The Torn Edges of Life Are Beautiful
Mixing the bits and pieces of art and life
It takes courage to do a lot of things in this world. For some, leaving their house takes courage and for others leaving their house is as easy as slamming the door behind them. Starting a new venture and leaving the old behind takes buckets of courage too as does standing up for a friend when others have turned their back. Basically any time we live our lives true to how we want to live our life and be our true selves we are being courageous. Anyone can follow a trend but it takes great courage to be just be YOU.
Recently I have unfollowed a lot of art blogs and FB groups that I have followed in the past. I was finding so many posts from other artists were all focused on the same goal and following the same trends. I want my art to flow organically and not be about a trend or what's cool. I have never been one to follow a trend or go with people simply because they appear "cool". My art is no different. I simply want to create art that speaks to me and produce products from those pieces that are meaningful. It takes hard work to follow your passion and it takes courage.
My new piece is all about courage. Be the courage you need ~ the courage is there; inside of you so grab it, wrap it all around you and do all that you want in life.
BE THE COURAGE YOU NEED
We all have dreams. For some it's the hard to remember ones that come from sleeping; the ones that come so powerful and vivid and we cling to them with hope they are real. We try and sleep a little longer so we can hang on to the thought the colours the memory. Sometimes we remember it and other times they disappear so fast we are baffled and only left with a feeling and the thought of was that dream meant to tell me something? The other dreams are the awake dreams of wondering and wishing and hoping. For some they are called goals; what people strive to make a reality. My belief is that you reach those dreams by dreaming with a wide open heart. When your heart is open you are able to absorb all that is coming at you; accepting of all opportunities not just select ones. If your heart isn't open all the opportunities that are waiting to come your way are stuck so open your heart and dream....
There's a new original in my shop - click HERE...
I managed to catch the nasty chest cold that has been going around! Ugh! So, I have been spending lots of time rest in bed sleeping and watching Netflix. Art still needs to get made and work still needs to be done so that is all still happening too. Orders went out this week and hopefully I will start to feel more myself this coming week.
I have added a couple new originals to my store and because I feel yucky I thought I would offer my first ever coupon for this particular store! Yay! Soooo, if you want to save 20% on anything in my store (yes that includes original art) use coupon code LOVE2015. The coupon is valid for the duration of the weekend.
Here are a couple of my new originals now available:
Recently I was contacted by an Australian distributor asking if I was interested or already had a distributor in Australia. I don't and was interested. Because of my license agreement in the UK I let the woman in Australia know of my license agreement and sent an email off to Rush Design. After that, I didn't really give it much thought. Again, one never knows if these things are real at first so I left it in the hands of my friends over at Rush. I was so thrilled to hear back that yes indeed all is good and a whole bunch of my designs were needed so cards could be prepared and mailed to Australia (Melbourne) for an upcoming trade show! Yay! So surreal and exciting for me.
Also coming (Feb 1-5) is a big trade show in the UK. RUSH Design is heading to Birmingham for the Spring Fair held at the NEC. This show is massive! I have posted a youtube video below from 2013 and shows like this only grow so I can just imagine how bustling it will be this year. I wish Rush Design lots of fun and good wishes! If you are attending the Spring Fair be sure to go see Rush Design at Stand 4H96!
The original of this piece is filled with bold colours and texture, exactly how I like my art. I called it A Loving Flower Garden. If you ran your hand over it it wouldn't feel soft; you would be able to feel the bumps and edges of the piece. Just like in a real flower garden and just like life, full of bumps and edges. One of my favourite things about creating art is how it can transform into various different products. From greeting cards to notebooks to phone cases and shower curtains ~ it amazes me how one designs or even pieces of a design can transform.
The original has recently been listed for sale. It's a beautiful 8"x10" created on a wooden panel. I love creating on wood. I love it's solid surface and how paint and ink takes to it and how easy it is to add paper.
If you can't afford the original or have a frame sitting around you have been needing to fill, prints of this image are also available in 8"x10" and 11"x14". You can scoop one of those by clicking here. Below are a few other ways I have transform this piece.
This year I decided to design a full collection of valentines. You will see more of these collections as the year goes on; they will pop up from time to time and range from a variety of occasions and themes. I had a lot of fun creating these new card designs. I loved creating a whole group of designs rather than just one here and there. I started these around Christmas time which is a tad weird since Christmas is sooo Christmasy and who makes Valentines at Christmas?? Well... I guess I do! Below is the full collection. Enjoy and if you see one you like click HERE or one of the photos!
This past weekend I spend a ridiculous amount of time working on my website. A new platform became available through my website providers, Egami Creative and I have to say I absolutely love it. After taking the time to input alllll my product information and shuffling and moving things about I am grateful I had the opportunity to make the shift. Also, after doing all that I have done I have a new appreciation for those web design people and the time it takes. Wow!
I really did love the process and the fact it was so easy to figure things out. There is nothing worse that having to re-arrange a bunch of stuff on your website only to have it be super complicated and frustrating. This was neither complicated nor frustrating but a smack in the face to how many designs I have to share. Although it took a ton of time, it was super simple and I love all the new changes! This site works way better!!
OK so here's what I love....
There is no more drop down menu - I love this. You, the shopper simply clicks the STORE button and poof...there is all my stuff. I have broken everything down into categories to make shopping a little easier. All my greeting cards are all under the GREETING CARDS tab and then further broken down into a bunch of other categories and some, like birthdays are broken down even further.
Also new is a SALE section. Oh how I love this. This section can be promoted all on its own and contains everything that is being discontinued. Yup, just like your favourite lipstick, some stuff needs to disappear. It was a really hard thing to do but it had to be done. Just think of all the new stuff that can be added without getting overly cluttered like the current state of my closet.
Anyway, when you have a moment have a quick look around. I would love to hear what you think of the new 'shopping experience' here on my site. If you are looking into having an e-commerce or just a website for yourself I totally love this platform and how easy it is to edit and work with. I am sure the people over at Egami Creative would be happy to help!
**For the record, no one asked me to say nice things about Egami, I just really have been thrilled with this change and think its an awesome thing to share. **
It's always fun for me when some of my designs get noticed by companies and they seek licensing from me. Imagine my surprise when I heard from MBS Communications asking if I was interested in licensing a couple of my cards to become part of their pet sympathy card line.
MBS Communications provides cards & postcards to veterinary offices and pet stores throughout the U.S. and some in Canada too.
At first I was skeptical the inquiry wasn't real so I always check to make sure the company is legit. In this case, it totally was and the opportunity was great. I loved that one of my pet sympathy cards and one of my condolence cards caught the eye of someone who has the ability to showcase my work on a broader scale. I also loved that they saw one of my regular condolence cards and thought if they added some paw prints it would make a sweet "thinking of you" pet sympathy card. They both turned out great! I hope they are well received and more offers come my way! For now, I shall continue to enjoy the samples they sent and the thought of my work reaching a broader audience.
Some times I wonder. Lately I have been wondering about the phrase 'we hurt the ones we love the most'. I don't understand it and wonder why it is we do tend to hurt the ones we apparently love. How is that love? I don't like knowing that people I care about are hurting. Not at all, and I try not to hurt anyone and once I find out I have, I apologize. We are human; therefore, flawed. We will make mistakes.
Families seem to hurt each other horribly. My own is no exception. A friend of mine is going through a horrid situation and from where I sit she has suffered incredibly over something so trivial. To me it's trivial but to those involved they are clearly passionate about the wrongs that have been done to them. Mothers seem to bear the price of the very lives they breed. It is always the mother's fault. If your life is shit, blame your mother. If you have fat ankles, blame your mother. If you are miserable, blame your mother. If you are going bald, blame your mother. Here is what I have learned about blaming my mother ~ nothing.
Instead I learned not to blame my mother. I learned to see my mother as not just my mother but as a human being. I learned that she too hurts and she too has hopes and dreams. She laughs at things I don't find funny and sometimes we laugh hysterically over things we both find funny. She is her own person and she is my mother. I was 16 when my parents split up. My 16 year old self saw things through different eyes and now as my daughter approaches the age I was when my parents split up I see things again through different eyes. I see myself as my mother and wonder how she was feeling when I was 14 and 15? I see how she may have been and I have a better understanding of how life may have been for her. I wonder how she must have felt at that time and I wonder how I would have behaved had I known then what I know now.
We see our parents so differently when we are young. Then, when my mom left our home I was so hurt and the hurt lasted a long time. Now I see my mom as very courageous. I couldn't imagine leaving a 20 year marriage and two kids and starting my life fresh. It must have been scary for her and lonely. It also must have been filled with hurt from us kids who didn't understand what was happening and the words and behaviour showed to her by my brother and myself must have stung. My mother left her marriage but not her role as a mother. I think that point is often missed and kids no matter the age feel the departure when a mother leaves the house we once called home. Life is no longer the same. We don't come home to mom being there and we see changes in mom that we don't understand. Perhaps we never knew what she looked like happy so happy looks different. Perhaps we never really understood the relationship between our parents and the struggles they faced as they were masked. We place assumptions in place of conversations that need to be had.
That all said, life is so short and can be gone in the blink of an eye. Recently, my heartbroken friend asked me what she has done to deserve such kindness from me and my response was 'nothing'. It is simple to me, a friend is hurting and I want to help ease the hurt. One doesn't need a reason to be kind. It should just happen organically. If we have to think about being kind or being polite we are losing the very essence of life.
Sometimes it's the silence that breeds the most hurt. The mind plays tricks in the silence and we lose a piece of ourselves. Shit happens in life, good and bad. We can't all be on the same cheering squad when everything is good and when things go all ugly those who were once cheering with you make like you don't exist. That to me, it's beyond cruel. I wonder how people can be so cruel to those they were once cheering with? To be with you one moment traveling and celebrating life and in the next not even wishing you a Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. Again, that statement we hurt the ones we love the most. It truly makes me wonder...
If you know someone is hurting, reach out. If you are doing the hurting - stop and ask yourself if the negativity in your life is worth it? Is there a reward for hurting someone? There is far more of a reward for being a decent human being. Purposefully hurting someone is beyond my comprehension. Choose to be compassionate and recognize that you don't know everything when there is nothing being said.
When there is silence, there is wonder....
Welcome to 2015! Another year has passed and it is always in January where everyone decides what they want to do and how they want to do it. They have all these dreams and goals they write down and say out loud. I don't do any of this. I don't do it because I do it all year round. I am forever changing my mind and re-directing myself and reminding myself of things I want to do and slowly make my path towards attaining all of it. I don't expect miracles and so I put in the hard work that is required to make my life the way I want it every day. I also don't choose a word or a theme for my year. I don't really understand that whole thing but if you choose one and if works for you, awesome! I could never choose just one word anyway. There are far too many words I use daily and sometimes on repeat ~ especially for those frustrating days when the trucker in me comes out and the f-word that rhymes with trucker is used often. I personally like to focus on how many times I come across coins lying on the ground and how often it is a dime, not two dimes or a dime and a quarter but one single dime. I wonder what that means? Regardless, I pick it up and make a wish just like when we use to find pennies lying around when they still made them. Every time I go to the United States I always smile when I get pennies back with my change.
Over the holidays my family and I drove into the Caribou of British Columbia to my best friend's cabin on Sheridan Lake. It is so amazing and life just instantly becomes simpler. Your biggest choice is whether or not you are going to read, sit or eat another piece of toast with Nutella. The frozen snow covered lake was beautiful. As we walked on this frozen land and watched the dogs play in the snow I was often awestruck by Mother Nature's ability to allow us to swim in one season and then walk all over the water we once played it. My kids skated, played with the dogs, road ATV's for the first time and ice fished. I am telling you, this was such an amazing time. As the time switched from one year to the next I stood beside my best friend and brought in 2015 for the first time in 20 years with fireworks going off in front of us and bon fire behind. It was magical.
There is a new print available in my art shop. It's called "It's Cabin Life" and it's available here on my website as well as in my Etsy shop. Whether you like a cabin in the woods or by a lake this print will be a fabulous addition to that space. The original lives with my best friend at her home away from home.
*NOTE: If you wish to use one of my © images for your publication, permission must be given before using the image(s) for any purpose. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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