Shabby Miss Jenn

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Desire to Write

I will admit that there are times I've let my writing become less then top priority. My blog isn't updated as often as I'd like. Sometimes life throws you one heck of a curve ball and next thing you know, you are laying smack down on your butt trying to catch your breath.

In the making of today's "to-do" list, writing this blog post wasn't even in the top 20 things to cross off. Truthfully, it wasn't even ON the list but something happened today that made me change my plans.
While quickly skimming thru my news feed on Facebook, I saw a friend of mine write something that has managed to tug at me for the rest of the day.

Her name is Tina and her blog is one of my faves to read.
She has such an incredible knack with words and her humor has on numerous occasions made me bust out in fits of giggles.

See the thing is, Tina has within the last while lost her mom. I can't even begin to fathom that heartache or level of pain. Today she mentioned that she wasn't sure if she had any funny left inside her. That she wasn't sure she still wanted to write.

That part is what has tugged at me all day. Without being able to sit down at her kitchen table and tell her this face to face, I'm opting to write it all out here.

The desire to write is something that many folks "think" that they have but it is a rare talent to really be able to make it work. To engage others with words on a screen is tough. Within seconds, they can click a button and be gone. To capture the attention of someone and then make them FEEL an emotional connection is a gift.

When my friend Rydonna was dying, she told me that she spent countless hours reading my works. She read every post I'd made in this blog. She read every magazine article I'd ever written. She read the novels I'd written as part of NaNoWriMo. I told her that the darkness was going to be too deep and difficult to come out of. Writing was going to become something of the past for me once she was gone.

She made me promise that I would continue to put words to paper; words to screen and someday that I would pour all the darkness and emotion into a novel. There are days that I stare at the blank screen. Words jumble in my head as tears flow and wet my cheeks. There are also days that I fill pages with thoughts and details to go into my book.

Tina will write again.
She will take small steps.
She will take deep breathes.
She will cry.
She will stare at the blank screen some days.

She will with time discover that her humor is something that can't stay away forever.
She has an amazing gift for writing and it will work it's way thru her heartache and pain.
Her gift of writing will be a way for her heart to heal.

Do me a huge favor and head over to her blog and leave her some encouragement and love.
She also has a Facebook FanPage called Tinalicious that you can check out and LIKE.

I love you my dear friend and you are going to make your mother so very proud.

Music in the Studio

Music really helps set the tone for me while in my studio space. It plays while I sit at my sewing machine and piece together the latest doll. It plays if I'm adding paint to a canvas or just sitting at my computer doing some work online.
I've been very blessed over the years to attend many concerts. Having a wide array of music to my liking also helps. Someone that I have been lucky enough to hear live is this young woman.
Kendel Carson

I happened to see her perform with Dustin Bentall.
Her voice is amazingly soft and strong all at once.
She plays incredible.

When I am sitting at the table with my sketchbook in hand and multiple pencils and markers tossed about as I sketch out ideas....I find myself time and again coming to listen to her. I have spent the whole afternoon singing along loudly to her music. It makes me smile.

Do you listen to her music?
Have you heard of her before now?

Who do you listen to while creating?

Here is a little taste of her amazing talent.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

With Eyes Wide Open

As a child there are people around you that you don't always see clearly. Neighbors or friends of your parents. You know their name or that they live in the blue house at the end of your street, where you always get peanut butter cookies.

As an adult with my own thoughts and concepts, I've had that veil be removed. The relationship with some of these people can alter and shift into the path it was meant to form all along. One such relationship jumps to mind for me and never fails to make me smile.

This is my Godmother, Pauline.

Growing up, behind my childlike veil, she was just my mother's best friend.
She was the daughter of my Grandmother's best friend.
She was the sister to one of my aunts.

We would make sure to visit her and her family when we'd come back to Bear River for our vacations. I can remember a wood stove from one of her homes. I can recall how she hung a ladder from the ceiling of a living room and that a jungle of plants grew from it. I always said I'd hang a ladder in my home when I got bigger.
She was......Pauline.

As the years passed away, things in my life shifted and that veil slowly drifted away.
She became someone different in my eyes.
Nothing had changed with her but something great had changed within me.

I saw how incredibly soft spoken she was. The sound of her voice has become a very calming element to the chaos that sometimes surrounds me in life. Her touch when she hugs me brings me peace.

With my eyes wide open, I could now truly see how her spirit was artistic and spoke strongly to my own.
In the back of my mind, I could recall artwork hung in the homes I'd visited with faint whispers of "oh Pauline drew that".

The other day, I took my camera to her home.
Asking if I could capture a few images to share and she said yes and then teased me that she would have cleaned better if she knew I was going to take photos.

Artwork that she has drawn over the years that hang on on the wall leading you upstairs.
The emotion that washes over you from her pieces is incredible. Her work pushes me to keep trying. To continue to hold a pencil or piece of charcoal in my hands. An inspiration when she didn't even know she was.

Over the years, I've watched her creative passion shift thru different mediums. Pencil, pastels, onto clay for jewelry and now we share another passion. She was introduced to the world of felting.
On one of the many joyful visits to her home, I surprised her with an array of spun wool. Every color under the rainbow. Watching her eyes sparkle with light and seeing the concepts forming in her mind with how she was going to begin to use them was very intoxicating. I tend to feed off her excitement. She fuels me like no other.

I started felting my miniature landscape necklaces and Pauline took felting in a whole different direction.
She blew me out of the water. When she showed me these pieces, I was speechless and in awe.
She has fanned the desire to attempt a larger piece of art.

The motion she has been able to recreate with the wool is amazing.
The texture is soft and yet so realistic.

When she first showed me this autumn tree, I jokingly told her she was to leave it to me in her will.
(Alright.....I wasn't really joking! ) She did a few other pieces of work for her daughters that were wonderful as well.

Then she began to really play and experiment with the wool.

Look at these!

Incorporating real bird feathers, dried grass and even a small tree branch that she felted a birds nest around.
The birds she felted with dimension and they look amazing.

Then I just walked around her home snapping photos while smiling. Her knack for placing items and conveying a mood makes me envious. I look forward to someday placing my own items around the farmhouse and having such moods of love, harmony and comfort flow from them.

Her home conveys her soul. Her spirit and her loves are showcased in every corner of her home.
Earth colors float out from everywhere. Pieces of mother nature whisper to you from nooks and crannies. Dried flowers, driftwood gathered off a beach from a family vacation,amongst book shelves covered with hours of escape. Old wooden frames hang on walls surrounding art that she either did herself or that somehow spoke to her heart. Family heirlooms reveal the connection to the past and done with love.
You tend to notice something different each visit that has a wonderful tale of love attached to it.
A visit to her home instantly makes my heart smile.
Knowing my day is going to include talking and visiting with her is immediate joy.

She hadn't finished this latest felt piece but she indulged me and allowed me to take some photos.
It is going to be a wedding present for someone she knows. I jokingly told her I didn't know I was getting married again ;)

I am beyond blessed to have this incredible woman in my life.
Pauline encourages me to try anything. She fully believes in my talent.
She loves me and that can be a rare trait in some folks. I cherish that I know she does.
Laughter is in my life because of her.
Artistic desire is fueled from her.

A level of just unending joy is brought into my heart from her.
Thank you for always being in my life and waiting for the childlike veil to fall so I could see you with my eyes wide open.
I love you!


Friday, May 10, 2013

{Love Yourself}

Inspired by a post that my friend Jeanne Oliver just wrote and shared on her own blog.

Since discovering how much enjoyment I get from capturing moments of time, it is usually a rare sight to find me without camera in hand. Photos of anything that catches my eye will be snapped.
My primitive dolls, the latest painting being worked on, the newest plant to poke thru the dirt in the garden. Day trips to the beach or to discover an old headstone in a cemetery. Countless photos have been captured thru my lens.

To be on the other side of the lens tends to make me feel a little nauseous.
Instant scrutiny erupts in my mind.
Some days are better then others. My youngest niece LOVES what she calls our "spontaneous photo shoots". Indulging her in this joy has given us incredible memories together filled with laughter. A few of the photos have even turned out awesome. Bonus!

Jeanne shared photos of herself in her post that took my breath away. She shared thoughts about herself with them. She asked to have folks share photos they took of themselves.
In the same moment that my heart jumped and said "I'll do it"..... the rest of me screamed NOoooooooooooo.

Woke to rain this morning and caught myself sighing with relief; giving into the quick option of cancelling.
I can do this.
I thought the idea was fantastic when I read her post yesterday and I still did.
Putting on my big girl panties and grabbing my camera, outside I went to capture a few photos and then when the rain became too hard, finished off inside the farmhouse. A tiny wee "freaking out"dance may have occurred at the beginning. I caught myself wanting to peak at each photo taken and delete. Took a deep breath and started snapping.........

Who knew that only a few years ago so much would change for me? Being outside in torn clothes and ripped jeans, swatting bugs out of my face would make my heart smile. Hair tied back and hardly any makeup on. Planting and playing in the backyard area of the farmhouse. I still do the other things that I did....but THIS makes me happy.

My big green boots have somehow become my "go to" footwear. I am madly in love with these foolish things. When he first told me he was going to be buying me a pair of boots, my first thought was something knee length in a soft leather, that I could wear with jeans or a dress. Ummmm no.
He walked me right past that style of boot to the "work" section. I may have actually been a bit speechless.
Then I started wearing them for working around the farmhouse and fell in love.
I wore them all winter no matter where we were going. He laughed and teased me so much.

Wrinkles. Sunspots. Natural hair color.
It's all part of what makes me who I am.
Each of those wrinkles has been earned.
They came from laughing and living life.
Why fuss about dying my hair and trying to keep up with trends?
Is it clean? Does my husband like to run his hands thru it when he tells me he loves me?

I could focus on the crows feet and how my eyelids seem to "move" more when applying my eyeliner.
What a waste of energy though. Does it change anything? So what if I seem to wake each morning with more grey hair? So what if I happen to have a chin hair? that chin hair has to be plucked each time. Who am I kidding?!
I have imperfections but I refuse to send my energy there.

I'm almost 42.
Not every day is wonderful and without moments of wishing something was different on my body.
Overall, I am content. I don't jump on every bandwagon to lose weight. Working the farm and eating the food we grow has helped me lose weight and gain a healthier body which I am grateful for. I don't push myself. If I want something naughty, trust me, I eat it!
I don't beat myself up over having eaten it either.

My life makes me happy.
I'm at a place where I can smile.
I'm loved.
There is no pretending going on.
I've managed to get to a place in my life where I am comfortable on so many levels.
It's not perfect and it's not meant to be.
I'm living my life and enjoying the journey.