#lovewins

Today was a good day. .  It was Friday.. not to mention, Casual Friday.  I had a maple frosted donut.  And a slice of pizza.  Don’t judge me.  I didn’t F up too badly at work for once.  The sun was holding hands with a perfect breeze. I did some yoga.  I listened to music. I did art.   Family.  Cats.  What more could I hope for?

And then there was that.  #lovewins

Seriously, I couldn’t be more grateful for a day like today. 

Fairies, Rainbows and Love are on top, as it should be.  

Today, this day, is my Muse.

Today was a good day.  

…and now i have stayed up so late drawing, today is yesterday and tomorrow is today…

today #lovewins

today #lovewins                                                                         skybluewithdaisies June 26 2015

xoxoxooo skyblue

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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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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.

T’s Birthday Wish

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Hold a treasure close to your heart.

Close your eyes.

Then…

Make a wish..

Say a prayer.

Sing a song.

Twirl around.

Tell someone Thank You.

Tell someone I Love You.

Tell yourself I Love Me.

Believe in Peace on Earth.

Know that you are loved.

Then…

Go out into the world and follow all your dreams!

Happy Birthday Sweet T

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xo skyblue

Peace, Love and Facebook

I know you have all been sitting by your computers dying to know where I’ve been and what I have been up to.  I’ve been here, and there, not sure if I’m coming or going.  I probably have a dozen half finished posts and I can’t seem to finish a single one.  It’s always a photo I’m missing, or a paragraph that makes no sense.  Sometimes I just lose my nerve and I am afraid to post..  Afraid?  That’s silly.  Maybe my post is stupid, and nobody cares… but no one has ever really been mean to me on WordPress, or anywhere online for that matter. In fact most everyone has been super nice!   And I’m pretty sure I’m not going to cause much controversy or ruffle anyone’s feathers with my silly little blog about dragonfly’s, kitty cats, daisies, flea markets, cupcakes, holding hands, ice cream, willow trees, sunrises, dancing, cups of tea, love birds, rainbows, best friends.   Actually… i haven’t written about at least half of those items yet, so I better get to work.

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Speaking of getting to work… November came and went and I still haven’t posted the giveaway for the Sky Blue 2014 Yoga Gypsy calendar.  I’ve spent way too much time trying to make sense of the Facebook rules, trying to figure out if i need to use a third party app, worrying that only one person will enter… what i need to be doing is making some art.  Writing, and making art.  But unfortunately these are all necessary evils, part of sharing your art with the world.  I’m just going to do the best I can and get done what needs to be done, and hope I don’t get kicked off Facebook.

Tomorrow, Monday December 9, I will be posting a Facebook giveaway for the Yoga Gypsy calendar.  Does Yoga Gypsy have healing powers? I’m pretty sure she does. The longer you look at her, the more at peace you feel.  How did the calendar come about?  One day, I thought it would be fun to play with the original pencil drawing in my photo edit software, and I couldn’t stop looking at her in every shade of blue, and orange, and pink, and on an on… each color making me feel a bit different.   I thought others might enjoy her zen-like presence in many colors as well, and a calendar can offer that.  Besides… once the year is over, you are left with 12 adorable prints, with which you can make an Andy Warhol-ish collage, give to friends, or keep to enjoy her peaceful glow in a rainbow of colors every year.  Read more about Yoga Gypsy’s story from this earlier post.

I hope you will visit (and Like if I’m lucky!) the Sky Blue With Daisies Facebook page, and tomorrow, I hope you will be on the lookout for the giveaway post.

The winner will be announced later this week!

xo skyblue

2014 Yoga gypsy Calendar Image

Brave Girl with Pink Handbag – Where are you?

I’d love to know where she ended up.  If she ended up anywhere.   I’m sure I’ll find out Monday.  Maybe no one would want her.  But I believed that at least one person would.  I had to believe it, or I would never succeed.  She was such a joy to create.  I was literally in another world when i made her.  Especially her hair.  I started drawing her two weeks ago today.  It was Sunday.  A sunny, cozy, Sunday.  Her top and bottom half were drawn on two pieces of scrap paper, and attached at the hips.

Just to clarify… when I say draw, I mean draw, erase, draw, erase, erase, erase it all, draw erase some more, erase the whole thing, start over, almost finish, erase the entire face 14 more times, look at the clock, realize its 3:30am, draw it once more, and…. done.  Well… as done as a person who makes art can feel.  Basically, I knew I had a deadline and the pressure was on.  In fact, she started as an entirely different painting, an entirely different girl, which I worked on all day Saturday, only to toss aside.  That canvas now stands with the other misfits and orphans that lean against the studio wall, wondering if they will ever be loved again.  They will.

But for now, I am focused on Brave Girl.  She was still just a flimsy drawing, detailed with colored pencils, carefully cut out, sprayed with fixative and set to the side, while I began to create her ground… her world.  Paint, glue, tissue, little scraps in my studio… Three canvases later, one milky blue, one awful pea green, and finally it started to emerge.  The whole time I was trying to stay away from a Pink background for a few different reasons, but I eventually I gave in.  Red, White, a little Titanium Buff, and off I went into her world.  Layer after layer, more red, some orange, lots of yellow… a little purple.  Cutting, gluing, drawing, gluing, painting… until the world was ready for her.  She settled in perfectly, with some minor gluing drama…OK… it was a disaster.  I am a mess with the glue.  How do I get it in my hair?!! Luckily I was able to overcome the glue monster… I took a deep breath, followed the gluing protocol, and laid her in place.  I knew she was home.  Still bald, but home.  I loved her. I didn’t “love my drawing”.  My drawing skills are mediocre at best.  A little shadowing and perspective I learned from Miss Mailette, but still drawing with the skill level of a first grader.  No, I didn’t love the drawing. I just loved her. And it didn’t matter to me if anyone else did.  It didn’t matter if she wasn’t perfect.  She was loved.

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During the week, I worked on her here and there.  The circles of text and music were originally cut out to be hair.  Crazy, quirky, pretty, bubble hair.  I thought about leaving her bald… she was pretty that way.  I do sometimes leave my girls bald, but she was going to have hair.  I arranged the shapes in dozens of ways.  The bubble hair wasn’t working for her though… I was trying too hard.  And I hadn’t even thought about the flowers yet.  There’s always flowers.  I was running out of time.  So I moved the bubbles of paper down to the bottom and i just said, heck, I’ll just make these into flowers.

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The flowers emerged, different sizes and colors…nothing too crazy.  I tend to get overly involved in detail, and I don’t really have time for that now.  But in no way did that mean the flowers didn’t have to be right.  I just had to work differently than I usually do.  I had to just go with it.  I groomed her flower garden for a few hours during the week.  And then Saturday… my favorite day of the week since I was four (in my day you could only watch cartoons on Saturday).. this day I would now go back to her hair.  No thinking, just grab your sh*t, fill the water and today we are going outside. 

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There’s nothing like working in a colorful, sunny studio surrounded by art supplies, furry friends and books.  But working outside with the sunshine tops that by far.  The morning light shows you colors you never saw before.  I set up my easel and all my supplies, and got straight to work.  The voice of my nerves tried to creep out of my brush.  Your running out of time.  Tick Tock.  You only have two days.  What if you ruin it?  You don’t know what you’re doing. What if you can’t finish it. You should start over.  This is cr*p. 

“Shut up”, I told the voice.  So I just sat there and got to work.  I played with the flowers, mushed colors around in the background.  I was still procrastinating a bit, not sure what her hair was to look like… the hair is important.  I started to sketch around her face in yellow chalk.  A little curly, a little stringy, down pasted her waist.

I sat, I listened, I looked, tilted my head.  Nope, that’s not it.  Listened some more.  And then the wind came out of nowhere.  It was probably there all morning, and I just hadn’t noticed it, but when the wind blows in my yard the trees make some serious noise. I am certain it would register on my husbands trusty decibel meter.  I stared at the painting, I looked up at the trees for a while, closed my eyes, then I saw her hair blow. This would be her hair. The hair that evolved over the course of the day was trying to capture that moment.  That obnoxiously (but beautifully) loud gust of wind that almost knocked her over but she stood firm with her handbag.  Everything she needed was in that handbag.  Her strength, hope, family, friends, love, creativity, courage, cats…a little money for food, coffee and health insurance…  they were all right in there.  The wind was powerful.  She was definitely more so.

My parents came over and hung out while I worked, and then I finally packed it in for dinner.  One more day.  She was getting there.

The next day I woke up and I was pumped.  I couldn’t wait to spend the day with her.  First things first, coffee and couch time.  Then I put the music on, I got my yoga on, and we did our thing.  Brave girl and me.  Girl time!  We hung out all day and well into the night, until there was nothing left to talk about.  Later girlfriend. She was complete.

I don’t usually write play by plays detailing my paintings in progress.  This is possibly the first.  Photos are easier to share since you can always say “I know it sucks, it’s not done yet”.  It’s definitely strange putting this side of my art out there though. I guess some people will think I am utterly weird creating the way I do, but this is pretty much how it goes every time.  Except for the “finishing” part.  Signed, sealed, varnished, ready to hang.  Very. Rarely. Happens.

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There are two jewels that were added at the end, which had their own separate gluing challenges.  Apparently gravity is still stronger than mostly dry glue (meaning, you must lay the painting flat until glue COMPLETELY dries, or her ruby necklace might end up as a belly button jewel).  But it all worked out in the end, and I was ready to let her go.  Let’s do this. 

I boxed her up and sent her out into the world.

xo skyblue

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Brave Girl was created for a fundraiser which would raise money for breast health initiatives including the Beekley Center for Breast Health and Wellness, and a free mammogram program, in Bristol CT.  I couldn’t make it to the fundraiser this year, but my heart was definitely there.  Literally. She hopefully went home with someone last night.  🙂

Update ~ Brave Girl ended up going to a wonderful home and resides with a private art collection in Bristol, CT.

 

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Connecticut Folk Artist Skyblue is Erica Lubee (formerly Erica Moreland).  She writes this blog from her studio in CT to share her love of art, creativity, photography, nature and all creatures big and small, real and imagined.  Her passion is for mixed media, whimsical folkart, illustration and the feminine portrait.  Visit Skyblue’s gallery for more of her paintings and artworks.  Some prints available at Redbubble.  Original drawings, paintings, and more will become available soon!  Follow or subscribe here or on Facebook for updates and more artsy fun. 🙂

 

 

Yoga Gypsy – Art and Inner Peace Part II – Link Included!

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Sorry to my lovely friends and followers… I had trouble adding a link to my last post – I am not very good at posting from my I-Phone.

Anyway, here is the link back to the original post: Yoga Gypsy

And here is the link the the store if you’d like to go straight there!  Yoga Gypsies for sale!

Thanks Again!

xo skyblue

Coffee and Daydreams

IMG_9306Some afternoons, when I just sit with my thoughts, and breath…IMG_9190I find myself in little orange studio, sipping a perfect cup of coffee from my favorite mug… sunbeams raining on my two sweet purring cats.   My road rage is replaced by thoughts of those i love.  I realize i am pretty. And all at once, i remember a thousand of my happiest childhood moments.  I get a glimpse of what i ache for most in life.

I suddenly realize how much of it I already have.

thank you to everyone who believes in me.

xo skyblue

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An unexpected visit… is often the best kind.

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Gliding, gently across the glass surface,

Trying not to disturb.

splish… splash… splish… splash… until I reach other side…

Only to find the quietest cove.

The crooked bridge smiles, and welcomes me.

A perfect frame to the delight that awaits inside.

I am a humble guest here.

Hello, old friend!  May I come in?

Please do, I only ask that you remove your shoes.

Morning light twinkles, tickles my skin,

dripping through spaces between weathered wood.

The deep lines on my brow soften and fade, the first time in months…years.

I only breathe in, and out…in, and out…

Floating there so bashful, just to my left

Five tiny lily pads and two curious blossoms.

They giggle and tug at my pant as I enter and kick my shoes off.

I know this will be a lovely visit.

Who’s eyes are those, peaking timidly through a shady curtain of branches?

Oh, they are adorable.

Hello, there.  I’ve brought you some delicious bread.

I hope you will have some with me.

Come, friend.  We will sit on the porch.

The breeze is so refreshing this time of year.

There is a swing, and sweet lemonade.

We will listen to music and catch up on old times.

A familiar tune plays, in surround sound, from the perches above.

I love this song. Where have I heard this before?

We remember, and laugh. Weren’t we silly back then?

The tall blades of grass swish back, and forth… back, and forth…

Upon several, I find the most delicate creatures.

Such tiny wings, I’d swear these are fairies.  Irridescent, light purplish blue.

They dance for me, spinning, spiraling, twirling.

Only one, a much fancier blue… Look what I can do!

Your children are lovely.  My goodness, where has the time gone?

Seems like yesterday, our future, a dream.

Here we are, in a blink.

How we’ve aged.  How they’ve grown.

No, I do not have any of my own.

Oh how I wish I could stay here all day, sipping and chatting with you.

This lemonade is the best I have tasted.

I have had the most fun.

We should definitely do this more often.

But I know as life goes, while intentions are good,

It may be months… years…

So long for now, dear friend.

Promise we will soon do this again.

We embrace with a pause, sweet little hugs at my knees.

as I place worn shoes back on my cool bare feet.

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They have been there for me throughout…The ups and downs, the ins the outs, the upside-downs… they have been there for all of it.  They have never given up on me.  They have never judged me.  They make gifts for me.  A blanket, a scarf, original artwork, soup, home-made jelly, and one of my favorites… a crocheted hat with a flower on it, given to me when i needed it most. They send letters, cards, and the most thoughtful presents in the mail.  One friend sends me my favorite incense sometimes…what a treat!  When we are together we discuss everything from art and religion, to old boyfriends, girlfriends and our humungous 80’s hairstyles. While i have other incredibly dear friends, these special friends… are my family.  They connect me to my childhood, my youth, my home.

We are different from each other in many ways, but i have always thought we are alike in all of the ways that matter.  My friends are insanely gorgeous and talented, and i am average… but they always make me feel smart and beautiful. Some of them live in much sexier homes and cities…but they never makes me feel inferior.  I have never felt like i am as good of a friend to them as they have been to me.  But they have never punished me for it or tried to change me in any way.  They except and show unconditional love for me through every dorky, dark, awkward, bitchy, quirky, ugly, lazy, crabby, clumsy moment i have ever had.

They are more than BFF’s.  Much more.

This poem (if we can call it that) was written from a kayak floating on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire.  It was less than a year from my diagnosis, chemo was finally over – and I never felt this good in my life as I did that day.  It was the day I woke up, opened my eyes, and realized I was going to survive. I made it through, and the loveliest light was just through the door… i just had to push it open, put my chin up, and walk through.

I crawled out of bed that morning at the lake house, before anyone else was up, heaved a kayak into the water and pushed off the dock with my bare foot.  The sun was just about to make its debut for the day.  I quietly paddled and listened and smiled.  Across the lake, overcome by exhaustion, I found a tiny cove, dripping in the most beautiful morning sunlight, framed by a homely little bridge… ‘oh, and you wouldn’t go in??’.

While I floated amongst the ducks, and birds, and dragonflies, and gazed in awe of the beauty i found here – i had thoughts of nature, and how rarely i stop to enjoy it.  I also had thoughts of my dearest family and friends…the people who i could not have done it without.  Often so much time passes in between phone calls, and visits… living such separate lives, babies arriving, and children having grown so much.  But when we do stop to visit, and listen, and smile, it is magical.  We laugh the biggest belly laughs, and cry the most vulnerable tears, and replay our youth with angst and delight.  We revisit decades of memories, good and bad.  In recent years I am doubly blessed to know many of they’re sweet children, which makes it much easier as I say goodbye to the dream of my own.

It was very difficult to leave that cove, and return back to shore that day.  But every lovely visit must come to an end.  I quietly paddled back to lake house… feeling strength, hope, and and happy thoughts of dear friends.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~marcel proust

skyblue XO