Yesterday I began my day with a morning run with my two frieght trains, er, I mean dogs. (Kept my time good anyway!) As I was running, once I caught my breath and could pace with dogs thinking they were apparently training for the Iditerod, I was able to notice what an absolutely breathtaking day it was. I was thankful for the meetings and errands I had to do because surely no human being was meant to be indoors on a day such as this! After my run, I got ready for the day and grabbed the paintings to deliver and everything else I needed. I brought my trusty Be Good Tanyas (Chinatown) and was off. I am surprised I didn’t get in a car accident because of my constant looking at the sky and trees, and all the saturated, gorgeous colors around me. It really was a day to celebrate. I really felt so lucky to be alive, lucky to be able to be out in it, observing it. At the end of my errands I stopped to buy flowers. I just had to bring some of this beauty into my home. I purchased 3 perfect scarlet gerber daisies to celebrate this gorgeous day. They have been smiling at me all night and all day as I pass them and made what might have been a moment of delight during the day last and last. I really need to remember to celebrate more often!
I can remember as a kid laying on the couch and hanging my head off the edge so I was looking at everything upside down. To me the world looked so different. So intriguing. So much better than the world I had to live in on my feet. I imagined walking on the ceiling, and in general just getting to be different than everybody else. Now, I had a very pleasant childhood, without any tramatic events, I consider myself very lucky. But when I would look at my upside down world I imagined that there was more to this life. Something much more exciting. It was just a feeling of knowing there were wonderful, exciting things to see and do out there and I knew that I controlled getting to them all. I still feel that way. There is so much I can’t wait to see and do. Maybe now as an adult I have begun to live in my upside down world. Because now I don’t have to hang off of the edge of a couch to see and feel all the possibilities around me. I still have to patient about the when part though-and that is ok. For now my life tends to bring me just into the next room where my computer and easel are, but I know eventually it will bring me on some really fantastic adventures. Not sure when or how, but someday. And maybe sooner than later. I’ve been allowed in the past year to look at the world from a different angle and I have come to love the view from here. Ups and downs included. Amazing what a little shift in perspective can bring about.
So last Friday out of nowhere my husband’s family offers to fly us all out to Texas for Thanksgiving. With our budget being fairly tight and me having all my holiday orders, we had said we just could not make it this year. After talking it over we decided that my husband and kids would fly out there and I would stay home.So yesterday we all woke up at 4am and by 6:15am I was back home. Just me and the dogs. I did what any reasonable mother would do that has not been alone in a good 2 years. I slept. I crawled into bed and slept. Oh sure, I set the alarm for 8am thinking I could get an early start on work, but shut that alarm off within the first second of it going off! I awoke later to a gorgeous day at 10am and got to it. I painted-uninterrupted mind you- for the next 7 hours. Bliss. Then I did my magazine layout revisions, did my newspaper ad resizes, caught up on emails, then took a break. Called my best friend for a long girl-talk session – again, uninterrupted! Finally I decided to go rent some movies so that I could watch anything I wanted to while I painted that night. I got The Hours. Wow. Heavy movie. It sure made me appreciate all that I have in my life that satisfies and stimulates me. Finally I went to bed. I woke up at a lovely 9am to the sound of rain outside my window. Lovely. I have no other plans except to get loads and loads of work done this week. No my priorities are not skewed, though it may seem it. With a husband that works from home and 2 children, you have to understand that alone time is, well, nonexistent. You take it when the opportunity arises. Sure I will miss them all this week, but I am so very grateful for this time alone to recharge my batteries and remember myself in all of this. Don’t we all need to do that once in a while?
So this is the actual ad that will be appearing in the special holiday pets section of the Atlanta Journal Constitution in Atlanta, GA. Circulation on this day is about 100,000! Normally I am all about free advertising…and it works. But yesterday when the sales rep called with this deal it was too good to turn down! So here is my first big ad! I am excited to see how it does. I place an ad in a local small pet magazine that comes out bi-monthly and I get good business from that, so I am really excited to see how this goes over. It comes out on Thanksgiving and then another will come out in a holiday gift section on Dec 11th. Look at me, spending money on advertising…I feel like an adult or something! Scary….
It’s been a very busy past couple of days. I had a festival this past Saturday that when really well. I sold a bunch of my ornaments and holiday cards and got some more commissions. At one point a 20 something guy walks in my booth with a big giant smile and says, “I just wanted to let you know that one of your paintings is now in Oregon! My sister bought one last year and she has she moved there and has this totally zen-ed out house and it is all neutral except for your painting of her dog. She totally loves that painting! And everyone that sees it loves it!” I ask what his sister’s name is. After hearing her name I remember her. “Her dog is Ruby, a yellow lab!” I exclaim. I have this weird ability to remember the name of every dog I paint. I go on to tell him that Ruby was my very first commission. This woman literally began my career. How cool is that? How often do we get to find out about something we did a long time ago and find out something we made is loved so much? He of course made my day and I told him so. It put a smile on my face for the rest of the day and comfirmed that following my heart is absolutely the way to go in this life. I am so very grateful that I get to do what I do for a living. It is my biggest hope that I get to continue to make people smile with my silly/happy pet paintings for a very long time.
Ok, I am a hopeless, hopeless holiday addict. I can’t wait for the Publix commercials where the salt and pepper shakers eat everything on the table when the adults look away. (for those of you that don’t have Publix Shopping Centers, I am so sad for you, these holiday commercials make my day!) I also can’t wait for the tear jerking Hallmark commercials where the sleepy kids wake up to find Santa eating their cookies. I LOVE it. I LOVE it all! I know some people have issues with the commercialism aspect, but it all just reminds me of my wonderful childhood memories. My parents gave us some of the best Christmases ever! We decorated early and the whole month of December was just magical to me. It still is, and as far as I am concerned the decorations going up now just help it along.
On that note, here is my Lucy Christmas ornament. Go check out the details on how you can get one on my home page if you so desire!
And yes, I got out the Christmas tree for this pic. My kids, I am sure, will not let me take it down once they see it when they get home from school!
Lately I am very anxious about the future. While I had 4 commissions come in yesterday and sold a painting at the store my work is in, I still am far from financially secure. I want it now. NOW! Didn’t God get my memo that I should be featured in O Magazine and be able to take vacation getaways in Florence, Italy to recharge my creative batteries?? No? Oh. Hmmm. Ok. Once again coffee on my front porch will have to serve as my pick me up. It works for now. But really, anyone who reads this and knows Oprah, mention to her I paint these really cute dog paintings. She’d love em! Really. It could happen!
It is gorgeous right now. GORGEOUS. All I want to do is go play outside. Or at least just sit on the porch with some coffee. This week HAS to be a productive week for me. I have many paintings that HAVE to get done this week. I finished 2 sculptures today, a website for my husband, finished 3 ads and emailed them off to various magazines and papers for some clients. Yesterday I got done with 3 days of onsite design work and while I would love to play hookie, the holidays are coming and I have got to get all my work done! Look at my site later to see a bunch of new commissions that I have not had the time to upload yet. I will get to that too…I swear!
Sigh…maybe just one cup of coffee??
Waking up an hour early to get the kids ready for school by yourself and taking them so that I can sleep in an extra hour because I worked late the night before, then waking me up after you get back with a hot cup of coffee with the milk frothed the way you know I like it.
Looking at every painting after I am done and exlaiming, “Isn’t THIS one the cutest one yet??” (and always agreeing.)
Listening to every single marketing idea I have…over and over and over again.
Putting up with two huge crazy beasts for dogs even when you are not a dog person because you know I am.
Cleaning the kitchen.
Making me amazing dinners because you know I would just eat cereal instead of cook.
Doing the laundry.
Not complaining that I am messy. (Although, there IS order to my chaos!!)
Not complaining when I stay up late to work…again.
Scanning in my sketches for me.
Cutting down wood for me.
Telling me I am beautiful even when I am covered in paint, have not showered in a day and am wearing old sweatpants.
Listening to my crazy dog stories.
Picking up canvas from one side of town and paint on the other side of town for me.
Playing legos with the kids when I need to meet a deadline.
Rubbing my shoulders and feet every single night.
Kevin, you are my rock. Without you this all means nothing. I love you.
I did it again. I over extended myself and now I am up late trying to get it all done. It is 1am and I just finished a magazine layout and am supposed to do 3 brochures. That is not going to happen though. I am working onsite tomorrow to fill in for a designer at a college again and I will try to use my lunch hour for the brochures. And I promised a painting to be delivered Friday at 6:30pm. I am working onsite all day Friday as well. I am not complaining about the abundance of work, just the lack of time for it all. Or maybe the need for sleep. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could always pull the all nighters we used to in college??? Oh to have that energy again. When I stay up past 2am I wake up feeling like I have a hangover without having had all the fun the night before. Life is mean how that works!
On another note entirely, I met an amazing women today. She is a sales rep for the yellow pages and still wanted to meet with me even after I emphatically explained I have zero budget for advertising. She is just one of those people you instantly connect with. She said she woke up at 3:30am and decided to give me a free ad. Ok…. What is the catch??? She says that she is allowed to give out a few free ads to certain customers to help get ads in the book. For whatever divine reason she decided to give it to me. So I am getting an almost $1200 ad for free. Crazy! But I will take it! And after dicussing my future plans with her she said some things that yet again confirmed what I am doing on my personal project that is going wonderfully. I love when the universe conspires along with you when you are on the right path!!
And in one final note, the teeny tiny sculptures I made for my daughter are just too cute not to share. I am thinking Christmas ornaments….And again, need more time!!