I had a post all planned out for today and then I opened my daily book to the next page, saw the chapter title and completely changed my plans. I was sifting through the amazing collage papers I got at the swap Monday night and found the perfect supplies for a collage for the topic of “accepting ourselves.” This is something I’ve struggled with my entire life. I’ve never felt “enough” in way too many ways and it has felt like the past few years I’ve been walking down a hallway of doors and each one I open has a terrifying clown behind it screaming at me that I’m not “_______ enough”. Art was always one way I never felt good enough and when I began my journey towards a daily practice in 2016, I was terrified. But along the way I’ve made incredible friends who have been by my side cheering me on the whole way and I now have books filled with pages that have allowed me to be whoever I needed to be in that moment. As we enter the holiday season, it feels like we’re inundated with ways of not being “enough” and this week, I’ve felt completely suffocated by them. But as I worked on this collage and glued the little sparkly crown onto the page, I told myself “You are enough. You have always been enough. You will always be enough.” Hearing it once won’t change my thinking. Twice won’t work either. I’ll need to remind myself each and every day (perhaps several times a day). I am going to need to find A LOT more sparkly crowns to glue into my books. 324/365.
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Last night was the annual supply swap at the Minnesota Visual Journal Collective. Everyone cleared out supplies from their stash that they were no longer using and brought them to the meeting where we put them all out on tables then took turns picking items to take home. It’s one of my favorite meetings of the year! Not only do I get to find homes for some of my neglected supplies, but I also get to try new things for free. Last night I brought home 3 siding and paneling sample books, circular tags, a bag of vintage ribbon and trim, bulldog clips, a set of watercolor tubes, a pencil and a collection of gorgeous Japanese papers for collage. I had so much fun digging into my pile today to create a daily page and I’m so excited to add them to my stash! Thank you @orangespiralarts and @tj_goerlitz_art for hosting (and the belly laughs), it was a great night! 323/365
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As the holiday season approaches, conversations about wish lists and heartfelt gifts begin to fill rooms at family gatherings and friendly get-togethers. During several of these conversations, my own friends and family expressed a desire to buy handmade and support artists but weren’t sure where to get started or felt overwhelmed by the search results on Etsy. I have been so fortunate to find a supportive, encouraging, loving and incredibly talented artistic community both locally and on Instagram and wanted to find a way to share this list of unique and creative artists with my friends and family this holiday season. So, I began reaching out to my community and once I had compiled the list of artists, my amazing friend, @jennymaroney , volunteered her design skills to create a beautiful and interactive PDF to showcase the artists and their work.
And I’m excited to share that after weeks of hard work and collaboration, the guide is finally complete! Please click the link in my profile to get your copy (and be sure to share it with your own friends and family)! I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to every artist included in this guide and especially to @jennymaroney for her hard work in designing this PDF and bringing my big, crazy dream to life. I am so thankful to know each of these artists and to feel their love and support every day.
Thank you for downloading the guide and choosing to buy handmade this holiday season! Be sure to keep checking the artists' shops as many will continue to refresh product throughout the holidays. 322/365.
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Today was a mess. Despite my best intentions and best laid plans, nothing went right. It was one of those days where you keep wishing for a do-over and dream of living in one of those movies where you can snap your fingers, wake up and try it all over again. But I don’t, so instead, I went to my art room and made a mess on my terms. I smeared paint, ripped paper, got my fingers really sticky with glue and splattered ink. Then, instead of stamping my word today, I pulled out a dip pen I got at an estate sale this summer and played with different nibs until I found one I liked. I hate my handwriting, it’s a mess, so it felt perfect for this page. And I wrote the word “mess” on a piece of a vintage envelope as if I were writing a letter to myself. My page says the words I needed to hear today with only one word and a lot of paint and glue. “It’s O.K.,” it says. “Sometimes messes suck and sometimes you need to take those sucky messes and make a beautiful mess of your own. It will get better. Just keep making your own messes and it will get better.” 321/365.
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I haven’t been sleeping well and last night, as I was in and out of consciousness, I got a very vivid image of a pattern. It had a lime green background with light pink half circles randomly dispersed on top. I focused on that pattern and did my best to memorize it so that I could recreate it. As I brushed the paint on the page today, I thought of an article I once read where Stephenie Meyer described how the characters for her Twilight series came to her in a dream. I’ve always paid attention to my dreams, but they seem to be riddled with fear and anxiety rather than plotlines I’d like to recreate for a book. But this pattern spoke to me, so I sat with it this morning and slowly brought it to life stroke after stroke. It felt incomplete so I added a few random marks of my own and when I finished, I realized how deeply symbolic those “random” marks actually were. The blue brush dots look like duck feet and if you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know how much meaning lives in each of those little feet. The squiggly lines I made in water-soluble graphite, I realized, look like the lines on a heart monitor. I thought of my dreams, not the nighttime ones, but the ones that live in my mind all day long. I’ve felt lost lately, my dreams feel unreachable, I feel the weight of the world telling me to give them up. But when I looked at those marks, I knew there was nothing random about them. They were a message, a message from the ducks telling me to keep going, that my dreams are still alive and kicking. This is the second message I’ve gotten from the ducks this week, but that is a much longer story and I am working on a blog post for that one instead. If you feel lost, feel like quitting, pay attention to your dreams – all of them. And listen to their messages. Then bring them to life, in any way you can ❤️ 320/365.
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