Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Window views

I recently rearranged my bedroom. When winter approaches I do not have the windows open as much and my bedroom is cozy but at the same time I sometimes feel too closed in. The end result of moving things around is, that as I lie in bed now I have a wonderful view outside my window. Not far from the window is a large maple tree. The leaves are gone from the tree now and so I have a wonderful view of sunrises, cloud formations and the moon at night. But I also have a wonderful view of the wildlife that use this tree for their comings and goings.
This morning, even before I saw him, I heard the familiar tap, tap, tap, of a woodpecker. And then I saw him. A beautiful red bellied woodpecker, with the classic red head and zebra stripped wings.
I slipped out of bed to get my binoculars so I could get a closer view of him.
I thought it would be strange if he were hunting bugs in the colder weather.

I watched his beak banging into the tree bark again and again in rapid sucession and wondered how does his brain handle this? And the first thing that came to mind was shaken baby syndrome. What was happening to that tiny bird's brain? Certainly it must be terribly shaken by the constant tapping?
I realized everything in nature is created in such a way to meet its needs. Still, I am thinking if nothing else this little bird should have a terrible headache or a stiff neck by days end.

He does not stay long in the tree before he flies off. But then he is back again tapping on the tree. It was only after watching this feathered friend for about half an hour that I was able to see that he was methodically bringing sunflower seeds from the feeder on my back deck and he was lodging them in the bark. Once lodged he was breaking them open with his beak. Breakfast is served!! After a bit he began bringing more seeds and lodging them in the crook of a branch. One after another he put them in the same place without eating them. I got the feeling he did not trust that there was going to be an endless supply at the feeder and he was stockpiling his own. My hope is that Mr. Squirel does not find the stash and have his own breakfast by benefit of the woodpecker.

Just goes to show, that all of us, even down to the woodpecker know that life rarely stays the same and that it would behove us to make some preparations for a possible lack in our futures. Our enconomy today is certainly proof of that.

The maple tree is most likely going to withstand the rigors of life's storms. Hopefully the woodpecker will survive the neighborhood cat, and I will be able to enjoy many more mornings of hearing his busy tapping as he has his morning treats.

Sometimes a very small change in your life can bring huge blessings. I am thinking rearranging the bedroom will prove to be a great blessing to me. Hope all of you find ways to make small changes that reap you huge blessings.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stories are where you find them

Today I took my husband to a medical center to pick up some medications. The center is about 45 miles from our home in a smaller community. Normally my husband goes alone, but I needed a certain color of cardstock for the current art project I am working on, so I decided to drive and check out the scrapbooking shop there.

My husband is sort of a straight forward sort of guy that goes and does what he needs to with no side trips. That is not my idea of making an opportunity out of a mundane task. But when he is driving we do it his way.

So I tucked my camera in the car and down the road we went. We stopped to pick up the medication first. Then as we pulled out of the medical center and came up to the first stop sign we had to turn right or left. I noticed just ahead of us to the right was a cemetery sitting up on a hill. A left turn would take me to the scrapbooking shop. I turned right. My husband began to sputter and tell me I had turned the wrong way. I don't know if he will ever learn that in my creative mind there is No wrong way.

It was a very old cemetery. Everyone being buried on the side of that large hill. I wonder if it is more of a problem burying a casket in the side of a hill rather than on level ground. Is there a problem with erosion? My creative mind could dream up so many different scenerios. But I did not notice one tombstone tilting or any other signs of problems.

I love cemeteries. There are all sorts of people there. Young and old, heroes and cowards I am sure. Yet each time I go to a cemetery, it is so quiet and peaceful. No one argues about being crowded nor jealous because Robert has a larger grave marker than William. Some of the stones are quite large and ornate while others are quite small with just the facts. I love to wander the rows of stones and try to imagine those lives.
In this cemetery there is a stone with the name Susan Elizabeth. She lived only 4 months. I wonder what took her life at such a young age. Next to her, is her mother Mary Frances. I wonder what she was like and why she died at age 39. Could it have been from a broken heart at the loss of her child? The stone next to hers is her husband's, Robert. I see he died at age 97 and I wonder what he did or didn't do that gave him long life. Did he go on alone all those years, or did he marry again? Was his life his work? Three lives all connected yet so very different. My creative mind wants to fill in the blanks, wants to tell the story. It is unlikely I will never know the true story. Robert died in 1897. There are no other stones with the name of Spencer there.

But there is a story already forming in my mind. Maybe not their story. But a good story.

My husband tells me that only I would come to a cemetery to find inspiration. I tell him we are all surrounded with inspiration. We just fail to open our eyes and mind in order to see it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Returning to the journey

It has been a long time since I have been here. It is not that I have been away from my creative self. In fact I have been there a lot.
I just completed a writing class: Writing Your Story. It was a 30 day on line writing class with daily writing prompts. I went into the class with some trepadition. I have neglected my writing for some time and just didn't seem to be able to set pen to paper and be happy with the results.
But Lynda's prompts turned out to not only be fun but they triggered other wonderful memories as well.
The class has come to an end. I miss it already. It is sort of like passing first grade. I didn't want that to end either. I wanted to stay in 1st grade with Mrs. Gray and that familiar room I just knew Miss Andreson would not and could not be as good as Mrs. Gray.
I remember not wanting to go home that last day of class. Mrs. Gray asked me what was wrong as most kids could hardly wait for summer vacation to start. I shared my feelings with her. She smiled. Holding my hand she gently explained that it wouldn't be fair to me to keep me there for another year. It wouldn't be fair because I had learned what I could from her in first grade. That I was ready to learn new things. That I was ready to go on. That Miss Andreson was full of wonderful things to share with me.

I know this is much the same. I learned what Lynda was teaching and I am ready to go on.
I can do this without daily teaching.

I have begun working on a life journal with writings, pictures and small sketches. I will use some of my writngs from the class also.
This seems to be a perfect time. Winter is not far off and demands on my time will be fewer.

I am looking forward to these creative times. It is part of who I am. My writing is the journey to myself. I am a writer, I am an artist, I am so many things. They all come together to make the whole of me. I will enjoy the journey to getting to know myself better.
Come along.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A different creative side

I have many creative sides. Before I started taking drawing classes and to begin making illustrated journals I was a rubber stamper and card maker. I still love the work and when in need of cards I often turn to this medium. I made 10 of these calendars ( on the left) And a total for 13 of the greeting cards which I can add whatever greeting I need for any occasion. The verse on the calendar is found inside the greeting cards. These two cats on the card and calendar remind me of the two white cats that I had that were both deaf. What a joy they were and they are sorely missed now.

I have also finished over 30 Christmas cards since the first of the year also. I will scan one of them soon.
But my next multiple card project will be some paper embroidered pieces.
This has been a very creative year for me so far.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Year New Beginnings

I had such grand plans of beginning my new moleskine journal on January 1st and even had a list of things to enter. But New Year's eve I woke during the night really ill. (No not the product of too much celebrating) The first three days are a bit of a blur and probably nothing I want to remember vividly anyway,

So I ended up "One Sick Puppy" and that became my first journal entry. It is not complete because I still want to ink it in and to add some color.

I was surprised at how enjoyable it was a new entry in a new year. It doesn't exactly show the best side of my artistic talents but not everything has to be perfect.

I will rescan when I get the color in.

Hope your new year began better than mine, All's well that ends well.