Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring's A Comin'

This is what I saw this morning looking out my dining room window. The apple and pear trees are in full bloom. I LOVE springtime in Georgia.

I love how the fog is in layers below the treetops. I can always count on foggy mornings when the temps get high in the day and stay cool at night. Then I get to take my favorite kind of photos in fog and mist.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Care & Industry-Trying to Find the Balance

Here is the Walker family crest; Walker being my paternal grandmother's maiden name. It means Care and Industry. I find that very curious since those are the two things I'm constantly trying to balance. On one hand I want to take care of my home, family, and friends, but on the other hand I want to get lots of things done.

You know as a child how you would stand in the middle of a see-saw and try to balance the board by keeping both sides equal distance from the ground? I may be telling my age here. Are there any old-fashioned see-saws left in the world? That's how I feel in trying to keep care and work balanced in my life.

If I care for people too much, I get angry because I'm not getting anything made or done. If I do too much art or other related things, I feel guilty for not caring for the people in my life more. It's interesting that I don't get angry when I let relationships slip; just guilty. And it's interesting that I don't feel guilty when I don't do enough art.

Any insight out there in cyberspace?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bonnie Prince Charlie and All That

One of my goals for this year is to research my scottish roots and find a family plaid so I can order some fabric to make a pillow.

A friend of my husband's researched my family tree for free! I've been reading it this morning. The overwhelming majority of family names comes from England with Scotland and Ireland next. Wales, France, and Belgium are represented, too. The earliest date I've found, so far, is 1430.

Beaupre Hall
Here's an interesting one: Sir Robert Bell was the Speaker of the House of Commons in the late 1500's. He served during the reign of Elizabeth the 1st. He lived at Beaupre Hall in Norfolk, England. Here is the link:

Unfortunately, Beaupre Hall fell victim to the wrecking ball in 1966 during that tragic period of English history when country houses were being torn down at an astonishing rate.

So, the quest goes on to find a scottish name with a plaid I like. Stuart is one I've found. I've always been a Jacobite sympathizer. Are those kinds of things inheritable, I wonder?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Back to Basics: Goal Setting 101

From the book Walking in this World by Julia Cameron: "There seems to be an unwritten spiritual law that if we want our good (she means producing art) to increase, we must focus on appreciating and husbanding the good that we already experience.

When we want to grease the creative wheels, we do very well to muster a little elbow grease elsewhere. Mend the trousers. Hang the curtains. I do not know why hemming the droopy pant leg gives you the juice to get to the easel, but it does. I cannot tell you what it is about detoxing the mud closet that makes you see more clearly how to end a short story-or start one-but it does.

Finishing almost anything-sorting your CD collection, pumping up a bike tire, matching and mating your socks-creates both order and an inner order: "Now, start something," finishing something says."

I've found this to be so true in my life. I can't get to making art until the dishes are done or my studio is straightened. Or course, you have to know when to stop or you could spent all your time piddling away on housework and never make time for art.

I've been spinning my wheels for a long while now. I've had so much to do and places to be that I was just in survival mode. That's not how I want to live.

So for the months of January and February I've been tweaking my schedule and setting goals down on paper and out of my head. I should be finished with it all today, and what a relief! Now there's room in my head for a thought to form.

On that same site, I found a goal setting article which is referred to in the Warren Buffet one. I highly recommend his site, as it is very motivational and focused.

Yesterday I put my plan into action, and I got an amazing amount of things done toward my goals. And boy, does that feel good after so long a time of inaction.

*I painted the watercolor above from an instructional video. I'm pretty happy with the results. I took photos of the watercolors I've painted and are satisfied with. There are six of them. I'll post them all sooner or later and hopefully have more to go along with them.

A word about Cameron's new book, Walking in this World. This one is more from a christian perspective than her others. I'm not spending so much mental energy decoding or deciding what's legitimate for me and what to throw out as being non-christian. It's very motivational and encouraging; just what I need right now to start creating again.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

An Assyrian Wedding For Our Firstborn Son

This time last week we were in the wintry depths of Chicago. Or more precisely, we were lying around trying to recover from an eight-hour reception; Assyrian style. Boy, do they know how to throw a party!

I'll be posting here and there on different aspects of the wedding from a white girl's perspective. I'll just go ahead and say that it was fabulous! Right now...I'm still in recovery mode.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wise Words from a Friend's Facebook Status

"As my load increases so does my awareness that I do not bear it alone. I am lighter every year despite ever-increasing responsibility. He is the sustenance on which I feast." Elizabeth Hoffer

Thursday, February 17, 2011


The above quote is a sign hanging over a housewife's sink proclaiming to all who enter her domain that her daily work is done unto and for the Lord.

My home is a sanctuary; the sink an altar. The food I serve up to my family an offering before the Lord.

If we remembered this throughout the day, how radically would all we come in contact with be changed.

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Husband, The Artist

During our last trip home to East Tennessee, we got to enjoy a pretty good snow. Even my husband got in on the snowman building.

He was cracking me up. After he got the body built, he's add a little something then step back and critique it. He kept doing this until he had it finished. The finishing touch was the shaggy hair he made using a pine needle limb.
He later confessed that this was the first snowman he had ever built. And it's not because he grew up where it didn't snow. That's just sad to me.

So I'm glad he finally had a chance to build one. I admired it immensely and took lots of photos as proof of my admiration. Isn't his finished product cute?