For my next self absorbed post…

I still think that is a given. I mean, a blog? A personal one? Isn’t it by definition self absorbed? Are you reading San Diego? Heh. And you can’t even stop yourself. Still. Must. Read… Oh, close your browser, you know you want to. But it’s like slowing down on the interstate. You don’t want to be one more of the people that caused the traffic to back up for miles all because some guy who ran out of gas and is sitting on the hood of his car waiting for his wife who is so going to kill him because he never ever fills up his tank like she tells him to but he likes to play this gas roulette game and this time he lost and dude, he isn’t gettin any tonite and he is waving at traffic and you are SO MAD AT YOURSELF that you slowed to look and you became part of the problem you swore you wouldn’t be? Yeah, kinda like that. So keep reading. You can’t not. Heh. The power of the blog… Ok, human nature, but whatever. I’ll take undue credit…

So I was sitting outside on my balcony drinking my coffee (not wine – geez it’s 9am I don’t start the wine until at least 12pm, I do have SOME self control!) while my kids are asleep inside. They had some friends sleep over (Imagine that! Other parents TRUSTING me with their kids!! Crazy! If they only knew what kind of a drunken psycho self absorbed bloggin nut job I was!) so the night went late filled with games and teeny bopper movies. Ok, side note (like I haven’t gone off on ten tangets already?) I LOVE those teenage angst movies. This one I was watching with Amanda Bynes? She pretends to be a boy to make the soccer team at her brother’s high school because her team got cut and she wants to prove that she is good enough and in the process falls in the love with the oh so hunky soccer star on her team. But you can imagine the wacky hijinks that ensue with her pretending she is a guy and all. I make fun, but I have watched it like 10 times. The sound track rocks and well, hunky high school soccer guy? Yeah, there is no way he is less than 22 in real life. So nothing illegal there about me fantasiz… er, I mean watching him, right? Heh. Off you go, San Diego. “Oh my gosh! She is letting them watch movies about transgendered kids!! Oh my! She wants to date a minor!!” Want the number of a child protective services? I am sure they will take my kids from me straight away! Are you still reading? Didn’t you promise yourself you wouldn’t read this anymore? Shoo! Off with you! Go report all my short comings to my ex…

Ok, back to what I was saying. What was I saying? Oh yes. Coffee time. I was sitting thinking about that hunky soccer… no, wait – no I wasn’t. I was sitting looking at all the leaves around me. Millions of them. Billions maybe. Willow leaves, oak leaves, pine needles. It gets overwhelming. And I was thinking about how we are like those leaves. (ok, bear with me, it was a morning coffee moment – the best part about waking up, is Folger’s in your…c’mon you know you wanna sing it…) I don’t know if you all think like this, but I do. I thought, “How in the world do we ever stand out?” We are one in millions and billions. How is it we matter at all. How do we make a difference?” The leaves overwhelm me, the blades of grass make me feel insignificant. Then I started to calm down and relax. And I started to sketch the leaves. One at a time. Very slowly. And it calmed me. And the word ‘simplicity’ kept coming to me. And I don’t know what that all means. But I thought about the things that touch me most in this world. And they are simple things. A line drawing that I did of the pool chair where the thick and thins just makes me happy. The phrase “Life is good.” by that company that I love. I still remember looking at this line my life drawing teacher drew on my paper in art school. It was the top of a shoulder. To this day I remember that line. I was overwhelmed with it. Can you believe I am writing about a line? But those are the things that matter to me. Simple, simple things. Yesterday laying at the pool with my eyes closed and listening to my kids scream and laugh in the pool. Noah and Sophie pretending to be on a space ship (raft) and hearing them play mission control. Oh my gosh if I could have bottled that moment up. So I guess I am getting a message of simplicity. And that my timing is out the window. Cause whatever is meant to happen with my life will happen. And I like the idea of simplicity. And stopping and sketching the leaves makes me see them one at a time. And I don’t feel so overwhelmed by the billions of them. And I can handle that. I don’t need to make a difference to millions. I just need to make a difference to the ones I am around. My kids, my family, my friends. I love them all so, so much. And loving them and showing them how much they matter to me is what is most important to me right now.

Yeah, about that post…

For those of you that read yesterday’s blog: Sorry, emotional train wreck was going on. For those of you that missed, yeah some entertainment.

So the deal is this. I have had a rough summer. My kids were gone almost a month. This past week they have been home and I realized how much I missed them. How much they are my life. How much they focus me and make me realize that this whole messy thing life, is about them. I feel like I am stumbling around trying really hard to figure it all out. I don’t know the answers. I realize when I try to force it all to go a certain way I am the most miserable. When I try to just make the best decision I can and trust that it will all work out it seems to go much smoother. I have been trying so hard lately to force life to bend to my wishes to make what i want to happen now. NOW. And that is not working at all. I am craving stability. i am craving sameness. I am craving contentness. I am not sure how to get it. So I am telling God, the universe, the great whatever is out there that that is what I want. I want my art to be my joy again. I want work to be good, but not such a struggle. If that means some full time work for a while, great. if that means a new reliable freelance client, great. If that means some licensing deals come through, fantastic. But I think what I am realizing is that I am just along for the ride. I don’t get to steer. But i can buckle myself in, make sure I am as safe as I can be, prepare myself and try not to leave EVERYTHING to chance. I have a lot of things I have put out there, phone calls, emails, resumes for lots of different things. And whatever is supposed to be next in my life is what will happen. I am open to all of it, any of it. I’m going to relax for a bit and see what opportunities present themselves. I’m done driving. I want to look out the window for a while and look at the scenery. I haven’t looked at it in a really long time. When did it get to be the end of the summer? I missed my fireflies. I missed my nights dipping my toes in the pool. I missed the crickets. But my kids are home and I am not going to miss any more.

Today I worked all day then stopped work at 5pm while the kids had friends over. (I’ve taken my computer home from the studio so that i can work here at the house while I have the kids) Then we went to the pool and splashed and played for 2 hours. We came back upstairs and I made dinner. I made chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for dessert. Then we cuddled up on the couch and watched a movie. Sigh. Today was peace. Today was contentment. Today was what I have been craving.

(and for those of you that read my entry yesterday and judged me, and judged me really, really harshly and said really, really mean, nasty things about me and to me? Well, I’m not perfect, and of course I know that. But how perfect are you? And feel free to stop reading my blog at any time. Cause this is my place. And I can be however I want to here, even if it is whiney and sad and pathetic. So feel free to ignore me for the rest of your life, I won’t mind at all.)

My, my, my it’s a beautiful world.

That is what I keep saying to myself today. (from the Colin Hay song – love him!) The past few weeks have been really hard. My kids are gone visiting grandparents in Texas for 3 weeks. I know they are having a great time, but I miss them so much. That, plus summer is always a slow time for me it seems. Or at least it is now. I seem to be very caught up in what is not working lately. The Rufus and Lucy project is going well, people writing in asking to participate. That is so wonderful. And I have sold two of the mini paintings. That thrills me. Todd Parr ( http://www.toddparr.com ) wrote me and told me he loved my site and to keep on going and never give up. That was amazing.

Lately I have to admit, I have felt like giving up. I feel often like I am working towards soemthing unattainable. I feel like I struggle and struggle and I never seem to see the fruits of my labor. People, this is hard. It is hard to have a passion, to know what you want and to see it so clearly and to feel like some cosmic force is saying, “Uh, yeah, no.” No, not now? No, not at all? Am I just on the verge making it happen? The other day I was ready to ditch it all. Forget it. I am done. “This is too hard. there is no payoff! I am killing myself for nothing!” I have cried this, I have yelled this so many times to so many friends. I have cried more times in the past two weeks than in maybe the last two years. I am not someone used to being depressed. I have lost freelance jobs for no reason, I have had things fall through over and over. Not for anything wrong I did, just because sometimes it happens. People not returning my phone calls about ideas I want to run by them. I keep asking, what am I doing wrong. I know the answer is nothing. But this is where the importance of friends comes in. This is where I do, indeed, believe it is a beautiful world.

Because for how many times I have called up crying, or called up angry or just been down right pitiful the past few weeks, my friends have been there for me. Taking me out for dinner or lunch. (yeah, money is that tight) Buying my dogs dogfood (not even kidding) or just ask listening. And telling me over and over not to quit. To hang in there. That they believe in me. That they know it will happen. Lately that is what I hang on to. If so many people believe in me and feel my passion even in this time that I don’t quite feel it anymore, maybe it is worth hanging in there. Without my amazing, beautiful friends I truly can say I would be so much less than I am. Thank you to every beautiful, single one of you that are helping me through this. I love you all.

baby tees


I am working on package design right now. Any of the images ont he rufus and lucy website are available on onesies and as cards – working on that now too. Anyone interested in buying before the merchandise page is up just email me: michelle@rufusandlucy.com I am going to offer toddler and kid’s tees too. Right now the onesies are $15 each.

real life

The first care package goes out today on the Rufus and Lucy project. I am pretty excited about it! People have been subscribing to the blog to get updates and writing me to participate. I am glad people seem to like the idea.

It is funny to have two blogs but I guess this one has always been more personal and this new one is more professional. Here I get to say more about me and what it is to be an artist, the struggles and the joys. I have been in such a weird place lately. I am struggling with the whole gallery concept. I stopped the children’s classes. It was not me. it was not what I wanted to do, I just I don’t know, it wasn’t right. I had a hard time with that. Then pair that with slow freelance times and June is always bad for pet portraits and you get a really struggling artist. But this isn’t a woe is me post. Really. Last night I was talking to one of many friends helping me through this rough patch with their support and understanding. My friends rock, they really do. Last night I had a real breakdown. I was cleaning the classroom for the new artist renting the space and I was talking (ok, maybe crying) to a friend on the phone. “What if none of this works?! What if Rufus and Lucy never take off? What if none of my art ever gets licensed? What if no one ever gets me and my art? What if everything I can so clearly see in my head is actually not meant to be? What if it is not going to happen? Who am I then? What am I? I wake up thinking about my art. I go to bed with ideas. I can’t get it out of my head. If I am wrong about this, if it is not in THE PLAN, what then?! This is who I am!! WHAT THEN?!” My friend was kind of stunned into silence. He had no answer. Of course he didn’t. I got off the phone kind of mumbling, “Uh, yeah, sorry ’bout that. Emotional artist. Must be low blood sugar. Haven’t had my ramen noodles today.”

Yeah, I kinda freaked. I guess the answer is that I don’t know who I am without all this. I have been financially pretty strapped lately. And yet while having no money I still built a website, painted paintings, made some dolls, organized a big round the U.S. project. Because I am insane. No, because I love it. Because I want, need to share it. Because I have to. I simply have to. And I guess I have to trust that if God put such a passion into me that something will happen with all of this. Because this is me. And it is who I am. And there must be a reason. And I have no idea what it is, but there has to be one. Because that is the only way any of this makes any sense.

Now I’ve gone and done it.

Rufus and Lucy’s site is ready. A few additions will be coming, but to see what all the hoo ha is about go check it out. There is another blog over there to track the progress of the projects I am doing. It’s gonna be fun. You totallly should get in on the action. All the cool kids are doing it. So you should too. Then we are all going to go jump off a bridge together. And that will be cool too. It will be. Cause I said so. now go!