Thursday, December 19, 2013

christmas traditions....

my family has loads of christmas traditions ... christmas cookie baking .... certain decorations that are supposed to be just so .... two special christmas dinners ... one christmas eve, one christmas day ... and for that matter ... a special christmas breakfast after stocking presents ..... one tradition lately has been going to the nutcracker.... i danced in the nutcracker as a kid ... i was one of the kids at the party ... and a russian dancer .... and a spanish dancer ...  my ballet group did a modified version of the nutcracker ...we did not have the part that is my favorite though
.... mother ginger, the nesting doll that has little tumbling children dance and tumble out from her skirts.... do you know her? it's generally a man dressed up as a woman on a giant rolling cart? with a giant hoop skirt hiding the tumbling dancing dolls ..... this year, mr.e.beck.artist's office had a dinner party at the fox theater .... we were allowed on stage. i snuck backstage and got in the hoop skirt ... that probably should have been on my bucket list .... so maybe i'll put it on my bucket list so i can tick it off.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

i am not martha stewart.

i once saw a martha stewart episode, back when she had her own show, that was all about the linen closet.... how to fold your sheets, cover the shelves with scented papers, how to organize, label, and essentially make your linen closet a show place. i don't do that. i don't mind that she does. or you do. do you? and i do like that glimmer of possibility... like cooking shows. i don't like cooking much, but mr.e.beck.artist loves cooking shows. so we watch them. and i like them. and i do not begrudge you your fancy sauces and mad slicing and dicing skills. but i also don't mind mac n cheese out of a box.

so, this christmas, i hope you don't have a martha stewart christmas. i hope your cookies and cakes and tree don't look like the ones on the front of magazines ... unless that's your thing. then, by all means, have at it!

my christmas thing is ornaments. i could color on glass ball ornaments year round if there was a call for it. they make me so happy. so that's what i like to do to get in the christmas spirit. no pressure, no guilt. just what i enjoy.....

my mom bakes cookies. lots of types. all heirloom recipes handed down through generations. i make some of them sometimes. but not if i'm not feeling it. no pressure. traditions are great ... especially the tradition of EATING christmas cookies ... but you don't have to do every single tradition that has ever crossed your threshold .... you can do the ones that work for you .... life has gotten over the top in recent decades .... bigger and brasher and bigger .... and that's ok if it is what you want ... but lots of people have holiday guilt... guilt about what they don't do right or well or enough of or big .... and to that i say stop. no guilt. do what you love. do it when you can. don't be a competitive christmas decorator/baker/shopper/gifter/partier .... find your own path... find the bits that work for you. YOU don't have to make ornaments. i don't have to make a traditional christmas dinner. YOU don't have to have an orange christmas tree. i do.

and ... for your non traditional holiday pleasure ... my current christmas listening is reliant k .... not traditional .. but fast and fun.....
here's a fave:

happy holiday prep to you and yours. don't make yourself crazy. do what you love.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

christmas lights

christmas time has turned into this giant season of competitive.
have you seen some of the crazy light videos?
i love this one!
are they all just trying to outdo each other? 
i don't do lighting.
i wildly admire those who do it. i just don't have that in me somehow.
but it's ok.
i some years put a wreath on each window ..
 it looks fancy and old fashioned on my house ... 
and sometimes, i put an electric candle in each window so the wreaths glow at night ... 
that is, if i can find the extension cords, the timers, 
enough light bulbs ... those little one are hard to find.
and if no one balks at having a candle "in MY ROOM?"
so sometimes it is just wreaths..... 
sometimes ribbons.
sometimes bare.
not competitive. just trying my best.
which sometimes is adequate ... and, yes, sometimes grand.
cut yourself some slack this christmas.
do what you can do and still be happy.
good intentions go a long way.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

doooooooooo doooooooo dooooooooo

i'm a doodler.
my personal mandalas, those off the schedule of my class, 
tend to be super doodliscioius.
i have also developed a tendency for singular color.
i'm so not a monochrome girl in most of my life.
interesting that many of my doodles choose to be so.

total aside: when i was in high school, i was  in guys and dolls.
i was a hotbox dancer.
one particular song... i love you, a bushel and a peck.... 
do you know that song? 
you sing the above quote in that tune ... if you sing it, you'll 
know exactly where it goes.
sing on.

Friday, December 6, 2013


as a genetically predisposed optimist, i'm not always prepared for the shadow days.
not always prepared for darkenss... 
or for hard things.
bad stuff frequently surprises me.
as if, by being born with a happy outlook, 
when confronted with something not so happy, 
i am unprepared.
so the advantage of being a pessimist is being prepared 
for the negative, bad, unhappy, hard bits.
i'd rather keep traveling towards the light....
and deal with the surprises as they arrive.

optimist or pessimist? 
which are you?
i actually have a great big dose of pragmatist too.
i am pretty of matter o' fact.
a matter o' fact optimist.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

other plans ....

i think my mandala journey was multi faceted .... i am not sure this picture is reallyreally a mandala ... it is more just circle art ... it has none of the calming effect that a symmetrical mandala has .... no symmetry at all .... but, still done during my mandala time .... and i'm calling it a mandala cause it is in my mandala journal .... thoughts on my mandala journey:
- i joined the mandala group because it seemed to be somewhat of an offshoot from another group (the dyl camp's facebook page) ....lots of people that i admired/enjoyed/liked from there were doing it, so it seemed a nice way to stay connected to them ... that worked.
- i bought a big bold 70 page journal and decided i would do 70 mandalas ... even though the class called for 30 ....
- after the fact, i read that a square page was recommended .... oops ... my lovely rectangular journal was still calling my name..... this bit is particularly funny to me cause i'm a square girl. most of my art canvases are square .... in fact, last night, talking to a pal about a painting she said, it's square, right? .... that's how square i am ... she just knew it was square.
- i was unhappy with my first mandala being on a large rectangular page ... all that negative space .... so i filled it up with a quote .... and had a new plan .... 70 mandalas with 70 favorite quotes ... and i'm a planner! i love having an idea and running with it....

..... and that's the lead in to the quote .... life is what happens when you make other plans .... i did not finish the mandalas in the prescribed time ... but that's ok ... even good ... i'm going to keep going .... until i'm done ... i have a march 1 deadline for myself ... only cause i kinda work better with a deadline .. with a plan ... until life happens and gets in the way of the plan....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

orange you glad it's almost christmas?

today i've put off my painting (i'm on an art every day kick) in order to tick some things off my to do list.  i've been slow and steady in my christmas prep for a day or two or three. this morning i put up my orange tree. it's artificial, not live.... so it was a matter of snap together and fluff the limbs .... but you might have figured that out already huh? i love the orangey goodness of it SO much that i hardly want to decorate it.... i think it is about perfect like this.... what are you doing to get ready for christmas? are you a traditionalist? or could your house rock a hot pink glitter star on an orange tree?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

goals and dreams

my november mandala class is over.
i loved it.
really, really loved it.
i am not done with all the prompts though.
nor am i done posting what i've accomplished.
but it is december ... time for new goals.
november was mandalas and getting organized.
december is planks and breathing.
planks to get a head start on the new year.
breathing to go calmly through all the extras that are added to the already full calendar in december.
what's this new month bring for you?
c.s. lewis says to go ahead and set some goals.
go. do it.