Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Swaying in the Breeze

This is my back porch swing. It’s not your ordinary back porch swing. It’s actually a twin mattress for which we built a frame and then suspended it from the porch ceiling with chain, making it a fabulous place to take a nap. I made the new pillows this weekend on my get-the-porch-back-in-shape-for-spring-and-summer marathon (which also included a heck of a lot of flower potting).

The striped pillows are actually recovered from previous summers. I just made new pillow covers out of Sunbrella fabric. The large floral pillows are my brainstorm I mentioned in my last post. Guess what I made them out of!? Two king size pillows and one four dollar vinyl tablecloth I picked up in the clearance aisle at Wally World. The tablecloth was 60” x 120”! That much Sunbrella would have cost me nearly $75! The brainstorm didn’t hit until the moment I happened to pass by the tablecloth, and I can’t even remember now what I was looking for! I wasn’t quite sure how it would sew up initially, but I really didn’t have any trouble with it. So there you have it. Go make yourself some fabulously awesome pillow covers out of a $4 tablecloth. Only basic sewing skills required!

As for that swing, I need to spend more time on it. My pace lately has been beyond frenetic, though I won’t be able to slow down much for another few weeks or so (thus my lack of blogs lately). Spring Break last week was just too much of a tease, even though it was a fairly busy tease at that. Today we had our Spring Fling; I dished out 800 slices of pizza in about 45 minutes. I think that was a record. Monday is my annual Student Awards program, truly my biggest event of the semester, and then closely on the heels of that program, I'm hosting the college-wide High Honors luncheon May 3, and I’m one of the two main contacts for Commencement, which is May 8. We’re expecting 800-900 grads to walk this year. In between all that, I have a big juried fine arts festival in Tifton May 1-2.

I’ve been struggling with all this juggling more than usual lately. In one aspect, my Artful Journey retreat was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever experienced; it did truly change my life. On the other side of that, it’s made me want to make changes in my life more and more, and those changes won’t come easy, if I’m able to make some of them at all. Sometimes being a grown-up is just no fun at all, is it? The bills still must be paid, your family still must have health insurance, your future still must include a retirement plan of some sort. The trick is figuring out where your follow-your-heart dreams fit when reality stares you boldly in the face. I’m continuing to work on that in little bits in pieces here and there. Mermaids and Mamas is coming together nicely, so that’s a wonderful start, but following my artful dreams full-time is still a long way away. So tell me. What do you do when you hit stumbling blocks? Other than lay on the swing and sway in the breeze...

7 comments:

Andi (RrlScrapGal) said...

Kelly darling!
I LOVE your gorgeous swing and that awesome view.. It is so inviting and you definitely need to be on it girl...
I so understand the busy side of life... we are moms and that's just the way it is... but, we really do need our 'private' happy creative time...
Hang in there!!!!!

Cori Lynn Berg said...

Wow.. that swing is amazzzzing. Can i come do some daydreaming on it?

Becca said...

Wow Kelly, I love that swing, and your view! I've seen swings similar to that in magazines before and I have always wanted one. Your pillows turned out great too! Hope you're able to take some time out for yourself and relax on that swing soon! :-)

Cindy Woods O'Leary said...

Hi Kelly, I can relate to what you're saying—I'm also struggling with the same issues, wondering how I can stay true to my 'calling', yet take care of all the obligations that make up my reality. Being a "grownup" has its drawbacks, for sure! But I have faith that we'll figure it out. I'd better hurry though, as I have less time than you...lol!

Leah Virsik said...

Hey Kelly! Great story about your pillows! They look great too! So in answer to your question about hitting stumbling blocks… One is to be incredibly grateful for where I'm at now and what wonderful things I have in my life. (My coach reminds me to do this.) Then I think about what I'm doing with my life. Am I doing what I really want to be doing? Are there things that I can quit or not do anymore or plan to quit them if they're not adding to my life? Then, I carve in my art time every single day if I can. Fifteen minutes is a great start. It's helpful for me to break things in small chunks so that I'm not resentful when I don't have enough to finish. Lately, I've been inspired by a bookbinding class that I'm going to teach. So I've been making little books and binding them at work on my breaks and lunches. I've started blogging again and answering questions from Alyson B. Stanfield to get deeper insight into myself so that I can write my artist statement. And then, my big goal is to apply for my MFA so I'm going to do that in 2011.

It sounds like you're doing some amazing things and lots of them! Hang in there and enjoy your swing. :)

Kelly said...

what wonderful words of wisdom you all have!

andi, you are so correct...we are moms and that's just the way it is. time is at a premium!

cori, come any time! i just visited your blog and your art is AMAZING!!!

becca, i see a swing like this in your future. :-) easy peasy...

cindy and leah, my artful journey friends...you both are always so full of wisdom.

cindy, i think are you already there. :-) you are doing some fabulous things.

leah, your 15 minutes really sounds doable. i think i could commit to that. i'm sure that 15 minutes often then turns into more. and i'm so proud of you for getting ready to pursue your MFA!

chrissy said...

kelly....can i come take a nap on your porchmattress?
it looks SOOOOOOO inviting.
you rock!
c