follow your bliss

we don't have an eternity to realize our dreams, only the time we are here -susan l. taylor

Sunday, April 30, 2006

create ugly

this is a piece for the new art group {technique tuesday} that i have been following recently. i'm a bit late in starting this month's challenge as this group has done a few exercises since the start of the month. the challenge/theme of the month is on creating art without fear. to make up for lost time, i've done the first three exercises over a two day period... the first week's assignment entailed identifying the fears that you have about creating something ugly {what is your fear?}. rejection, not being good enough, mediocre work, who does she think she is? what was she thinking?! the second week's exercise was to answer the question with one of your fears and create a piece, using specific materials and following certain steps. you can go to the technique tues. link listed in my sidebar>>> for more info... anyway, the above is what resulted. my fear that i wrote was rejection. it is painted over with one wash of acrylic paint (as per the instructions). the last instruction was to put the completed piece away immediately {to prevent negative inner critisims from occuring}... the third week's exercise was to answer the following questions: did the exercise seem worthwhile? yes did you gather your supplies before you began the exercise? yes were you able to move through the steps effortlessly? yes, i completed it in like 15 minutes or really helped to get all the necessary tools and materials out first before starting the exercise. what was your first reaction to your completed exercise? that wasn't too bad...i kinda like it. overall, how did you feel about the process? at first, unsure, but then that faded quickly as i went through the steps. i worked steadily through the steps...i felt pretty good, not stressed out. how do you feel when you've created something "ugly"? usually feel bad that it didn't turn out better... what do you think the "ugly" says about you? that i failed in some way...that i missed the mark...or tried to hard... are you able to find any positive elements in an "ugly" piece? i tend to look for any areas in a piece which doesn't look overdone or contrived...looks more relaxed and natural, like it was meant to be there... if you were asked to create something "ugly" would you let yourself do it? i think so..especially if it is intentional {and i'm getting paid to do it, better!}...but sometimes in creating something meant to be ugly, i find myself trying to "pretty" it's ingrained in my way of thinking... why is it we are so afraid of making a mistake? it goes back to my initial response: fear of rejection as well as not being good enough...but i have learned that making mistakes is a path to learning...yet, this is hard for me many times to accept...i guess this is ingrained in my thought procees as well. well, i think i have caught up so far...will see what's in store for the final exercise (if there is one, seeing as it's the end of april already...)...doing these art exercises really made me be more conscious of my thoughts that drive my creative process. Posted by Picasa

{m} atc

ever since i started experimenting with atcs, i've been scavenging antique malls for vintage photos {as i currently have little to none in my possession}... lately, there seems to be a lot more homely-looking folks in my searches than the "beautiful" people... but once in awhile i come across some charming ones, such as the mother/child one here. it's inspired me to create something for all the mothers i know, for what else? mother's day... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 29, 2006

{inspire me thurs} going digital

i am a total novice with digi-anything, but i thought i'd give it a whirl... this week's challenge for imt is to create some digi-art. here is the before shot of a lone bird by the river... and here is the after...don't ask me how i did this...i just kept clicking on buttons in my hp photo software... i kinda liked how it turned out... what do you think for my first attempt? Posted by Picasa

look out!

when i see antiques and scrapbook {& their variant aliases} & they are next to one another (as these two establishments are)... [fuh*get uh*bout it]! deadly combination...(my darling husband can attest to this)!!!!! i'm toast... it is like what corey {tongue in cheek} has written about in her amazing blog... i go nuts! i don't know why that is, it just is... now, how wicked cute is this? how can you not resist browsing through? and then bringing home some lovely treasures like these??? Posted by Picasa

100th post

incredible! i cannot believe that this is my 100th post! was it only just a mere few months ago that i didn't even know what the heck a blog was?! or how to work a digital camera!!! well look at me now... scared of me!

i just love what starting my blog has done for me... it has enriched my life {exponentially} {extraordinarily} {estatically} in ways that i never could have ever imagine possible! through my blog, i have been able to express myself via words, images and artwork... i have met along this journey many kindred spirits who are all amazingly talented and inspiring... and all the while being reassured that i am not alone in my quest for self-expression, following my bliss... i have been able to share my view of the world through my eyes, to offer glimpses of my life, as to the kind of person i am and aspire to be, and the things, people, projects, issues that tickle my fancy and rock my world {or not }... life without blogging is like life without joy... and therefore, i don't intend to stop. blogging is what i am all about.

and there is no turning back. Posted by Picasa

friday's finds

opened poppy red tulips bursting with joy... an old wooden drawer holding charming vintage photos and postcards... thought the two men looked pretty dashing! an old stamp carousel...just perfect to hold my many stampers! Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 28, 2006

journey atc

the stamps from non sequitur and a muse, along with the pretty papers, prompted me to create this little number...
 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

studio friday {playtime}

i know that this is early,
but i can't help that i am an overachieving firstborn child...
anyway...this week's challenge is playtime... having a bit of fun and using any artistic implement (i.e., brush, marker, etc) to create a one of kind, expriemental piece of work... but the twist was to place that implement of choice in your mouth!!!! yes, you read right...your eyes are not playing tricks...
boy, did you drool as much as i did?!!! okay?!
my choice of weapon, i mean, tool: dauber duos! i figured i could do something fun with these and i'd have a wide enough grip... i tried markers and brushes, but the ends were just too skinny for my mouth to hold onto... and i didn't have much control either... anyway enough of the yakking, here is what i created just using the pink, green and black dauber colors {drumroll, please} >>>>

ta-da!!! it's my dauber stamped flower courtesy of my very own mouth!!! this was pushing the creative envelope for me this week let me {mouth} tell ya!Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

more snaps

that caught my eye down main street...
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my walk through

main street this morning was unexpectedly blissful. the clouds overshadowed the sun. but yet, i found these cheery spots of "sunshine" that made my heart sing and brought a smile inside. it was a bit chilly and windy, but i am glad that i took the time to savor all the simple beauty that was all around me.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 23, 2006

mixed media memoirs no.5

thanks rita, this week's guest m3 artist all the way from china...she suggested this topic: my ideal home would look like... and i responded with an angle shot of the back porch of the old farmhouse house that we lived in in maine and added all sorts of nifty what-nots mostly cut out from my favorite home magazines like: country living, cottage living and country gardener...i've also used some stickers and collage papers as you can see... and my primary message: a sweet, comforting refuge from the outside world (among other things!). i've depicted words, things and also actual pictures from our beloved maine* that pretty much describe what is necessary for our house to be our {ideal} home...and what would make it even more fantastic would be a house built by my husband's hands! he is a {master} carpenter by trade and he is always talking about building our very own house one day soon...and built to our specifications and satisfaction...{huge, tremendous sigh!} *(like the back porch...there have been countless times we, along with our cats, have walked in and out of there to enjoy the huge yard and my lovely garden... and then in the upper lefthand corner, acadia nat'l park overlooking frenchman's bay, where joe and i loved to go hiking, especially in the winter, where the park is virtually to ourselves.) i'm just a simple kind of gal who just wants the basic comforts of home, embellished by my personal treasures and artifacts. i'm also the type who wants to seek out and enjoy all the simple pleasures in life and be so lucky enough to share it all with my husband ... that's home to me. Posted by Picasa


of what melba posted on her blog. she wrote about not feeling worthy...this was her response to this past week's mixed media memoirs...i was touched by her post and felt her pain...i, too, know that all too well...that thought constantly creeps into my thoughts... in my attempt to cheer her up, i stumbled upon this wonderful site and there are a ton of inspirational quotes and poems for scrappers or anyone who loves this kind of stuff... i found this piece from there and i thought i'd share it because it speaks to what melba talked about in her blog: A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you, but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air."Well," he continued, "what if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants this $20?" Still the hands went into the air. "My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20." Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value: dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you." The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE. You are special - Don't ever forget it.

all dressed up

and ready to go...finally!!!! i am so glad this whole wedding invite business is finished (the creative process, that is). it was a time-consuming affair, all that tweaking and self-critiqueing that i've done in the last couple of weeks. but i am happy with how it all turned out...i'll be turning this over to the scrapbook place tomorrow after work. now it will be in the judges' hands...{sigh}... in the end, i went with the sage and periwinkle theme. i just like that combination somehow. my entry is not what you call traditional, but that was not the look i was after. i wanted to make something that was unique, personal and aesthetically pleasing. i hope i achieved that... in addition to the invitation itself, i got to thinking, hmmm, what about the whole wedding correspondence bit?? so i got busy and came up with a save the date card, bio on how joe and i met (i used us as the couple of my entry), a travel guide of the town we used to live in, a list of accomodations, a map, rsvp card and lastly, wedding announcements. a lot of the stuff i already had from our actual wedding in 2002, just updated with the sage and periwinkle color scheme (the original colors of our wedding were brown, sage and ivory). anyway, it's kind of like going through the sequence of events of a wedding, but with cards and literature. i hope that this wasn't too over the top, but i just thought my work would stand out from the know, give it a bit of an edge? i think it's the competitor in me that made me do this... right, that's all done...onto the next creative challenge....i think it's about time for another one of melba's mixed media memoirs topics...i think i'll go visit that blog... Posted by Picasa

and the survey says...

well, actually, i took a combination of comments (which i very much appreciated!) and this is what i finally decided. thanks everyone for helping me narrow my choices and for your extremely kind and helpful feedback!!!! the wedding invite contest ends this friday, 4/28...i think i am ready to submit my entry. wish me luck... Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 21, 2006

find the art in the everyday

this is the challenge for this week's inspire me thursday... i've decided to use everyday items for my attempt.
the above shows some items that i've either hoarded in my "someday-i'll-use-this-for-something-and-i-can't-bear-to-throw-it-out" stash or just found, like today, this plastic boot hanger from the gap (a pair of rain boots was hanging from this). the stuff from my stash that caught my eye: a silver foil wrapper from a chocolate truffle, a clothes tag tied with pink silk ribbon, and some dove chocolate wrappers with messages on their undersides... the boot hanger (sans the gap logo) intially reminded me of a partial dragonfly body, but then it started to look like a partial head and shoulder sillohuette and then aha! i remembered that i had a stamp of a female face... i thought i would cover the one side with the silver foil wrapper, which i had saved after eating the delectible truffle from cowgirl chocolates (this was a while ago that i ate that, by the way). and then one thing led to another, and another and...

this is what resulted. i added a few other doo-dads and now i think the figure looks like an aviatrix... it was not my initial intention. actually, i didn't know exactly how it was going to turn out. but i rather like what i've created.

the message reads: don't think about it so much {of life}...laugh clears the mind. following your instincts...what a good thing!

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

{mixed media memoirs no.4}

i totally forgot to mention that the artwork i posted in my rant below is for mixed media memoirs.
the topic: if i were a color today i would be...
my response: periwinkle...melancholy & subdued


that is what i need after the day i had today. i am a speech therapist at a medium sized hospital and today seemed never kept going from bad to worse, like it was going out of style! testy, agitated, alcohol/substance abusers who curse you out just because you are there... ten trillion pages from people telling you what they need from you, and stat! crotchety-old coots who refuse to acknowledge or accept your test results and therapy recommendations... getting orders from physicians to see patients who are clearly inappropriate for a therapy consult... bitchy nurses wondering when you are going to see their sick patients asap and leaving messages for you everywhere! learning that my supervisor has gone on medical leave because a tumor was found on her 5 y.o. daughter's kidney and they suspect cancer... distressed and distracted by this alarming information all day long! being the only speech therapist on call at the hospital today (when usually there are two of us)... getting frantic phone calls to come help out at the outpatient office because our supervisor's patients still have to be seen... being stuck in xray pretty much all morning doing swallow tests back to back... having to deal with a severely demented patient who's resistant to therapy and his pushy, desperate wife forcing him to participate... the same demented patient complaining of chest pains during therapy session and having to notify (thankfully!) the cardiac rehab nurse still on duty! having to fill out an incident report for the above (and i really was not prepared to do cpr!!!!)... having a coworker complain and bemoan the current predicament we are all faced with now that our supervisor will be on medical leave for a good 12 weeks or more... worried and anxious about the fate of my supervisor's child as well as the extra workload to be thrust upon us... totally wiped, physically and mentally, after 10+ hours (& not to mention an hour commute each way!)... and then the awful realization that i'll be having to do it all over again tomorrow!!!! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

studio friday: sparkle, shine or shimmer

hi, my name is mary ann... and i'm, um, a rubber stamp addict. and while we're at it, i'm an addicted collector too. have been since i was a wee lass and don't intend on getting reformed any time soon! for some time now, i have been steadily adding unmounted stamps to my current stamp collection (which i feel is modest in comparison to others, although my husband would beg to differ!) ...and as a consequence, i have started a small collection of acrylic blocks to mount these new additions. i also love finding these glass "frogs" (to position flower stems in a vessel) at antique shops. i do actually use them for flower arranging, but when i'm not using them for their intended purpose, i use them as either a pen/marker/tool holder or even as a paperweight. from time to time i look to my kindness stone (rocks of all types always seem to find a way home with me) and i love the feel of its smooth and polished surface. it always helps me remember to be kind even when i'm not particularly feeling very... these blocks, frogs and stone are clustered on or around the base of one of my work lamps. and the way the light hits their surfaces just makes them sparkle, shine and shimmer. i don't know why, but that makes me smile inside. it is very comforting to me to be surrounded by things that not only are functional but also quite pretty to look at. this was a great topic---thank you sf for coming up with this one! Posted by Picasa

mixed media memoirs no.3

this week's topic for mixed media memoirs: i release my feelings of guilt about... to which i responded: my spending habits i used patterned paper, chalk inks, teeny tiny alpha stamps & alpha stickers. to see more of other's work, please click on the mixed media memoirs link in the sidebar>>>> back to creating more stuff...:)
Posted by Picasa

survey addendum

on a few suggestions (and by the way, huge thanks to those who already took my survey!), i continued my experimentation on this wedding invite idea for that local card contest i've mentioned before. and this is what i came up with... the look i'm going for is unique, fresh and simple elegance.
what do you think? please post a comment and/or suggestion
if you'd like to help me decide...

no.4 (to the left:sage green/white, left & right justification, unbolded font) no.5 (to the right: sage green/wisteria, left & right justification, unbolded font) previous attempts to compare with above:

no.1 (sage/white, left & right justification, bold font)

no2. (to the left: sage/wisteria, all left justification, bold font) no. 3 (to the right: sage/white, all left justification, unbolded font) thank you for taking my survey! with gratitude, mary ann :) Posted by Picasa

p.s., the wording on the above samples read:


above the

deep blue sea

mary ann & joe

invite you to share

a celebration of love

as they tie the knot

on saturday, the seventh of september

two thousand and two

at two o'clock in the afternoon

mount battie observation tower

camden hills state park

camden, maine

dress smart

a potluck reception

immediately follows the ceremony

at their home in

lincolnville, maine

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