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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.

 

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.

Today’s Adventure Begins With WordPress

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jewelry 9-14 013This a picture of a Storyteller that I created. I love them because they represent one of my passions. Writing. Truth is, I’m writing a book. In order to write the book, I have to read books. The book I’m reading is, “WordPress for Dummies,” by Lisa Sabin-Wilson. While I read it, I’m suppose to do what is being explained. There is hope on the horizon. I am going to learn how to make my page function like I want it to and to help people find me.

The things in life that bring me joy are (in descending order): family, friends, dogs, writing, creating art, reading,  hiking, cooking, yoga, gardening, camping and movies. Which means that I am enjoying the process of creating something that will, I hope, be an inspiration to people to be the best human they can be. While it’s true that nobody is perfect, we can allow our “reach to be greater than our grasp.”

I tell my yoga students that it isn’t about the end result, it’s about the journey towards it. Sure, it’s nice to have a great outcome, but is it necessary? Joy is found in the doing, in the being. I believe that’s why we’re all here: to actively create a joyful experience, or not. Maybe there are those who are here to create a miserable experience, but the fact is, at some very deep  level, you get to choose. Of course, I believe in a free-will Universe in which we are all just “experiencing.”

That being said, I intend, to the best of my ability, to share this little journey with you. Of course, you can buy the book and do it alone, but what’s the fun in that? So, here’s to WordPress and ” WordPress for Dummies”.

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!

Adventures With Grandkids

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I promised I’d write a post about the visit of the ankle biters. Well, one of them is a little older than that, but still young. They are both males, but with really different personalities. That’s how it goes with kids.

The youngest had never met us, but that didn’t seem to be a problem as long as we acted like loving humans, which how could you not do? They were lots of fun, but I’d quite forgotten what young ones were like to entertain. We gave them art stuff and took them on adventures and everything worked out fine. I now have pictures on my fridge done by both of them. Now, that’s art.niles family

So, we loaded up food and the two dogs and the boys and headed out! Dogs can be more unmanageable than boys, but they really were quite good on this trip. I worried about all of them getting too close to the cliffs, though.

I am including a photo of this adventure: the Devil’s Fire, or as some call it, Little Finland. By either name it is totally awesome. The trek to it is a bit daunting, but neither of the boys had to be carried. As we approached the hills, the boys (Finn and Jude) noticed white staining on the rocks, so I taught them how to lick rocks (I’m not too sure mom appreciated that) to tell what it is. In this case it was alkali or salt. They got quite a kick out of licking rocks! Me too, for that matter. The desert is full of alkali areas, so they can lick rocks to their heart’s content.

We climbed to the top where the really special stuff is and right-away showed them petroglyphs on the very rock they walked upon. These glyphs are probably as much as 10,000 years old. I can’t even imagine that span of time. And to think humans were here then is awe inspiring.

I look for special rocks and twigs whenever we are out as I use them in my art. We found Moki marbles for the boys–round bits of sandstone rock. I have many of those, as well as chert and round rocks and just rocks I love. That would be most rocks. I figure we have about 50 ton of rock on our property, and aside from the landscape rock, we’ve carried it all in–from little to large. Needless to say, they had rocks in their pockets when we got home too!

It was great to have them here, and it seems they liked it to! Now we look forward to the next great adventure with them.

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!

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