Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CAED Day 19: The Art Of Cleaning

A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life.  True statement and a great book by Mary Randolph Carter.

When I was a kid everyone, including me, thought I was a lazy slob because I hardly ever cleaned my room.  No one really took notice of the fact that the few times a year I did clean it, I did an extremely thorough job.  

Of course I know now that I wasn't lazy, I was a perfectionist exhibiting classic all or nothing behavior.  Unfortunately that pattern would follow me well into adulthood.  It took me decades to realize that I didn't have to move all the furniture every time I vacuumed or scrub grout lines with a toothbrush every time I cleaned a bathroom.

You can imagine what a relief it was when I finally figured out that just tidying up a room for five minutes is often the difference between total chaos and "not so bad" and that "not so bad" is good enough!

However, I still like to do that thorough cleaning just a couple of times a year.  So to give myself some extra motivation in tackling it, I usually combine it with some sort of decorating project.  In the case of my messy, cluttered hallway, I decided my project would be re-painting the art shelf Hippie helped me build and install a few years ago.

Before: My messy, cluttered but still very functional hallway.

I decided I wanted to try something different so I went with a bright orange color.  All it cost me was the price of a sample pot of paint and maybe an hour of total painting time.  

After: The newly painted bright orange shelf compliments my art work.

I had also treated myself to a couple of new hardcover books recently which helped motivate me to clean and reorganize my hall bookshelf.

You can never have enough bookshelves.

I found a new rug for the hallway as well but I didn't buy it just for me.

All the rugs in our house belong to our cat, Poe.

These few changes were enough to make clearing out cobwebs, wiping down baseboards and mopping the floor more rewarding.  And now I have a newly clean and organized hallway for my whole family to enjoy.  At least until we mess it up again.

After: My clean for now hallway.

Monday, September 29, 2014

CAED Day 18: The Art Of Butterflies

You may have guessed by now that I am rather fond of butterflies.  I think they kind of like me too.  

Here are my most recent photos of my beloved winged friends:

A Monarch Butterfly On Our Butterfly Bush

A Fritillary Butterfly On A Grapevine Leaf

An Orange Sulphur Butterfly Enjoying A Yellow Wildflower

A Red Spotted Purple Butterfly Also Hangs Out On Our Grapevine

A Monarch Butterfly Takes Flight

Butterfly Wisdom 2015 Wall Calendars
Butterfly Wisdom 2015 Wall Calendars by time2see
Look at Animals Calendars online at Zazzle.com

Three Free Butterflies Pillow
Three Free Butterflies Pillow by kchippie
View Freedom Pillows online at zazzle

Butterfly Collage Wrapping Paper
Butterfly Collage Wrapping Paper by Victoreeah
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Friday, September 26, 2014

CAED Day 17: The Art Of Morning Pages

I love to write my morning pages out on the deck with a cup of tea

I am always working on a few different creative projects at once.  It can be overwhelming at times to balance all of that and my other daily responsibilities.  Sometimes I'm not sure what the heck I should be working on.  However, there is one creative act which I practice each and every day that helps me gain the clarity I need and that is the writing of morning pages.

Morning pages is a practice that Julia Cameron introduced in her book, "The Artist's Way".  They are three pages of stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.  I have been doing this off and on for twenty years or so but had never sustained the practice for more than a few weeks until recently.  I believe I have now been writing morning pages as a daily practice for over a year now and it has made a huge difference in my creative work and my life.

Morning pages are private and not to be shared with anyone.  They are not meant to be works of art themselves but many of my ideas have been born there.  They have also helped me solve problems, adjust my attitude, make decisions, break through blocks and discover my own inner wisdom.  All this from just writing down whatever comes to mind!  It is truly amazing.  I highly recommend morning pages for everyone.

Purple Patina: Butterflies
Purple Patina: Butterflies by Cabagelow
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Create Art Every Day Spiral Notebooks
Create Art Every Day Spiral Notebooks by Victoriart
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Thursday, September 25, 2014

CAED Day 16: The Art Of Procrastination

Visit Victoria Lynn Hall's profile on Pinterest.

I was hoping to tell you about another home project today but life got in the way and it's not finished yet.  It also probably didn't help that I took an extended "Pinterest break" last night.  I love Pinterest. It has turned procrastination into an art form for me!

Follow Victoria Lynn Hall's board An Artist's Life on Pinterest.

I used to really be hard on myself for procrastinating but now I accept that it is just a part of my creative process.  Often it is not really procrastination as much as it is an instinctual pause, giving me space to let my ideas develop or time to come up with a better solution to a problem.

Follow Victoria Lynn Hall's board Let In The Light on Pinterest.

When I find myself procrastinating too much, however, I know it's a signal that my perfectionist tendencies or some other issue is keeping me from moving forward.  It turns out Pinterest is actually great therapy for that too, as evidenced by my "Recovering Perfectionist" board:

Follow Victoria Lynn Hall's board Recovering Perfectionist on Pinterest.

So you see with Pinterest, procrastination is actually a good thing.  I hope you'll follow me there.  Happy pinning!

Artistic Grunge Custom
Artistic Grunge Custom by kchippie
Browse more Mixed media Dry Erase Boards at Zazzle

Time To Create Art Round Wallclock
Time To Create Art Round Wallclock by Victoriart
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CAED Day 15: The Art Of Making A Mess

My art studio work area shortly after my "art studio redo"

When I was renovating and redecorating my art studio earlier this year, I couldn't wait to be finished.  I kept imagining all the hours I was going to spend there creating in my new space.

Then my perfect for me studio was finally completed and I didn't create anything in it for days.  I could say it was because I was worn out from all the work I did on it or that I was busy in the garden, both true and valid excuses.  However, the truth was that now that I had my studio just the way I wanted it, I was afraid to mess it up.  I would go in there with every intention of working on something and end up just sitting in my favorite chair admiring everything.

Then one day, when I was doing just that, my cat Poe jumped down from my lap and decided to use my new cork wall for a scratching post.  A few minutes later she proceeded to throw up a hairball on one of my brand new rugs.  All I could do was laugh.  It was the perfect reminder that nothing ever stays clean and perfect forever.  I got up and cleaned up the hairball and then got to work creating a mess of my own.

What my art studio work area looks like right now

Since then I make a point of being as messy as I want to be when I'm in my art studio.  I've actually discovered that, now that I have things organized the way I like them, it's kind of fun cleaning things back up.  Besides, making a mess is half the fun of creating art!

A mess to be proud of. :)

I Paint Therefore I Am...Messy Apron
I Paint Therefore I Am...Messy Apron by Victoreeah
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CAED Day 14: The Art Of Cats

Me and Baby Boy, our very special cat.

I know I always say my official job title is "Slave To The Muse" but it could just as easily be "Slave To The Cats".  In fact, taking care of cats is my most important job.

Isabelle is the Diva of our household.

Some of our cats are elderly and/or have special needs and all of them are extremely bossy and spoiled so they take up a lot of my time and energy.

Bart is super bossy but in the cutest way possible.

I'm not complaining though (well, okay, sometimes I do).  My cats more than make up for their demanding ways with their adorableness, friendship, loyalty and entertainment value.

If Poe fits, she sits.

Not to mention they make fabulous home accessories.  In fact they are some of the most amazing works of art I have ever seen.

Motley has the attitude to match his name but can also be a big sweetie pie when he wants to be.

To see more photos of my cats, follow me on Instagram.

(Not Crazy) Cat Lady T-Shirt
(Not Crazy) Cat Lady T-Shirt by Victoreeah
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Real Men Like Cats Embroidered Hats
Real Men Like Cats Embroidered Hats by Victoreeah
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Colorful Paws Scarf Wrap
Colorful Paws Scarf Wrap by Victoreeah
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Monday, September 22, 2014

CAED Day 13: The Art Of Doing Nothing

Sometimes the most important thing I can do for myself and my muse is nothing.  To give myself the time and space to just breathe.  To simply let myself be.

The amazing thing about doing nothing is that it actually does create things.  It creates calm and stillness.  It builds silent confidence.  It makes room for new possibilities.

Come to think of it, in many ways, doing nothing is the most creative thing I do.

In A Word: Peace Leggings
In A Word: Peace Leggings by kchippie
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