Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On The Bright Side

Don't Just Look On The Bright Side, Live On The Bright Side. 
"On The Bright Side" acrylic on 3 11x14 canvases by Victoria Lynn Hall.

You may or may not be surprised to hear this, but I am not a natural born optimist.  I don't paint smiling portraits with bright colors because it reflects the way I feel all the time.  I do that because it reflects the way I want to feel, the way I could feel if I took the time to see things a little differently.  That's what painting is for me, taking the time to see things a little differently, and it always makes me feel better. 

So when I say Life Is Better With Art, I don't mean it lightly.  Art is the candle I light when I feel threatened by darkness.  Art is how I look on the bright side and when I practice it enough, I find myself living there too.

"From Within" Art & Quote
"From Within" Art & Quote by Victoriart
Browse Bright Cards online at Zazzle.com

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Craft Closet Happiness

Once upon a time when my craft closet was clean and organized

Recently I read Gretchen Rubin's wonderful book Happier At Home (sequel to The Happiness Project) and it had a profound effect on me.  In particular her chapter on Possessions really resonated with me.  In it she writes:

“Cultivating my possessions...wasn't a simple matter of organization, elimination or accumulation; it was a matter of engagement.  When I felt engaged with my possessions, I felt enlivened by them, and when I felt disengaged with them, I felt burdened.”

I knew exactly what she meant and I could especially apply this to my craft closet.

Craft Closet Creation #1: Set Your Heart Free

Next to perhaps my linen closet (a story for another time), my craft closet is the biggest organizational hurdle in my home.  However, I have procured, purged, organized and reorganized enough art and craft supplies to know that none of that is the answer for me.   Instead, I decided to really investigate what made me happy and unhappy about my craft closet.

I realized that what made me happy about having a closet full of supplies was that they often allowed me to create whatever I was inspired to create at any given moment.  What drove me crazy about my craft closet was that so much of what was in there wasn't being used or even seen and yet how many times had I purged something only to wish I had it later?

Craft Closet Creation #2: Growing Roots

Then I had another epiphany.  Not only did art supplies supply me with the means to carry out what I was inspired to do, they often provided the inspiration.   (It's not a coincidence that my muse so often appears to me while I am strolling the aisles of Michaels or Hobby Lobby.)

I decided that a sure way to become more engaged with my craft closet was to think of it less as a storage space for things and more as a treasure chest of ideas.

With that in mind, I began pulling out the contents of my craft closet yet again but this time instead of asking, “where can I put this?”, I asked myself, “what could I do with this?”

Craft Closet Creation #3: Flight Of The Dragonflies

The answers came faster than I expected and before I knew it my ample supply of scrapbook paper and picture frames became the first of what I hope will be many craft closet creations.  Not only that but these creations themselves have inspired many more ideas that I am now rushing to keep up with.  I think engaging with my craft closet in this way is going to be a happiness project that I will enjoy tackling for some time to come.

"Craft Cake" Birthday Party Invitation
"Craft Cake" Birthday Party Invitation by time2see
Browse more Happy Invitations at Zazzle

Imagination Note Card
Imagination Note Card by Victoreeah
Shop for more greeting cards online at Zazzle.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Snow Days

Snowed In

A couple of weeks ago the grass was green and the daffodils were just starting to come up. I could smell spring in the air and I just couldn't wait.

Snow Growing

Then we had two big snow storms.

Snow Umbrella

I've decided to look at it as a reprieve, sort of like hitting the snooze button on the alarm so I can spend just a few more minutes dreaming. I've decided to be grateful for these last, quiet, introspective days of winter; for time to spend in the studio instead of the garden; for time to spend reading instead of weeding; for time to spend planning instead of planting.

Frozen In Time

Dear Spring, don't hurry.

Garden Angel "Winter Rose" Magnet
Garden Angel "Winter Rose" Magnet by Victoreeah
View more Victoria lynn hall Magnets at zazzle.com