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Another Art Adventure

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I haven’t really had an adventure in a great long time. At least not the kind you’re used to seeing here. My latest adventure is learning to teach chair yoga. Sounds easy? Not so much. It turned out to be a lot harder than I’d ever imagined. I teach seniors. I’m a senior. We all have limitations.

But I am trying some new things in my art world. Here’s a picture of a piece of silk I’m embroidering with floss and beads. It is stuffed in the trapunto method. Later it will be combined with leather to make a bag.

embroidery-for-bag

I am also making a different style of earrings. These are fabric with semi-precious gem stones added. I have them on display at Gilger Designs in Ames, Iowa. He has this great fine design shop and I am honored to have them there. And they are such fun to make. I made a pair for my niece and my nephew’s girlfriend. I made me some too.

Of course, these are in progress here, but they turned out beautifully.

Now, a friend of mine is setting up an Etsy shop for me–another great adventure in the art world. Everything takes time and energy. But creativity is the domain of us all. We are by nature creative and for me it has become a real need. I suspect it is that way with all artists. For this new year I hope you all have lots of time and opportunity to create the things you love and that this brings you great joy and peace.

 

White Pocket Rocks (Pun Intended)

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Finally. An adventure to talk about. It’s been so bloody hot here and we’ve been so busy we haven’t really gone out into the desert, but I freaked and asked my hubby if we could please have a day together. I really wanted about a week, but that wasn’t even an option. So, we loaded up the dogs and a picnic and headed for White Pocket–a round trip of about 350 miles. This old body has a hard time riding that much, but it was worth it.

We arrived at camp and set up the table and chairs and broke out the food. I cheated and bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to save on my efforts. We had ants and this little guy as visitors while we ate.stink bug

My sister loves little things, so I took the picture for her.

After lunch, we headed out for the white rocks. Unfortunately, my shoes hurt my toes, so when we reached the sandstone, off they came. The really cool thing about it was the tanajas that were filled with water. Neither I nor spell check know if that is spelled correctly, but they are indentations in the sandstone that fill with water. Some of them had tadpoles in them and others had had enough water that cattails were growing.

Molly, the black dog, took advantage of the cool water and began wading through all the tanajas she found. But our Max only got his feet wet.white pocket Molly When my feet hurt, I just dipped them into the water. It was a really lovely adventure! We also encountered rain, a welcome relief in the desert, which is ever changing. rain stormSo, I’d say the adventure was a success. I loved it, hubby loved it and the dogs had a great time. The scenery is well worth the drive.white pocket sceneSo, I guess I’d do it all again. Maybe next time we can camp there and explore some more.

Works In Progress

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72 pixels new pendent

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here. But not since I’ve written stuff. Not only do I write for the local paper, but I also have nearly finished our new book, How to Win Friends and Influence People in the 21st Century. Now that’s an adventure. Well, actually, the writing is pretty simple. Then we began looking for an agent. My co-author knew one of the best in the business, so he contacted him. The agent sent us a list of everything we needed for a proposal. OMG!

Now, if it were fiction, I’d just send the book, but a non-fiction requires much, much more. Mostly to dedicate your life to it. That being said, we are sending proposals out to smaller publishers even as I write. The book is one that is needed in today’s world and I’m sure it will be a best seller.

But sometimes a girls’ gotta take a break. When that is necessary, I go to the table and make art. The above piece is one that I have in the works. It started as a fringe sample from one of my vendors. I embellish it and when that’s done, I’ll string it onto something. I haven’t got that part worked out yet. I’ve sold a couple of these through a local gallery. Fringe is all the rage right now.

I am also doing a series I will call, “Sticks and Stones.” I am using wood and rocks found in our wonderful desert to make wearable art. I’m not sure I’ve posted this picture…it is the first of the series.rusted metal web imageI sold it at a show and have made another similar. It is a piece of rusty metal embellished. I really loved it, as did the buyer.

The next picture is of the newest in the line. I am also already working on another one. They are such fun!metal and wood sized at 72This one is of rusted metal and a wonderful piece of wood. I have lots of wood and stones because I love it all and just have to bring it home and make art with it.

I will be setting up an Etsy shop for our art, including the cliff spirits and the vision spirits and my storytellers, so stay tuned. That will take some time. Another adventure. I also will have a blog for the book!

Thanks for your interest. I hope to be more faithful with the blogs.

Time To Focus

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When I started this blog, I intended to use it to help market our art. Of course, earning a living quickly got in the way. And my husband sits at the table and calmly says, “YOU need to find a way to sell our art online.” I just nodded. Inside I seethed. “I” need to find a way? I need to find ways to keep money coming in that don’t consume me. But, I agree. I love what we do and I do want to market it.

Right now, though, I am working on a book, which takes up a good deal of free time. I guess that means it isn’t free. I also have an Interior Design business, I teach yoga and strength training to seniors and I freelance for our local paper. Let’s not even talk about the stuff we do everyday, such as cooking.

Anyway, the point of that rant was that I am returning The Adventure of Art to just that. Just maybe I can start another blog or blogs on the things that also interest me. I hoped to do that here, but it didn’t work, and I need to focus. Imagine that!

Right now I am making leather flower bracelets for The League of Women Voters officers. It’s a great little commission and I know the ladies personally, so I’m quite happy to do it. Also, I was able to place some pieces with a gallery in Kayenta, a little red rock community between my home and St. George, Utah. The bracelets are similar to this one.leather flower bracelet

All that aside. It’s spring already in the desert. You should see my cactus blooming. And I’m itching to get out there and have a little adventure of my own. I guess that means a walk up the wash with the dogs. Not really a bad deal. Before long it will be too hot to even venture outside with the intent of spending any time there. I believe I posted a picture of the cactus blossoms, but just in case I didn’t, here’s one for you to enjoy.Cactus flowers 2

While I was looking for a picture, I came across this one I thought you might like too. These guys are wild burros and roam the desert. In 19 years, I have only seen this herd. They let me get quite close, but I was cautious. Burro

Back to art:

My question to you, readers is this: Do any of you use Etsy to sell your products? If so, how is that working for you? Or do you use Artfire? Same question. I know I need to get cracking on that along with all else I do. But I want to make the right choices. I look forward to hearing from you.

The Adventure Turns Out to be Life

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When I started this blog, I really had no idea how to do it. I just wanted to promote our art and share it with those who might appreciate it. Now, I’m reading books about blogging, and it is even harder than I expected. Everyone says to write about your passion. Unfortunately, I have many. Among them would be creating my art, reading, spirituality, cooking, nutrition, activism, grammar and fitness. That’s the short list. And it’s not just what do I write about, but how do I plug in the time to do it while actively pursuing all that stuff. I create, I write for the local paper, I’m writing a book, I teach yoga and strength training and I have a home, a husband and two dogs. Since I believe in eating close to the source, I even make my dogs’ cookies. (Not their food, though.)

I thought I was crazy busy when I was raising my kids. Little did I know. And as I age, I’m not able to do as much as quickly as I once did. Add to that the fact that time compresses as you age and you understand my conundrum. I really would like some thoughts on this one.

Meanwhile, I’ll just start writing and see what happens. I might even have to have another blog, but again, the question is, how? Well, I will need one when the book is complete. But that’s a different problem altogether.

I do think I have some wisdom to impart that was acquired while becoming human. It takes time to become a fully functioning human being. Some never get there. That’s pretty evident when you watch anything on the television. It seems the world is going to hell in a hand basket–and if you know what that means, you know my age. But, my heart tells me there is more good in the human race than bad. We just have to look for it. I see it every day on the faces of my people in class. I see it in the posts of ordinary people on Facebook. I watch as ordinary humans help one another make it through this life a little more easily. Just look a little more closely and you’ll see it too.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have to be vigilant. Greedy opportunists are busily raping the planet until I fear for future generations. And outspoken activists are busily trying to undo the damage. Let’s hope we have time. It begins with us. I guess that’s the message I want to send out there. It begins with you. You were born into a free-will universe. You make the choices that determine your path. You have to stand up and be counted if you want to change anything. What do you stand for? What do you believe is important? How can you help? Can you speak up? Can you sign petitions? Can you donate? Can you actively help your fellow humans? Of course you can. You get to choose. You always get to choose. And that’s the adventure you came here to experience. Life. Wonderful, joyous, beautiful, full, voluptuous, exciting, interesting life.

Never forget that it’s short–make the most of it. Don’t fill your life with regrets. Get out there and enjoy it. Find joy in it. Joy is hiding in plain sight around every turn in the road. Be grateful for that joy. Do other animals experience it? Maybe more then we do. I know my dogs experience it. I see it every time we take them for a run in the desert. I believe it’s one of the things they live for. That and food.

Maybe that’s the answer. I can write about joy!

And A Happy New Year

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jewelry 9-14 041While I never make New Year’s Resolutions, I’m making one today. I plan to pay more attention to my blog with stuff I hope will be helpful. I didn’t really know what I was doing when I set this up, but I know more now. Although this is an adventure, art blog, I hope to redefine those terms for you and myself because I am finding that just being alive is an adventure.
Life is full of wonderful, exciting experiences. We have such a beautiful planet and so much to be grateful for. My focus will be on this. So, if you’re reading this blog buckle up for a fun ride.
Blessings for the upcoming year!

The Business of Art Revisited

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I told you that I’d be relaying information gleaned from my attendance at Dixie University’s “Business of Art” seminar. Mostly I was frustrated and disappointed. Perhaps it is because I only attended the Saturday portion, which focused on painting and photography. The sessions about Facebook and Instagram did contain some useful information, though. But I wanted to know about marketing our art. Not much of that was discussed.

I want to know how to market art because I live in a small retirement community. Well, Mesquite didn’t start out that way. In 1878 farmers came to the area hoping to make it home. But when torrential rains hit in June of 1882, dams were broken and families displaced. Finally, in 1887 Dudley Leavitt and his wives settled what was then called Mesquite Flats. They, too, were forced to leave because the Virgin River flooded them out. It wasn’t until 1897 that Mesquite was finally settled for good.

Yep, this is the desert. But if you watch the national news, you know that recently we had rains that undermined I-15. The damage was so extensive that the road had to be closed and traffic rerouted. It forced drivers to drive through The Valley of Fire, a real hardship–not. That is some of the most beautiful country in the world. The following picture was taken outside Valley of Fire, but this is what you’ll find there.

red rock for blog

There are videos of the rain we had recently, so I’ll try to figure out how to insert a link for you. Even learning how to blog is an adventure, as I’ve come to realize.

Meanwhile, back at the seminar. While I did get a smattering of info about Instagram, I’ll have to go onto my smart phone, set it up and then give you the lowdown. I did get a real feel for how sharing photos on Instagram can be useful to marketing your art.

Then there was the Facebook portion of the day. Basically, I learned that I have to have a Facebook fan page for our art and then make albums, tag relevant network contacts, invite others into my network, share albums, boost posts, watch insights, share, use links and friend and like all relevant people that can help boost views. With that in mind, you have to remember that it is a business page, and not for personal sharing.

I have created a fan page, but have lots more to learn about it. I will share that here too. For me technology is one great adventure.

Next comes Christmas. I promised to make gifts for everyone, but time is getting short. I do have earrings and spirit dolls already made, so I’m somewhat ahead of the game. Here’s a picture of some earrings.

earrings for blog

I find I really enjoy creating them. Leather has become a new fabric for exploration. Love it. It, too, is repurposed from furniture store samples.

I will next be talking about an adventure with my husband’s grandkids. Ankle biters–three and six. So, stay tuned.