Monday, February 25, 2008

Try, Try Again or Get A Reality Check


I love learning. I like to see new things, hear new things, do new things, and meet new people. At the same time I find comfort in my cozy, cottage home and my truest friends. I love muted, soft, pastel, colors and soft bunnies and soft colored roses and soft fabrics. When I was little, I loved to wear my pale pink, soft pajama's with roses on them, sleep under a quilt and rub the satin ear of my stuffed bunny as I fell asleep. I'm torn between the old and the new.


Every year I attend a quilt festival in Virginia. It's incredible! A plethora of textiles, fibers and artistic works. As always, I love to take a class and learn something new and exciting. This year I took a class called "flower doodles." It was wonderful. Our instructor, Susan Edmondson, was fabulous. She brought many pieces of her "flower doodle" works (that's a picture of her work above), but also brought many of her textile collage pieces. While I loved and appreciated her "flower doodle" work, it was the collage pieces that I couldn't stop drooling over. They were spectacular! I found myself lost in every intricate detail.


The "flower doodles" class consisted of using wax pastels and painting with them on fabric. Then using the sewing machine to "thread paint" the designs. It was a very fun class and I loved the concept. However, for years I have been trying to paint. For years my best friend, Beth, has said, "Shell, you stink at painting." She's right. Yet, I keep trying and trying and trying. I thought I could do it this time because it was basically "coloring" with crayon like things and mushing it together with paintbrushes and textile medium. How hard could it be? Apparently, looking at my piece, very hard. Then again, I wonder if it's because I'm always hopping all over the place trying so many new things that I don't learn to master a few things. What's the saying? A Jack of all trades and a master of none? Our instructor said something that kind of hit me. She was talking about her work and how it evolved. She said, "you try many things and then one day you just find your niche and you don't worry about any of the other stuff anymore." I felt she was talking to me. "Shell, you stink at painting, give it up." The hyper, over-achiever part of me refuses to give in, while the girl at age 40 still loves and treasures the things she loved at 5.


So, do I try, try again or get a reality check and realize that while I may not be good with paint, I am good with textures, fabrics, fibers and color? That I am good at layering them all together to create my own kind of art, my own niche. Almost all my favorite artists focus on one thing. They don't hop all along the bunny trail trying to make stuff that is not them. They create from their heart. They sing their own song and dance their own dance. They paint when they know they stink at sewing and they sew when they stink at painting. Yet, each and every one of them gives a gift and a piece of beauty to this earth.


Dag, I just had my reality check.


Have a great week and hugs to you all.

Shell


This week, IGF my best friend, Beth, for always being my best friend and my ability to see the writing on the wall even if it is covered with paint.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gratefulness


Last week I received many emails about my "go out and play" post. My sister called and said how much she enjoyed it, but then she said, "do you know what you forgot?" Hmmm. Nope I said. "Well, you forgot to put in the two things you are grateful for." Oh my gosh! I did forget! I think I got so excited about standing on my head and roller skating (by the way, had a blast) that I guess I was grateful for those things and didn't even think about it.


So as usual my mind started thinking of all the things I'm grateful for. Also, I have received many emails, phone calls and comments from people telling me things they are grateful for. One friend said she was grateful that Tom Petty didn't have a wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl. (now that's funny) Another friend said she was grateful she wasn't walking her dog down the road when a big, giant, dirt devil (a tornado of dirt, debris, leaves, etc.) came by. She was grateful that she didn't have to pick leaves and debris from her teeth and hair. (now that's funny too). With that in mind, I decided to do a list of a few things I'm grateful for to make up for last week. Instead of typing out "I'm grateful for," I will just type IGF. You get the picture. So let's begin.


IGF David being home safely tonight from the Daytona 500 in FL.

IGF the fact that David and I have been together 19 years and he's ok with the fact that I sleep in pajamas that have Happy Bunny on them saying "you'd be cooler if you were me."

IGF being able to work at a job where I can wear pants, especially blue jeans and comfy shoes. I don't do dresses. Gag, spit, puke. Hated them when I was little, hate them now. And pantyhose? Who's brilliant invention was that?

IGF my fabulous friends that love me even though I'm a crazy bunny lady, super hyper, snort when I laugh hard, and talk too much.

IGF my ability to create things with my hands that others actually buy. Still blows my mind.

IGF my nieces and nephews that keep me young at heart and provide the best form of birth control.

IGF visits with my sister where we drink wine and brush each other's hair and laugh so hard we snort or pee.

IGF the fact that every week it is so easy for me to come up with something to write about and share with you. One friend said she would feel it was like homework. To me, it's something to look forward to.


Sharing my silly thoughts with you, laughing, crying, snorting, peeing, and playing like we're 10 again. Now that's something IGF.


Have a great week and please keep sharing your IGF's with me. It really makes my day.


Hugs,

Shell

Monday, February 11, 2008

Come Out and Play with Me

Remember when you were little and you could hardly wait to get home from school so you could go out and play? Remember when you would just run for the pure fun of it, not because you were trying to work off that fat gut and butt you acquired in adulthood? Remember your make- believe adventures and stories that you would create? I miss it don't you?


The construction business is soooooooooooooooo slowwwww! For the first time in eight years, I'm bored!!!!! I'm a hyper person and I don't do the "relaxing" thing very well. My co-worker, Steve, was cleaning out the garage at work the other day and found a long piece of rope. I asked him to make me a jump rope. I don't think I have jumped rope in 17 years! He brought it to me and I went into the lobby of the office to give it a try. I wouldn't let Steve watch me in case I tripped, fell, busted my butt, or something of the like. Well kiddo's let me tell ya, it was FUN! I got pretty winded, but kept going until I could swing the rope and jump without the rope hitting the ground. Fabulous! Then, I got another idea. I wonder if I can still do a headstand? Hmmmm, can't recall the last time I did that, but I see it in the yoga magazines all the time. Heck, why not give it a try. So into my office I go. I put my head on the carpet, swung my legs up on the wall and woohoo, I did it! Of course, Steve happened to be sitting at my desk and I scared him. He remarked @#*?!! Shell, what are you doing? I laughed very hard and dared him to try. He didn't (chicken). I have done a headstand every day since. Now I'm even more professional in that I don't have to have my legs resting on the wall. I can balance them straight up in the air. Tonight I even split my legs apart and pulled them back up. David was quite impressed, although, I think he was thinking something sexual at the time. Naughty boy!


David is going to Daytona for the big NASCAR race with our friend Eric. This means Valentine's Day is wide open for me and my friend, Eric's wife, Michelle. We are going rollerskating! I'm so excited! I haven't skated in, oh, I guess, about, hmmm, 20 years! Now I do rollerblade around the neighborhood all the time, but roller skating is a different animal and a different sense of balance. Me being the clean freak that I am could not handle the thought of putting my little footies into some stinky rental skates. So I bought some! I've been practicing in the driveway. I believe I will need some bandages on my ankles for the blisters, but boy is it fun. When I was young I could spin around very, very, fast like ice skaters. So far I have managed to spin around four times before I feel like I'm gonna puke. I have a long way to go, but at least I'm having a good time making myself dizzy.


My point to all of this ramble is that I dare you to just go and play. No gym membership needed, no special outfits, no high profile water bottle. Just play. Play, play, play, play, play!! I may be almost forty, but at heart, I'm still a little tomboy who loves skating, dancing, crafting, laughing and standing on my head.

Have a great week and go out and play!

Shell

Monday, February 4, 2008

Running Down A Dream




Ok, so I listened to Tom Petty sing this song last night on the Super Bowl. I didn't watch the game, but happened to be eating dinner, reading a magazine, while David stood inches from the TV, one arm on the mantel, one arm in the air, screaming "you idiots!" Then came the half-time show. Tom Petty, what a normal, none controversial, none wardrobe malfunctioning, half-time show guest. Just a normal joe, well actually, Tom.

I digress. Anyway, he starts singing this song and as usual, I start singing too. What a great song indeed. "I'm runn'in down a dream, working on a mystery, going wherever it leads." Well, you know what that does for me. My wheels start churning, my mind starts going and I have to get up and get a paper and pen to write these thoughts down before they turn into a poof of pixie dust! (this happens more and more the closer I get to 40).

So anyway, I start thinking about the words. How long have I been runn'in down my dreams. Life really is a mystery, but I rarely go wherever it leads. Hmmm... why is that? How many of us have these wonderful dreams of things we aspire to be, places we want to see, houses we want to live in, art we want to create, stories we want to write, loved ones we want to spend time with, toilet's we want to clean, oh wait, that's not a dream, that's a reality check that's on my to do list. Oopps!

My main point is that we wait and wait and wait for the perfect time. Well, there is no perfect time! Nothing is perfect! The more we wait for "perfect" the older we become. Yet another year with our dreams fading behind us. Why do we do this? Why do we always put our dreams on hold? What if we just say, "I'm runn'in down my dream, go'in wherever it leads." How fun would that be? I double dog dare ya to do it and if you do, you better post a comment here on my blog and let me know so I can celebrate with you!

"No bird soars to high if he soars with his own wings." -- William Blake

Hugs and dreams come true,

Shell

I have three things this week for my gratitude list. First, my weekend with my sister. What a gift it was. (Love ya Beth-Anne). Second, my fuzzy bunny slippers. Cute, stylish and warm! Third, toothpaste. Able to combate the stink demons that enter our mouths at night. Thank goodness for the toothpaste warriors that take the wreched stench away. (you laugh, but think about it if we had no toothpaste) Hello!!!!