Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My bro is on Tv!

If you know me personally then you might know I have two brothers. They are both firefighters in Kansas City, MO and I am extremely proud of them. My family is awesome and always positive, supportive, and friendly. I know some people are not lucky to have a loving and supportive family so I never take mine for granted.

The past couple weeks my younger bro Danny has made us all proud in more than one way, but even more so he has helped inspire me to reach for my dreams. A week ago he performed with a band for his first public appearance as a drummer. We all have talents and hobbies and its great that he turned his into more than a talent. It was at the Voo Doo lounge located in a Kansas City Casino and his band did outstanding. They were the best performance of the night.

He and I are both still young adults and trying out new things, but I think there is more to it than that. He made a post on Facebook a couple weeks ago that said, "If you asked me when I was 16 what I wanted to do with my life I'd probably say be a firefighter, driving a 69 mustang, and playing the drums in a band. So by a teeanager's viewpoint I'm doin awesome!"
I know he auditioned for the band and was very nervous. He was also not the best drummer they have seen, and when he performed he was about to jump off the stage with anxiety. He hauled his persona drum set in the back of a pickup truck. But he did great and you should have seen the number of friends that came to support him.

When we first attempt something new, or something that we have always wanted but seemed unrealistic, the nerves can get the best of us. But Keep Going!

Now, Danny is going to be on Tv in less than an hour. World News with Diane Sawyer. It's not to play the drums, it's to show a video clip of him and some fireman buying Made in the USA products. He has a passion to convince everyone to buy local and support our countries businesses and he doesn't just talk, he purchases everything made in the USA himself. He also applied for the news clip and they jumped on it. I can't wait to watch, and I just have to give him credit for being inspirational. My last post talked about the people we know that are doing life right, and he is my favorite example. Love you bro and keep on living big.

Stop Reading and Start Doing

About a year ago I started reading blogs. It started with an author of a book about travel, freedom, and their website, followed by a link to another travel writer, and another. Now I'm a follower of a whole group of young entrepreneurial travelers and writers. They are very inspiring especially on days when I feel bogged down in my career. They keep telling me that I can do anything I want to, and sometimes I believe them.

A few of their names are Chris Guillebeau, Shane Mac, Adam Baker, Ramit Sethi, and Sarah Kathleen Peck. I get periodic subscription emails from all of them, as well as a few travel writers and a couple young girls that created a fashion "versalette." You can find them by googling them and I hope to share more of their helpful blogs using actual links in the future.

After reading constantly for over a year, one theme has finally motivated me the most: Stop Reading and Start Doing. My goals and ideas took a long time to evolve and I'm finally ready to make some of them happen. The year of reading was necessary because I didn't know how or what I wanted to do, and its not set in stone but I finally want to make a go of it with art and marketing. I also know too many people that feel trapped and like they can only do one thing, or too unqualified to try and do something big. For each of those people, I also know someone that achieves something they want and it's great when I find them.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Follow me!

If you are interested at all, I would love for you to "follow by email." Every blog has that option and I just added the gadget to mine. There is a space at the top right where you enter your email and each time I post you get a copy of it in your inbox. Easy! You do need to log in to your email and confirm that you want to follow this blog.

This blog is about two and a half years old I think. I use it for different purposes; to tell stories, talk about love, life, happiness, art, travels, etc. I started it when I saw my friend Whitney blogging and I loved her blog. Since then, I have started following a large number of blogs from people I admire. Many of them are focused on traveling, debt, careers, and they are great so I will try to share those over time as well.

Anyway, the best thing about writing is receiving feedback. For that I enabled comments on blog posts so you should be able to comment anywhere at anytime. I'd love to know when you read something and have thoughts.

Peace and love

Friday, November 23, 2012

Creativity for Couples

I'm embarking on a fresh start with my Art as well as how I share it with others. I'd like to show others the processes of creativity and how I make certain items. Right now I'm focused on Christmas Gifts but I also have a few items in mind to sell in the future. So here on my blog I will attempt to delve into more detailed posts that show others how to make fun stuff.

I know it's contagious because Darrin is bringing out his creative side too :) Over the thanksgiving holiday I spent each day in the basement studio creating pottery. It was too cold for Darrin to work in the garage so he invested in a model car to put together for winter days. Darrin has a degree in auto-body repair and is an expert in the process of sanding, masking, painting cars etc. He would much rather be working on his full size automobiles but I'm thrilled he is bringing out his own creative side. His education definitely affects how he views artwork: he expects precision, smoothness, equal values, and perfection. That's how cars need to be. My lopsided or messy or imperfect edges in what I create is always what his eye sees first. I have to tell him to not apply his car judgements to my paintings lol.

So today we went to hobby lobby and got supplies. I bought Blue paint for the Royals painting, some fabric, hemp, thread, sharpies, and Mod Podge. I have some hand sewn bags in mind, some baked sharpie art (on plates or tiles) and an idea to test out the Mod Podge over watercolor paint (a possible sealer for my painted windows). The Mod Podge could potentially smear a watercolor painting into a blur, but maybe I can apply it with the perfect touch. I'll let you know. Below is an image of my purchase. I'm happy to say I spent only half as much as Darrin.

Homemade Christmas Gifts

They say the best way to learn something is to teach it. It's true, because I have learned so much from teaching Art. It has kept me accountable to keep making things, keep being creative, and keep learning new things. In college I specialized in painting and drawing, but what I have been able to do with sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and fiber arts has been experimentally fun. The variety and new things are usually the best.

Last year I posted pictures of the prints I made for family for Christmas, and this year I have started new gifts. I thought I might share the process as I go along, even though it will ruin the surprise for my loved ones :) That is if they actually read my blog haha.

Below is the Royals painting, in progress, for Danny.
Also, a couple clay pots I'm working on, and a snapshot of the basement art studio. The red clay has to dry out so that's why it's sitting in pieces on the table.
Another note, the pots are hand built, not wheel thrown, so that's my excuse for their asymmetry and lumpiness :)
The best thing about these projects is that they feel like a beginning to a whole new level of creative output, hopefully beyond the Holidays.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Teacher Samples

I never did announce that I switched schools this year. A rare opportunity opened up in my hometown at the end of the summer, and though I had not planned on switching districts, it kinda just happened. I was in Switzerland riding the train along Lake Geneva and a friend contacted me; he said this is something you might want to look into so I did. A few days later I was phone interviewing, resigning from my old post, and the wheels just kept turning. By the time I landed back in Missouri I had a new job.

Both districts are great to work for but the chance to work for my alma mater, save gas money, and work with friends has been nice. Getting adjusted to the larger school has been tough but rewarding. In this post I would like to share my "teacher samples" of some of the projects I have taught. I teach only 9th graders this year and have gotten into the habit of making the project myself while they work on theirs. Also, I'm including an image of our "failed" project :) I don't recommend printmaking on a textured background, only a few of the kids had good results on that one. Thankfully the next project was redeeming and successful.