Small shifts

Mixed media art journal page with “you can choose” text.

It is still early in the month even though the routine of school and work are back. Is this the year you will choose to get something underway that has been trying to push to the front of your mind? That long delayed desire to “do” vs “dream”? You can make a start, however small, to start shifting yourself in that new direction. This upcoming first full weekend of January is a great time to set aside a slice of time to mull over options, actions and emotions about making changes. Aren’t you worth the contemplative time? Start with this small action and see where it leads, the year stretches out just waiting for you.


Small mixed media piece using various scraps

I am trying to squeeze a bit of studio time into each day even if it isjust to do some tidying up and sorting through scraps. That is how this piece came about, I just wanted to take a quick rummage and settle the contents of a scrap bin while cleaning off my worktable. The end result was fewer scraps to stow, and this 3×3 inch piece. It is hard not to keep adding to my paper stashes, I see so many cool bits that can’t be cast aside. I think I will have to pick up the pace creating art in order to avoid a Collyer brothers situation. Well, that is an exaggeration, I don’t have towering stacks of paper or a car in my space. Their story is a cautionary one though. You can read about it here


Mixed media urban night scene on a rolodex card.

A few weeks back I stumbled upon an old rolodex in a thrift shop while looking for books. The small size of the cards keeps design choices tight and a card can be completed in a fairly short amount of time, unless too much stuff gets pulled out to choose from. It is a delicate balance between too many options and too few. This particular card needed just 3 to come together. My goal is to make one each day until the rolodex is full and see where that leads.


Mixed media with “boundaries” text on silk scrap.

Boundaries is one of those words that can get peoples hackles up. Saying no is often seen as a rejection of the person asking, and then feelings get hurt. But boundaries have that flip side of keeping yourself true to yourself and not over committing. Many of us, especially women, have been socialized to always say yes, to help even when it isn’t where we should put our energy. At work many of us say “sure” before the entire impact of the request is stated. There is a place for “no”, “I am not the best person for that”, and “I can’t take that on right at this moment”. Those are perfectly acceptable answers whether the person wants to hear them or not. Being firm and calm can help most of the time, and it is important that when we hear it following a request to accept that everyone needs their boundaries.

Courageous joy

Mixed media index card with “courageous joy “ text

I am not sure what I will use the decorated index cards for, there are a lot of options. So far I have 5 done in this color theme which just evolved as I went. Each week I am trying new techniques to see what works naturally, and what needs to be tweaked a bit. Way back 8 months ago when I did the Creative Jumpstart 2022 through there was a “one little word” challenge project, where each participant chose a word for the year that had meaning. I chose create with the dual meaning of making regular creative time, and creating a life that suits me. The former has occurred, the latter is taking more time due to all the moving parts that need to be dealt with. But I started, I could have kept putting it off, saying it wasn’t the right time. Now that I have made that shift the whole route ahead has a different terrain.

On Choosing

Bold layered mixed media journal page with text “on choosing”.

Life, one choice after another. This job or that, ocean or mountains, condo or house, surgery or therapy. The list goes on, a bit differently for each of us, as things unfold based on each decision that was made. There was an old game show where the contestant was offered “door number 2” option or the prize they could see. The big quandary we all face is trying to figure out which choice will be the best when the future unknowns make that impossible. We can only make the choice based on the info and emotions we have at the time. And with fingers crossed, prayer to heaven, deep breath, we step into the unknown.