The conventional and unconventional sides of my life.

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I just made this collage for the Let It Loose workshop I have been participating. I already had the central figure in my sketchbook. I put it together several weeks ago when I read about a Zettiology prompt on a blog and had no idea what it was! As I Googled and Googled I learned that there is no set definition to what defined Zettiology style, but a lot of interpretation. This figure is my Zettiology interpretation.

 

It may be difficult to tell from this scan but the potted plants and the butterfly to the right were applied using foam adhesive circles to give a three dimensional effect. I LOVE how this turned out and wanted to share it here.

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Still Here

Wow! I found my blogging voice two weeks ago and then I went silent. Sorry about that! The past few weeks have a bit out of the ordinary for me. My dad was in town for 8 out of 11 days (there was a 3 day break between visits) and I had jury duty last week. I never had jury duty before last week and just the potential of having to sit on a jury brought up judgment issues I didn’t even know I had. Let’s just say it’s been stress central around here!

I was looking forward to this week being the first “normal” week for me all month (no family in town, no jury duty, normal work schedule etc). On Sunday, I realized I was getting sick. Now I have a full-blown cold. I actually haven’t had a full-blown cold in 3-4 years. I discovered that if I take Airborne at the first sign of getting sick (when my throat feels “funny” before it actually starts to hurt), I don’t get any sicker and I feel “back to normal” in about 24 hours. This cold snuck up on me and I didn’t take Airborne as soon as I normally do. Last night my nose (whole head actually) kept clogging up and I was really having trouble breathing. I was dreading going to bed thinking I’d have to prop my head up to try to breathe and I’d probably wake up periodically since I was so stuffy. I was so glad to see we actually had Nyquil on hand and I took some before bed and slept wonderfully. I did have to warn Micah before we fell asleep that I tend to snore when I am sick. Micah and I have been together for 2 1/2 years and this is the first time he’s really seen me sick. When the alarm went off this morning, I asked him how I slept and if I snored. He told me I only woke him up twice. Sorry! At least I did warn him 🙂

So, that’s what has been going on here. I’ve still been able to do some work in my studio. I’ve been taking a great Art Journal workshop from Marit in the Netherlands, I’ve made a few things for some wonderful friends of mine to celebrate some milestones in their lives, and I am working to launch my own Etsy shop in mid-October!

Finding My (Blogging) Voice

I’ve been pretty quiet in the blog world for the past week. There’s been a lot of inner reflecting going on here.

Earlier this year, I began a year-long course studying the seven major chakras of the body(See more about chakras here). We spend six weeks studying each chakra. Right now we are wrapping up the six week period of the the fifth chakra, the throat chakra. The throat chakra is all about communication and expression. I anticipated some trouble working through this chakra as I tend to be a very shy/quiet type. My teacher recently said that I will say something brilliant and then she won’t hear another thing out of me in class for the next six weeks. I just don’t speak up unless I am highly compelled to. I tend to be more of an observer.

So, this six-week period has been about finding my voice. That includes my blogging voice. When I started blogging back in May, I decided I wanted an anonymous blog with cute names for our household members and I wanted to be able to blog about anything without worry of who might see it or making people uncomfortable. Only, I still did worry about making people uncomfortable. I wanted to blog openly about all things in my life including my relationships and my spirituality. But I was scared to stick my neck out there. Scared of making people feel uncomfortable. Scared most of all of opening myself up to criticism and judgment.

So, I stuck mainly to cooking and gardening topics and later on, some of my art. But I mainly left out this whole other side of me that is just as much part of me. I knew I had created this blog as a medium to be my true self but yet I wasn’t being my true self. The disconnect had me feeling anxious periodically.

It is time for me to stick my neck out there and just be me. Unapologetic and authentic me. I’m losing the “Dot” persona. Using the name Dot felt like I was wearing a ridiculous wig. It just DID.NOT.FIT.ME. I think my actual name fits me quite well so here I am (as taken from my revamped “About Me” page):

Hello, my name is Holly. I like conventional things like gardening, cooking, knitting, and art but as far as things like politics, relationships, and spirituality go – compared to the mainstream, I am definitely unconventional. I live in a cul-de-sac in the suburbs of Atlanta with my husband, Jim, my other partner, Micah, and our menagerie of pets. This blog was started as a way for me to share my passions in life – both the conventional and unconventional ones.

The Sketchbook Project 2011

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for the Sketchbook Project 2011. Today, I received my sketchbook and 2011 Participating Artist Official Library Card to The Brooklyn Art Library.

I chose the theme Facing Forward. I have a few ideas in mind for this theme, a general direction if you will. I have until January 15, 2011 to work on the project and I can’t wait to see what unfolds through the process! If you too would like to join the Sketchbook Project for 2011, you have until October 31, 2010 to sign up at www.thesketchbookproject.com.

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I hope all of my US friends had a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend. It is Monday which means that Karen is hosting another Brag Monday over at The Graphics Fairy!

This summer was an especially hot & humid one for us in Georgia. Once the calendar page flipped over to September, I immediately began thinking about fall. There is so much I love about fall. Especially the colors, scents and crisp air. I always have trouble adjusting to the shorter amount of daylight as we approach fall but it is the only thing I don’t like about the season.

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In honor of fall, I made this oversized tag (6.5 x 4 inches) titled, “Fall Harvest” The Apple of My Eye stamp is from Stampin’ Up. I stamped the image, cut it out and added microbeads for the apples. I then mounted the image on a piece of burlap with foam round adhesives to add some depth. The image of the woman is from The Graphics Fairy. I printed the image in black & white and then colored with chalk.

I am linking up to Brag Monday. Please go there and check out the other wonderful things people are making using Karen’s FREE images!

Butterfly Art

I’ve been wanting to participate in the Tag Tuesday Challenge that Louise hosts over at Kard Krazy for a few weeks now but it just hadn’t worked out up until now. While eating breakfast this morning, I hopped over to Kard Krazy to see what this week’s challenge is – Butterflies!

I was SO excited that the challenge was butterflies especially since I just finished a butterfly inspired tag this weekend. Here she is:

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There are actually four butterfly images in this piece.  I did so much layering that it is difficult to find all four images. First, I cut out my tag using light purple cardstock. I stamped the background with French script in a darker purple and then added some gesso mixed with matte medium for some translucency. I cut out some images of butterflies that were on tissue paper with an Exacto knife and adhered them to the tag. Then I stamped the main image (I recall buying the stamp from Stampington & Company several years ago) in blue and added more gesso. I added glitter glue around one of the butterfly images, wrote the words “Imagine Dream Fly”, distressed the edges with some blue ink, and added some fibers to finish the tag off.

This is actually the first well layered, mixed-media tag I’ve done and I love how it turned out. I hope you enjoyed it to! Did anyone here find all four butterfly images?

Kuan Yin

 

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Our household has an eclectic mix of religious beliefs and spiritual practices. Yakko is in seminary school studying to be a Wiccan priest. I consider myself to be spiritually eclectic with large Buddhist and Pagan (specifically, Wiccan) influences. Wakko is more the intellectual, scientist, “if I see it, I’ll believe it” type with an interest in Buddhism.

In Buddhism, Kuan Yin is a bodhisattva (meaning she forgoes her own enlightenment and keep being reincarnated until all reach enlightenment and there is no more suffering) of compassion. She is also known in come cultures as the Goddess of Mercy. Her name, in Chinese, roughly translates as “Observing the sound (or cries) of the World”

CIMG0018This past week was a rough one for our family, especially so for Yakko. Yakko had a death in his family – the second one within five months. This time it was quite sudden and unexpected. Yakko was gone several evenings last week being with family and attending the services. Each night he was gone, I lit a candle and placed it on our Kuan Yin shrine (photo on the left). Praying and lighting a candle is common in many cultures/religious practices. Even though I could not physically be with Yakko and support him, I lit a candle for him and his family. I asked that they have some feeling of peace and comfort through this very difficult time. Lighting a candle and placing it on the shrine was my way to be there for him.

The photo on the right is a photo of a Kuan Yin statue we purchased this past weekend and our local monthly antiques market. She is a large (over a foot tall) and heavy statue, made out of porcelain. I was so excited to be able to purchase the statue for $25! This statue currently resides on top of our piano in the living room.