Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me

Kindness. Color. Laughter. Art.

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What will be your legacy?

xo skyblue

Daily Prompt: Don’t You Forget About Me

Daily Prompt: Money for Nothing | Believe

If you have been a regular reader you might be able to guess my dream job. Many might not call it a job…being a full time artist.  But there are indeed many people out there that do call it a job.  Because it is.  And work hard they do. Especially so, when the money is depended on for health insurance, food and shelter.  Art doesn’t often come with a weekly predetermined pay-check. Some artists of course have the wonderful fortune of someone supporting their basic needs while they get started and build their work space and body of work.  Art of any kine, can be very time consuming work… so time is certainly helpful.

However many, many more artists (as today’s WP challenge suggests) are in the position of needing to maintain a full time job (or two), and a great percentage of those are also caring for children, elderly parents… the challenges can be endless.  It may be a little more difficult, and take much longer… but I am a believer that it is still possible to become a Professional Artist, making a living partly or solely with their art. I didn’t always believe that… i didn’t have any idea that was possible.  But while not easy, I do know it is certainly possible.

In whichever form the art comes (musical, visual, literary…) the artist is also likely to be a very visual person (or hyper-sensitive in one or more of there 5 senses).  In other words… the environment and all it’s elements can play a huge part in your work and how it flows out of you.  Again, many artists have an ideal environment to blossom as an artist… while others learn to adapt and put stuff out there no matter what their surroundings might be like.  I have a very good fortune of a modest space in my home to devote to my creative habits.

At this moment I make art purely because it’s my passion… was since a very small girl… I just veered off that road when it was time to become a “responsible” adult.  And not having been able to have children, it is my therapy and somewhat fills the spaces in my heart that i had intended for motherly purposes most of my life.  (If that makes any sense).  So sure, it is painful that I am not a mom and/or full time artist, and I definitely have challenges with maintaining the energy to give what I feel is necessary create in the capacity i wish to.  However as I mature a little, and see how delicate and short life is…  it’s more important to focus on which part of that i can participate in.  So I do art, and feed my creativity whenever I can, in whatever way i can.  The more I embrace that concept.. the more I feel I am coming closer to the fulfillment I long for.  I will always have days that I just can’t deal with the thought of not being a mom… but more often now, I can embrace the fact that I don’t have kids, which means I have no excuse not to find time for some art.  Even if it can’t be every day.

I love to write as well.  Also a big time sucker.  So you might see spurts of blog posts and spatters of art, and then nothing for a while.  But hopefully you will always continue to see it, at least now and again.  Because if you don’t, I either gave up… or I’m part of a piece of pottery on somebody’s mantle.  And an artist, deep down, always hopes someone might like them… before that happens.  :-)

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Is there anything in your life that you may have put aside for a while… but that you would love to get back to… and dream of even doing full time someday?

See more thoughts on this prompt, and share yours, at The Daily Post.

xo skyblue

Don’t Hate My Duckface – Reflection on the Selfie (& Open letter to WP friends)

(click here to go directly to the original post, or you can start by reading my little forward below)

:-)

Hey WordPress Friends,

I am just trying something here.  I struggle a bit with the technical aspect of having a blog.  I do my best to follow proper blogging etiquette, and try different things to obtain readers… One thing I do is use tags to appear on the topic readers.  Every once in a while I check under one or two of the topics to see if my post comes up.  I haven’t been able to figure out why sometimes I would see them there, and sometimes I would not appear on any of them.  So I tried to find the answer.

Blam.  I think I just found it on the WP support page.

I knew there was a limit on the # of tags.  After not appearing on the readers a few times, I researched and figured that out.  But what I didn’t realize is that the limit is apparently on your Categories and Tags – COMBINED.  At least, that’s what I just read… so that’s why I am going to try this again and see what happens.  Then I’ll know for sure, and I promise WP… it will never happen again!

BTW…You could give a sista’ a little heads up… for instance, an pop up that says something like, “hey sister, we know you put a lot of time and heart into that post… so before you go further, are you aware that you have exceeded the Combined Category/Tag limit (of 15 combined).  You might want to take it easy there with the categories and tags if you want anyone to see it beyond your current amazing followers”.  Or something like that – firm but non-threatening.  :-)  If you have a suggestion box, I’d like to put that in.  And not to be greedy, but also maybe “are you sure you want to publish” pop-up.   It’s very easy to accidentally hit that Publish button, while you still in the middle of writing a post.  And that’s never good.  I’m just sayin’.  Although I really appreciate the fact that it’s bright blue.  That helps!  But I really need all the help I can get!! :-)

Anyway, here was the post that I may have gotten a little carried away with my tags and categories -  combined.

Don’t Hate My Duck Face – Originally posted Feb 13 as part of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

IMG_20130915_123104-1… and be sure to follow The Daily Post for fun prompts and tons of helpful info that I can’t even keep up with.

xo skyblue

p.s. check out the selfie to top all selfie’s- here! (added 3/5/14)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie| Don’t Hate my Duck Face

Selfie:A strange phenomenon in which the photographer is also the subject of the photograph, in a subversive twist on the traditional understanding of the photograph. Usually conducted because the subject cannot locate a suitable photographer to take the photo, like a friend. ~Source: The Urban Dictionary

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I started this post last year and just never quite completed it.  Seeing this week’s photo challenge reminded of it, so I thought I’d finish it up.

I don’t personally take many #selfies.  The photos you see here are a few that I have.  The truth is, I just really like #selfies.  And for some reason, I can’t stop studying them.  I see them from an aesthetic, expressionist, perspective… as an inevitable product of the digital, media-centric age.  i don’t take them too seriously, yet i am visually fascinated by them.  I am intrigued by the phenomenon and its creative evolution. #selfies are a form of self-portraiture… an artistic genre that has been popular since roughly the mid 1500′s.

selfie shadow in the grass

selfie shadow in the grass

While I would lean toward views of an underlying, or outright narcissism in regards to the #selfie, this quality can be healthy and beneficial, when practiced in reasonable and relatively limited doses.  I have always been curious what it must feel like to have the confidence to look in the mirror, or at a photo of myself, and actually like what i see – physically… like it enough to blast it all over Facebook and Instagram.  That type of confidence is foreign to me.  I really have no idea what that feels like, since it has quite literally never happened.  Friends and family, and even kind strangers would tell me it’s purely a lack of self-esteem.  And in response, i would say… “yes it is about 50% that, and about 75%… “i do not have the looks or the body to even think about putting myself out there without being pummeled with insults”.

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But a #selfie taker, at that moment they are snapping and posting their photo,  must be experiencing some level of that confident feeling.  I imagine one’s personal thoughts at that moment might range anywhere from:

a.”look at me, I’m not creepy, I have good hygene, hire me” to…

b. “look at me having fun, drinking heavily, looking tan!” to…

c. “don’t act like you don’t want some of this…!” to…

d. “duck face.”

DuckFacePeaceOut

I initially found myself unwillingly surrounded by #selfies as I patrolled Instagram for art, and photography (The social media site that has had my undivided attention since the introduction of high speed internet and mobile devices).   But more recently, i am drawn to them as a form of creative expression.  As inspiration for outfits and gestures for the naive-portraits i draw.  I also ask myself honestly, if it was possible for me to like what i see in the mirror, would i engage in the same activity?… If I answered honestly, I would say, Probably.  Why not? In fact, I have (extremely hesitantly) engaged in at least level a., if not occasionally in level b.  And most of us who have any type of online presence probably have at some point. I know and love many people who practice full on level c and d. #selfies. And I am not ashamed to “like” them. My photos and art, whether specifically self-portraits or not, are just as much “about me”, as any #selfie photo i see on Instagram.  It just took me longer to make it and it’s slightly more anonymous.

FashionDiva

My purpose in writing this post, is not to express any judgement of the #selfie or what anyone shares online. It’s simply to light-heartedly notice those that succeed in catching your eye… regardless of the perfect six-pack and the number of hottie-hearts it generated.  What is the photo really capturing?  What comes through?  What are they hiding? I have always been fascinated and inspired by portraits, and self-portraits… of all styles, genre’s and mediums.  I have also always loved beauty and fashion… but don’t expect to see me wearing the latest designs and hairdo’s.  I did enjoy some of that in my more youthful years, but these days fashion is a painful afterthought.  As a hopeless introvert, I am very comfortable as the wall flower, the people watcher, the voyer to fictional personas.  I am happy to be a humble observer in this #selfie mania… to imagine what the person could be thinking, and who someone is behind the mask of that image.  I find #selfies to be among the many (while quick and easy) forms of self-portraiture and creative expression… an expression of sometimes deep and inward, sometimes practical, and often times shallow and self-centered motives… but regardless it is capturing a moment of a person’s existence.  It’s important to that person for whatever reason, and that’s fascinating.  And, it is out there in front of the entire world… forever.  Powerful.

I began sketching a lot of naive portraits and #selfies without thinking about it much.   I do my best with the little formal education I have to capture facial expressions and gestures, while embracing my lack of skill and artistic knowledge and just have fun with it.  It wasn’t until I saw some of my sketches laid out and in print, that I thought about why I chose them as a subject and decided to write about it.

Share your #selfie thoughts and photos!  Get crazy creative, and as dolled up as you like!  Nothing wrong with feeling pretty… and flaunt it whether you’ve “got it” or not!!

Join in the challenge here!  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/weekly-photo-challenge-selfie/#more-68713

xo, skyblue

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~selfies by me.  Sketches by me. :-)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition | Toolbelts and Daisies

My husband loves this word… Juxtaposition.  And by “loves this word”, I mean… he mostly likes to make fun of it’s common use in the artsy realm.  He’s got nothing against this realm.  He would just much rather build robots, or make stuff explode with his pellet gun.  And he likes to find any silly reason to use the word “juxtaposition” in his sentences and daily banter.  It’s part of his funny way of entering my world for a few moments in his busy day… where he might stop and hug me and make me laugh.  We bicker a lot, like any couple would, but it always comes back to laughter.

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We, him and I, are in fact… a juxtaposition… of epic proportions.  We couldn’t be any more so.  Him with his power tools, technical savvy, and “guy” stuff…Me with my paint brushes, and belly dancing, and “girly” stuff… we are just that.  Juxtaposed.  Our personalities are very distinct, but somehow complimentary spices in our recipe… our relationship.  It’s peanut butter an jelly.  It’s apple sauce and pork.  It’s red wine and pizza. It just works.  I am not sure if it works because we are opposite, or if it works in spite of it.  Maybe it’s because he can cook. And I am terrible at it.  :-)  But don’t get me wrong… this little juxtaposition we have going on here can be incredibly frustrating and utterly exhausting. 

PB & jellyIt terrifies me knowing that someday… one of us will inevitably go.  Yup… that’s just part of it all.  Morbid, I know.  But I hope until then, this juxtaposition will be strong enough to withstand life’s tumultuous, yet so very delicate nature.

In the end, it’s the one that matters most.

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IMG_5595xo skyblue

This post was inspired by this weeks WP Photo Challenge.

Graveyard Photos: walking with my friend, also my belly dance teacher, in a cemetery near her house… Probably taken with one of my digital cameras. 

Other Photos: stuff in my house.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts: When life was black and white.

The company I work for was founded in 1934.  This week’s Writing Challenge reminded me… there are a bunch of old manufacturing photos in my office that I have never really stopped to look at, even though old black and white photos usually stop me in my tracks.  I mean, i know they are there.  I walk past them several times a day.  I know I looked at them when I toured the building on my 3rd or 4th nerve-wracking interview a few years ago.  But I probably haven’t stopped to look at one since.  Who’s got time for that, seriously?  It’s work. Your working.  And 60 minutes is barely enough time to change my clothes, get in a workout, shower, get dressed, call back the debt collectors, pee and choke down a cheese stick… so stopping to look at photography isn’t exactly on my mind at lunch-time, or any other time I might walk by. But I saw the challenge and decided today I would stop.  I would find a couple of moments during lunch to stop and notice one or two of the cool old photos, that I know are there.    I stopped, in my tracks, and thought to myself, life must have been so much simpler then.  Before computers, and smart phones, and Facebook.  Much harder, I’m sure… but simpler.  I can’t believe this all looked like that! b&w manufacturing1 I enjoyed these few moments, losing myself in the black and white images.  Thinking about the people that may or may not still be with us… that made all this around me happen.  Pretty awesome when you see what goes on here now. And when I was done, I even had a minute to spare…  in which I thoroughly enjoyed my cheese stick. … I typically would have taken some photos, of the photos… but I wasn’t really sure if I was supposed to and I chickened out.  I couldn’t post without photos thought… they looked something like the ones in this post which are all part of the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria, in Victoria, Australia... which were really interesting to look at too! b&w manufacturing2 b&w manufacturing3Anything like that where you work? Find out more about the WordPress challenges here at thedailypost.wordpress.com. Have a nice weekend! xo skyblue

Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts #eatinghealthysucks #gymselfie

Let’s not kid ourselves. Giving up sugar, donuts, french fries, soda, coffee, donuts, bread, pizza, fast food, ice cream, donuts… it all sucks.  I’ve actually given up NONE of those things… but I have tried hard to cut back.  It’s all I can handle.  An Apple Empanada from Taco Bell is about as exciting as my life gets!  I’m much too weak to say never.

But sugar… I’ve really got to get serious about eating less of it.  Middle age has it’s way of telling you that.  I was recently shocked when I started paying attention to all sugar i was eating.  And that was just in my yogurt and my oatmeal!   And how fun is yogurt and oatmeal anyway?? If i have to eat that every day, then why I might as well get a donut!!

Frosted.

But instead of giving up all sensibility for a daily chocolate glazed (which would be f*cking awesome!)… i decided i could have the occasional root beer, Happy Meal, or mmm… donut… if I just simply get the sugar out of the things that are, let’s face it… pretty lame anyway!  No offense yogurt and oatmeal.  You have fantastic health benefits… but you are not a donut. 

yogurtIn all seriousness, I really do have a lot of respect for those who choose to eat consciously and stay active… no matter how moderate or extreme their habits are.  I am terrible at it!  But we all don’t have to be #cleaneaters and #fitnessmodels.  Right?  If I can just make a little more effort today than I did yesterday, and a little more tomorrow… maybe I can get somewhere with this.

I HAVE to get moving too.  I sit all day, and it’s soooo not good.  And lunch is the time.  For me, that’s the only time I can even hope to stick with it.  And it keeps me out trouble (like driving to the store for a donut).  This week’s WordPress challenge asked us to look around at lunch and document what you see (i paraphrase)… and this is pretty much what I see every day.  And it’s not horrible.  It gives me a chance to listen to gangsta rap.

It hasn’t been an easy week… I am almost done with my first week of plain yogurt.  Ugh.  I didn’t want to do it.   I have to throw a bit of honey or raisins in it, but it’s a start.  The oatmeal was a much easier adjustment.  But it’s gotten easier through the week, and I’m pretty sure I can do this.  In the name of name of longer life, and tighter buns.

#gymselfie

#gymselfie

now where’s my donut?

xo skyblue

p.s. sorry I didn’t post at lunch… I was a little busy listening to Pitbull and trying not to think about donuts. :-)

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/weekly-writing-challenge-lunch-posts/#more-66914

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window

IMG_5908Predictable, I know.  More cats.

… but when I think Window, I can’t help thinking about my cats.  I sometimes wonder if I’m doing the right thing, keeping them inside… not letting them roam free in the woods and the streets.  I figured the least I could do, when we looked for a new home, was make sure our first cat, Stewie would have plenty of sunny windows to lounge in.  He had no windows to enjoy at our last place, since the ones we had were all tightly covered for safety and heating purposes.

Now Stewie and his younger sister Olive, have plenty of windows for sunbathing, birdwatching, and catching a breeze.  It makes me happy to see them their windows, enjoying the warm sunshine and a sniffing the fresh air.

This one is in our front room, where they like to watch cars and people go by, and the birds flying to the old maple tree and the feeder.  This is also where we often see them waiting for us when we come home from work, right before they arch their backs in a lazy stretch, and jump down to greet us at the door.

Who waits in your window?

xo skyblue

Paint Palette Cookies and Planning Your Cookie Project

skybluewithdaisies:

I had to add these beautiful cookies to my art blog. Created by Jennifer of Jadore Cookies. And so cool how the cookie artist shared her planning process.
Enjoy more of her creations here – http://jadorecookies.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/paint-palette-cookies-and-planning-your-cookie-project/
xo skyblue

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Originally posted on La Vie en Cookies:

paint palette cookies
Most of the time when I make cookies, it’s for no special purpose. I just like to decorate cookies. But sometimes I will make cookies for a specific occasion, such as a birthday party, as I did for these paint palette cookies I made this week. I’m the kind of person who likes to have a plan even if I don’t really need one, but if I have a specific deadline as I did with these cookies, I find it especially helpful to sit down and write out a schedule before I get started on the project.

The first thing I usually do is to draw out the cookie that I’m going to be making. I’ll trace the cookie cutter onto a piece of paper so that I can get an idea of the size it will be. The reason I find this so helpful is that it makes it…

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Cheer! Happy New Year!

I never thought I would do a painting of a cheerleader. But there she was on my art table… she came out of nowhere.

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Cheer ~2013

… and the adorable note from the young girl who inspired her.

photo-2Since putting the finishing touches on Cheer in mid-December, I have not touched a paintbrush.  She made me super happy though while I made her, and looking at her brings back those butterflies.

What will 2014 bring?  And what will I bring to 2014?

Cheers!  Happy New Year!

xo skyblue