happy as can be

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

we're lovin' our little village by the sea summertime life - but hey bonjour September !

1.) hollyhocks in gorgeous pink & palest yellow 2.) Missy D at the beach 3.) Bleet hearts Sam,
a whole lot !! 4.) from a wildflower mix - coreopsis perhaps ?? 5.) tall early morning shadows along the old lobster factory 6.) hello seagull with a view 7.) the salt mine looking stunning in greys 8.) more coreopsis & rudbeckia avec you-know-who 9.) a cottage along the crescent beach 10.) ahhhhh cosmos I do love you 11.) this morning, a red sailboat, cloudy sky & low tide

11:00 am - just listened to Gian interview Brian Wilson - I first heard this song at a time in my life when I was very lost - it's so weird how listening to a song you have loved can make you feel those feelings that you felt all those long years ago. I so wanted then to hear & feel these words.

get busy

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

assorted fleurs from my new, little sunshiny, patch of annuals garden

Inaction breeds doubt & fear.
Action breeds confidence & courage.
If you want to conquer fear,
do not sit home and think about it.
Go out and get busy.

Dale Carnegie

Ya know there was a time, and not very long ago if someone said this to me I would have stuck my tongue out at them. It would have made me feel pissed off, followed instantly by more fear. But I'm here to tell you that it is true, without a doubt ...

get busy - it scares fear away
& brings happy a runnin'

uh huh !


Monday, August 29, 2011

Lost - 12 x 15 botanical collage drawing - Susan Black

I sold 2 of my favourite originals this past weekend. Hooray !! The collage drawing shown here, one I'm very proud of ... and this very new favourite. I'll be packing them up snug and winging them off to far away destinations - it's sad to see them go & a bit like saying goodbye to family ...

lovin' lately

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bella Foster - Central Park - available here

Bella Foster & Anna Bond (aka Rifle Paper Co.)

I'm crazy about their loose, hand drawn, folkish, kinda primitive & tres whimsical style
next up on my Gee !?! I wonder if I can pull that off ? list of to-do's. Stay tuned.

Recently received a pet portrait commission that would lend itself perfectly to this style ;-)

1 & 2 - Anna Bond- Rifle Paper Co. 3 & 4 - Bella Foster

it's all good

Saturday, August 27, 2011

15 favourites from the last few late summer, sunny, perfect blue sky days

Mr. Murphy's Law, a pal of mine, says that of course as soon as you begin to let go a little bit of anxiety, fret & worry especially about where my next (or first) paycheck might come from + soon after I was hired for the little job at the post office, acquired a few little projects from a former employer gift company ... as soon as I began to actually relax & believe that things were maybe, really, going be OK - work started zinging at me from all directions. It never rains ... but it pours.

So many lovely little creative opportunities surround me right now - it's fantastic plus I'm in a bit of a fun groove with my own creative journey. Trying lots of new things, filling sketchbook pages with little thumbnail ideas & I've finally let go of this good vs bad thing. I'm really just trying to create what I feel like creating at the moment I'm in, have fun doing it & trying not to worry about will it make me money ? is it good ? I keep reminding myself ... it's all good.

Put Jonathan Franzen back on the bookshelf for now to read 2 new library books - The Weird Sisters and The Psycopath Test (written by Jon Ronson) who wrote The Men who Stare at Goats turned into a fantastic movie (with handsome + cool George Clooney) which we liked so much we watched it twice !! Weekend to-do's - ice tea drinking, reading, office tidying, laundry hanging, bedding changing avec cat helpers, fridge cleaning, gardening, cooking, farmers market, library, strolling in meadows with clover & queen anne's lace, dogs and loads of love.

Sleep tight dear Jack Layton & oh my ... Adele

a new palette

Thursday, August 25, 2011

love sweet love - 8 x 10 giclee print of original collage, ink + gouache - Susan Black

Don't think about making art, just get it done.
Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad,
whether they love or hate it.
While they are deciding
make even more art.

Andy Warhol

What I love about what I've been doing lately is I'm never sure what the end result will be - I start with a small thumbnail sketch & an idea of a colour palette but stuff happens along the way ... sometime really good things, sometimes regretful - but always helping hone the craft of it all.

I'm really loving this new bright pink, oranges + yellow colour palette.

oh no, oh yes

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

occasional unexplained blur

oh no

my fantastic, adored, nearly 10 year old camera is dying ... thankfully it's a slow death, marked by occasional blurry images, & giving me time to ponder it's future replacement - and there will be a replacement. Technically there is, and has been, a freeze on any & all superfluous spending here at Black Street 'cause basically I'm broke but the thoughts of living my life without a good camera ??? well that would just be wrong, & therefore a new camera I believe to be a necessity.

I have been buying cameras at Carsand-Mosher for as long as I can remember I'll once again use their expertise to help me decide which one to buy - it must have super macro function and be easy to use but other than that I'm open to having a big, long camera conversation.

oh yes - I'm so in LOVE with Pitt pens - and oh my (or oh no) they come in 48 colours - hooray.

oh yes
- also in LOVE with Jonathan Franzen - my current favourite author with more quirk & character in one page of his big, fat novels than you can shake a dying camera at. Currently reading Strong Motion after loving both The Corrections and Freedom.

oh yes - could my new low/no carb eating plan (no sugah, no gluten) be alleviating my life long struggles with depression & anxiety - I think maybe - hooray !! plus steady weight loss. I feel clearer, calmer & happier with lots more energy and you stop craving carbs & sugar instantly.

more new things

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

earl, rosalia + harriet - 10 x 8 giclee print of original collage {ink + gouache} - Susan Black

love lives here No.2 - 8 x 10 giclee print of original collage {ink + gouache} - Susan Black

henry, frank + roman - 10 x 8 giclee print of original collage {ink + gouache} - Susan Black

love you for like ever No.3 - 10 x 8 giclee print of original collage drawing - Susan Black

OK - here's the thing

the more I do,
the more I want to do*

that's why I've always loved that expression - action = motivation = more action - before I came across that saying I was completely guilty of waiting for inspiration to hit me, for la muse of motivation (enemy of procrastination) to bonk me on the head with her giant magic wand to stir in me some get-up-&-go juice - I wasted a lot of time waiting for her. But if you begin, anything, chances are when you're a few minutes into it - she'll show up. So begin, just begin ... it works for me*

I don't want to stop. I feel slightly hostile (on occasion) toward activities or persons requiring me to break away from my current, happy, creative craze. I feel driven. I feel passionate. Don't get me wrong - if I were to allow myself to critique almost everything I make, everything I do - I'd have plenty of negatives to say I should have done this, wish I hadn't done that, well that entire thing was a big ol' waste of time but I don't really ever go there. I just decide what's up next.

Every single thing you do teaches you something.
Every little thing you do pulls you forward, in some way,
into the next thing & in my experience lately, that next thing,
is always something just a little bit bigger & a little bit better.

* unfortunately this magic spell does not, at this time work with housecleaning activities (with the exceptions of bed making, laundry doing & fridge tidying?) - where are those 7 mute, invisible valets when ya need them ?

pat, pat, pat

Monday, August 22, 2011

Miss Winnie Dixon + gang enjoying a walk in the meadow behind the Prince's former home*

Be nice
Especially to you


Day 22 (but hey ! who's countin ?) of my newly themed life Calm + Creative.

Over dinner last night (above) I mentioned to Doug that it feels like I've been doing much better emotionally - not nearly so worried & anxious, not so very hard on myself. He answered I think you're 100% better Wow !! he's not one for exaggeration ... It's my confidence which has improved, my self esteem which really was shattered after I lost my best (and almost only) product design customer a little over a year ago & found myself at the beginning of a forced (never the best kind initially) reinvention of my designer self. I lost all my income along with my sense of self - who would I be if I wasn't that self employed, product designer, designing mostly cute, mass market photo frames for stores like Target & Kohls ?? in hind sight it's been a very exciting, scarey at times, big beautiful question ... who the hell are you anyway ? what do you want ? & what's important to you ?? what makes your heart sing ?? all day long

Landing the part time casual job at the post office recently was a huge boost, plus my gradual & steadily increasing etsy profile & sales, a fantastic mention at favourite design blog Print & Pattern (which I'm still feeling the ripples from), being asked to be a guest speaker/instructor at a creative workshop and most recently signing on with UK card & giftwrap company Paintbox. I can finally see real progress ... good things keep coming ... hooray ! my empire 'tis growing ;-)

action = motivation = more action

David Burns - author of the great book The Feeling Good Handbook

This morning before 9am - I'd enjoyed a relaxing coffee in bed with our gang of fur, did my Yoga for Dummies tape, walked with Missy D for 30 minutes (practically cardio 'cause she walks so darn fast - hooray Winnie Dixon), had my hair blown dry by ocean breezes, had breakfast at the TTD- yummy vegetarian frittata (loaded with onions, mushrooms, peppers, spinach, zucchini & cauliflower), cleaned up my computer desk top ... blogged. pat, pat, pat ... patting myself on the back. Well done + Rock on you !!

* the Prince is the full time caretaker of his old homestead, the couple who bought it live away