Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mystery Muse-ing

It's COLORFUL in Artella Land
A few short weeks ago I signed up to be a Mystery Muse for the month of February, courtesy of Marney Makridakis and her wonderful Artella Land website. (Go ahead, click on the links above and check it all out.)

Being a Mystery Muse is like being a 'secret santa' only better.

Remember how I mentioned recently how much I love getting personal mail? And about how dang magical I think the whole process is? Well, being a Mystery Muse combines it all. (And -- big heartfelt apologies! -- I should've given you a heads-up about this earlier, because now the month of February is over and if you want to be a part of this project you'll have to wait until next year. However, by becoming a member of Artella Land now and signing up to receive future artellagrams you'll be one of the first folks to know when it all happens again -- yay!)

This year, the rules of Mystery Musedom were described thusly:  
  • Sign up to be a Mystery Muse and you will then receive the name and home address of someone else who has signed up.
  • Your job then will be to send at least two handmade creations to that person during the month of February. The things you send can be absolutely anything, as long as they are items that you have created personally with your own little hands. 
  • Be sure to remain mysterious and keep your identity a big old secret until you send your final offering, at which time it's OK to reveal your creative Secret Superhero-ness.
  • There's absolutely no cost other than your postage to mail your surprises to your assigned 'Muse-ee,' so it's completely free to participate.
  • And, as Marney says, this "is simply a fun way to start the new year with positive, supportive sharing a bit of your own creativity...while receiving a boost of inspiration from someone else's creativity, as well!"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Marjolein Bastin and the Dipped-in-Gold Day

Yup. A Dipped-in-Gold-Day. A Fresh-Air-and-Sunshine Day. A Spring-is-on-its-Way Day. And here's why:

Responding to what sounded like Birdfest out my front door this morning, I opened it to discover robins feasting on the berry clusters in my rowan tree. Instant Spring moment!

Artwork copyright Marjolein Bastin
During my walk around the neighborhood afterwards, I glanced up to catch a black-and-white Tuxedo tom cat lazily watching me as I pursued some exercise.

On my return trip home again, I recognized the unmistakeable 'foley artist' sounds of a happy starling in full song. (In spite of my earmuffs! Says a lot about happy starlings....)

And once there I checked the Billbox to find a delightful handwritten (in fountain pen, no less!) letter from a good friend.

And because of that wonderful letter with its wonderful stationery, I took a moment today to reacquaint myself with the artwork of Marjolein Bastin.

If you're unfamiliar with Ms. Bastin's work, I suggest you study the photos in this post or hie yourself to yon local Hallmark store and spend a wonderful afternoon appreciating the beautiful cards and tchotchkes there that feature her work.
Artwork copyright Marjolein Bastin

I've collected Marjolein's charming cards since my old Law Office days back in the 90s when the Hallmark store in the downstairs lobby of the office building I worked in kept me delightfully busy over many a lunch break.

One of my fave card designs featured two little birds feathering the nest of a birdhouse made of art supplies. I was so charmed by the image that I made a similar birdhouse for both my mother and my grandmother by painting store-bought pine birdhouses from a local craft outlet and hot-gluing straw, pencils, and paintbrushes to them. They turned out wonderfully if I do say so myself, by neither were ever used for housing birds.

Opening my letter today and seeing my friend's familiar handwriting and Marjolein's familiar watercolor studies absolutely transported me. I felt like I'd been sent back in time!

And now that I think about it, my whole day has been about birds, birdsong, nature, spring, and watercolory surroundings.

And memories, of course. And the magick of reconnection.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Priorities First

This is the best I can do for this Monday.

A message to my own self to calm down already.

A message to remind me that if I can't accomplish Ten Impossible Things Before Breakfast -- heck, if I can't accomplish just One Simple Thing Before Supper! -- it's OK.

No one will care. The world won't end....

But one thing is a priority. It should always be at the top of the list.

And when I find myself walking around in circles, wringing my hands and wondering where to begin, this message should come to my rescue:

Everything's fine. Make a cup of tea. Take a deeeeep cleansing breath. Shake those worries out! Now... stay calm and create.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

For You

You're mine, Valentine.

You're never alone because you've got me.

Every time I compose a post, I write to you. Every time I draw a sketch, I wonder, "Will you like it, too?"

You're here in my heart, sharing my day from beginning to end.

I'm thinking of you, wherever you are.

I heart you, my friend.


Friday, February 8, 2013

On An Adventure

Can you guess where I am? I'm on a Very Good Adventure. We're talkin' books and toys and a whole handful of Oscar-nominated films with the World's Best Boyfriend and so there's even POPCORN in my near future! My day is Golden. :)

And a reminder: It's Weekend Eve! May your day be Golden, too, my friend. Haveth fun!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Drawing Time

Not long after I first began this blog back in 2011, one of my Big Ideas was that I was going to follow the example of my local hero Nancy Carlson and share a daily doodle. It was easier said than done, that's for sure. And my 'daily' blogsketches rapidly became semi-annually.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Magic of Mail

The folks at Punchbowl (who supply the info for my Let's Party! blog widget) tell us that today is 'Thank a Mailman Day,' and you can read all about it by opening this link or scrolling down the righthand side of this blogpage.

Learning about 'Thank a Mailman Day' today made my heart do a little wiggle. Because I seriously love mail. Love it! Even the typewritten word gives me palpitations; it suggests handwritten secrets and sparkles and surprises. :)

Ever since I was little, mail has mesmerized me. I realized its awesome potential even before I could write my own name....

Friday, February 1, 2013

Weekend Eve is Upon Us!

Today -- in addition to being the first day of February -- is Bubblegum Day, National Wear Red Day, and (my fave) Friday, or what I like to call Weekend Eve. So today's blogsketch is covering all her bases by doing the Friday happydance! :)

To me, Fridays and Weekends will always be magickal and full of possibilities. Even in my head I see them with sparkles! (Although Friday's sparkles don't appear until around 5 p.m., understandably.) They're white squares on my inner calendar, as if the hours are waiting for me to fill them with color. Or maybe they're hidden, waiting for me to uncover them to reveal their surprises....

I assumed that when I became self-employed, my head would see the entire week as a sort of magickal weekend. And when that didn't happen, I tried to imagine them backwards -- especially during Fest time, when my weekends become my work days. But I just couldn't wrap my head around it.

Perhaps all those years of school and the looking forward to of the golden weekends left their mark. It's ok. My weekends are still full of magick but now my weekdays are, too. I love what I do and it's work. But I prefer to call it my Play instead of my Job.

And when my Fridays tick along to 5 p.m., I still feel the happydance sneaking up on me! (*wiggle* See? Already it's starting!)

So here's my wish for YOU: may your Today be full of dance moves and your Weekend full of golden moments. And when Sunday dawns, may it stall (and stall... and stall....) until you've played to your heart's content.

Now get ready!