When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a place where I could wax poetic and write all the things that they keep editing out of my books. Share the wisdom, so to speak, with anyone bothering to read my blog. Yet it quickly fell into a "I've been here, "I did this" kind of blog, and that's not really me.
Yes, I was more than eager to share the elation over my new granddaughter, Kathryn, and yes, it's fun to show off the beautiful scenery from places new to my eyes. I like to show you what I see, it's part of the wonder that I like to think I have never lost.
I still feel like a kid inside, do you? I am grappling with what I see in the mirror, which is no longer a true reflection of who I think I am. I look old, tired, and the dreaded word, haggard. I entertain the idea of coloring my hair, but then remember all the times people (like you) have said it's my trademark. I do the oh-so-typical pulling up of the face, the facelift, gesture my Mom always used to do. My kids say I'm silly, that I look beautiful, but what I see no longer reflects what I feel. Drooping jowls and lines etched in my face from too many smiles, now make me look as if I am frowning all the time...
OK, that's what I wrote on Tuesday. Today is Saturday and as usual, my mood, my outlook has done a 180 degree turnaround. And I know why. I have been back in the studio creating. See, that hole I was in was because this was the week I had to a) file my taxes after the 3 mos. extension we had, b) shop for auto insurance (ps, I saved a lot of money switching from Geico) and c) renew health insurance. All of those things required a lot of comparison shopping, analyzing and dealing with the M word - money. Definitely all left-brain activity and for sure NOT FUN.
But, when it was over, I walked into my newly cleaned and organized studio, began to create and fell in love with life again. It was that simple. "Your studio?" you might say. Well let me backtrack. We had Kathryn's christening here August 5th, so that meant making the house presentable. My "studio" is really a small back room, perhaps intended as a breakfast room when the house was built back in 1933. It's really too small for anything but what you see, the one table. When the kids were little it was the TV room, and I sometimes still refer to it as the old TV room. Then it became unofficial storage space until one day I claimed it - painted the walls my favorite green, threw up a floor to ceiling toile-covered cork board, put the table in, added a very artsy lamp and called it my own. I'm not sure if I ever really spent time there. It quickly became storage space again, for all of my teaching supplies, class samples, incomplete projects etc. The table was buried. It was a mess.
But on August 4th, it became an inspiration again. This week I have actually sat at the table and worked, serene, thrilled even to have a clean tabletop to work on.
Oh, I haven't abandoned my bed. I've been up there too, making Fragments, stockpiling them for the fall, when Mary Engelbreit Home Companion comes out (I'll be in the Nov/Dec issue, out in October). I want to have enough to put a new gallery online and still have some to sell when I go teach.
Life is not a path of coincidence, happenstance and luck, but rather an unexplainable, meticulously charted course for one to touch the lives of others and make a difference in the world. ~ Barbara DillinhamNow this next part is the "what I've been doing" section - only because I want to let you kow about the wonderful women I've met recently. I could be out meeting people for lunch almost every day of the week, but I limit myself to one a week so I don't loose time in the studio. So the first week of August I met with a very talented former student, Kay Bailey who left the left-brain world of law to make beautiful fiberart. She wanted to pick my brain about marketing her business, Fiber of her Being - and if you look at her website, you can see she is well on her way. The following week there was a delightful lunch with Melissa Hackmann, a local woman who saw my work in Lynne Perella's Artist's Journals & Sketchbooks. Melissa wanted to pick my brain about teaching a journaling class. Melissa is a very charming, talented graphic designer who I expect we will see more of in the future.
Then last night I had dinner with the editor of Doll Crafter & Costuming magazine, Pat DuChene. I have an article in the current issue and Pat was in DC with the Doll Expo. It was a perfect night for outdoor dining and the meal at Medaterra was perfecto! I had my first taste of a Chocolate Martini - a great dessert that tasted like a chocolate milkshake...dangerous!
Blogger is not cooperating with my attempts to upload any more images right now, so I'll be back soon, I promise. In the meantime, if you're feeling down, confused, agitated or just plain bored, GO MAKE SOMETHING.