Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Meditate on your personal quirks. Then celebrate the simple

Thinking ordinary today. Simple, quirky and pleasing.
I love folded potato chips. They are the odd potato caught in mid flip when tossed into the fryer. Besides a crazy shape the folded chip boasts  a higher crunch factor and a spunky chip personality. And, since there isn't as many of them in a bag if you make a pact to only eat the folded chips, countless calories are saved. Bonus!

Most of my friends and family know I love folded potato chips. And, I'm constantly presented with gifts of folded chips at restaurants, picnics, family gatherings... A quirky celebration shared by friends and family.

Folded chips. Such a small delight. So very random, but such crunchy fun. 

I also love frosting. I like it better than cake. Frosting is prettier and often comes with sprinkles. It tickles my teeth, and frosting flowers are sweet sugary petals straight from heaven.  When I realized I loved frosting more than cake, I found friends who felt the same about cake over frosting, and we've formed cake feasting duets. Two forks. One plate. A perfect pairing.

Heaven is a fork and frosting... Such a sweet delight. Small, but ahhhh! Bliss.

I also love climbing into bed at night after a long day. Before I get in, I pause for just a second and prep... for the initial luscious rush of horizontal rest. The first moments of laying in bed feel marvelous. Beds are wonderful. Pillows are fabulous. I'm fortunate to have three pillows to sculpt to my body each night. 

Going to bed is so routine, and yet mmmm, what a luxury. A party in PJ's.

We all have crazy busy days.   
It seems laundry and dishes are endless. Bills keep coming every month. We either need to: get to work, work, or find work—everyday. It's overwhelming and stressful and worrisome...but that doesn't mean we can't find fragments during the day that bring us happiness. 

Remember to pause... prepare for the momentary celebration, and then revel in it's miniature glory.

Stop and concentrate on a small mediocre moment you find funny, tasty, relaxing etc. Some of mine are folded chips, bedtime, frosting, dogs, my first sip of coffee, or bite of hot pizza, biking to icecream, washing my face at night...
And then, pause for a moment to concentrate on the ordinary quirk you enjoy. As the old saying goes, "Remember to stop and smell the roses" 

...Ahhh flowers. I love daisies. They are optimistic. They are sunshine I can hold. Such a happy flower.

Such tiny, quirky things, but if they makes you smile inside—make it your celebration.

It's Tuesday... what are you celebrating?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Eat and repeat ...everyday.

Three meals every day. Each day we must find time to eat.  Stop for a moment and think about how we are consuming these meals. Often we grab and gulp. And, sometimes we have to dine and dash. Time and place often dictate how we eat our meals. Nearly everyday I find myself eating at my computer; nibbling a quick meal in my car or standing grazing between counter and fridge in the kitchen (YIKES) before I race out the door.  Sound familiar? Is your day filled with plastic sporks and styrofoam containers? Ahh, such is life. 

Before you pop the next morsel into your hungry pie-hole, consider this: how you are dining?  
Do you remember what you ate yesterday (or breakfast this morning)? Does last night's dinner bring a smile—or a question mark in your memory? If you are not remembering your week day meals, please do not feel alone. There are a lot of harried meals being gobbled up with no joy in the car, in front of the TV and often in a haze in front of our families. Here's the good news: This does not need to be the weekday norm. With some very simple tweaks, you can create meals that make a memory for a at least a few of your week day meals.

This solution has nothing to do with cooking up a storm. (although that would be lovely) I must confess, I'm NOT a culinary wizard in the kitchen.  I'm a lazy eater who eats at her computer much too often—and who looks for the easy way out of fixing a bite to eat. My favorite food is anything needing only a fork before heading towards my teeth. I love leftovers that are noshable with only the pop of a Rubbermaid lid. For me, even building a sandwich can be daunting—what with all the bits and bobs that must be pulled from the fridge prior to sandwich assembly. I'm lazy for many a meal.
When I have a moment of peace to possibly eat with people, I like to make the most of my meal. How (you may ask) does a lazy eater —or a fast-food feaster create a memory from a meal possibly pulled from a take-out bag?
It's all about the presentation. 

Make a memory by bringing a little elegance to the everyday.
Choose some great stemware; pay attention to the  color of your plates; introduce some candles or flowers to a weekday dinner.  When was the last time your good china saw the light of day?   What's wrong with having your fries on some fun dishes? Enjoy a soda in beautiful stemware with your delivered pizza. Light some candles and revel in some fabulous lighting with  your mac and cheese. What ARE you saving those pretty things for anyway? Your fine dishes wait in the cupboard for a special  celebration—right? Be brave and bring them out and celebrate tonight. You'll be amazed how fun and fancy your spaghetti will be when placed on some finery. There isn't always time to be over-the-top-splashy, you can easily make an ordinary meal memorable with a bit elegance hidden in your cupboard that's been waiting for a special occasion. Make the occasion today! 

Remember to step back and marvel at the beauty you've just created out of an ordinary dinner. Revel and Remember. 
Toss the spork and rave about the celebration!

Life is everyday—get out the good dishes tonight!
Even if it's only Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Celebrate the ordinary...everyday

It's Tuesday, and there are 15 things on the "to-do" list. The list has a several items that I rather avoid. There's also laundry upstairs that needs folding...

Lists and Laundry. Our days are filled to the brim with burdens. They often become our only focus. It's easy to feel that life is run by lists and not loves. Our careers and goals are ambitiously begun to allow us someday enjoy the "American Dream"–but while we work hard for this elusive "someday" is there time to enjoy today?

There has to be time for celebration everyday. I'm not talking about a balloon filled, clown infested festival. Just something ordinary. Something satisfying...Daily.

For example, today there are fresh berries for cereal, the office windows are open and the birds are singing, puppies are sleeping nearby, and plans for a bike ride is promised after the office is closed. Realizing, anticipating and appreciating these little joys provide a YAY in my day as the to-do list is accomplished.

It doesn't have to be a ticker-tape parade–just something that brings pleasure and contentment. Also (and most importantly) the moment must be savored and appreciated in both the anticipation and the participation. In other words–be aware of the fun! Revel in the moment and this small celebration will outshine all the to-do's of the day. Make your glass half fun and make the glass a fine piece of stemware!

Here's a short list of my favorite everyday celebrations:
Warm crusty bread with good olive oil, pepper and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese
Family dinners
Homemade pizza
Candles with dinner
Frosting (on anything)
Folded potato chips
My dogs
Ice cream on a hot day
Bike rides
Red wine in beautiful stemware
A good book and a moment to read

Nothing on this list has to be expensive or even needs to be scheduled. Anticipating, savoring, appreciating, reminiscing and chatting about an everyday celebration is much better than narrating the 15 things waiting impatiently on a to-do list.

To truly celebrate the tiny joys of life, it is important to realize little things are so enjoyable!

Life is everyday. Let's celebrate!
Have a bright day, indeed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When stampeding in a creative direction—Hang on.

Cobwebs and dust bunnies have run riot in this little blog. I'm spending a bit of time today chasing the dust out of the corners to freshen up this uninhabited corner of the Internet. 

I've been slow to add bits of blather to my blog—I have been busy. My focus has been galloping in different directions.  

Here's a few things I've accomplished and can show without breaking confidentiality with a client.

So...what's my problem with getting to my blog? 

um.... Focus. 
Huh? How to you pick one thing to focus upon when there's so much to see and draw!

For me, it's a daily challenge to dedicate time on an inspiration without wondering if there's a better idea "out there" that should be explored. Starting new self-directed art is like riding a wild horse. I clumsily hang on for dear life as my creative ride lunges and lurches--galloping in directions unforeseen. I awkwardly attempt to keep my tush in the saddle, and wonder with brain pounding adrenaline--if the journey will end with a soft landing... and an idea worth keeping.

Having focus and some knowledge about how to control a wild ride would make the journey easier. Then again, there's a certain serendipity in the out-of-control creative romp that can provide moments of pure eureka. 

Here's to the untamed creativity that stampedes in all of us. 

Up for a ride today? 

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer is falling. Drawing what's next...

I'm sluggishly admitting that summer is coming to a close. Sigh. It's Labor Day weekend—summer's finale. This means that I should think about the looming holidays. I'm starting with a glimpse of Halloween. I've sketched and colored, Harry. He really likes his shirt. He's ready to give you a hare-raising scare. (sorry about the tacky pun). 

Harry may have some friends too. Maybe a girl friend, or some other halloween critters. We'll see how focused I stay with the theme. (I'm still wanting to wear my flip flops and BBQ on the deck.) It would be best to check my blog again, and we'll see who (what) else falls out of my head.... 

 I've an idea for some sweet greeting cards for Harry to grace. I think you'll see him on Etsy in the coming days. I'll update my gallery when he joins the store.

Thanks for following my scribbles!
Have a bright day! 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Drawing on discipline

I've discovered that I blog a lot like I go to the gym. Exercising and blogging are on my to-do list, but the day twiddles away and before I know it,  I'm going to bed realizing I MEANT to go to the Y.... and I meant to blog, but oops—other things that seem terribly pressing got in the way.  I think I need to do something that makes me touch base regularly with my blog page to keep things dusted, current and worth visiting. A promise to commit that keeps me a bit more disciplined.

So  I'm going to sketch—and toss whatever I've scribbled up on my page to share. It'll be a good exercise for the illustrator in me to push some creative doodle out of my noggin.

Here's what I did today. I like this little guy well enough, but when I tried drawing a front view of him,  I'm struggled with the fore-shortening of his beak without losing his quirky personality. It's tossing me a bit. We'll see if he shows up again in more views. I like him well enough that I may put him in color though.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bright Days Indeed

I kept bumping into Etsy.com links while on my internet inspiration searches for product and pattern design—so I finally spent a moment to see what Etsy was all about. It didn't take me long to decide I needed to add my own store.

If you haven't been to Etsy—go!  It's a sweet little treasure trove of everything artsy. I've been impressed with the quality of the store products and also the organization of its structure and policies. Etsy is a a quaint, giant, humming collection businesses—and yet it maintains the feel of sweet boutiques and craft shops. Fun for shoppers looking for something special, and great for artists searching to showcase their work.

So I'm up! Set up was pretty easy, thanks in part to my digital camera, my trusty Mac, and some sensible Etsy instructions. Now I need to find some shoppers to travel to the store! You'll see my gallery of Etsy products is now featured on my blog. I'm slowly adding more of my illustrations that are rattling around in the studio—so check out my store, BrightDaysIndeed often to see what's new.

If you are looking for anything in particular—or see a print you would like as a card, (or vice versa)—drop me a line and tell me your thoughts! It's always nice to hear from folks, and to know I'm not alone in my quiet studio.

Here's to celebrating life with a bit of whimsy... I hope my illustrations make you smile... a little.

Life is Everyday... let's celebrate!