Sunday, January 7, 2018

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates


You know that magical sliver of time after New Year's where it seems like exercise, creativity, weight loss, financial and wellness goals are not only possible, but they are bright and shiny beacons you can't wait to swim across frigid water to? Me neither.

I know I have experienced it, the writing down of goals, the crisp new day planner, the unused white soles of my sneakers. I have used this time wisely before. I remember that includes a sense of anticipation for the upcoming year and a knowing that this is "your best year yet"! Words like badass, ninja, rockstar and equally hideous cliches are thrown around in every well-meaning spam email I receive. I call bullshit. This might be my best year ever (please God, I'll take it!) but today, this past week, the first of 2018, this magical sliver that I used to love so much, has me in bed with a crap cold/flu and post-apocolyptic travel fatigue (worst, and I mean WORST trip back from Canada. Delta. Bad. Very bad.) And work to do. And another plane to get on this week. I might abuse my own no cliche rule. No rest for the wicked?

So you want to know what I'm doing while the parking lot at the YMCA is full to capacity and Ashland citizens are turning green from all their healthy juicing? I am systemically eating a box of See's Candy from bed. And other nourishing things like pizza and toast but mostly the See's. I am so tired. Perhaps tired from the sugar, you healthy shiny people suggest? You're probably right! But today, these past few days, my body says lay the hell down and don't get up.

I've received dozens of newsletters from 12:01am January 1st on how to be better, feel better, look better, spend better, dress better, meditate better ,write better and not care what people think better. And I've deleted them all. I just can't. I can't be better this week. I had a rockstar, ninja, kickass time on my vacation up in Canada and now, this first week of 2018, my body needs to rest. I declare the first inspirational week of the year some other week in January. Or maybe February at this rate. It will come. I will get up. The chocolate will turn into an apple, the running shoes will get dirty.

Happy New Year. Wherever you are in your Best Year Yet journey. If this is a debbie downer, please delete. Or file under How to Sloth Better or How to Chuck Half Eaten Candies Back in the Box with No Guilt. I haven't seen that newsletter yet. I might be on to something. Here's to us, the tired ones, the one who got a cold, the flu, who work from home, who answer emails on vacation and aren't always influenced by the calendar and how we're supposed to rocket out of the previous year blasting into the next. I'll see you at the gym next month. xo

P.S. Yes, big picture, I'm ok. I enjoy writing when I'm grumpy. And the not getting out of bed part lends itself to blogging. xo
PPS. Nuts & Chews.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Going home


I'm going home on Wednesday. The home of the heart. The motherland, where I grew up, where I keep my passport, my memories. I didn't purposely leave Victoria to not live there for 20 plus years. It was one travel decision after university that lead to another and another. And all of a sudden I had lived in San Francisco and Marin for fifteen years then Oregon for seven. And now what? I'm not exactly sure. End of year often causes me to pause and take stock. What was great this year, what wasn't, what can I do more of or less of? Family, business, personal, travel. What lit me up? What drained me? Do more of the former, less of the latter.

First up. Get home. Get to my wonderful funny family, Willows Beach, Oak Bay Avenue, Mattick's Farm, waterfront drive, the Marina, Cattle Point,  Cadboro Bay, the Breakwater, Dallas Road, Beacon Hill Park, Trounce Alley, Government Street and a cup of Murchie's coffee and Roger's chocolate. All on the first day.

(And not sure why this painting of the Oregon coast made me want to write about going home but there you go. Art, words, inspiration, muse, I don't ask, just type. Or paint. Or get on a plane.)

 xoxo

"Pacific Coast" 24x30" available at elizabethW Carmel

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Pink Layer Cake


This blog post brought to you by time passing very quickly, a new website being built, many workshops, a social media and marketing overhaul, travel, and truth time, the fear and inability to log into  and navigate my new website on my own and forgetting my blogger password. Yup. Sometimes it's something that little to derail several months of momentum. I've been BUSY. Not so busy I couldn't take a deep breath and ask for help or god forbid reset google. But busy nonetheless. Since last post, I've rekindled my love of all things patisserie and cake like. Taught a painting and pie and oh my workshop. Fallen in love with doing sea and sky series. Traveled for said sea and sky series for a show. Taught another workshop. Painted more cakes. More ocean. More sky. More pie. And this past two weeks? I've been in Carmel and San Francisco, working and playing, reconnecting with my customers and clients and thrilled to report that I'm so excited to be get back to work! Can't wait to paint tomorrow. Found the gumption to reset a silly password. Made the call. Sent the email. Mailed the check. Crossed "Procrastinate" off the list today. Celebrating with cake. Literal and figurative. xo

"Pink Layer Cake" 8x10" SOLD

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dahlia in a jar


Hello Dahlin. What's up in the world of art painting running a small business? On today's menu, we have Website Redesign! I hear you, collective groan all around from those who have done it, are doing, are resisting doing it. There have been some bumps, nothing unsolvable but artist types aren't exactly jumping out of bed to talk Wordpress and SEOs and themes. So I paint little things in between, little pieces like a postcard painting of a dahlia in a jar, just to keep the creative engine running.

The other side of website redesign is that I am excited to have a digital overhaul. It's overdue and needed and pushing me out of some comfort zones and that is good.  Back to the easel, back to the content writing, back to the future. xo

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Breaking Surface by Mark Nepo


A lovely friend shared this poem with me today. I like Mark Nepo a lot but had never heard this before. In the spirit of keep on keeping on at our art and craft and whatever it is that is calling us.

Let no one keep you from your journey,
no rabbi or priest, no mother
who wants you to dig for treasures
she misplaced, no father
who won't let one life be enough,
no lover who measures their worth
by what you might give up,
no voice that tells you in the night
it can't be done.
Let nothing dissuade you
from seeing what you see
or feeling the winds that make you
want to dance alone
or go where no one
has yet to go.
You are the only explorer.
Your heart, the unreadable compass.
Your soul, the shore of a promise
too great to be ignored.

Mark Nepo, "Breaking Surface"

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Poets & Painters (& Pie!)

Family! Friends! Friends that are like family! Anna Elkins and I are offering a fun, no experience needed writing and painting workshop at the charming Pennington Farms in the Applegate. The environment is inspiring, the pie is delicious and the writing and painting will be loose and free, designed to complete a poem/prose and painting in one afternoon. All supplies provided, just bring you and your country drive adventure spirit.

Hope to see you there!
Details:
Saturday, November 11th
11-3pm
$95
Pennington Farms
Registration through email: ae@annaelkins.com

Saturday, October 7, 2017

More


These are things in my kitchen cupboard. Seriously. I know there should be things like alphabetized spices and cereal boxes and folded linens and all kinds of sundry kitchen things like pasta in tube shaped tupperware but somehow several of my cupboards turned into a prop staging center and shows no signs of changing. Vintage bundles of airmail envelopes, letterpress numbers, old acorns, maps, ink, sugar tongs, tea cups, doilies, a miniature silver trophy, a Steiff donkey, tins in every sugar-tea-coffee-biscuit variety, china plates, some matched some mis-matched, cake stands, Italian marbles and pen nibs have real estate.

There is more. It is constantly evolving. It's the I Know I Have a Rusted Old Key and Bone Handled Fish Knives somewhere compartment of my brain. I know that if all these disparate charming useless once loved, now beloved, items all live together, the sum of their parts becomes so much more. They are props for my workshops, props for me, inspiration jumping off places, the leading ladies in many paintings, the prized treasure at the funky antique store that has that too chatty lonely owner. They are my creative fuel that keeps the house warm. I could be more organized. Or more focused. Or more precise. Or more streamlined. But why?

More the merrier, More is more. xo