Sunday, April 17, 2011

Just a kid in the candy store!

Well, as promised, I hit the art supply store this morning.  I had a good chat with myself as I dressed for this little shopping treat and warned myself that only a few tubes of paint, possibly one very tempting stamp and maybe if I kept myself in check, I might allow myself to look at the row of coloured papers.  Well, I tried, really, I did try to be frugal and stay with the game plan.  But, the problem is that once I start roaming around in the store, I get ideas that maybe I should try something a little different.  And so it goes as with the most well planned shopping trips, a few extras made their way into my basket.

To my credit, even though my beloved tubes of acrylic paint were on sale, I restrained myself and only bought three tubes, just the colours that I am low on and tend to use the most.  I felt pretty proud of myself at my show of strength.  But then I encountered the area where beading and jewelry supplies are kept and curiosity got the better of me.  I decided that I really should try some simple beading.  Now, I know that I am not going to be making jewelry of any real description, but I thought that I might try working some of the beads into mixed media projects.  The idea of a pathway of darker coloured beads has been percolating through my art starved soul for the past few weeks and hopefully, this will be the week when I get to give that idea a try.  I really do not know why the beads seemed so appealing, but the rows of packages of various colours just seemed to reach out to me, but it was only the darker colours that found their way into my basket.  Just a few packages.  Perhaps a few of the beads will find their way onto some greeting cards as well as some larger projects.  The beads are small, so it will take quite a number of them along with a great deal of patience to make any impact in an artistic attempt.  I think it must be the spring air that has me wanting to try new things.  Or maybe it really is an art starved soul crying out for a long session in the studio working on something new and exciting. 

I did make my way to the aisle that holds my particular downfall in terms of temptation.  Stamping supplies, rubber stamps, ink pads and all other related supplies was where I met my fall from restraint.  However, I will justify this with the fact that the rubber stamps I purchased were all clear out specials.  Once these stamps are sold out, there will not be any more of them carried by the store.  I could not resist getting some of the stamps that I have been looking at for months, especially when they were on sale.  Instead of the one stamp that I had been prepared to allow into my collection, I ended up with four.  Seriously, I just had to have them and the total cost of the five was still well below the cost of one of the more expensive stamps.  I suspect that I sound like a charter member of Stampers' Anonymous, guilty as charged, but I am really looking forward to using these little gems in a number of different ways on any number of greeting cards.  The really nice thing about these stamps is that they are not limited to one particular holiday or occasion.  I can use these throughout the year for birthdays, anniversaries and on cards that I send with only the thought of telling someone that I was thinking of them.  I love sending cards to people and when they really seem to understand that there is artistic merit to these unexpected greetings, then I feel that I have accomplished what I set out to do, tell someone that I care and have them tuck the little card into a book as a bookmark or prop up on a table for friends to see.  The little greeting card is something tangible and the recipient will not just hit the delete button and dispose of it.

My little cards will never make it to the big time greeting card companies and I am okay with that.  These little cards are personalized for each recipient.  The colours are carefully selected, any little embellishments like ribbon, scraps of special paper and now, the newly purchased beads, are incorporated so that the recipient knows that I care enough to take note of the little things that they enjoy.

Oh, did I mention colour?  Yes, colour is another area of downfall on my part and so in order to use my newly acquired stamps I purchased a few ink pads in some lovely spring colours.  I cannot wait to get my cutter out and start getting the card stock ready for the many cards I hope to get out in the post over the next few days.  So many occasions are a part of my artistic journey over the next few weeks.  A former colleague is retiring, Easter is only a week away and a birthday is only a flip of the calendar page away.  I need to send a few thank you cards to friends who helped with my move to a new home along with a few invitations for others to come for tea.  I am getting gentle hints via e-mails from curious friends who want to see Molly and me in our new environment and so some special greetings will be sent via a real postal employee who will probably smile indulgently as he or she sees a trail of happy chirping birds or colourful butterflies fluttering their way across the envelope.  You see, I do more than just decorate the card, I make the envelope as tempting as possible so that it softly calls to the recipient "open me first."  And, yes, these colourful ink pads were a special price so I do not feel terribly guilty at giving in to temptation.

My little spree of retail therapy really was not a destructive hit on the pocketbook.  The reality of it is that I spent pretty much what I had intended to in the first place.  But, it was on items other than those strictly related to painting on canvas.  It felt so good to go out and buy these few indulgences that I am not going to chastise myself for giving in and buying more items to add to an ever growing collection of stamping related equipment.  I do not do this very often.  Some people are addicted to shopping for shoes, clothes, the perfect mascara or whatever their particular feel good item might be.  The items that make me feel good are all related to an artistic journey that involves all manner of mixed media items. 

I love this journey and I sincerely hope that it continues for many years to come.  Heaven only knows where I will tuck all these little treasures, but I will find a safe place to store them and if I set aside some time each day, maybe I could start to catalogue some of the supplies I have in the storage room attached to the studio.  That would be terribly sensible so I suspect that this will be something that I think about doing but never really get around to just yet.  There is always tomorrow, or the day after that.  For me, the most important thing is to keep moving along on my journey.  While the studio is not completely set up, it is making progress each day.  Today, there is enough room to ramp up the card production and hopefully, by the end of the week, I can get back to work on my calla lily paintings.  I have been away from them for quite some time now and I suspect that when I pull out those particular canvases, I will see them with a fresh pair of eyes.

I hope that your artistic journeys are progressing and that you are feeling satisfied, complete and at peace with where you are at this point.  I really think that most of the joy is in the creating more so than in the completion of a piece.  You do feel a certain satisfaction when you complete a particular piece of art, but when you really think about it, what makes you get up and move each morning is the thought of working in your particular medium.  The journey continues and will never reach a destination or at least that is my fervent hope.  To actually reach a destination might mean that there was nothing left to dream about.  That would be a terrible day much like the story Don McLean sang about in "Bye Bye Miss American Pie," the day the music died.  I cannot even allow myself to think about a life like that.  Music and art go hand in hand and must be allowed their place in our lives in order for us to live a full and complete life. 

Have a great week and give yourself permission to play with whatever it is that makes you smile.  It really is truly important and good for the soul!



P.S. I've put up a few more pictures of the flat.  Molly is much happier, the place is feeling like home and I scored on some second hand lamps for my bedroom.  Life is falling into place and I am very grateful for a new home, good family/friends and so many other blessings.  I am very grateful for all my online friends who have sent good wishes, really helpful suggestions for the move and have been so supportive.  You guys rock! 

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