Thursday, January 22, 2015

Picture Purrrfect: Pet Portraits of Watson & Olive

Meet Watson and Olive:  2 pretty kitties captured forever in fabric applique portraits.

Watson is the beautiful grey kitty with white patches and olive-colored eyes.  Olive is the speckled cream, auburn, and grey kitty. 
My friend Sarah asked me to make applique portraits of her sister's cats as a Solstice gift last year.  It was a last minute job I decided to take & managed to complete just in time for gift-giving!!  Since I was away from my sewing machine at the time that I made these portraits, I ended up making these kitty portraits by hand.  The applique pieces are all hand-stitched.  Embroidery floss and decorative stitching added another dimension to the portraits.  To my surprise, the handwork was not all that time-consuming as I thought it would be.  In fact, it was quite soothing to sit, sew, and have a movie running in the background.  And during the stressful time before the holidays, the slow, soothing process of handcrafting these portraits was just.....PURRRRRRRRR-FECT!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Stitchin' the Peacock Electric

I stitched the Peacock Electric.

It's been five Summer Solstices ago when I painted peacock feathers across Sarah's back.  
My work was hastily made and barely measured up to my high standards of personal artistic taste, but Sarah & I were in a hurry.  The pressure was on for us to catch up to our pack!

Sarah's cellphone buzzed every 20 seconds with text notifications from a friend watching this particular Saturday morning's events from the sidelines. In real-time tracking mode, street names were relayed via text to Sarah, marking the coordinates of the cyclists making their way to parade during the Solstice Celebration.  One moment they were at the corner of this & that, and then 30 seconds later they'd already zoomed down 5 blocks, stalled, catching their breaths at a stoplight, flashing their brilliant colors to anyone & everyone who caught sight of their spectacle.
  
Copper, blue, and, purple were the paint colors that Sarah and I bought together at the theatre supply shop a week prior to this special occasion.  We were working girls on a budget and these colors could be interchangable for both of our costume ideas.  Once we made it to the register to purchase them with our hard-earned $$$, it was like making a pact that we'd go through with this! We made the commitment and now there was no turning back!  We would bike the Solstice Parade- decked out only in our painted finery! 
(Gulp!)
In what seemed like an eternity, and with plenty of sponge applicators full of paint to show for it, we were speedily covering ourselves in our 'painted-on' costumes.  The nagging buzzing of the cellphone text relays communicating the whereabouts of the cyclists was a signal for us to wrap it up and head out on the road.  
But wait!!!  Sarah was missing the most crucial part of her costume----- her Peacock Feathers!!  

In less than 5 minutes, I applied 3 (puny) plumes of peacock feathers up Sarah's back with the swiftest brushstrokes possible using the colors from our limited palette.  I stood back to view my work and thought, it is what it is.  Not as detailed and brilliant as I wished, but not bad for a 5 minute hustle.  And before I could put the paintbrush down, we were out the door, on our bikes, and speeding down Leary Ave to catch up with the rest of our flock.

Since then, I've always thought of Sarah as 'The Peacock'.  It suits her well-- she's a fashion design instructor, and a bold & beautiful redhead, to boot.  Peacock Blue gorgeously compliments her fairness and strawberry hair color.

Let's fast forward to December 2014 (that's Sixty-eight Moons later), I wanted to make a special Winter Solstice gift for Sarah.  Something to commemorate the Peacock with more permanence.  Something that wouldn't drip off in the shower.  And sew The Peacock Electric was stitched!

For my fabric choices, I wanted to capture the warm, vibrant, electric colors of Summer Solstice in hopes of melting away any trace of winter blues for Sarah.  She now lives in a cold & snowy clime that endures blizzard upon blizzard in the winter.
**Special note--The buffalo check fabric in peacock & deep royal blue (pictured above at the bottom left) was upcycled from a hand-me-down flannel shirt.  It made for the perfect backdrop of my Peacock Electric piece, also adding a cozy, homespun feel to the piece.

Next, I chose some skeins of embroidery floss in spectacular colors to add more dimension to my stitched piece.

And then I embarked on my project.  The appliques of the peacock feathers were stitched down first, while I made suffolk puffs (fabric yo-yos) from a green tonal stripe to serve as the feathers framing the body of the peacock's silhouette.


Rows and Rows of embroidery floss in rainbow color order were chain-stitched by hand around the peacock body silhouette.  Straight stitches of contrasting embroidery floss were scattered throughout the plumage of the peacock's feather display, creating lots of movement and excitement for the eye.

She comes in colors ev'rywhere......

she's like a rainbow!






Sunday, October 26, 2014

To Holland with Love ♡♡♡

I call it, Petal Magic.

 'Always be prepared,' they told me when I was a little Girl Scout.  Although I may have earned that badge to sew on my sash, these words never stuck with me as I grew into a teenager and young adult.  Instead, I proudly waved the 'Fly By the Seat of My Pants' banner in the wind.  Now that's all good 'n dandy for some, but when it comes to creating a handmade Christmas gift to send to your bestie who lives halfway around the world in The Netherlands, I've learned to never trust the post and prepare way in advance.

Instead of making a full sized quilt (large enough to accommodate an amply-statured Dutch hubby) like I did last year, I focused on a smaller piece:  a small mat about the same size as a vinyl record cover.  Having a smaller format to work with really freed me from the pressures of coming up with an 'amazing design'.  I knew I wanted to use bright colors in my piece to cheer up my bestie during those gloomy Utrecht winters.  So I selected my fabrics for the piece....


....and started to stitch things together!  With craft zen guiding me, I created this layout below:


As I admired my design, I was amazed at how my intuitive abilities led me to create a symbolic piece that captures Holland, my bestie's new home.  Who knows if it was pure coincidence that those 'droplet' appliqu├ęs look like tulip petals and the striped piecing in the background resembles a 'windmill'.  It must be Petal Magic!

To make this little mat something special, I added tons of decorative hand-stitching:  blanket stitching around the petals and on the binding and hand-stitched echo quilting around the petals.  
All that hand-stitching definitely put me in a needles groove and a relaxing meditative zone.  I like to call this 'slewing', a portmanteau of the words slow + sew.  ¡Viva the Slew Revolution!

and Hello Sunshine!



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Color Me Mardi Gras! It's Carnival Time- Part 1


Having chosen to make Halloween as my first visit to New Orleans, I thought I was prepared for my second trip to the Crescent City which would be during the peak of Carnival season.  Stepping on the plane on a dreary Seattle day in February, blanketed by dark grey clouds, it was as if a technicolor metamorphosis had transpired during my flight.  I emerged in a city that was literally dripping, wait, oozing of color-- much like the sugary frosting on a King Cake.  Late February in New Orleans was-a-bustin'-all-over in PURPLE-GREEN-'n-GOLD and that signified that it was CARNIVAL TIME!

On its own, sans-Carnival season, NOLA is a pretty colorful city as is.  A walk down Freret St. in the Uptown neighborhood will leave you in awe as you witness one after the other of non-cookie-cutter-like buildings.  Much like the blending of the many distinct cultures that meld together so seamlessly in this town, the different styles of whimsical architecture and clashing paint colors, work together like a quodlibet musical piece.
May I note that the Louisiana sunshine and blossoming magnolia trees further heightens the optic experience of taking in a late morning stroll in NOLA.

But wait!  There's more eye-candy up ahead!  'The City that Care Forgot' most certainly cares about its art- and right down to the minivan, thank you very much!

Even those creepy dolls glaring through the window in an antique store on Magazine Street have a certain 'je ne sais quoi' about them...
The two-fer deal was a little hard to resist, but no, I did not return to Seattle with one of these little dollies.  I'm too old to play with dolls, silly!

But I digress.... let's get back on track, err the sidewalk, in this virtual walking tour of NOLA.  It's Carnival Time and the terror-inducing thoughts of those dolls vanishes as I continue on my jaunt, admiring the painted windows decorating the local shops & cafes wishing passersby a Happy Mardi Gras!

And the windows weren't the only thing decked out in Mardi Gras marvel!  On every front door hung a Mardi Gras wreath, the trees were sheathed in Mardi Gras ribbons, and beads-bead-beads dripped from front fences and branches!

The only other time I've ever experienced a full display of color and decoration in a town is during Christmas.  As I continued my foot travels throughout NOLA, I gathered that this city placed the utmost priority on Carnival season and Mardi Gras.  Just take a look at these opulent house decorations below and it will put your neighborhood Christmas displays to shame!!


And even the 'silly' house decoration would mock your Christmas light display.  Complete with Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal scarecrow effigy.

And that's what I love about the Big Easy.  They sure do have a big sense of humor.  Hey, if you don't have a blow-up Mardi Gras Jester for your front yard, why not just paint your building in Mardi Gras colors?!!  ...or better yet, light it up!

But perhaps you're a member of one of the infamous Krewes, the organizations that spend an entire year coordinating their parades and balls during Carnival and Mardi Gras.  Tile the bathroom darlin', raise a banner, and wave your flag!

And make sure you represent by showing your Carnival pride!  I don't doubt that each New Orleanian has a significant amount of Purple, Green, and Gold in their wardrobe!

NOLA and its people may be festooned in Mardi Gras regalia, but there are other signs that the city is in the throes of celebration.  The buses are spreadin' the word, the Mardi Gras ladders are out staking coveted spots on St. Charles Ave. (a main parade route), the newspaper forecasts the daily parades, parade traffic laws are enforced.  Grab a few special Mardi Gras brews from the corner store and a piece of King Cake, then step right up to the curb to claim your space to watch the many parades because....


IT'S CARNIVAL TIME!!!!!!!!!!!


PS-- Thanks for taking my virtual tour of NOLA during Carnival.  This post is just the 'icing' on the King Cake, if you know what I mean.  I took 400 pictures during the 3 full days I explored the city and I've got a few more posts lined up-- so stay tuned!  The party's not over yet!!

PPS--  Before I forget, I should define the significance of the Mardi Gras Colors.  
Purple stands for Justice, Green stands for Faith, and Yellow Stands for Power!  Read more about the origins of the colors here.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

From 'Mraow' to 'Rawr': This Trade's the Cat's Meow!


Months ago on a lazy Saturday while perusing my facebook feed, I spotted a pic that my girl Charlotte snapped at her booth in a local craft show back home in Cincy-OH.  She was advertising the most bitchin' (and I only use that term in the context of the most awesomest, raddest, flyest style ever) earrings that she had made and how they were just flying off the rack for her.  And how could they not?!!  Lion Head Door-Knocker style in brassy flashy gold, with jewel drops!!  To. Die. For!  And here I was....all the way in Seattle with no way of summoning up the flight of the Concord, or maybe the ghost of the Concord, or even better, the ghost of my future lottery jackpot to get down to Charlotte's craft fair in Cincy-OH to swipe a pair of those babies!!  I mean....I am a LEO lady and anything with Gold and Lions on it is how I advertise to the world, the universe, and the inter-dimensions, my magical-zodiac-astral prowess!

Well since I couldn't summon up a tele-transportation device, I thought I'd handle this the old-fashion way.  I messaged Charlotte with a proposition.  Let's do a trade.  She's an artist and I'm an artist...she has a cat- I make animal portraits out of fabric....and I want those damn earrings!  Charlotte loves her kitty and agreed to this idea- and even said she'd make a matching necklace to go with those earrings for me.  Deal!!!!

Charlotte sent me a pic of her sweet kitty, Toots, and requested that Toots be wearing a pearl necklace and green studded earrings.  Of Course!  Anything for you and Toots....I just want those rad Lion head earrings!!!

So let's get right down to business- The making of Toots into a fabric portrait!  Mraooooowwwww!
Just look at that sweet face!  I admit, I'm more of a dog person, but Toots is too cute to boot!  A soft grey haired beauty with mysterious green eyes.... I knew I was gonna have a ball doing her fabric portrait!  It wasn't too difficult for me to break up the highlights and shadows in Toot's face.  I tried to keep it simple- with just 4 shades of grey (let's face it, 50 shades would just be too much and too creepy in this case).  I scoured my fabric stash and found 4 shades that worked perfectly together.  I even cut up an old knit sweatshirt from Target to get the the most perfect lightest shade of grey!

Next up- Tracing and cutting out the shapes of the highlights in Toots' face.
Thank goodness I have an A&C Supply store up the street from me.  I almost live there and go through rolls of tracing paper like toilet paper!  Once all of the shapes in Toots' face were cut out (with interfacing fused on the back side for stability, I positioned all the pieces together to see how it worked together, then glued it down when I was pleased with it.

And now for the really fun part....Toots comes to life!
I chose a silver metallic thread to stitch all of the pieces down in Toots' face.  The iris color in Toots' eyes is an olive green sparkle vinyl with yellow glitter flecks-- the color combination couldn't have been better to highlight Toots' captivating green eyes.  And of course, I had to sew that twinkle in Toots' eyes with white embroidery floss or she wouldn't look like a real kitty, then!  

Since Toots and Charlotte are both striking ladies with great taste, I opted for a powerful, bold, graphic red poppy printed fabric to use for the background in the portrait.  Oh lucky me I had a fair amount of that print in my stash!  Since I work for Clothworks who produced this gorgeous print in the 'Scarlet' fabric collection by Pam Mostek, I got it for wholesale price, too!  The green in Toots' eyes definitely plays well off of this print, too.  And let's not forget that frame...another A&C Supply purchase.  Easy, breezy, beautiful hoop frame to showcase a pretty kitty's mug.

After framing Toots, I couldn't forget the icing in the cake- her jewels!  I found some fun old chunky pearly buttons in my big box of vintage buttons that I nabbed from an estate give-a-way to make Toots' pearl necklace.  And the faux green gemstones couldn't be more perfect for her earrings.  Although they don't match her eyes perfectly...they add another mystical dimension!

But wait, there's one more thing to add to Toots...or she's just not a real kitty.  Her whiskers.  As much as I wish I could take full credit for this idea, I must admit it's my boyfriend Jimmy's idea.  One night I was telling Jimmy about my current project, the Toots portrait, and he suggested I should figure a way to make Toots have real whiskers.  With my sewing ingenuity, I thought -beading thread!  A-ha!  Not too wirey and not too flimsy, it was just stable enough to stand out perfectly from the portrait like a real whisker!  (Thanks Jimmy!)

And, tah-dahhhhh!  Behold!  'Toots in the Poppies' by ms.sad!
Hellooooooooo Kittayyyyy!
She's just too cute.  I almost didn't want to send her away.  Is it weird that I fell head over heels for her?!  I may just now be a cat convert (don't worry though, sweet doggies!!)  

Here's one more pic-- up close and personal to see the detail!
The colors, the fabric textures, the prints, the findings, and the threads....it all comes together in perfect sync-cat-nicity.  Yeah, I just said that.

So off Toots went via USPS!  Two cats crossin' the country.  Just as soon as Toots departed from Seattle-- Golden Leo Lion earrings and a matching necklace arrive from Cincy-OH!
Lions, Filagree, Vintage Beads, and FABRIC YO-YO's......Oh my!!!!  Oh yes!  That Charlotte is a crafty girl and I didn't have to read her business card's catch phrase 'Seamstress Inspired Jewelry' to immediately recognize the red&white fabric yo-yo that she had so cleverly stitched into the filagree medallion of the matching necklace!  The girl's a Genius, I tell you!  I was just wowed by her creation--  she told me she used some vintage beads (the red/white enameled filagree beads) that are actually Swarovski, which she picked up at the big bad-ass bead show in Tuscon, Arizona.  I'm so honored!!

Thanks a million and hurrayforcharlotte.com, too.  This trade was a blast!

I couldn't leave ya without one last pic.  Me, modeling the goods!!


The Lioness could not be any prouder!  purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....RAWWWWRRRRRRR!!!!








Sunday, January 12, 2014

And So it Goes- Postcard to Russia, '80s Synth Music, Dreams, and Life in the new year

Blue Monday 2014:  Still bleary-eyed and dreading the traffic commute, my eyes were dazzled by the sunrise salutation witnessed this morning.  East greeted West with brilliant rainbow pastel brushstrokes across the sky; a blazing yellow light emerging from the middle.  The light show was incredible, and I was a little worried I might wind up in an accident from ogling this natural masterpiece while at the wheel.  I scratched my head, could I be dreaming, I thought?  And then remembered, 'red sky in the morning, sailor's take warning'....  The rest of the week here in the land of the Mariners, Seattle-WA, would be gloomy, dreary, stormy, rainy, and blue.  Reality bites the dust of the sunrise.

Combatting the rainy Pacific Northwest winter blues is a challenge!  You're never quite prepared for it until it just seeps deep into your skin, bones, and soul.  I tried forcing a smile, exercising, singing, repeating positive mantras, even saying the word 'bubble' out loud (yes, listen here for more explanation) to muster up some happy vibes.  This quote by Roald Dahl sorta worked a bit....
but who'm I kidding?....sometimes I need the real deal sunshine to chase the gloomy rainclouds away!

So needless to say, the week was full of heaviness and some deep introspection.  Welcome to Winter, I guess!

My project to-do list has started to accumulate, and even with all the blue vibes predominating around me, I was able to cross one thing off this weekend.

Last month I made a little stop at Bulldog News up in the U-district for inspiration and gift purchases.  Always impressed with the selection of foreign & indie magazines at this local newsstand/coffee shop, I bought a few magazines as Christmas gifts for folks when the magazine buyer of the shop pointed me in the direction of a new magazine he'd just ordered called Flow.  I bought it, I'm a sucker for new mags, and have been reading an article here and there ever since.

One such article was about an international postcard swapping site called postcrossing.com.  You create an account and start swapping postcards with other account members around the world.  Ah, what fun!  Reminds me of when I was in 7th grade and failed at even reciprocating a penpal relationship with a girl over in the Ukraine.  Call it unrequited airmail.  Twenty plus years later, and with more of an appreciation of airmail correspondence, I was really charmed by the idea of sending letters through the post.  Snail mail.  Maybe it's my mistrust in technology, or my exhaustion of the pace of it, or my love of giving & receiving handmade pieces of humanity......one of my new years resolutions was to create an account on postcrossing and start corresponding across the planet.

My previous blogpost talked about my daily goals, one of them doing something creative each day.  My goal in becoming a member of postcrossing was to create artwork and release it to the world in postcards.  I especially enjoyed the random selection of who my recipients would be and where my artwork would end up.  So this weekend I decided I'd create my first piece of artwork to send.

Inspiration came easy for me....
Blame it on the Bowie!  Maybe he was on my mind because his birthday fell on Blue Wednesday this year...that's January 8th.  And when this iconic image of one of his alter-egos, Alladin Sane, is combined with another one of my loves, Boston Terriers, I come up with something like this:

So back to postcrossing.com to receive a randomly generated penpal recipient.  Send a lovely note with best wishes.  Slide it in the envelope...
and off to Russia it goes!

Excited to send my first postcrossing, I almost skipped down to the post office this afternoon listening to my music on my headphones, smile on face, despite the dreary grey Seattle skies.  As I purchased the stamp and wrote 'par avion' on my envelope addressed to my Russian penpal....ironically, this song came on my mp3 player:


The last phrase of the lyrics whispered in my ears as I left the post office,
.........."Whatever happened to your dreams?"...........
and I walked into the night, while my postcard was bound for Russia.

When I got home, I googled 'Moscow 1980' and found that there was actually an original version.
And the irony deepens....right as we're a month away from the Winter Olympics in Sochi and with the current foreign strife and affairs dominating the world, listening to the intro of the original version song kinda gave me the chills:


The delivery of the lyrics on this version is a bit off and warbly, but still, the last line has followed me:
"Whatever Happened to Your Dreams?"
As I googled the full lyrics of the song, 'Moscow 1980', I was side-tracked by this one video and my question was answered!


Many years ago I had one of the weirdest dreams that I still cannot decipher.  I was in a decrepit urban part of my hometown of Cincinnati, OH, at an abandoned Clark Gas Station.  There was a crowd of people in the concrete parking lot, gathered in a circle, watching with glee and excitement.  As I approached the crowd and made my way to the middle, all eyes were on Jerry Seinfeld, who was dressed like a current b-boy in white tank top, baggy jeans, and tattoo.  I was quite mesmerized by Mr Seinfeld's rendition of the Russian Cossack dance and immediately fell in love.

And now, I think I've come full circle!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Time will Tell: 2013 Round Up & 2014 Look Ahead



5-4-3-2-1-Poof! Pop the bubbly, sprinkle the confetti, and sound the noisemakers.... It's 2014!  My perception of time seems to speed up a bit more as every year passes by.  The last quarter of the year always feels like a flash in the pan.  October, November, and December are here today and gone tomorrow!  I'm busy tying up loose ends on projects, furiously making & sending my Christmas cards, burning the midnight oil at the sewing machine pumping out handmade gifts, and packing/unpacking as I board planes, trains, and automobiles to visit loved ones around this time of year!  With all this excitement and chaos, I always neglect my blog.  So, here's a wrap-up on how I ended 2013 and how I plan to live out 2014.

Let's start with Halloween 2013.  I didn't have any plans to make a costume this year...just didn't have any reason, which is highly uncharacteristic behavior for me.  I'm a costume queen.  If I'd have my way, I'd carry out every day of my life on earth flaunting around in ornate, ridiculous, and hilarious costumes.  So, with just 2 days before 10-31, I whipped up this little number below inspired by Dia De Muertos/ Sugar Skulls.

I bought a black t-shirt dress from American Apparel and hand painted a neon pink skeleton on it. For the sugar skull mask, I found a blank gesso'd mask from  A&C art supplies and painted it with a psychedelic butterfly design.  Finishing touches were hot-glued rhinestones, pink glitter, and poofy faux peonies in my hair...and ta-da!


Not long after Halloween came and went, a quilt that I'd been making for my bestie, Mere, came back from the quilter.  Meredith, who moved to The Netherlands years ago to marry her Dutch soulmate, just bought a house this past summer.  This was my cue to make her a masterpiece to decorate her new abode, cherish, and of course, serve as a memory of our friendship.  I began making the quilt in September, buying fabric from the wholesale company that I work for, Clothworks.  I decided on a bright color palette, anchored by dark charcoal grey, and started sketching simple modern designs on graph paper.  After sketching a design and making the calculations for the blocks, I started piecing.  As I began piecing, I didn't like the design direction in which the quilt was headed.  Too simple.  It reminded me of two giant eyes...so I played a little bit with the current design, cutting up the graph paper sketch and re-positioning it to create something completely different and was able to save the work I had started with the piecing.  I was really pleased with the quilt top once I completed it!!
Once the quilt top and bottom were pieced, I passed it off to a fantastic long-arm quilter, Leslie of Eat,Sleep,Quilt, and waited for a few weeks.  Boy was I surprised when Leslie returned with my quilt!  The detail and design that she put into the quilting was way beyond my expectations!!  I fell in love with my creation even more...I really didn't want to give it away.  But then I wouldn't have something amazing to give to Mere.  So I finished binding the edges, added an applique of a flying pig patch (my tag, an inside joke between Mere and me), and snapped a few pics of it before it was shipped off to Mere.  Three weeks later, and on Christmas Eve to boot, Mere received my package in the mail and I'm happy to report that I surprised the socks off of her!  Yay!

And then before I knew it, I was on a plane headed back home to Cincy-OH for Thanksgiving!  Nice to spend time with family, friends, and see how much the city has changed since I've last visited.  I've gotta say, I'm impressed with those changes.  Below were some highlights of my Cincy romp-  from left to right:  Northside (a very cool Cincy hood), Queen City Cookies (adorable indie cookie/cake shop), and the beautiful old facades of Covington, KY (charming little borough across the Ohio River from Cincy).

Thanksgiving fell so late on the calendar in 2013....once I returned back to Seattle, I hit the ground running with the holiday preparations.  Tacky decorations, glitter, tinsel, beads, and colored lights helped get me in the mood.  I even sketched and made my own Christmas cards this year!

And then I got to work on a project for my Mom.  She requested a neoprene bag to fit her iPad mini, much like the ones that are made by BuiltNY for iPads.  Since BuiltNY doesn't have an iPad mini sized bag (they have a sleeve), it was my sewing skills that came to the rescue to stitch up this creation for my mom- with zipper closure and inner pockets, too!

And then Christmas was here, family flew in, and we headed out to Hood River, Oregon for a few days to get away, relax, cook, and eat.  Doesn't the Columbia River inspire you in this panoramic pic I snapped below?

Back from Oregon, we did some sightseeing around Seattle- a trip on the Great Wheel to gain a birds eye vantage of Seattle, and then a little side trip up to Kerry Park in Queen Anne to witness a rapid fog rolling in at sunset!

As I reflect on 2013, it was a year of many achievements and great moments of creativity.  Looking ahead for 2014, I want to instill the following into my daily living:  Wellness, Activity, and Creativity.  I call it 'Livin' WAC'.  Each day, I'm making it my goal to do the following:
1)  Live well-  which means eating healthfully and moderately and treating myself well.
2)  Live actively-  which means making it a point to be active- whether it's a short 20 minute jog or a long 1.5 hour walk, or even dancing around my apartment- just getting the body moving!
3)  Live creatively-  which means to create at least once during the day- sketching, sewing, cooking, whatever it might be- it's a way for me to be held accountable in continuing my creative pursuits.

So far, so good!  I've sketched and made a few greeting cards in the first few days of 2014:

And harkened in the new year with a yummy pot of Cuban Black Beans and Rice in my newest kitchen accessory- a cast iron dutch oven!

As 2014 continues, I plan to get back in the groove , continue to document my creative pursuits, and live a positively prosperous year!  Peace, ya'll.....