Words from a Very Sweet Girl

The girlies have definitely embraced their art journals, and it’s been fun to watch them embark on their own with their pages. Sunday while I was cleaning up my studio, Olivia was intently working in hers, and she completed about four pages, most of which included lots of rubber stamping with bright colors. She proudly showed me each one as she finished, except this last one, which included no stamping. It slipped my mind until I had to get something out of my workshop last night and found it. So continuing in my gratefulness that I posted Monday, I had to share what she wrote. In case you can’t read 2nd grade scribbles, here’s the translation:

“I love my Dad to the moon and back and I love my Mom to the moon and back and I love my sister to the moon and back and I love God to the moon and back and Granddad to the moon and back and myself to the moon and back. I love Grandma Cathy to the moon and back. I love Savannah to the moon and back [cat #1] and Tink to the moon and back [cat #2] and Molly to the moon and back [dog #2] and Isabelle to the moon and back [dog #1] and Miss Shirley to the moon and back [neighbor across the street]. And I love my stuffed animals to the moon and back and I love Aunt Kim to the moon and back and Uncle Rob to the moon and back. And I love the bunnies that hang out in my front yard too, and I love the earth.”

Oh, the sweetness. Sigh… What sweet things have you seen today?

How the Birds and the Bees Made Me Grateful

I came across this picture cleaning up and packing my office before our repaint and recarpet this summer and found it tucked in my calendar last week. It was taken at the beach wedding of a friend. Sarah and I were watching the wedding while DH and Olivia were off shell hunting, and the wedding photographer caught this shot. Such innocence. Where the heck did it go!?!

I was driving the girls to school Friday when Sarah asked, “Mama, how can teenagers have a baby?” Stalling, I asked her what she meant, and she said she saw a teenager on TV that had a baby. Wow! Didn’t expect to have the birds and the bees conversation quite this early. I tried to respond with, “Well, teenagers really shouldn’t be having babies.” And she said, “’cause you aren’t supposed to have a baby until you are at least 30.” See, I’m trying to train them well! I tell them that you can’t get married until you are 30, so therefore, you can’t have a baby until you are at least 30 because you have to get married before you have a baby. (Now, I realize that in this day and age, many women are having children without getting married, and that’s fine, but that’s a discussion for another post…) Anywho, Sarah continued with, “So do we have to start taking no-baby pills now so that we don’t have a baby?”

You see, when the girls have asked me about the little pill I take before I go to bed every night (they are far too observant), I tell them that’s my no-baby pill so that I don’t have any more babies. (Okay, so maybe I need to rethink that conversation.) I tried to explain that while, yes, no-baby pills work to keep you from having a baby, there are things that mamas and daddies do to make babies that you won’t need to worry about for a long, long, long time (like when you are 25, she says, as she sticks her head in the sand). “What’s that, Mama?” And I stupidly responded, “Sex.” “What’s sex, Mama?” I somehow managed to change the subject by responding again that it’s something they wouldn’t have to worry about for a long, long, long time, and then said, “Hey look! They mowed the cow pasture! What are the cows going to eat now!?”

I’m guessing the topic of “What’s sex?” has now probably come up at school amongst their friends. I can hear it now: “Destiny, do you know what sex is? My Mama said it’s what mamas and daddies do to make babies.” I am expecting a call from the school any day now.

This Mama stuff….when you don’t have your own Mama around, it’s very much a make-it-up-as-you-go-along thing. I guess even if you do have your Mama around, you might still be making it up as you go along. There are mornings when it just smacks me out of nowhere. I’ll be standing at the kitchen sink, washing up the breakfast dishes while trying to keep the girls on task to brush their teeth, pack their backpacks and get ready to head out the door, and it smacks me right across the face: I’m a mother. I don’t know why it sometimes hits me that way. From early on, I knew I wanted children. Heck, I wanted four children! Boys! I think maybe that came from seeing my college boyfriend’s family. They are a family of four boys who all absolutely adore their Mama. But still there are days that I find myself amazed that I am a mother…that I am worthy of this task…that I have been given this blessing…that I have the qualifications for this most wonderful of jobs… Maybe it’s because we had to go through so much to get where we are, who knows?

Take a peek over at Brene Brown’s post today. She and I corresponded a bit after this post and I’m working on doing a few things on campus related to this project. What does this have to do with being a mother, you ask, other than what should be the obvious that “perfect mother” is an oxymoron? In our emails, she directed me to a TED talk she did about vulnerability, and what she speaks of everyday, having ordinary courage, taking the time to realize the small wonderfulness that happens in our lives every day. The little things we take for granted. That’s what it has to do with being a mother. I will remember the conversation Sarah and I had Friday morning hopefully for the rest of my days. And standing at the kitchen sink tomorrow morning, I will remember what a blessing it is to stand there and wash the breakfast dishes of two little angels. And I will be amazed and overjoyed that I am their Mama. And I will be incredibly grateful for that gift. How about you? Have you taken the time to think about what you are grateful for today?

21 Secrets Now Open for Registration!

Dirty Footprints Studios registration for "21 Secrets…An Art Journal Playground" is now open! This workshop is going to be a blast! You’ll learn art journaling techniques from 21 different artists, including me (with some help from my two little redheads!). Whether you are a seasoned art journalist or new to this art form, you'll receive tons of inspiration and step by step instruction. There's something for everyone, so I hope you’ll join us! Click HERE to view more details. Connie has graciously offered an affiliate program for all the participating artists, so please help me spread the word by directing people back to this blog post so they can Click HERE to view more details and register through my affiliate number.

And for a little extra incentive, register through my link above, and you'll get your choice of one of my glass tile pendants as a thank you for supporting me and all the artists teaching this class. So if you've had your eye on one, here's your chance to get it free while also getting to play in a great class! Just let me know! And thanks for sharing this link! We are very excited! Can you tell? ;-)

21 Secrets Preview

I’ve pretty much been stuck at home since Saturday when I pulled my back. I went to the doc Monday morning and was informed I have an acute lumbar sprain and need to stay off my feet for about a week. Seriously? Me? The girl who can’t sit still!? Come on! Against doctor’s orders, I worked half the day yesterday since we had a big event going on, our annual Student/Admin Ice Cream Social and Club Day. Sure, my staff would have been fine without me, but I just felt responsible, ya know? I tried going in today, but by the time I got half way there, I realized I probably shouldn’t be driving, since to add to the back pain this morning, I had a dizzy while trying to get up. I made it to the office, signed some paperwork I needed to sign, made sure my staff was set for the day and then came back home and laid down. And slept four hours! That’s what a pain pill and a muscle relaxer will do for you, I guess. I’m fine as long as I sit still, so I’ve been able to get a lot of photo editing done since I got up from my nap.

Yesterday I told you about 21 Secrets, the online class I’ll be contributing to. The girls and I are very excited! Last night, I finished the rough draft of the class I’m teaching and sent it over to Connie for some feedback, but I thought I’d share one of the journal pages I created as one of the samples for the class. Can you tell I like pink? In the class, I walk you through what I did here step-by-step.

See that 21 Secrets button over there on the right? Yeah, that one! See that “Click here to view more details” below it? That’s where you’ll click to go to the registration page and register on Monday! Connie graciously set up all the contributing artists as affiliates so we actually get credit for all of our lovely friends and blog readers who register for the class following our link. So I hope you’ll consider joining us! You can click the link now to read about what’s in store, and then starting on Monday, you’ll be able to register for the class through my link. Don’t worry! I’ll remind you! I’m excited to see what all the other instructors will be sharing!

Stretching Ourselves Over Here!

The girlies and I got to play around in our art journals for a little bit Sunday afternoon. I thought I'd share this picture for Best Shot Monday today. Olivia is on the left, Sarah on the right. Livvie's usually more like me...with paint everywhere...while Sarah tends to be a bit neater, and I'm noticing that their journals seem to be reflecting that as well.

We've been working on a mini-art journaling workshop that will be part of a larger workshop offered by Connie over at Dirty Footprint Studio. It’s called 21 Secrets, and there will be 21 of us sharing these little mini-lessons. What a fun idea, huh? I agreed to participate last month, thinking it would be a good way to push me to try something new. I teach all the time, right?! I just don’t teach art to other artists online! That’s a whole different ball game! So there’s been a little of that “what the heck have I gotten myself into?” questioning going on, but I’m trying to just go with the flow, and whatever I end up with will work out just fine, right? I’m working on a workshop that incorporates the girls, so that’s your only clue for now. More to come soon! I'd love to be able to include a couple videos, but I am video-challenged, so if any of you video mavens out there would be kind enough to walk me through one, I'll love you forever. Really, I will!

Connie will be opening registration on Monday, September 20, and the class will begin October 1. Read more about the class here. Stay tuned for more information on registering for the class through me right here on Artful Happiness. And hop on over to Tracey's blog to see more of Best Shot Monday!

Hopefully, Soon....

My goodness, my world has been so much crazier than usual lately! We've just finished the second week of Fall term at work, and our enrollment is up nearly 30%. We now have about 16,000 students on my campus and about 65,000 collegewide. A new addition to my office has added to the craziness. I've inherited Student IDs! Whoo hoo! Well, actually I should say I re-inherited them because I had them about 12 years ago before they were moved to the library. But now they are back in my shop, with a brand new system, and a brand new requirement that all students MUST have the new ID. So yep, that's 16,000 students, all coming through my Student Lounge to get their new IDs. Hopefully it'll slow down about mid-term. The pay-for-print function goes on line next week, so I'm sure that will bring in a whole new wave since students will start to figure out they can't print anything in the library or computer labs without their new ID. (For those of you new to the blog and wondering what the heck I'm talking about, by day, I'm the Collegewide Coordinator of Student Life and Leadership Development at a very large four-year college here in North Florida. I also teach English Composition, Student Leadership, and a "How to Succeed in College" class. It's a never ending circus!)

Here on the home front, yesterday morning my laptop was smacked by a virus. You know those ones that tell you you've gotten a virus and you must purchase this anti-virus software, and the only way to get out of the freakin' thing is the purchase the software or shut down your computer? Dang, they tick me off. So shut down the computer I did. (Thankfully I have a desktop system upstairs.) I'll have to take my laptop in to the office Monday to be debugged. I keep my laptop in my studio, so since that went down, I decided I'd clean up my studio. I bent down, popped something in my back and, whammo, flat on the floor. DH got me on the couch, where I had to stay for the rest of the day. Those of you who've known me long know that I'm not very good at sitting still. To add to the pain and the boredom of being forced to lay on the couch all day, I had to lay there and watch my Florida State Seminoles get badly beaten by the Oklahoma Sooners. We have no defense. Plain and simple. In his "my Alabama Crimson tide is the number one team in the nation" smugness, DH warned me he thought things would get worse for a couple years after Coach Bowden retired before they got better. I was hoping he was wrong! I think a trip to Tallahassee is in order so I can have a pep talk with the team. :-)

Well, the pain pill that DH convinced me to take this morning is starting to kick in and I'm feeling that any moment now, I'll be drifting off to la la land. Hopefully things will get back to my normal crazy soon. I'm sorry for neglecting you, sweet little blog! And I miss catching up with my blogging friends! Hopefully soon! I listed the piece here not too long ago in my Etsy shop. Starting to gear up for a couple Fall arts festivals... Enjoy your day! And hop on over to Cathy's blog to see the sweet post she wrote about me yesterday. Thanks Cath!

Tuesday Treasury Shout Out: Teclur

9-6-10 kellywarrenphotoart

I need to catch up on my Tuesday Treasury Shout Outs! Thanks so much to Teclur for featuring my Old Hank. There's a cool new treasury generator for posting treasuries on blogs and having all the photos link directly to the items, but I've yet to get it to work for me, so it's still screen shots for now! Visit this treasury here for clickable links to all the items featured. Thanks again Teclur! Very cooling clothing in your shop!

New Digs for Old Harvey and the Gang

I have been given a wonderful honor! I’ve known about this for a while, but I didn’t want to fully believe it was real until I actually saw them on the wall. That’s right…saw them on the wall! Remember that solo gallery show featuring my rusty cars that opened in July? North Campus administration was so taken with my photos and how perfectly they matched their new Academic Success Center that they purchased 19 of the 31 pieces in the gallery show. I was stunned and amazingly thankful and appreciative. I was able to get over to North Campus last week and take a few pictures of them hanging in their new digs. A very big thank you goes out to Dana Thomas and B.J. Hausman for their encouragement, support and great decorating sense! I love the way the hung my work!

Time for September Free Bling!

Random.org picked comment number six today, so congratulations to Natalie, who's about to move her family from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Boise, Idaho! I was just in the Chattanooga area last week Natalie! Natalie has a lovely blog. Take a peek here.

For September, here’s one of my glass tile pendants featuring my "Florida Flurries" photograph. I captured Florida Flurries in the 100 Acre Wood, otherwise known as the Theodore Roosevelt National Recreation Area. It's a wonderful trail filled park. The tile is handmade glass from Annie Howes, who makes all my glass for me, and the pendant is finished with a silver-toned aanraku bail. It comes complete with a silver-tone ball chain cut to the length of your choice.

To be eligible to win, simply visit either of my Etsy shops (here for jewelry and here for photography) and leave a comment in the comment box below with the link to your favorite piece along with a way to reach you and where you’re from by midnight Thursday, September 30, 2010. Want more entries? Tweet, blog or Facebook this giveaway and leave another comment with the link. The next winner will be drawn via random.org Friday, October 1, 2010. Don't want to miss a single Free Bling Friday? Click here to sign up for free weekly email updates or subscribe in the reader of your choice in the right column over there. Be sure to join my Facebook Fan page for Fan specials! Thanks for stopping in!