Saturday, August 31, 2013

52-Week Photo Challenge

Tomorrow will be our first prompt, but before we get started, I thought I'd go into a bit more detail about what we'll be doing.

As I mentioned, on Sunday mornings, I will be posting a prompt here with my photo as an example. During the week, take some time to play with the prompt, and then share your favorite photo in our flickr group: BunnyKissd's 52-Week Photo Challenge. Here are some rules about the group:
  • It is open to the public.
  • Group members will be allowed to post 1 photo per week. (Additional photos *should* be able to be added as a comment if you desire (flickr keeps changing things!), or you may link to them in your description.)
    ETA: Please post as often as you'd like. I know some folks would like to play "ketchup" and do several weeks at once; so have at it! ^-^
  • Photos should be appropriately moderated as “safe” according to flickr's safety and content filters. ("Content suitable for a global, public audience")

You are not required to edit your photo (but you can if you want), and you don't have to have a fancy camera (heck, you could even use your cell phone!). Here are some things you do need:
  • A digital camera with which to take your photos.
  • A computer with internet to share your photos.
  • A flickr account in order to join our group.
  • And a desire to improve your photography!
If you'd like, I've created a button for you to add to your blog! This first one measures 300x300, but you can adjust it down to 150x150 without too much distortion; just copy & paste the text in the box to your blog, and change the width and height numbers to the box size you desire, between 150 & 300. Make sure to keep them both the same!

This one measures 125x125. Because of it's small size, I don't recommend resizing. As with the larger, just copy & paste the text in the box to your blog.

If you have any problems adding these, don't hesitate to ask for help, and I'll do my best to walk you through it. ^-^

Finally, if you'd like to get a weekly reminder in your email, please click here to sign up and watch your inbox tomorrow morning! ETA: The twice-weekly reminders have been cancelled.

For more posts about the 52-Week Photo Challenge, you can click here or see each post individually here:
  1. Week 1: Self-Portrait
  2. Week 2: Yellow
  3. Week 3: Where You Sit
  4. Week 4: Lunch
  5. Week 5: Square
  6. Week 6: Orange
  7. Week 7: Animal
  8. Week 8: Landscape
  9. Week 9: Circles
  10. Week 10: Portrait
  11. Week 11: Brown
  12. Week 12: Macro
  13. Week 13: Older
  14. Week 14: Action
  15. Week 15: Red
  16. Week 16: 15-15-15
  17. Week 17: Child
  18. Week 18: Still Life
  19. Week 19: Dinner
  20. Week 20: Black & White
  21. Week 21: Rectangles
  22. Week 22: White
  23. Week 23: Reflections
  24. Week 24: Hearts
  25. Week 25: Love
  26. Week 26: Pink
  27. Week 27: Breakfast
  28. Week 28: Three
  29. Week 29: Green
  30. Week 30: Distant
  31. Week 31: Close
  32. Week 32: Triangle
  33. Week 33: Grey
  34. Week 34: Sky
  35. Week 35: Five
  36. Week 36: Negative Space
  37. Week 37: Cloud
  38. Week 38: TBA
  39. Week 39: TBA
  40. Week 40: TBA
  41. Week 41: TBA
  42. Week 42: TBA
  43. Week 43: TBA
  44. Week 44: TBA
  45. Week 45: TBA
  46. Week 46: TBA
  47. Week 47: TBA
  48. Week 48: TBA
  49. Week 49: TBA
  50. Week 50: TBA
  51. Week 51: TBA
  52. Week 52: TBA

Friday, August 30, 2013

Photo Friday: End of Summer

Small Sign of Fall

Click to view on black!

Don't forget BunnyKissd's 52-Week Photo Challenge begins on Sunday, September 1st! Click here & join us!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Today I drew & painted an idea I've had brewing in my head for a while...

Click to embiggen...

This bookmark is for a facebook giveaway with tons of other superhero-themed prizes. As soon as I have all the details, I'll post them here and on my facebook and twitter; so feel free to connect with me there too!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wishcasting Wednesday

What do you wish to savour?

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The word SAVOR immediately makes me think of food: rich dark chocolate, creamy sweet ice cream, flavorful buttercream frosting, or the *savory* foods like juicy grilled steak, sticky barbequed chicken, a crispy green salad with garden-fresh tomatoes, buttery popcorn... *drool* But those are just momentary mouthfuls of blissful savourings. I wish to sink my teeth into things I can savour over and over again, or for a long time.

~ I wish to savour a relaxing bubble bath in a big old claw-foot tub.
~ I wish to savour the sun and wind in my hair as I drive fast on the highway with the radio up loud, in my not-breaking-down-and-uninspected, new-to-me car (which hasn't come just yet)
~ I wish to savour the security of a job with a set schedule and paycheck, as I increase the prosperity of my art business.
~ I wish to savour the last of the summer weather with walks and outdoor yoga and maybe even some swimming.
~ I wish to savour the growth of new friendships and the deepening of old ones.

You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt on your blog and then add a direct link to your post in the box [at the link] below. Support wishes by visiting other participants, leaving a comment saying “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together.
~ Jamie Ridler

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

52-Week Photo Challenge

I've been dabbling in photography since before digital cameras were a thing, setting up miniature scenes and photographing them as if they were real, using 110 and 126 automatic cameras to try and get artistic shots... But it wasn't until I was blessed to receive a beautiful 35 mm SLR camera in my late 20s that I really started branching out and experimenting with the different lenses I could borrow from my father.

When digital came along, I was very resitant; the quality was not what it is today unless you got a high end (read: very expensive) camera. When my 35 mm SLR met with an untimely accident, I relented and began using a digital point & shoot. I loved that I could take a photo and see it right away on the screen, which meant I would know right away if I got the shot I was hoping for, and that I could shoot 20 or 30 photos at a time, way more than I ever could with a film camera! I would literally take 100s of photos a day sometimes.

I did a lot of learning, about my camera, about taking good photos, and about editing them with photo-editing software. I've gone through several digital cameras since that time (they seem to deteriorate faster than film cameras) and have not completely familiarized myself with the camera I have had since Spring, and now I am even learning a new photo-editing software! So I want to commit to practicing with both, but know that a 365-project would be a bit too much to handle at this point.

Thus the 52-Week Photo Challenge was born and I am hoping that you will join me on this journey to be a better photographer. Every Sunday, I will be posting a prompt here with my photo and I invite *you* to play with the prompt during the week, and then share your photo in the flickr group I will be opening up. (I'll post the link here on Sunday!) You don't have to edit your photo, you don't have to have a fancy camera, you just have to want to improve your photography and follow the prompt!

I hope to see you there!

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Beloved Body

I am currently taking part in Dominee Wyrick's Blessing Manifesting Monthly Challenges, and this month is The Body Beloved. This is something I have struggled with since I was a little girl. I started gaining weight before I was 10 and was often ridiculed in school for it, which led to low self-esteem and comfort eating and more weight gain. By the time I was in my 20s I was nearing 200 pounds and had tried many dieting techniques already. I hated that my clothes were too tight, that my boobs were so big, that my thighs rubbed together, that my cheeks were so chubby, that everything wiggled and jiggled and bounced around with ever small movement.

But guess what? I was beautiful. I was young. I was sexy. I was smart. I was funny. I had boys falling head over heels in love with me. But I still felt no good. The voices still echoed in my head, the voices from well-meaning family, the voices from school, the voices on the television and radio. I was fat, unloveable, unattractive. And still those messages play in my head, but I'm learning to see the untruth in the words and tune them out.

A few years ago my weight was approaching 250 and I made the commitment to eat right. I had joined a gym in years past, but they cost too much, and in the end didn't mean more than a loss of 20 or so pounds. So, with Jacqueline's help & support, I started tracking my eating, cutting back my carbs (I am diabetic) and my calories and I got down to 170. I felt great!

But the body love was not there. Wrinkles appeared around my eyes, my boobs were deflated, my stomach was weird. I hadn't weighed that little in a dozen years, but my body didn't look like it did back then. It had spent those years all stretched out and overweight. Think of the helium balloons you keep around until they slowly sink to the floor and shrivel up. That was how I felt my body was.

I gave up on keeping track of my eating and my weight, and slowly it started creeping up again. Today I am hovering around 205. Life isn't nice and stable right now, money is tight, and often my nutritional needs are pushed aside. I eat more carbs and calories than I would prefer, but I am still trying. And this time, I don't completely HATE my body.

I've found a wealth of resources on the internet that are helping me see how normal my body is, how worthy of love I am, from myself! It started with Gala Darling's Radical Self-Love and Ragen Chastain's Dances With Fat blog and it's spread from there. Here's a list, in no particular order, of some of my favorite body-positive and self-love websites (Please note! These are not always SFW!):
  • The Militant Baker - in-your-face body acceptance!

  • Body Love Wellness - Golda Poretsky's website

  • Kind Over Matter - not exclusively about self-love or body-positivity, but often there are posts that relate.

  • Roots of She - also not exclusively about self-love or body-positivity, but very much

  • Big Girl Bombshell - Crafty artistic blog about about change and learning to believe in the attitude of a bombshell.

  • Voluptuous Vixens - a facebook group that promotes a positive atmosphere for women who embrace their curves

  • Curvy Yoga - yoga for those that don't fit the yoga-body stereotype

  • Be Your Own Beloved - using self-portraits as a path to self-love

And on tumblr (definitely not always SFW):

I realize this list leans more toward fat-positive sites, because that's what's personal to me, but I am well aware that thin people have body issues too! I hope that this list can help anyone feeling hateful toward their own bodies; let me know in a comment if you have a favorite body-positive place, and don't forget to check out the Monthly Challenge!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Full Moon Dreamboard & Wishcasting Wednesday

I wasn't able to make my Full Moon Dreamboard yesterday, but it ties in so well with today's Wishcasting Wednesday, I thought it would be fun to do them together. Today's question from Jamie Ridler is...

"What Dream Do You Wish To Come True?"

~ I wish to support my family with my art.
~ I wish to have my art in books and galleries; on cards, stationery, stickers...
~ I wish to teach others that they can create art too. EVERYONE & ANYONE CAN!
~ I wish to succeed more than expected!

And the Full Sturgeon Moon asks:

“What is your intuition telling you about your dreams?”

Click to embiggen...

I chose an old calendar page from Christian Riese Lassen (click here to see the image in full), and started flipping through my magazines and scraps. The woman in the lower left came right out first, and the words just flowed around her.

Click to embiggen...

I really was surprized by how quickly everything came together. I found the card from Glidden that said "Start Painting" and the words around it right after.
Time to ...
~ Get through the muck
~ Start painting all the things NOW
~ GET THE...

Click to embiggen...
...ART to the WORLD
Of course the glitter pots made their way onto this, spilling down to the words "glitter GODDESS", "I can prove myself to myself", and "GO BEYOND YOUR DREaMZ".

Click to embiggen...

Underneath that it reads:
I AM bubbly
fun & fabulous

so go for it

Click to embiggen...

And what does my glamorous magical fortune teller have to say? "You adventure could lead to happiness." (Yes, bad grammar from a fortune cookie!) *giggle* But I can see in her eyes that, "I can succeed by getting support." I think my intuition is being pretty direct.

You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt on your blog and then add a direct link to your post in the box [at the link] below. Support wishes by visiting other participants, leaving a comment saying “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together.
~ Jamie Ridler

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wishcasting Wednesday

What do you wish to wake up to?

Painting by Steve Ekman, 1951, Img Src

When I was a little girl, my grandmother and mother taught me to say this little prayer as I knelt before my bed just like the little girl above.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Then in a sing-song voice I'd say, "God bless Mommy & Daddy and Nanny & Poppy and Grandma & Pumpa..." and so on. Some nights I would ask for everyone I knew to be blessed (the dog, the cats, the hamster, the fish, my best friend, aunt, uncles, cousins, other friends, other relatives... probably when I wasn't ready to get in bed yet, LOL!), and some nights I would forget to say my prayers completely and just fall fast asleep!

Nowadays, my before-bed routine is different. I slip in beside Jacqueline, sometimes talk about things, give her a good-night kiss, and read my book until I am too tired to hold my eyes open (or longer if it's a good book). After turning out my light, before falling asleep, sometimes I remember to hold space for all I am grateful for from the day, and sometimes I think about the next day; this does *not* help me fall asleep (work, appointment, bills due, impportant call to make, etc.). Sometimes, however, I am able to lose myself in dreaming about what I might wake up to...
  • I wish to wake up to a blue sky filled with warm sun and bird song.
  • I wish to wake up to the smell of coffee brewing and bacon frying.
  • I wish to wake up to the security of money in the bank and a steady income.
  • I wish to wake up to a body that moves fluidly however I ask it to, with no pains or aches.
  • I wish to wake up to the smiling happy faces of my family, especially my beloved Jacqueline.
  • I wish to wake up to nice hot shower in a beautiful old tub that I can soak in later in the evening.
  • I wish to wake up to the gentle purr of a sleepy kitty by my side.
  • I wish to wake up to the energy and ambition to paintpaintpaint!
  • I wish to wake up to the beauty of another day at home, secure in knowing it can't ever be taken away.

You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt on your blog and then add a direct link to your post in the box [at the link] below. Support wishes by visiting other participants, leaving a comment saying “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together.
~ Jamie Ridler

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Wishcasting Wednesday

What simple pleasures do you wish to enjoy?

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Last night I did a small ritual with the New Moon in Leo and set my intentions for the upcoming month, five simple intentions:
  • Take more time for my spiritual practices.
  • Generate more income.
  • Spend more time connecting to my friends & family.
  • Create more art!
  • Enjoy these last days of summer.

Instead of leaving it as a vague list that seems pretty generic, I included a few activities under each one that showed how the intention would look applied to my life. Those specific activites seem to be made up mostly of simple pleasures. They say it's the simple pleasures that make up the days of our lives, that when we are old, it won't be the big things, but the happy little memories of everyday life that we will look back on most fondly.

These are some of the simple pleasures I wish to enjoy:
  • I wish to clean off the altar and pause there daily.
  • I wish to do a full moon ritual and create a Full Moon Dreamboard.
  • I wish to network more with local artists; go to their events, friend them on fb, comment, like, share...
  • I wish to turn off the computer & focus on Jacqueline for a once a week date - even if it's only for an hour!
  • I wish to spend more time in the living room "hanging" with the family: reading, playing a video game, talking, crafting, etc.
  • I wish to visit with Joseph once a week.
  • I wish to write a daily email to my mom.
  • I wish to draw rabbits, lots of them.
  • I wish to paint mermaids.
  • I wish to draw every day.
  • I wish to go swimming.
  • I wish to spend more time outside.
  • I wish to start walking to the corner & back.
  • I wish to eat less carbs, more fruits & veggies.
  • I wish to re-learn the Sun Salutation and start doing it again.
  • I wish to try to do a headstand.
  • I wish to DANCE!

You can be a maker of magic and a tender of wishes. It’s easy. Answer the wish prompt on your blog and then add a direct link to your post in the box [at the link] below. Support wishes by visiting other participants, leaving a comment saying “As (insert name) wishes for her/himself, so I wish for her/him also.” It’s that simple. There is great power in wishing together.
~ Jamie Ridler