Thursday, July 31

Why You Need to Make Something

I've been stuck. 
Like, really, seriously frozen. Paralyzed.
Can you tell by my absence?

And I couldn't figure out why I couldn't even move, creatively speaking.
I've had no desire to paint or make anything.
And I looked at my list of stuff and there was
702 have tos and no want tos.

My making {for me} time is after I put the boys to bed, around 8 or 9,
on nights that I don't fall asleep with them. 
And the thought of have tos after a long day just made me tired.
more tired than I already am. soul tired.
And then I read this, and I think she might live in my head:

There's another kind of tired, though, that is easy to mix up with Body Tired: it's Soul Tired. And sleeping doesn't help it. Sleeping doesn't touch it with a stick. 

Soul tired requires something different. And I think some of what it requires is more making. Generally, when I think about being Soul Tired, I'm living a life where I feel like I'm doing lots  of something I should do, and not enough of what I'm made to do. 

Ginger HendrixTime to Make 

So I mustered up enough energy to finish painting the boys' closet curtain.
Geometric patterns. As I painted I felt my soul starting to come alive again.
I started to feel light and free and happy and... alive is the best way to describe it.
I grabbed my paints and squirting different colors on different paper plates.
I made all of these different color combinations.
And I thought, "Oh yeah. I remember this.
This is what it feels like to play.
This is what it feels like to do what I was made to do."

I forgot.
I forgot that play is not some luxury I get when my bathrooms are clean and all my laundry is folded.
Play is what I need, in order to be able to do the work I need to do.
In order to live and play High Ho Cherry and do a million dishes each day.
In order to be happy and content and have the energy to do the work, I need to play.
Ginger explains it better. That playing (she calls it making) is important in and of itself.
Completely independent of the end product, the play has inherent value

I started by declaring that making is important. I started saying things like, "Everybody thinks of our creative lives as the mashed potatoes, but it's the meat. It's central. It's important."

I didn't wait for the work to be over. I claimed it as necessary and real and part of what I needed to do to live how I wanted to live. I just required that my regular life included it. 

Ginger Hendrix, Time to Make

I was saving my play time for the end, when the work was finished.
But it's always there. Waiting for me. Sucking the life out of me.
But when I turned my to-do list upside down and allowed myself to play first,
it gave me the life-giving, soul-feeding energy to do the work.
All these color combinations and patterns came welling up inside me.
I could feel myself come alive.

Now, tell your mountain of laundry to shush and go play.
Feed your soul. You will thank me. and her.
I promise.


Monday, July 21

Summer Inspiration

We are half way in it, brave ones. 
Here is some summer inspiration that has been making me happy.

I'm finally on @artbyerinleigh
I kinda love it. I kinda knew I would.
I love being connected to people and able to see how people are living,
Makes the world feel small.And it's just fun.

My favorite summer dinner 
It's my favorite because the boys help make it and actually eat it.
And daddy cooks it.

$$$ saving hint: When red bell peppers are on sale
I buy a bunch & chop them up & freeze them.
I pretty much throw them in everything:
salads, spaghetti sauce, tacos, or burgers.
Joshy will eat them raw with humus.

And Kelly... my dear friend Kelly is always inspiring me. Always.
Her vision and big dreams and her follow through.
The girl just makes things happen.
Like this.

Kelly is taking a team of 14 on a missions trip to China in October.
They have planned a special treat for the older kids and they need our help to pull it off.

Ben Leaman who generously volunteered to be part of our team in March, has agreed to join us again and bring something incredible to the older children there—a photography workshop for 10 young adults (aged 10-14). Using a custom designed 5-day curriculum, we will be teaching them photography basics but also speaking to their hearts to show them that they are beauty makers and creators and that their vision is valuable.
Through a donation of $200, you will be sponsoring one child to be a part of our program. Your $200 will pay for the camera, camera case, and memory card he or she will use for the class.

Please help us make this dream become a reality!

This post by Alisa Burke was so inspiring to me, to my art.
You should watch it. Get inspired. 
Biggest take away...
1.) It's okay to take it slow. baby steps.
2.) Just do something. Anything.
Get off my computer and even if it's just a sketch or a watercolor or a doodle.
Do something. Keep moving forward.

One potty trained 3 year old who lives in his undies.
Mom: Josh, we're going to the store. Put on your pants.
Josh: Whyyyyyyyyyy mom??? Do I have to???
The upside: The cutest little tush ever.

This book. 
It's about making.
I just ordered it. You should too. 

And the stack on my night stand.
Rereading some favorites.

The boys room is oh so close to being finished...

and yet so far...
I just need suck it up and finish.

Staying up into the wee hours playing and playing with my new sewing machine.
If you don't have sewing machine, you need to get one.
Because it is so fun to make something where there is nothing.

And yes, you read that right... Project Runway.
So, I kind of feel like Heidi Klum, piecing all of my little squares together.

It's got all of these cool stitches that I've always wanted
and now I have and I love them.


Friday, July 11

Plan B: Summer Survival

We've been surviving summer with a broken arm and 2 littles.
Limits on screen time are out the window, along with
any other ridiculous ideas, like getting outside and practicing writing our name.
SURVIVAL. survival is where we're at.
And I'm totally okay with that.

I have a list of house projects and art projects a mile long,
but I fall into Josh'y toddler bed at 7:30
and I'm down for the count most nights.
It's a wild summer, friends.

I did stay up until one the other night to do this:

So worth it. Makes me so happy to come home.
I painted the whole front part white and  invested in these shelves from Ikea.
It will be clean for at least one hour, until we start living...

And I moved Joshy from here:

into here:

which means I get my studio back.
{Insert big smile here.}
There's lots of work to be done, but I have a vision.

I started working on quilts for the boys' beds.
Inspiration found here.
The last time I attempted a quilt was at a Quilt in a Day class in college,
and it took me all 4 years to finish the quilt.
So... I'm hoping they'll be done by the time they
grow out of their toddler beds...

I've also finished a few other projects for the boys' room,
that I'll be sharing with you next week.
I can't wait to be done with their room so I can get started on my studio.

We've been spending days with precious friends.
Friends kind enough to come over and spend the day with us
 out of the water and the park and the sun.

I decided to make my own summer list:
for me. and only me.
things that {will} make me happy.