Monday, January 28, 2013

Show me a Sign...

The next step in the evolutionary process for The BeeHive... let people know when it is open?

I was right to just open the studio and then figure out how it was going to work. Some changes are unpredictable, but others make complete sense. After being asked a hundred times, "When are you open?" I finally realized I needed another sign! Staples agreed with me and offered a special deal on ginormous banners. How could I resist?

I designed the banner with a big, empty space on the left side so I could tangle it by hand. I thought it might be hard to get around to actually doing the work, but this weekend, Lilah and I unrolled the banner - and it completely covered the classroom table! What really inspired me to start was Lilah begging me to let HER do it!

"No! Mine!" I shouted. I was suddenly inspired.

She finally agreed to make her own sign...

but those little Lilah Beans always sneak into my Zentangles!

"Hey! How'd that Lilah Bean get in here? And there's one in the pod..."

"Ay-you, Bean! Get off of my "T"!"

I just realized now, as I'm writing this, that the giant Lilah Bean on the "T" is special! Lilah not only designed it to stand on the crossbars of the "T", but she also gave it the fancy hair that MY Lilah Beans love. We call it the "soft-serve, Bride-of-Fankenstein hair." And this one looks so peaceful... so zen. And so well-balanced. Hmmm.

Ah well, good thing they're cute. And these particular Beans were incredibly well-behaved compared to the ones on Lilah's sign.

If you are wondering why this is so startling to me, here is a picture of the child who drew the Zen Bean...

... and this is the, not-so-zen, poster that she made...

 One might get the idea that The BeeHive is now "All Lilah Beans, All the Time!" But Lilah made it very clear that it is only "Fridays" and only between "3:00 to 4:30." If you would like to see more of the Lilah Beans from her sign - they are really clever - take a look at the post on the ZT for Kidz site, "The Lilah Beans are IN the Building!"

 Here are the finished signs - I love them both!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Brightening Things Up a Little

I was rather fond of my gloomy, dark Belfry blog. It appealed to my Adams Family upbringing - my inner "Wednesday." But recently, my friend, mentor, chief-butt-kicker, Jessica, sent me an email:

"...I think you could take your bats to a brighter place. You are not a dark person - just a person of light who may have some dark moments.

Believe me when I say this with love. You need to come into the light and everything you are doing will bear even more fruit."

Hmmm... I like fruit!

And to prove that I am NOT afraid of completely overhauling my life every few years... well, I'm not afraid of completely compromising every once in a while...

I integrated my cheery, buzzy images and colors from my new website and BeeHive blog with the darker imagery of the Belfry... voila! (sorry, can't get the accent thingy to work!)

What do you think? Easier to read? Looks like everyone else's? Any links not working? :-)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

[Big Grin]!

The December Student of the Month is announced in January? No matter! I'm so proud. So proud... did I mention I am proud of that kid?

Very weird to see your kid written up in a paper. Most of these things I knew about him... except for skiing. Didn't know he likes to ski!? And then there are a hundred things they left off... I guess that's why they don't let moms write up these things!

Hey Alex - I'm so proud of you! :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Inktense - Tangled Fan

Speaking of classes... I just started another one with Jessica Wesolek. I've mentioned her before in a post about an iPad Art Studio workshop - and she also is the creator of Sheer Heaven.

This new class is an Inktense intensive... "Inktense - From Soup to Nuts." It just started this week and will be going until April - so you can still join in. Inktense pencils have been becoming more and more popular and Zentangle works really nicely with the pencils too. Basically, they work just like regular waxed based pencils, when dry. But they are magical when wet! The colors become super bright, and then when they dry again, the ink is permanent. That means you can brush a pale yellow over blue and  it won't bleed into a muddy green. You have to play with them to see how cool they are.

Anyway, the class started with some easy, basic projects and I amazed myself by doing all the homework and not falling behind in the very first week. Yeah me! But then, I went above and beyond and did the extra homework. AND I added Zentangles to the project. My idea worked and it looks like a keeper. A little positive reinforcement doesn't hurt, right?

What do you think?

Note: The tangles I used were Bingley and Purlbox. The fan itself is created using only red pencil lines and some graphite pencil for shading.

The Buzz from The BeeHive

Last Friday was my second official "Open Studio Friday" at The BeeHive. I was so happy to have people actually return! I take that as a sign of encouragement.

I spent the entire week cleaning out the classroom and moving around furniture. I am AMAZED that I was able to make things fit and more than a few things "disappeared"... but the classroom is now organized and usable. Lilah washed down every surface, including the chairs and cabinets. She said she used that little blue sponge, but it looked like there was a lot more involved in the scrubbing process.

To help us all get to know each other, we need name tags. These pins will be kept on long ribbons so they can be reused each week - and I hope we will add many new names to the batch!

Anne Boedecker taught a class on "Vision Boards." Cutting and pasting is incredibly soothing - I hope to do this again soon. We focused on goals for the new year and I felt rather clueless when I started...

... but as you rip out images and words, ideas form and change. One of my favorite parts was when I cut out the words "Finding My People" (making friends and finding my tribe are big goals for me). I was excited to find just the right phrase and looked around the big board for some people to stick it on.... I was getting a little desperate (how could I not have any friend-like images on here!?)

- but then I saw Kermit and Fozzy Bear and thought "YES! I want friends like THEM!" No, not stuffed! (If you know what I mean, then you probably qualify). :-)

A sense of humor, creativity, loyalty, respect, patience, forgiveness, being one-of-a-kind... and did I mention humor? All things are possible with laughter.

This Friday, we are going to do some informal "messin' around" with sprays, spritzers, stencils... stuff like that. We'll see what happens. Should be messy. Feel free to join us - bring paper to spray.

I also added a few new classes to the schedule - take a look at the studio website for the details.
I'll be teaching a Zentangle 101 class and Eraser Carving. (I take requests too...) and Anne is doing Love Jars and Painting with Paper.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I can't believe I actually feel excited again! I have to admit, I love the internet...

I had been going through my usual mid-winter, end of year, I hate the holidays, etc. doldrums... I stayed up really late last night trying to "assess" the past year and prove to myself that I had achieved something and not just wasted another year. I eventually gave up at 2am and went to bed. I slept surprisingly well, but woke up feeling panicky and trapped by lawyers and publishers and ex-husbands. Not necessarily multiples of each one, but you get the idea. There was a crowd of unwanted voices in my head!

A few weeks ago, I alienated almost my entire group of business mastermind colleagues. While that's a very impressive and thorough feat, I'm not sure if I should include it on my list of accomplishments for 2012? It certainly wasn't my intention! I was trying to explain an inkling I'd experienced. Many of you have told me that you are on a similar quest to mine - how to figure out what the heck you should be doing with your life!!? I have proven to myself over and over that MONEY is not the "purpose." YES. I need money. YES, I want money. Lots of it. But that is so that I can DO things. It's not the reason WHY I do things.

I had had an experience where I was part of a group who experienced profound joy, happiness and pride... in someone else's success. It was the kind of feeling where you really feel like you might explode! But it wasn't just MY feeling. Almost everyone at the event was feeling it. It was shared - and magnified - and I didn't want it to end.

THAT. That feeling is what I want to build my career on. I guess it is crazy, but that's what I want.

In my usual fashion, I have been torturing myself trying to figure out how all the things I CAN do, can lead me to this goal. In short... I have NO idea what the heck I am doing. But I have learned that completing one of my own goals is not enough if it doesn't involve a success for others as well. For example: I have been sending off manuscripts to publishers since I was fifteen years old. When Totally Tangled was published by Design Originals, the real success, happiness, goal-achieving feeling came from the fact that there were other artists involved in the book. At the book signing, we were all yelling and signing each others' books.

My brain has been wanting to curl up in my studio for the rest of the winter, eat Cheetos and watch Vampire Diaries. Maybe draw something too. :-) But my heart and creative bits want to DO something. Get together with people. Make a difference. Help someone help themself. Create. Make friends. Get OFF the computer... I know I need to open The BeeHive already. Stop being so scared and just see what happens. Maybe no one will show up. This week. But maybe someone will come next week? Just start.

So why do I love the internet? Oh, there are SO many reasons, but today, it's because that's where my mentors and my tribe are. (I'm talking about YOU!) :-) When I dragged my brain out of bed (and the voices of the ex, the publishers, the lawyers, etc.) at noon and sat in front of my computer - there was a new post from Marie Forleo (my hero):

She not only encouraged me to just start already, but she shows how she started her MarieTV. And she shares a quote:
"Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not caused by the absence of things but the absence of vision."

I found myself yelling (in my head) "Yes! Yes! Stuff and money are not the POINT!" and "I need a VISION!" Of course, I realize that I have a vision. It's that thing that makes my heart feel like it is being ripped out when I don't know what I can do to help in certain situations. I had this strange sensation that if I could find a way to put that feeling into words, then I could start working towards my purpose and vision... goals, whatever you want to call it.

I wouldn't feel like my world was being cut apart every couple of years when I have to reinvent myself and my "job". The purpose and vision is always there whether I am an Egyptologist, an illustrator, a teacher, a store owner, an author... a mom...

These setbacks that we all have, some more than others, are clues, just as the little "inklings" are clues. Sometimes, we are so busy moaning about what's not fair, or hurting us, that we miss the quiet sparks of insights. There are clues scattered everywhere! All I've been seeing is the clutter.

In November, I had the chance to work with Ally Piper of Bright Eyes Creative. I enjoyed talking with her so much - her mind works a lot like mine. I asked her to come to my home studio first before our "real" meeting at the business studio. I wanted her to see all the things that no one else sees - my home is like my portfolio! When we were talking in the business studio - now called The BeeHive - we brainstormed and came up with lists of amazing ideas of all the things I could do. Later, Ally emailed me the list with all the action steps needed to be successful. Wow. You know what I did? Yep. Panic attack. Overwhelm. Not because of the list and all the work involved, but because of all the things that were left OUT! How screwy is that? What I realized was - if we had sat down in my home studio and made a similar list, it would have been ten totally amazing things that I could do, but completely DIFFERENT from what we came up with at The BeeHive. Oh dear. But now I know that this is where the VISION part comes in. I need to evaluate, eliminate, adjust all the good ideas to see what and how they can fit with my purpose and vision.

Ally is doing a group, online, business retreat on January 14th - it's called the Napkin Note Biz Plan.
And I'm going to attend. Now that I have a slightly clearer, well... less foggy... idea, I want to evaluate all my options and decide where I should focus my energy. You can look at the page for all the details, but here is a quote from the description that sums it up for me:

The process I’m going to share with you keeps me sane when my creative mind takes off in a million directions and I start teetering on the edge of overwhelm.

Seriously, is that me or what? Yep. And how about you? People call creativity and imagination a "gift" but sometimes it can be a curse too. How about a class for learning to control your super powers? ;-D Cape optional.

I haven't written my official resolutions for this year yet. I'll take a shower first, procrastinate a little bit more... but I'm thinking I will be less specific than usual. Something to do with redirecting my energy. I realized this morning that my energy has been consumed by vampires in my life. Yes, I did invite them in. I'm naive, gullible, trusting. Alrighty then. No, I have no idea how to break free of them, but I've watched enough Vampire Diaries in the past few weeks to know that I can start by hanging out in the sunshine instead of the gloomy shadows!! The BeeHive is bright and cheerful and it will be open from 3pm-9pm starting this Friday. I'd love to hang out with you too!


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