Wednesday, April 30, 2014

One Little Word - April

I'm continuing on my journey with Kindness this year and all of my regular blog readers are familiar with my Year of Kindness Project  which so far feels like it is going quite well.

For April, Ali's assignment was to capture our word in photos and to perhaps add a full page photo of ourselves with journaling directly on the photo (specifically about something we wanted to "let go" of in our lives but I didn't do that bit of it). Since I am working in a smash book instead of with the recommended size materials, I always have to adapt a bit. Here is what I came up with:
 This is my two page spread. The collage shows some of the small ways kindness has been active in my life so far this year. Self-kindness is the form of a visit with my sister and fresh flowers to photograph, unexpected kindness when Rachel and Becca shoveled the sidewalk, kindness from the Universe when I spotted an entire flock of robins in January while doing laundry, kindness from Sarah who purchased the cute little giraffe that I fell in love with at Eastern Market - the artist creates these from old soda cans - this was from an Arizona Tea can.  And finally - that canvas - was gifted to the daughter of a good friend. This young girl is currently undergoing in-patient therapy for amplified pain that has left her in a wheelchair since January. She loves to dance and can't wait to be back on her feet. I hadn't planned the canvas for her, but realized once it was done it was perfect for her. So off it went to her hospital room!
Here's a close up of the treatment added to the right-hand page. I haven't done a good selfie in a while so I used a small print of my blog photo which just seemed to be perfect for this page. And journaled about my experiences with kindness around the elements of the page.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 17

So last week, true to my word, I "planted" twenty five trees via The Canopy Project.  I still plan to do some planting around here, but as it turns out, it is a bit early yet for the kind of flowers I'm looking for. Spring was late in coming and we are still in the process of having everything just starting to bloom and bud here - which is making my sinuses most unhappy, but I'm loving the sunshine and the colors and the inspiration! I hope you were all inspired to plant!

I was also inspired to create in the past week. Krystal Hartley and Melissa Bennett came out with a new collab kit called Garden Angel:
Garden Angel by Krystal Hartley and Melissa BennettI used the kit to create a layout celebrating Spring:
She also had a new collab kit with Ju Kneipp called Letters to My Mother:
Letters to my Mother by Juliana Kneipp and Krystal HartleyI used this kit for an art journal style layout to complete the Week One assignment in Brene Brown's "Gift of Imperfections" Part Two class. Of course the class is currently in the break between weeks three and four. Yes, I am gloriously behind in EVERY class I'm taking. And just trying to keep my head above water right now.
The creative bug has hit me hard this Spring. I am feeling so inspired and seeing so many things that I want to be a part of - that I want to play along with. Only I'm having a difficult  impossible time keeping up and feeling terribly like I'm suffering from adult onset A.D.D. at the moment.

What has me in such a tizzy? The Documented Life project for one. This project has me so stinking excited that even though it is nearly May and even though I'm behind on everything else, I've gone ahead and ordered myself a 2014 Moleskine Planner/Journal. So what if I've already missed the first 1/3 of the book?! So what that I'm joining the project late and am already technically sixteen weeks behind everyone else?! I've been shopping at Michaels. And in my stash. I've made some monthly tabs. I'm ready to hit the ground running when the planner finally arrives! I can't wait!

Another one is a Facebook Group that I came across via some other facebook groups...isn't that the way it always happens?  It's called Art Abandonment and the purpose behind the group is to make art to give away. To spread kindness and make someone's day through the unexpected and generous gift of a piece of your art. Members of the group "abandon" their art in public places - waiting rooms of doctor's offices, grocery stores, art stores, public park benches - there are definitely creative ideas about where to leave art! They abandon everything from jewelry to hand painted eggs to mixed media canvases to bookmarks to postcards - pretty much if you can make it they are abandoning it!

Which brings me to the challenge for this week - make something to give away! Whether you give it to a friend, family member, or abandon it in a public park doesn't matter to me. I'm challenging myself to do an anonymous public park style abandonment. Anyone care to join me? Just spread a little of your MADE BY ME love around! If you want some ideas check out The Rock Fairy's blog. Or drop by the Art Abandonment PageThere is no shortage of clever ideas and inspiration. I've been thinking about this ever since I ran across it. I think I'll paint some rocks to leave along the walking trail by the creek. I've been meaning to do it for a long time. Maybe this challenge is the push I need to get brave and just do it. What about you? What art will you make to abandon? Just one simple piece. Nothing big or expensive or time-consuming. Just a little something to bring a smile to a stranger's face.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 16

Did you have fun playing last week? Self-care is an important thing and play needs to be a part of it. At least that is what I'm hearing in Brene Brown's "Gifts of Imperfection" class. Yes, I did play! Remember this unfinished canvas background that I showed you last week?

Well, this is where it finished:
My white Liquitex ink had turned chunky from lack of use, but still worked better than the white acrylic paints for the "drippies".  Pretty happy with the final result. Love working with this color scheme.

A new week means a new challenge. And this week, in honor of Earth Day which is on Tuesday, I'm focusing on being kind to Mother Earth. My challenge to you for this week - PLANT A TREE!  If you can't plant a tree literally, you can figuratively by clicking on the link and donating to The Canopy Project which will plant one tree for every dollar donated. And the trees are planted all over the world - Haiti, Uganda, the United States, Canada, several European countries, Japan, Australia... you get the idea.  And okay, if trees aren't your thing and you can't afford a donation, then how about a bush? Some flowers? Anything to promote the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide works! Please let me know what you plant!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Liberate Your Art Blog Hop

I participated this year (for my second time) in Kat Sloma's Liberate Your Art postcard swap. I was so excited to get my own cards out there. But I was honestly too busy to really pay attention to the cards as I received them.  In addition to the six cards I received in the swap, I got two other postcards during the same time period.  Here is what I received:

The original mail art from Mel and the card from Miriam were outside the swap. And I was amazed that with over 200 people who actually participated, I managed to receive cards from blog friends Mel and Rinda. How cool is that?  Now that we are to the blog hop part, I do plan to contact each of my recipients and let them know I received their card. I hope I will hear from some of the people who received mine!

Go here to see other Liberate Your Art Blog Hop participants:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out

I bought myself this little bunch of flowers at the grocery store, just so I would have something to photograph:

I love the way the sunlight hit the bouquet

Then I zoomed in to get this shot.  Quite happy with the results.

I'm linking up with this week's version of Helena's Zoom In Zoom Out. I have really missed playing along!

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Year of Kindness - Challenge Week 15

So did you spread a little social media love last week? I had fun trying to find some place each day to leave behind a little happiness.

I was offline all weekend. Spring has finally decided to happen in my neck of the woods! We have had four days in a row of sunshine and temperatures in the 70's. The daffodils blossomed, the forsythia and dogwood came out, and lots of trees have buds now - no leaves yet, we are still too early for that. But it means that Spring really and truly is coming! Yay!  Of course, the temps are dropping to the 60's tomorrow and 50 on Wednesday and returning to rainy and grey. It is going to be hard to take after this teaser...

Which brings me to the challenge for this week - and I'm circling back to self-kindness. This week I want you to be kind to yourself by taking some time away from work and chores and your never-ending "to do" list to JUST PLAY.  Whether you paint or draw, create a scrapbook page, do a Zentangle... whatever. Do something you love to do for FUN just because you can. Break out your happy colors (for me that is turquoise and lime) and make something! And if you are feeling up to it... blog it and share a link in the comments so we can all see your happy playful creations!

And my quote for the week, topped on a photo of a canvas I'm still "playing" with:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Year Of Kindness - Challenge Week 14

Hope you all had a great week and found lots of books to pass on. I love the joy that reading brings and love sharing books I enjoy.

So the winners from last week's drawing are:

Mixed Media Workshop: Karen Moss
Painted Pages: Carola Bartz (Carola, I will need you to send me your mailing address)
Taking Flight: Karen Walker

I am hoping to get these books in the mail on Wednesday as I also have a bunch of care packages going out to college students!

I know there must be literally hundreds of ways to show kindness. But every week when I start this post, I'm faced with the question of where I want to direct kindness this week and what other suggestion I can offer, keeping in mind that I am trying to offer as many "no cost" options as possible. Sometimes I come to the post creator knowing exactly what I want to offer. Sometimes, like last night when I started this post, I have no idea. But this morning I woke to find this on my Facebook feed:

Cheri Andrews, kind thoughts coming your way today
Good morning! We're honoring lawyers today for SELECT-A-SONG at 8:20 a.m., it's National Be Kind To Lawyers Day!
Unlike ·  · 

And I thought it was really cool that my friend Rachel had seen this and thought of me and was sending me kind thoughts. What a beautiful start to my day!

So the challenge for this week is to send someone kind thoughts via social media. Whether you make a post on their Facebook page, send a tweet, or an Instagram, forward a link you think they would enjoy, leave a positive comment on a blog post, whatever. This week make use of the various forms of social media to make someone's day! And have fun doing it! :)