Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Time At The Cabbage 2014

For the Holidays you can't beat home sweet home.

I've done a pretty good job of not overwhelming myself so far this Holiday Season.  I feel I've made good decisions about where to be practical and where to splurge.  I think I've found a good balance between challenging myself and giving myself the rest I need.  I even managed not to beat myself up over the few mistakes I made and chalked them up as more lessons learned.  I think that's a good sign for the year to come and I also think it means I deserve some gold stars and a nice vacation.

So, this will be my last blog post of 2014.  My next post will be on Thursday, January 8, 2015.  In the meantime feel free to catch up on any posts you missed or leave a comment.  I am also going to try to limit my phone use during this time but I will check e-mail and don't be surprised if you see me posting on Instagram.

For now, Hippie, The Cats, My Muse and I all wish you very happy holidays and I look forward to connecting with you more in 2015.

Oh, and here's some photos of The Cabbage at Christmas Time:

Click here if you missed my Christmas Time At The Cabbage post in 2013.

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Art: It's A Wonder Full Life

"It's A Wonder Full Life" acrylic painting on 11X14 canvas.

A few weeks ago I made the executive decision that I wasn't going to send out Holiday cards this year. It was a tough choice for me because I love designing and sending out cards but I had already put it off for too long and just wasn't feeling inspired to create anything for it.  I knew it would just be a huge relief to cross it off my list, so I gave myself that gift and concentrated on getting my other holiday tasks done instead.

Not long after that I managed to carve out a little time between tasks for painting.  My plan was to just start something, maybe spend an hour on it and then get back to other things but my muse had other ideas.  I worked on the painting on and off for a couple of days and when I was finished I realized that it was the perfect image for my Holiday card.

It's A Wonder Full Life Painting By Victoria Lynn Hall

I know this image doesn't exactly scream Happy Holidays (although it does coordinate with our tree decorations quite nicely) but I feel it does a great job of representing all of the wonder and joy I have found in my life, in my work and in myself this year and of course Hippie really likes it too.  We really do have such a wonder full life and we feel very blessed and grateful.

So that is how I came to send out Holiday cards this year after all and I couldn't be happier about it.  In fact, I would love to send you a postcard with this image.  If you haven't already, just click here to join my mailing list and I will send your Holiday postcard as soon as I can.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My Top Ten Posts Of 2014 #1: Art Studio Redo

My art studio.

My most popular post of 2014 was... drum roll, please... Art Studio Redo!  It also happens to be me favorite project of 2014.

I admit that when I redo a room I put a lot of consideration into what I want it to look like.  However, I have learned over the years that form needs to follow function.  In this room in particular, I knew I needed to keep in mind how I wanted to use it and what was and was not working for me at that time.

What wasn't working was the closet.  It was too big and just allowed me to hold onto things that were no longer serving my creativity.  However, on the two walls that I eventually knocked down were a couple of things that sort of worked: My bulletin board and my chalkboard.

Tiny, crowded bulletin board.

A closet that was too big and a chalkboard that was too small.

The only problem with them was they were too small, so I created new super sized versions of them.

A chalkboard wall and a cork wall were just what my art studio needed.

Of course the biggest change in terms of looks and functionality was adding the new worktable and sink.  It has made clean up so much more convenient and the sink area in our guest bathroom (aka Hippie's bathroom) is no longer paint stained and crowded with paintbrushes.

This copper bar sink is the perfect size for my work table.  I just love it.

One thing I thought would be more functional than it has turned out to be was my easel after Hippie put it on casters for me.

My Artist's Easel On Casters.

I thought it would allow me to paint in various locations around the room but I guess old habits die hard.  I still tend to paint in the same crowded little corner of the room I always have.

My painting corner.

Those pantry racks you see on the wall in the picture above have always been there.  They may not be the most attractive solution but they are extremely functional for me.  I have learned that I tend to be more inspired, productive and organized when I can see all of my supplies.  However, with the closet gone, I found that I did need just a little more storage space.  I also just really liked the look of my Ikea storage cart.  Win/win!

I really do love this cart!

Another thing that was already working for me and my feline muse and assistant, Princess Poe, was my thrift store wing chair.  After splurging on the sink, I didn't have enough left in my budget to upgrade it to something more stylish.  However, I did recover the seat cushion and ottoman in some fun fabrics.  Poe also got her very own Princess rug for her food and water.

Hippie and I sometimes refer to my art studio as "Poe's room".

Overall, I think my art studio redo resulted in the perfect blend of form and function.  I could not be happier with it and I'm very pleased that it topped my list of my most popular blog posts this year.

Thanks so much to all of you who read this blog for being a part of my journey as an artist, homemaker, recovering perfectionist and Slave To The Muse in 2014.  Your interest, support and encouragement mean the world to me.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Top Ten Posts Of 2014 #2: The Rainbow Walls

The destruction of two things most people want more of: closets and rainbows.

The runner up for my most popular post of 2014 is the story of the creation and destruction of The Rainbow Walls in my art studio.

I had a lot of fun creating my rainbow walls.  The countless hours I spent flinging paint on to them with wild abandon were truly joyful.  Still, I have to say that destroying them was even more fun.  I started with a sledgehammer and some loud heavy metal music.  However, I soon learned that tearing and kicking it down was far more effective (and satisfying) and that some angst ridden Rick Springfield tunes were an even better soundtrack.  Best. Therapy. Ever.  

Seeing all the extra space I had when I was done felt great too.

Sometimes open space is better than closets and rainbows.

And while not as colorful as a rainbow, I think the new chalkboard wall is just as creative and fun.

Even without my rainbow walls there is still plenty of color in my art studio.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Top Ten Posts Of 2014 #3: The Art Of Using A Staple Gun

These chairs are my favorite staple gun project of 2014

The second runner up on my top ten blog posts of 2014 is "The Art Of Using A Staple Gun", which also makes it the most popular of all of my Create Art Every Day Posts.  I love that a post that is basically about my failure to learn how to sew and features photos that I wasn't 100% happy with when I posted them made my top three this year.  That just goes to show how wrong my perfectionist anti-muse can be.

Of course you can't tell her that.  My anti-muse is never impressed with my no sew projects.  She thinks everything needs to be expertly finished and look like it belongs in a magazine.  Well, to heck with her because I happen to love my little fabric projects. Here's a few more them:

I made my garden shed curtain panels by just cutting them to length, folding them over a bit and stapling them to that piece of pink trim before attaching it to the wall.  I also used the fabric and my staple gun to cover a chair and make a bulletin board.

I dressed up some inexpensive white lace curtain panels by attaching some cool scarves to them using fusable fabric tape.  I think they look great in my home gallery.

The curtain in my master bathroom is a $3 fabric remnant that I trimmed with scissors and attached to the rod using drapery clips.  It was meant to be a temporary solution but I have yet to find anything I like better.

So if you find a fabric you love, don't let a little thing like being completely inept at sewing keep you from finding a way to use it in your home.  With a little imagination and creativity, anything is possible.

Purple Patina: Mosaic
Purple Patina: Mosaic by Cabagelow
Find other Boho Fleece Blankets at zazzle.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

My Top Ten Posts Of 2014 #4: Enough

I have to tell you that I was pleasantly surprised when I figured out that my "Enough" post was my fourth most read post of 2014.  After all, that post had no pictures and wasn't about any painting or project.  Really it was just a few short paragraphs that were basically an admission that I was still struggling with some of my same old hang ups, still getting sucked into the same old illusions and still had a tendency to take a few steps back before moving forward again.  I had  a feeling I wasn't alone in that but it's good to know for sure.

It's also good to know that I don't always need to have before and after photos or some big achievement to write about in order to create a blog post that people might want to read.  How fitting that this is how I am once again reminded that just being who, where and what I am in any given moment is, in fact, Enough. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Top Ten Posts Of 2014 #5: Create Art Every Day Challenge

Advice From My Muse

Number Five on My Top Ten Posts of 2014 is my introductory post to my Create Art Every Day Challenge.

When my muse first proposed a create art every day challenge I told her I thought it was a great idea and I would definitely do it... someday, when I wasn't so busy.  Then she gave me one of her infamous withering stares.

"I'm too busy to do this right now." I bravely continued to protest.  "I am in the middle of redoing my kitchen backsplash, I have fall planting to do in the garden, I have a ton of work to do for my Zazzle shops and a half dozen other projects in the works.  All of which were your ideas, by the way."

"That's exactly why this is the perfect time to do this," she replied.  "You are already creating art every day!"

I had not been thinking of all the items on my to do list as "art" but upon further reflection, I could see that she had a point.  I just wasn't sure if I was ready for a daily blog project.

"What about a weekly challenge instead?" I proposed.

And that is how I decided to do a Create Art Every Day 30 Day Blogging Project.  I'm really glad that I did.

Create Art Every Day Tee Shirt
Create Art Every Day Tee Shirt by Victoriart
Check out other Typography T-Shirts at zazzle.com

Create Art Every Day Spiral Notebooks
Create Art Every Day Spiral Notebooks by Victoriart
View more Typography Notebooks at zazzle.com