Tuesday, August 6, 2013

From the Inside Out

This growing and changing process is uncomfortable at times, to say the least. One of the hardest parts for me is that although I know that I am not the same person I was when I last posted on my blog about 6 months ago, it is hard to express what I have experienced on the inside; thus my absence from blogging for such a long time.

I decided to post a few pictures of what is going on, on the outside, with a few snippets of some of my experiments-in-the-works. I am still discovering my creative style, so much of my time is spent learning techniques through workshops both online and in person. Each photo represents a small bit of each unfinished piece.

Soldering and Metalsmithing:

Transfers and Glazes:

Mixed media Collage:

Metal Tape Measure Explorations:

I was thrilled this summer when our son, who is now 26, played several of the songs he wrote. For many years, I must admit, I felt rather frustrated with him because he never played a whole song and I wondered if he ever would.

Allowing myself to develop my creativity has given me new insight on what was going on all of those years when he was just playing little bits and pieces - lots of growth and change from the inside out! I love this song that inspired this post http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPrK3FP9Yrs . . .

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dare to Dream

It has been several months since I last posted. I have been procrastinating, but was inspired by a recent post written by my friend Teresa Cash-Czech. When I first started my blog it was to share my creative journey, but lately I have dropped the ball.

After returning from the Gathering of Artisan's Retreat  (the topic of my last post) I haven't blogged because I have been processing, I guess - lots going on inside me that I can't even begin to explain or describe. At some point I will be able to reflect and share a bit more about this internal work, but for now I will share photos of what I have been up to!

As I have been creating, I have also been rearranging. Creative chaos, but it works for me. I have been keeping my husband busy with projects too (he put together this bookshelf - nothing fancy, but I love it).

A lot of my creations involve fumes, so he also built me this wonderful station for soldering, encaustic and other fume creating endeavors. I had no ventilation in my basement studio, and he saw how frustrated I was - I am SO happy to not be limited by the weather (I used to work in the garage, but in Ohio it seems it is often too hot or too cold to get much done that way).

Here are some of the canvases I have been working on from my class, Bloom True, by Flora Bowley. Thanks to the generosity of Wini Dougall, I won this class and it has been AMAZING - I am learning and developing new techniques, not to mention the way it is helping me learn to loosen up. Who knows how these canvases will change over the next few months, but I will be sure to post my progress.

The wall on the right shows where I paint . . .

Where I spread out to take "things" apart (for parts) and believe it or not work on jewelry amongst the clutter . . .

This bench comes in handy when I feel like standing up . . .

The back side of my disassembling and creating station, plus a view of the inside of my soldering station . . .

Another canvas in progress, propped against the wall!

A while ago I took a class with Stephanie Lee called Handbook of Elements. The weather shut me down before I had a chance to practice what I was learning, but with my new soldering station, I am off and running. Here are a few of my works in progress.

I am trying to decide what to put in the bezel on this one . . .

The last few days and evenings, I have been doing a little experimentation and here is the final result. There are probably 3 different layers of ephemera under the final coats of paint because I wasn't happy with the way it looked, so I just kept covering it up until I ended up with something that I liked. Next time my goal is to have more of the ephemera show through, but I love this just the same. I still have a long way to go in developing my skills, but I won't get better if I don't practice.

I am so thankful for all that has been brought into my life to help me to find ways to release all of the creative passion that has been stuck in me for so long. I am already feeling lighter and full of joy and excitement. I don't know how He does it, but I asked God to help me to be all that He created me to be and in His time it is happening!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Better Late than Never!

Finally the photos I promised from the Gathering of Artisans Retreat I went to a few weeks ago!
Be sure to check out the link if you are interested in all that took place -  I wouldn't know where to begin to explain.

A couple of pages from my Handbook of Embellishments class. The pictures don't do it justice . . .

The front and inside of my Board Journal Book -  I have some more work to do on this. Both of these classes were just for fun and that is exactly what I had!

One of my copper leaf pendants . . . 

My other copper leaf pendant . . . 

Both shown together. These started with just a sheet of copper. We cut out the shapes, patinated with a micro torch, stamped and added all of the fun extras. I LOVE working with metal!

Several photos of the grounds where the retreat was held.

Some lichen, moss and berries on a rock! I had a lot of fun just wandering around discovering all sorts of little treasures.

A section of fence in the River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina, which was just a few minutes from Black Mountain where the retreat was held.

I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to attend this retreat. So wonderful on many different levels and I made some great new friends as well!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Filled and Skilled

I have been pretty quiet around here, but a lot has been going on behind-the-scenes. This past month has been one of many little, baby steps that continue to lead me toward a better understanding of who I am and why I am here.

This weekend I have been at The Gathering of Artisans Retreat, in Black Mountain North Carolina. The location is gorgeous, the weather has been spectacular, but most amazing is  the group of creative souls that have gathered to worship together AND develop our skills as artists. Please check back later this week for some photo highlights! Until then, I will leave you with this little snippet . . .

Saturday, August 25, 2012

More Than One Speed

Spending some quiet time in the mornings out on my front porch with a cup of coffee, my journal, Bible, devotional and nature is one of the highlights of my day - that is when I take the time to do it. Although challenges often still come my way, I am able to handle them differently than I do on the days where I hit the ground running.

I could claim that I was born with the tendency to move full-speed ahead. My mom says I was born in about 30 minutes and I have been moving quickly ever since - acquiring both the reputation of  "Chatty Kathy" and a "A Bull in a China Shop". That may partially be true, but along the way I believed the lie that I am only of worth when I am contributing and accomplishing. Living out that false notion doesn't allow for slowing down long enough to evaluate what I am doing and where I am going - I just run on autopilot.

I am not sure when it occurred to me, that there might be more than one speed at which I could travel on my journey through life. I know I have been pondering this idea for at least a year, because I posted this on my blog last October.

Looking at a hydrangea bush during my morning quiet time, I noticed a blossom laying in the mulch - too heavy for the branch it was attached to. The blossom developed more quickly than the branch that supported it.

What I am learning is that slow is o.k. and in many cases quite necessary. When I move quickly through my day, I miss out on many opportunities that contribute to living a full, balanced and healthy life. Opportunities that strengthen and nurture my growth and prepare me for whatever lies ahead.

I want to jump from A to Z without going through all of the other letters. When a dream comes into my head, I want to MAKE it happen NOW.

It dawned on me, when I looked at that beautiful hydrangea blossom laying in the mulch, that if I I force growth, rather than allowing it to happen naturally, I might not be able to handle my dreams when they reach fruition.  I may also realize I was chasing the wrong dreams all together. I might not be properly prepared and instead of soaring with the eagles, I will most likely crash and burn. At the very least, I won't be nearly as effective - rapid growth just doesn't allow for proper development in most cases.

The other insight I gained, as I took the time to really study that amazing hydrangea bush, is not to compare myself to others and feel like I "should" be further along and doing more. On the same bush there are many blossoms, each at a different stage of growth. Each doing exactly what it was created to do in God's perfect timing. 

That is my desire - to be all that I was created to be, by allowing my life to unfold gradually and learning and growing stronger along the way. Taking time to ponder, reflect and respond. I want to live my life intentionally, not on autopilot. I also want whatever I do to draw attention to my Creator, not myself. One day at a time I find myself looking to Him more and less to myself and others. As I do this, I feel a corresponding peace in my life.

God has never spoken to me audibly, but I know He was speaking to me in that quiet moment as I sat looking at that hydrangea bush and for that, and that He is willing to meet me right where I am, I am so grateful.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Giving Back - Fly Tribe Blog Hop

A post to celebrate our (see the links at the bottom of this post to find out who we are) one year anniversary of our participation in Kelly Rae Roberts' Flying Lessons  - where do I even begin?  I went back to one of my first posts in August, 2011, after starting the class and this is what I wrote (I was also taking Soul Restoration, so that is the other course I refer to):

"One of my favorite things about both courses is the focus on building community - (those who will support, encourage and celebrate my journey - and I can do the same for them).  I am finding hundreds of women that share my passion - to learn and grow in all areas of my life and be the best "me" I can be.  These women are uber talented, fun, supportive and encouraging.  It is wonderful to have a forum where I am encouraged to be authentic and who I am is celebrated.  Through visiting classmate's blogs and Facebook pages I am inspired, touched and informed.  

This is only just the beginning of my journey and I already feel the wind beneath my wings, thanks to the support and encouragement of these wonderful, creative communities who I have met while taking this journey - a journey that had the potential to be very lonely and scary."

. . . and from the very next post, also in August, 2011:

"I am thankful that I didn't know I was getting on a roller coaster when I signed up for this course - all those old fears of falling might have kept me from one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life!  The most wonderful thing about this ride, is I don't have to go on it by myself!  I am learning that I am surrounded by many people, who like me, aren't going to let themselves be held back by their fears, but want to learn to FLY! "

One year later, I can't imagine the Fly Tribe, as we like to call ourselves, not being a part of my life. On a daily basis we "get together" and chat in our FB group - supporting and encouraging each other while we share our plans, hopes, dreams and challenges. A more loving, caring and giving group of people, I am hard-pressed to find. Some of us have been blessed by meeting in person and many of us will have the opportunity to meet for the first time at the Celebrate Sisterhood Retreat presented by our very own Fly Girl, Linda Barutha with her new business, Live, Love, Laugh Retreats. You don't have to be part of the Fly Tribe to attend, though. All creative sisters are welcome, so we hope to see you there!

Going into the Flying Lessons course I wasn't (and still am not) an accomplished artist by any means and I really didn't have any plans to have my own creative business. At 51 I was not looking for a new career.

What I was interested in, though, was developing a creative business that would support my desire to help others, specifically those that have "fallen through the cracks". I believe that we are created in the image of God and therefore are all creative and have the desire to create, built into our DNA. Unfortunately, for many reasons, there are lots of people who never get to experience and develop this aspect of themselves. I do not know the details yet, but it is my dream to provide an opportunity to create for those who do not have  a safe place or materials and supplies.

The Fly Tribe decided to celebrate our one year anniversary by having a Blog Hop and also giving back. We believe we have all received so much in the past year and that true fulfillment comes from the giving, not the receiving.  We have each donated to a fund that will allow other people to find their creative wings and take flight through Kelly Rae's Course - the last time that she will ever offer it! Even more exciting, Kelly Rae matched us dollar for dollar.  Because of us all joining together to celebrate our one year anniversary in this way, 16 people, who may not have otherwise had the means, will be given the chance to develop their own creative wings and fly. If you would like to have an opportunity to be one of those lucky people, just click here.

Button design by Susan at Susan's Charming Trinkets

Did I learn how to build my own creative business taking Flying Lessons? Yes! It started with the opening in January 2012, of my Etsy shop, Upcyle and Remix. Right now I am selling some of my treasures that I have collected over the years, but at some point I would like to start selling my own creations. I love taking old things and making something new. I realized, however, that I  will never be able to use them all.  I hate to think about these beauties just sitting on my shelf, when there are artists out there that can give them new life.

The driving force behind Upcycle and Remix is my desire to help others - selling the forgotten to help the forgotten. Just like things forgotten can be upcycled and remixed to create something new, I believe when given the right opportunity, forgotten people can become new creations as well. 

I am thankful for all that I learned from Kelly Rae in Flying Lessons and the way it has equipped me to pursue my dreams. As valuable as the course content was, however, it is the community that developed as we have learned and grown together that has been foundational to all of the progress I have made toward my goals so far. Without the support and encouragement of those that have become very dear to me over the last year, I know I would have filed the PDF away, unable to believe enough in myself to take the first steps into the great unknown. Thank you Kelly Rae and thank you Fly Tribe - I will never be the same! Just click on the links under this photo to join in on our 1st Anniversary Blog Hop!

Rachél Payne http://wp.me/pWRyw-10P
Live Laugh Love Retreats http://livelaughloveretreats.com

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Come Discover with Me!

A recent visit to Portland, Oregon . . .

. . . surrounded by beauty.


Just me and my camera . . 

. . . on a gorgeous sunny day.

I do not do this often enough . . .

. . . a little taste of Heaven here on earth!