My Green Velvet Life

Where everything sticks.


October 2010

Fuzzy Distress Signals: A Paint & Yarn Addiction

I really don’t know how to paint or knit or crochet.   Well, my wonderful mother-in-law did teach me to knit and crochet when I was a very young lady but I never practiced enough. The only way I can explain why I’ve been so hung up on messy, distress painting and playing with fuzzy yarn is that it is FUN.  Proof below that you don’t need to be a talented genius or spend tons of time to be artistic and creative.  You just need to PLAY.   It also doesn’t hurt to buy a nice selection of Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paints (cracked cardboard, where have you been all my life?) or spend a few hours yarn-hunting on eBay.  I admit it.  I’m a needy-stuff artist . . .

This one’s a little corny but with a touch of charm.  I had cut some green metallic ribbon and accidentally noticed how it looked like glitter.  Before I knew it I had a little garden.

This one reminds me of a girl with dark hair blowing in the wind.

Don’t be afraid to crack up a little and sprout your inner wild child. Be messy. Because there’s no messing up.

The Water’s Fine

Three months of blogging today.  I have bravely waded in the online waters.  My feet are wet and I’ve even stomped through a few mud puddles.  To date I have not drowned or gotten stuck in the mud . . .

So what do I know so far?

Blogging is about giving to others.  On the surface, writing a blog may seem self-centered, but the best bloggers are all about sharing (granted it might be as simple as showing off your awesome taste in clothes or spouting your bad hair day).

It is hard work.  Clicking away at the keyboard every thought that speeds through my head is easy.  Clipping away at the 85% that the world doesn’t care to hear about is a different story.  Trust me.  There is a very fine line not to be walked by the insensitive.  Only the truly talented can cross the line and get away with it.  There is also of course the technical part of editing, which is an impressive yet extremely undervalued skill in my opinion.  I am brazen.  I break grammar rules all the time.  There is nothing any expert can say to make me afraid of a comma.  This is what happens when you spend a lifetime mastering a skill.  You become the master.

Writing a blog is more about reading than writing.  As any good writer knows, the same is true for writing itself.  You must be a voracious reader and soaker-upper to be an effective writer.  Soaked would describe my life these last few weeks.  Most nights I spend hours on my blog.  If not writing I am checking out sites and reading blogs about writing, blogging and just-about-everything.  There are so many amazing bloggers out here!  The subjects are as endless as people’s personalities.  I highly recommend doing a little blog surfing once in a while, especially if you’re feeling a little jaded.  It will renew your faith in the human spirit.

There is a LOT of competition.  This is very helpful to remember when my daily reader count falls below 10 views.

A little progress is exhilarating!  You cannot imagine the feeling of knowing that I have somehow reached those 10 people.

Blogging is about bravery.  It’s scary to put myself out here. Period.  You might be thinking, how hard can it be to talk about painting cardboard?  Well, try it some time.  And it’s especially scary when I ponder all the things I really want to talk about eventually.  Messy things like God (yeah God I think you’re a huge, perfect mess), politics (aka taking part in the leadership and well-being of our world), the mysteries of our universe (like how math is the language God gave us to figure it all out, and I mean ALL out–messy but infinitely clever), and of course all the chaotic people issues . . .

What I’m not so sure about?

Focus.  As many of us do these days, I have serious ADD issues.  One day I will die of explosion (not a bad way to go).  I want my every second to explode with creation and love of life.  If there was a drug that would keep me awake and productive 20 hours a day I would buy it.  Oops.  There are drugs for that.  They are illegal and very bad for you.  Horrible idea . . .

Structure.  It’s really hard to structure what you can’t focus on.  But wait.  If I structure first would it help me focus?  Should I keep my one kitchen-sink blog or branch off into nine sharply-focused blogs?  Should I keep it light and fluffy or dig for the uncomfortable?  Should I write my blog entirely in poetic form?  Today I bought new jeans / a size up / Ugh / Tonight I’ll eat no beans.  Should I add annoying music?  Should I buy a better camera in the interest of looking more professional?  (Yes it’s on my list).  Should I add the link of lovely-appearing charities?  (I don’t have time to research every single fact about any of them.)  I really need to work on reader interaction.  Will I sometimes hurt the feelings of someone I love when I write exactly how I feel about an important issue?  (Most likely yes which makes me sad.)  Should I change my blog template so I can use fonts I really like?  Should I tell everybody what I’m making for supper?  Do my friends and family think I’m a spy, just waiting to exploit their every move?  Should I blast to the world my anger at yet another newly purchased glue stick that doesn’t work?  How will I find time to create my new art project?  How will I find a foot of space for it on my art room table?  Will people think I’m a lunatic if they see my messy art room? Should I add the polling feature to my blog?  (With readership patience at about 3 seconds, a technical mishap could be fatal.)  Hmm.  That line of sensitivity.  Maybe I should cross it once in a while?  Or move the line?  Wait!  I am all-powerful out here. Maybe I should just go ahead and define it.  Maybe I could learn to actually draw a straight line (daughters laughing).  Should I Twitter?  Maybe I should just go to bed because I’m being self-absorbed.  Maybe the world doesn’t want to hear from me?  Surely other bloggers have these feelings.  Hey.  I could write a blog about that.

So . . . even if you come across an eh . . . blog, please at least appreciate that most of us are cutting out our hearts and brains and eyeballs behind the scenes.

What I love?

As a blogger I am a real live published writer.  I’d like to think if my parents were still living they’d be emailing and stumbling around in Facebook, embarrassing me with their blatant bragging.  I am also an  art director, a counselor, literary agent, editor, photographer, teacher, community link, brand manager, product manager, business manager, copy writer, retailer, Web specialist (hubby laughing), entertainment commentator, reality star, granny-to-all and public relations specialist.  I am in the driver’s seat of my own organization.  Every decision is made by me alone, which also means I can take me down fast (lots of responsibility which I also love).

I love that (usually) at least 10 people are counting on me each day.  I try to put myself in your place every time I write a post or add a new link.  I try to think about the things we all think about.  The things that connect us.  I want to share all the goodness in my life; my much-tested, almost-50-year-old wisdom, thoughts and passions (yes our passions are tested); and my nice collections of information.  But most of all, I want to create a little place where you can relax, get a few ideas for supper or something fun to do, enjoy pictures and poetry and maybe a laugh; and sometimes even think hard on tough issues.  But always leave with the sound of your warm heart beating in sync with this beautiful project we call life.

What’s the next brave thing I do?

Ask for your feedback.  Yikes I’m jumping off the high dive . . . What do you think?

Bear Wants You to Be a Freedom Watch Dog

There is still time before November 2 for every single one of us USA citizens to become better informed on our freedom-protecting constitution, the performance of our current public servants, the views and plans of new candidates, and the many stressful issues facing our country and the entire world.  

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.  — Margaret Mead (1901-1978), US anthropologist

Be informed.  Be an American.  Vote.

Feeling Giggly? Try Cardboard Therapy Fit for a Gaggle of Princesses

My daughter was so inspired by our fun cardboard witches, she expanded on the idea for my grand-daughter’s birthday party. (See my September 7 post: “Feeling Witchy?”) The children made cardboard princesses. It was an enchanted affair. Check out her pretty decorating:

For the cardboard creations, it didn’t take much to transform the witches into sparkly princesses. She used the same cardboard but painted them in time-tested little girl colors and sprinkled them with glitter. She did this beforehand to prevent staining up any of the royal gowns.

I love how she used the cardboard for part of the centerpiece.

She displayed assorted paper shapes, flowers, gems, yarn/ribbon and faces ready for little princess hands to work their magic.

She made these lovely faces using our balloon punch. Who’d have thought a balloon face could be so pretty?

And, ala! Each little girl made a new princess friend to take home:

And a little time for princess cake . . .

And painted on princess crowns and bracelets. Tul-le-lu-jah go Beans girl! I love the fairy tale of you.

And they all lived happily ever after . . . Let life be sweet for every five year old . . .

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