need at the moment 
as I start back at my crazy day job today. 
So, I will be pausing 
from blogging until Friday.

Only a few days
 but a few days will be
 all I need as I will miss you.

Have you paused lately?
Have you taken the time to breathe?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -       

Have you noticed any Shared Messages from the Universe?

Share your message by joining my flickr group by the same name: Shared Messages from the Universe and post or link your photos.  Share those written messages that you walk by most of the time.  Those messages that all of a sudden you notice, you read, you react and they move you forward.

I'd love to see the messages that have inspired you!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Photo-Heart Connection

I am connected to this bridge, forever in my heart...

I visited my home town this past month and spent time with my parents, brother, niece, many of my extended family and then my not-related family. Yes, those that are close enough to know us but not related by blood. I, honestly, have many people like this in my life. I cherish all of them.

Growing up in a small town of 5,000 people means that often everyone knows what everyone else is doing. This is true especially when your parents are involved in the community and when you live a block away from the town center like I did.

I look back whenever I visit home and sometimes still pinch myself because I now live in NYC where I am pretty much anonymous. Oh, don't get me wrong I have great friends and the people who work on my block wave and say hello, the regular places that I shop they say hello, my coworkers are great, etc. but it isn't anything like back home.

While I was home I took a little me time and visited my all time favorite place - The Footbridge. The footbridge is a bridge that spans a creek (it used to be a river prior to upstream damming) and is as long as a football field, at least.

This bridge is forever a part of me - it is where I would escape to when I was growing up. There is a peace at the bridge; nature surrounds you, it is beautiful, and it still embraces me.

I chose to take my shoes off and walk the bridge back-and-forth from one to end and back again. I then chose to take a ton of self portraits on the bridge. Me jumping, me sitting, me walking, - me just being at one of my favorite places.

This particular picture just sings to my heart and soul.

Do you have a favorite place?

I am linking up with Kat at Kat Eye Studio and her Photo Heart Connection today. Each month she asks us to review the photos that we have taken during the past month and select the photo that speaks to our heart. Please visit her blog and stalk the other participants posts - the photos are amazing and the stories that have been written about them are touching.

Friday, June 1, 2012

In The Picture and a Little Bliss

I have been so busy with my flower challenge during May that I totally forgot to link up with In The Picture over at Urban Muser. So, better late than never. :)  

Also, since I'm still on vacation, I almost forgot it was Friday so I am also linking up with Liv Lane with a Little Bliss today.

The theme during May was Big World, Tiny You.

I recently visited my hometown and stayed with my parents to attend my niece's high school graduation. 

My favorite place where I would escape to was the footbridge.
 A walking bridge across a creek where I would write, cry, walk, giggle with friends, bounce (yes, if you jump the bridge bounces), and simply escape. When my Mom didn't know where I was - I was usually here.

As a kid this was my world, my BIG world. A small town of 5,000 people where everyone knew/knows everyone and this bridge was my escape. Funny to think about that since I now live in NYC where 5,000 people live on the 4 blocks that surround my apartment.

Amazing though, the one thing that hasn't changed is how I, I visit Central Park on a regular basis. 

I remember the first time my brother and I brought me niece here once she could walk. She must have 2 or 3 years old. We made the bridge bounce and she giggled. 

Hop over to Urban Muser's blog and see some absolutely amazing self portraits all based on Big World, Tiny You. 

I am also linking up with Liv Lane and her weekly Little Bliss List. I have so much that brought hope and happiness this past week. 

1. My niece graduated from high school this past weekend. Her graduation ceremony was fun. The class video she co-created and produced was phenomenal. She looked absolutely beautiful. I am so very proud of her!

2. Superman is the greatest! He stayed behind due to work and was Captain Cat Wrangler while I was away.
3. I used my Mom's kitchen table to put the gesso layers on my Inspirational Decks that I am creating. OMG, what an amazing thing, a kitchen table. I was able to spread out both decks of cards and use my little roller to apply the gesso. In my tiny apartment this would have taken me 2 weeks simply due to the lack of space. Amazing!

4. I read a good book while flying, which I downloaded on a whim, The Violets of March, by Sarah Jio. I loved the characters and I also love that I was able to finish it in only a matter of hours.

5. My parents amaze me. It is funny that, no matter how old you get, when you return to your family home you fall back into patterns from when you were a kid. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for always encouraging me to be me. 

Don't forget to visit Liv's blog for some inspirational bliss and Urban Muser for some phenomenal photos.
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