Saturday, May 25, 2013

You don't have to do it all!

My day seemed going wrong, everything I attempted seemed to fail. The dessert I was making ended up being completely ruined because the thickener I was using lost its lid and all of the contents spilled into the pot- making a mass so thick a spoon could stand up straight in it.

Then while making supper I was attempting to open something with a knife and ended up stabbing the palm of my left hand, at least 1/4 of an inch deep.

The blood and pain, and tears somehow washed my soul. The prayers of a husband and two little ones reminded me how dear my family is and how much I depend on them. A stiff hand and the fact I can't use it, or lift things as usual has meant I have had to set aside many things I would normally do.

So this wound I blamed on a day gone wrong has ended up slowing me down. And in the calm I have more time to wonder why I was fretting over so many things. Yes, there is a list a mile long of things to do, things that never get completely done. But do they really matter?

I walk through my garden seeing the things done, rather than the weeds to be pulled.

I sit and hold my baby, growing up so fast, now already a year old. Today he doesn't feel so well, his tummy aches and he loves to snuggle with his head on my shoulder. I have no where to rush, I can't wash dishes as usual, I can't weed, I have to wait and let my hand heal. And so we can snuggle in peace, enjoying the closeness of mother and child. Uninterrupted by my mile long list, because I have been stopped in my tracks.

And so despite the foolishness of a moment when I wounded myself worse than ever before I can rejoice. Rejoice in the fact that it is OK if I don't get everything done. Rejoice in the fact that I am not and don't have to be perfect, or super Mom/Woman. Rejoice in the fact that these precious moments spent holding our children and giving them our full attention is much more important than the many THINGS we could ever hope to accomplish.

So dear Mommy.

It is OK, if you don't get everything done on your list today, or tomorrow or EVER!

It is OK if you just stop and take a break and let the swirling rush of the world pass you by, enjoying and savoring this moment with those you love and most importantly taking the time to pray for their sweet little souls.

Is is OK if others do more than you. Haven't you learned yet NOT to compare yourself or your children?!

It is OK just to be you!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Battle Begins

Those who read my blog know that our little 3 year old daughter has struggled with very bad eczema for the past year and a half. We have seen numerous doctors, dermatologists, allergists, etc. But it kept seeming she had no allergies.

We had tried eliminating a food item for a week or two at a time. We have been avoiding red and orange foods for at least a month (they irritate further skin that is already sore and red)

Our life seems constrained on all sides for our sweet little girl. But she has accepted her limited diet with joy. As long as we are able to give her an alternative, she is always happy to get whatever she can. Our son can eat oranges, or ice cream, she gets bananas and nuts and feels special because her snack or dessert is different.

A friend has told me her son is allergic to dust mites, cat hair (even though they don't have a cat) and dust.  She suggested I have the doctor test these same items.

So last week when we saw the allergist I told her I'd like her to test for dust mites, mold , etc. The dd the skin test and it turns out that our little lady is VERY allergic to dust mites. They gave me a paper of things we need to do to clean her bed, room and our home. It is a daunting list, to say the least! But I am extremely happy that at long last we have a positive for a test, this is the first test that we ever had a lead on.

She also had blood tests done to see if she might be allergic to any of 30 food items. Nothing came back too highly rated, but eggs and milk were a little higher than the rest. So for the next month she gets no eggs and no milk.

I am grateful for some positive answers as to what is and could be causing her eczema. I am extremely grateful that she does not have asthma, which many do have when they have such a strong allergic reaction to dust mites. I am overwhelmed with I think of the cleaning regime I need to input. I am starting with been zealous cleaning her sheets, bed and their room daily.

Prayers appreciated in all of this! 


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Featured Artist- Tina Gleave

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Tina Gleave. Her work is amazing, bright, and so lifelike. I am so glad to have her join the silk painting team and to get to know her a bit through this interview.

Tell us a bit about you:

I moved to Northern California in 1993 to attend Humboldt State University. I entered college an Art Therapy major, but felt very emotionally drained from the Therapy of Psychology. Ultimately, I earned my Business Administration Degree with emphasis in Management, Marketing and Accounting.
When I started my family, I earned my Early Childhood Education Degree and now own and teach Pre-School.

I ultimately put art on hold for at least 10 years. My children and business were my life. So, in August 2011, when a friend offered me an Art Therapy ‘Scarf Painting’ night out-I was excited to do something artistic again after being dormant for so long.

Why silk painting?

I have always been attracted to Watercolor Paintings, but have never found my skill in that medium. My paper would always end up a holy mess, overworked and never capturing the color I wanted. When I started working on Silk, it literally captivated me! The rich, vibrant colors just struck a chord in my heart that I had never heard before. That first night painting the scarf, I stayed for hours painting my heart out. My friend didn’t have the heart to send me on my way. She could sense something had been stirred in my soul that was literally playing out before our eyes. The silk seems to be like the Watercolor I was always searching for…

What inspires your paintings?

Light and Nature are great inspirations to me. I’m an avid reader and am constantly trying to learn new applications and techniques on silk. I love pushing the limits with my art and get excited for the challenge of that next highly difficult project.

What is your work space like?

My work space is my kitchen table right now. However, I am setting up our recently vacated studio apartment as my NEW Art Space. My family is fed up with all of my stuff overflowing in the main house.

What are you currently painting?

Currently, I am on the Steering Committee for the North Coast Open Studios Tour. It takes place the first two weekends in June. So I’m painting like mad to fill my Art Space for the weekend.

I’m also working with a photographer to bring some new challenge to my art. My Monarch Series is in the works. The first Monarchs “Morning Light” was a great challenge, but I enjoyed researching for it too.

How have you found your niche selling online? What advice can you offer the rest of us?

I try to offer a superior product with excellent Customer Service. I open a line of communication with each client and treat them like gold. Word of mouth has been the best marketing for me.

I’m still very new online with etsy. I opened my business account in 2011, but quickly realized I was not where I wanted to be as an artist. I put that on hold and took two classes with Master Silk Painters. Each have very individual styles and techniques that I wanted to be exposed to in order to learn to be a better painter. So, I’m changing and growing in a very dynamic way and I feel that my clients are enjoying the roller coaster ride of art change too! I take risks, offer lots of color and always challenge the everyday thinking.

What do you do you do when you are not painting?

When I’m not Silk Painting, I’m spending time with my family. We love the outdoors-camping, hiking, biking and fishing-me especially fishing! We all are Archery lovers, but my kids are getting better than me because I’m painting way too much these days.

Find Tina here:


Things that Inspire

For some time I have been totally void of painting inspiration. Perhaps it is the call of spring to spend hours in the sun and garden. Perhaps it is the fact that sales are EXTREMELY slow. Whatever the reason I had a NEED (women will know what I mean by that) to find some summery shoes.

So I searched the mall the other day and in the last store I went into, which happened to be H&M, I found the perfect shoes. They were bright, fun, summery colors. I knew as soon as I slipped this magenta purple shoe on my foot that I had fallen in love. And when I checked out with my shoes I felt a wave of inspiration come pouring over me that I had long been longing for. I am happy to say that I have a scarf already drawn and just waiting to be painted.

The next source of my inspiration is flowers. I am a budding gardener and trying to find my style in the area of flowers. I attended a plant market on Saturday and came home with this wonderful pink Hydrangea/ It reminds me of our wonderful trip across Europe and the wonderfully bright hydrangea bushes we saw all over France. I have wanted one of these for a while and hope this one likes my garden.

I also got another rose. I am coming to realize roses are my TOP favorite flower, I love how elegant, feminine and fragrant they are. I chose this one because I loved the delicate color. I didn't have one in this shade yet and it just spoke to me. I came home and discovered it is called "Antique Caramel." It is also very fragrant and perfect for a bridal bouquet. (Since I am trying to make my garden beautiful before my brother's wedding I was happy for this additional bit of knowledge). If anyone has any idea of good summer flowers, that fill gardens fast and are low maintenance I would certainly be happy to know your favorites!

One can never have too many French Macaroons, and in my new addiction to perfecting the art of these delicate cookies I jump at any opportunity to whip up a batch. I love it when they turn out looking like they ought.

What is inspiring you today?

I am so sleepy now and hoping this post makes sense. I guess I've been burning the candle on both ends a bit too long, off to bed for me.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Silk Scarves in Hollywood

Elizabeth Taylor shows how a scarf can  be worn simply and becomingly. Try this look today!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Scent of Spring

Tonight I can feel the scent of spring.The warm air of a still spring evening is touched with the sweetness of cherry blossoms.

The life, the vivacity of spring is amazing. Just yesterday the cherry blossoms were still closed in the morning. By late afternoon they were opening in all their lovely array.

The peach and plum blossoms are also beginning to peek out in our little corner and all nature seems to sing in a silent, yet booming, glorious song of new life.

Every flower lives its day of glory with the fullest measure of color, scent and grace it can.

Spring is here, at long last, on the breeze of a warm, lovely eve.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Turning 3

In April our little lady turned 3.

 It was fun making her a princess cupcake. I used marzipan, and did not color it because she has skin allergies and we try to avoid toxic food colors when possible. I know the sprinkles were colored- but it did need at least a little color, right?! She loved it!

She loved her gifts, and especially this purse our wonderful nanny made her. The details are so sweet and girly. She just adored it and would not even let me look at it :)  She also made her a bunch of barrettes and two necklaces. Just darling, aren't they?!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Shelf of Books

Funny, how much one small section of books amongst a ton of other books can bring so much joy to the beholder.

I've always loved books and libraries. I miss the libraries of America. But am thankful for the fun, new books I am finding here too- in Latvian.

I enjoy choosing books at the children's library for my kids. Yesterday as I was searching for books I stumbled across a section of kid's books in English. I had never even bothered asking if there were any, simply assuming there would not be.

Needless to stay I was more than a little excited and happy to be able to check out, "Green Eggs and Ham" and a few other books to read to my kids in English.

I still wish I could get beginner English books for my little boy who is learning to read- but am thankful for this pleasant little surprise.

We will enjoy reading every good book in English that they have, and who knows, maybe we can even share a few of ours as the kids outgrow them. 

What is brightening your day today?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Summer Scarves

A special thanks to my beautiful cousin for this wonderful photo session she shared with the scarf I gave her for her birthday.  If you would like one similar to this head over to my shop :)

 A light silk scarf for your wardrobe this season will add color, and class to any outfit.