Dreading those holiday hassles? While there is so much to enjoy during the holidays – kids coming home, the colorful sights and delicious smells of the season, the anticipation – it can get overwhelming. Today begins 12 days of blog posts featuring my “Santa’s 12 Tips for an Ideal Christmas”. These are clay sculptures I created which have been made into Christmas cards. Go to http://tinyurl.com/ydjde8 to see the sculptures and cards.
The name of my little art company is ideaLizms. ideaLizms inspires and encourages people to live their lives creatively and with fun. So why shouldn’t the holidays be celebrated in the same way?
The first of Santa’s 12 tips (see image below) is called, “Color Your Christmas” and features Santa Claus draped in colorful Christmas Lights, the message being, keep the color and delight in the holiday season.
Hope your holiday this year is “ideal”.
I have done several posts about journaling. In fact, I’m writing a book about journaling entitled, “Be Brave, Lose the Beige” (obviously the same title as my blog). I am reading Danny Gregory’s “The Creative License” about illustrated journaling. “Writing is really drawing”, he says. The lettering in journaling is also an opportunity to create. Handwriting is drawing. He urges us to “Think about the shape of our paragraphs. There is nothing wrong with vertical sentences or upside down writing. “( I like this because in a previous post I talk about upside down, sideways, outside of the margins journal writing). “Play!” He commands. A journal can be a place of contemplation and catharsis. He goes on to write, “Ironically, journaling can make one less self absorbed and more connected to the things that fill your life. Journaling is about believing in yourself, celebrating your life, feeling a part of (not separated from) the universe.” A very inspiring book. Go to www.dannygregory.com for more inspiration.
We have always known, or at least suspected, art is a great conveyer of messages. Apparently, art can also foster diplomacy. Pieces from former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright’s pin collection are on display at the Museum of Art and Design in New York. According to the Huffington Post, Madeleine Albright loved to communicate her mood and diplomatic intentions to foreign leaders through her brooches.
The 200 pins on exhibit are not all valuable. Many of them are inexpensive costume jewelry pieces. “She started acquiring pins because of their inherent messages, their whimsical and pictorial quality, said David Revere McFadden, the museum’s chief curator. “It’s not about jewels and gems, it’s about jewelry as a communication device.”
This story speaks to be me on two levels – as an artist and as a woman. This is further confirmation about the potential power of art – a recognition of art’s value in the face of those who question why anyone would major in art in college or pursue it as a career. I say yippee! to Madeleine Albright for her subtle use of an inherently feminine object to visually communicate important information. A man would not have been able to do this. To read this story, go to http://tinyurl.com/clxhlq
“What’s in Your Empty Nest?” is a question we should ask ourselves as we rebuild our nests and make room for our own dreams. And sure, there will still be some “room” (although perhaps a shared one alongside your guitar, art supplies and exercise equipment) for the kids to come home on the weekends. It is possible, though, to create a fun, interesting life after your nest empties, fills back up, and empties out again.
I created a clay sculpture entitled “I Hate My Purse” for a Power of the Purse silent auction event to benefit women and children’s issues. The piece was inspired by a chapter (titled “I hate My Purse”) in Nora Ephron’s “I Feel Bad about my Neck and other Thoughts on Being a Woman.”
I was reading this chapter aloud to my husband, while we were on an airplane. I was laughing so hard tears were rolling down my face. I could barely speak the words. Every woman I know could relate to these words: (the following is an excerpt)
“Here is what happens with your purse. You start small. You start pledging yourself to neatness. You start with the things you absolutely need…but within seconds your purse has accumulated the debris of a lifetime. The cosmetics have fallen out of the shiny cosmetics bag (okay, you forgot to zip it up), the coins have fallen out of your wallet (okay you have forgotten to fasten the coin compartment), the credit cards are somewhere in the abyss (okay you forgot to put your VISA back in your wallet after you bought the sunblock that is now oozing into the lining..”
I created my “I Hate My Purse” piece to illustrate the kind of “purse chaos” described by Nora Ephron in her hysterically funny essay. Here is an outside and inside photo of it.
My husband came up with a new word to describe me – “tweener”. It’s because I fall “between” so many different labels. I’m somewhere between young and old.
I’m sandwiched between my parents’ generation who said sex/drugs and rock-n-roll were immoral, and my children’s generation who says they’re unhealthy. (I think we were the only generation to really have any fun) Because the clay art I create falls somewhere between “fine art” and “arts and crafts”, I, once again, straddle designations (although, I prefer to call myself a “fun artist”).
Is “tweener” an accurate description of you? Tell me how.
Be Brave, lose the Beige is the mantra for ideaLizms, my art-based company. Losing the beige is not just about color (although I’m crazy about colors..all colors, the more the better) it’s also about empowering your spirit. Be Brave, lose the Beige is really a life choice. Beige can sometimes be an accurate description for your life. I know about this because in my former life (previous marriage) I was beige, wallflower beige. In my marriage and life now I metaphorically and actually choose color and am much happier and inspired for it. Speaking of empowerment, here is one of my ideaLizms clay sculptures entitled, “The Power of the Purse” .