Shabby Miss Jenn

Saturday, April 04, 2015

The beginnings of a Dream

Many of us have dreams that we don't share.
Quietly keeping them to ourselves.
Watching them come to be
watching them
 sometimes painfully
 fade away...
out of our grasp.

I've had a dream for a while.
Versions of it have already come to fruition.
Opening a magazine and seeing your words.
Your creativity printed before you.
It's an incredible feeling.
That version of my dream was
promoting my dolls and my business.

This new rendering of my dream
 involves sharing photos I've taken
 around the Farmhouse.
Being brave enough to share
 the most quiet thoughts 
I've only written for my eyes.
Able to reach back thru time 
by reading them again.
Reflections of myself
 only shared with 
blank pages of journals.

I wanted to make sure to find a magazine that
seemed to fit with the idea in my head
 of the finished concept.
Have been thrilled with the magazine I have already
been part of that Stampington &Company publishes.
Thought I'd lean towards another of
their amazing publications for this dream
to come to be.

A number of friends kept sending me messages
 and emails about the magazine "Bella Grace"
 that Stampington & Company publish.
Began thinking it might be the one
to look deeper into.

In the sharing of this dream and
the desire for this magazine,it was mentioned that
 it was difficult to find in my neck of the woods.
{It's a tad pricey and I don't have the extra funds
 to splurge at the moment.}
I was second guessing myself
and even the dream.
I thought further down the road
I'd spring for a copy and
be able to hold it in my hands.
See if this truly was the fit that
I was hoping it would be.

Beyond blessed to have people
in my life that wish to see
my dream come to life.
My amazing friend Sandra in Texas contacted me
and said she wasn't taking no for an answer.
She wanted my mailing address so that
she could send me a copy of the magazine.
She believed in this dream of mine.

Bella Grace blew me away!
What an amazing magazine and I may have been thinking
that it was too high priced but
it's so much more then the price.
This isn't a magazine that you casually read
 once {maybe twice}and then toss away.
I am guilty already of reading this issue 4 times!

You notice a photo or a quote that you didn't quite take
in fully the last time you read the magazine.
I can see this issue being read so many times I lose count.
The photography is sheer eye candy alone.
Inspiration and fuel for a creative soul.

On their website {and inside the magazine},
it's stated that Bella Grace is a special publication 
devoted to discovering magic in the ordinary. Our aim is to
 touch the souls of our readers
 through beautifully penned stories and 
striking photographs that capture 
life's beautiful journey.

Embrace imperfection.
 Celebrate your messy life.
 Shine a spotlight on small, 
everyday moments 
– they are special, 
and they are yours.


This is the magazine that holds
my dream and will bring it full circle
into being.

I am going to:
- read this cover to cover
- write
- edit and fine tune
- practice with my camera
-look thru the lens of my camera until
my heart shows clearly.

Then be brave enough to submit
something to this incredible magazine.

The next photo of me holding Bella Grace
will be where I'm inside of that issue.
Where a dream has come true.


Trust yourself to dream.
Trust that desire enough to share it.
Share it with those that will fan the flame.
That will encourage you and whisper
their strong belief in you.

With that powerful energy surrounding you,
watch your dream explode into reality
 and place you exactly
 where you imagined you could be.

Thru the Attic Door
{A Collection of Primitives, 
Mixed Media Paintings and more}
*LIKE* my Facebook Page

Saturday, March 14, 2015

My Artistic Style is Shifting

My comfort zone style of artwork is typically like the above pieces.
Lots of layers and background depth. Part of the creative process that I find easy to
escape into and yet always different in each piece.
Not much facial detailing to speak of

Then one day while sitting at my art table
this is the piece that came out of me

 I had still used different papers and stamps for background.
Her face sort of just happened though.
It wasn't really planned.
Layers of acrylic paint; oil pastels,
 clear gesso and even color pencils
all going on at once.
She was fun to see come to be.
I had never done a face like hers before.
It was exciting.

The painting
as a whole though
didn't steal my heart.

Something was just a wee bit off and yet I couldn't
 pinpoint exactly why it didn't make me
 smile when I'd look at it.
It didn't get hung on one of my walls.
Stashed away with other canvas.
I needed to take a break from her.

One afternoon I brought her out of hiding.
I'd been reading comments in a number
of different art course classes that I was
part of. One that struck such a cord
with me was along the lines of it's alright to
revamp a painting into something else.

I laid her on the table and began.
Layers of clear gesso were slathered on top.
As I let that dry I began to second guess myself.
{That can happen a lot as an artist}
With a big gulp of my coffee I shook my nerves and
uneasy off and began to play.
She morphed quicker then I thought
once more paper was added.
Then I went dark with the back ground.
As that darkness happened
she took a totally different look in my head.
With fingers crossed that I would bring the image
 from inside my mind
out onto this painting,
I set to work until I finished.

She was getting closer to what I was hoping for.
Her hair became untamed.
I was stamping images into her hair and onto her dress.
Splatters of paint were happening all over the canvas.
I was mixing in colors of paint I generally never used.
Shades of purple, blue and even pearlescent paints.
I was finally falling in love with her.

A row of antique buttons was attached at her neckline.
A little bit darker stamping was placed on her bodice.

She had amazingly shifted into a painting

that I couldn't stop the smile
when I gazed upon her.
I'm getting ready to find the perfect place

to hang her in my home.

I'm getting ready to paint a few more in this

newly discovered style within me.
I look forward to sharing

the process and pieces
with you all.
Thru the Attic Door
{A Collection of Primitives, 
Mixed Media Paintings and more}
*LIKE* my Facebook Page

Friday, March 13, 2015

How loud is your voice?

In the process of dusting off this blog to write more, I've discovered that I have forgotten my voice.
Sitting at the computer with coffee{liquid muse};staring for a good solid 10 minutes and getting nothing.
I'd type a sentence. Backspace. Backspace.
Drink until last drop of coffee.

Oh now come on! This is just crazy.
So I did what any sane person does at 7am and only wearing their pajamas....... I stepped outside to inhale deeply fresh air and clear my head.
Well truthfully a sane person would have taken a moment to check the weather a bit closer as when you close the door behind you, only to discover it's -18C with a windchill..... quickly gasping the icy air into my lungs and having my eyes begin watering instantly.
Inside....I can clear my head and find my muse inside.
{Went down and tossed 3 more logs into the furnace}

Sitting here again and giving myself a good shake off.
I'm just going to begin writing again.
Days will be picked out to blog on. Circled on the calendar for reminders.
I'm not going to bury myself with a mountain of how and what and why.
The more I write, the louder my voice will become.
It's there. I can hear the whisper deep within. I have just forgotten how to bring her out and onto the screen.
I'm going to keep a little notebook with me to jot down ideas and brain blurbs.
Something to put next to the keyboard for when I stumble. I'll be able to open a page and pick something out. It might not make sense at that exact moment but it will give me something to write about. To focus that energy again with words.

I also am going to start sending out more tweets.
Twitter is a great way to get writing practice as it's short and uncomplicated.
Do you follow me there?
Thru the Attic Door on Twitter

Feeling better already about my voice.
It just took a little writing ;)

Thru the Attic Door
{A Collection of Primitives, Mixed Media Paintings and more}
*LIKE* my Facebook Page

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Feeling like a VooDoo Queen

Truthfully I had thought of just letting this blog die a slow death.
My mindset wasn't into it anymore.
When you lose that "whatever"  that brings you to sit in front of the computer and write....having a blog becomes difficult. You begin to think you are sitting in a room by yourself talking to the walls.

Something shifted again.
I've been sharing on Facebook about what has been happening with my life at the Farmhouse...... gardens, cooking, doll making, paintings mixed with daily musings. Folks were responding. People were interested.
They began making a comment I was no longer able to brush aside.

You should write a blog

I actually HAVE one and just don't write in it any longer.

So looks like I'm dusting this bad boy off and seeing what happens.
Hope you'll stop back thru with a cup of joe and help make this fun.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Staying Afloat amongst Chaos

It's been approximately a week since I worked my last shift. 
The store has officially closed their doors and I've been working
 on adjusting my train of thought to being unemployed now.
 We mark things down onto the grocery list
 tacked to our fridge. I just tend to look closer at 
what really needs to be bought and what are more 
classed as "treats" to indulge in at a later date.
The alarm continues to go off at 6am.
I can lay in bed a wee bit longer with the cat curled up
 purring on my chest and not have to keep glancing
 at the numbers of the clock.
A rule has been implemented of
 no jammies all day.
Comfy pants happen AFTER a long day and
 it's time to unwind. Not before.
The closet space is scanned every morning for 
clothes that I can be productive in.
My days are still going to be
 jammed packed with busy.

I'm trying to remember to look for 
simple beauty each day.
Something to smile about.
Laughter needs to be heard and felt.
It's never been a good thing to allow myself to wrap
 myself in a heavy blanket of panic or worry.
Reminding myself daily, it's all worked out before
 when chaos has flooded around me.
I stayed afloat before and
 I shall this time round.

So I took my camera out between the grey drizzle moments
 we've been having and snapped 
some soul happiness......

With the turn of weather to much cooler (and damp), 
our firewood has begun to get stacked and piled in the
 basement. Knowing that I have a roof over my head
 and that we have enough wood to burn to keep
 us warm helps. There is something quite calming
 to be able to hear the snapping and
 crackling of the wood as it burns.

 The last of our sunflowers that we grew have been 
harvested and the seeds are drying. The amount of birds
 we feed here at the farmhouse is crazy and having grown
 these sunflowers is going to be wonderful. The differing sizes and
 colours of the flower heads was amazing to watch come to life.

 The simple joy around you when
 you just allow yourself to look.
Leaves changing colours.
 Small snail. 
Flowers blooming.

The differing cycles captured.

Large wooden crates filled with apples.
I let myself stand there for a moment after
taking the snapshot and just breath in deeply.
Transported me back to the smell of the back stairs
at my grandparents home where bags of apples
were stored for the season.

Nothing makes me smile like the
 burnt orange hues of pumpkins
 this time of the year

 As I walked down the street, I noticed something on the 
side of this building that I've never seen before.
A chalkboard.
When I pointed it out to my husband, he said to snap a photo
as we'd do such an idea on the side of the farmhouse.
I'm so excited!
I already can hardly wait to write
different quotes and messages.
Isn't this a wonderful touch?

Take the time to lay the worry and chaos aside.
That energy does nothing to help.
Open your eyes to the simple beauty around you.
Capture it.
even just in your mind


Thursday, August 14, 2014

25th HS Reunion

High School for many brings bubbling up from the past
 any number of mixed emotions.
When I allow myself to look back I can recall the jocks, 
the cool kids, the nerds and the mix of many who 
crossed into a few of those groups.
Different teachers and their classes 
stand out clear from the fog of memories.

My father was in the Canadian Armed Forces and
 we moved around a number of times in my youth.
One of those moves brought me
 to Barrington Passage, Nova Scotia.
It was Grade 8.
I walked into a school knowing no one else.
Friendships had been formed years ago for many
 of the other folks going to this school. 
It's a small community and they'd grown up together.
I was an outsider stepping into these circles.
It didn't always go smooth. A few stumbles along the way.
 A few lines drawn in the sand and no crossing it.
Friends were made.
Good solid amazing friendships.

I can look back thru time to my High school years 
and for the most part smile.
Silly moments are recalled. 
Laughter can erupt from me.
Gym class.
English class
Red and Grey Day.
Boy friends and heartaches
Girlfriends and sleep overs
Piercing and shaved heads
Acid wash jeans and Madonna

I was a part of this group from
 Grade 8 thru to Grade 11.
Then everything changed.

My father had finished his posting to Barrington and 
was being posted to his next place.
My family was moving to Summerside PEI.

I made plans to stay in Barrington so
 I could graduate with my friends.

My family said I was moving 
with them as a family.
Teen rebellion soared out of me
The next year was a rough year on everyone.

I can look back now with the eyes of an adult and see it 
was the best thing to have happened.
At the time, I could hardly 
breathe anything but rage.

I stayed in touch with many of the school friends.
Hand written letters.Grad photos exchanged 
with me wearing green and gold 
instead of red and grey.

Over time, the letters from some friends 
became few and far between.
Life has a tendency to do that.
Marriages. Children. Divorces. All the many twists and turns
 that life can drop at your feet.
Social media platforms came into play and like happens, 
you type in every name you can recall and see if they are part of it. 
Friend requests are sent out. 
You begin a new level of old friendships.
You are able to steal glimpses of family life thru the bits and
 pieces that are shared via status updates and photo albums.

In what seems like a blink of the eye, 
25 years has passed.
A High School reunion gets talked about and then
 a group of them gather to start making plans.
Excitement builds. 
Nerves start to fluster about in my belly.
A few stumbling blocks pop up but are quickly 
swept away by friends.
I'm included in this reunion with no qualms from anyone.
I am part of this group no matter what colors I wore that final night.

I meet an old friend in town so we can travel to the reunion together. 
It's the perfect way to scatter the last of the nervous butterflies as
 we'll talk about everything on the road trip there. 
She was using me for courage and an ice breaker.
It was perfect.
Laughter occurs. 
Tales of teachers and classmates.
 Who's doing what now. 
We play catch up on our lives in the 2 hour
 drive it takes us to get there.
We randomly check the updates and see friends
 decorating the space for tonight.

Kathy is sweet enough to drive the back way into Barrington and
 we reminisce about living along the sea shore. 
Who lived in which home along the way.
Pulling up to the parking lot, this is the first thing we see...
and a night to remember begins.

Friends start filtering into the pub and shared moments of hugs, giggles and
 exchanges of different information begins.
Some faces I knew instantly.
Others brought about giggles when we asked who was who.

 So many memories flood to the surface. 
I haven't laughed this much in a very long time.
Sharing photos taken from the night
..... some mine... some from others.

A series of photos that forever will fill my heart
with happiness and laughter when gazed upon.

Games of pool are played....
A few rounds of shots happen....

A night to remember always begins....

This photo of my friend Doug and I 
wraps the whole array of  feelings
from the evening up for me...
no amount of time

I am so very glad that I was able to attend and take part
in such a fun crazy night. The laughter still vibrates around my heart.
Those that planned this and made it happen....I thank you.
You all did an incredible job and should be proud.
Those that attended, I thank you as well.
You gave me incredible memories of continued friendships.
I loved seeing every one of you.
Those that weren't able to join us, you missed a magical night and were sorely missed.
Fingers crossed you all will be able to join us the next time around.