Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sweet Sunday - Happy New Year!

  Sweet Sunday! This Sunday is extra sweet because there are 2 more days to the weekend! Whoohoo! The holidays have come and gone, and although they were fun they were also a little crazy. We threw a huge party and I just didn't get to baking and candy making. I barely bought all the presents, so to be honest I am sort of happy they are over - 6 events in 4 days was enough for me.
  I am looking forward to creating some new canvases I bought with Christmas money, and a fresh start. I miss my art. I worked on this sweet little piece this month but didn't actually get them printed in time for Christmas so I am going to use some for Thank-you cards. I think I'll work on planning out 2013, creating a vision board and my goals!



I'm celebrating Sweet Sunday over at Diana's blog...but I just went to create the link and realized it's supposed to be Sweet Saturday! Ahhhh, I can only laugh! I'm sort of screwed up on days... anyone else? Diana is a favorite illustrator/blogger of mine since I started blogging!

Hope your Sunday is super sweet! (and hope your Saturday was too!)
Happy New Year,
Nat
 

Friday, December 14, 2012

December Bliss List!

I've missed the blank blog canvas page... where I can let my thoughts flow... I can contemplate.. and write... dream... and share.
I thought I could dive back in with the Bliss List, because at this time of year, when we spend time with our friends and family I get all gushy, mushy and sentimental.

I have entered the world of smart phones! FINALLY! And I JUST LOVE Istagram. I try to capture gratitude moments every day.
Here are some of the recent moments I've captured with my phone! I've been thoroughly enjoying the Christmas season so far! We're a week away and I do have a lot of shopping to do but my heart is full and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

I am thankful for my dog buddy bear this week I had a scare that he might have cancer (but we're all good he is healthy!), our pets have such an impact on our lives. WOW!
I am thankful for my sweet husband. This past week we have had so much fun! The big pic on the bottom right was a date night, we went ice skating and a romantic dinner. Another night we drank wine, listened to music, watched tv & talked.
And last night we drove around our neighborhood and looked at lights...this is such a big deal for us - we don't get do do this very often with our work schedules. 


I'm really looking forward to Christmas with my family, I feel blessed I have a family to celebrate with.
I can't imagine it any other way and this year I am kicking off the big holiday weekend hosting a big party for my hubby's side of the family!
   
 
I'm blissed out, so happy so blessed! Bliss Blessed!
Thank you for stopping by... hope you have a blissful weekend,
Nat 










 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Update From the Art Room

Here's one of my latest paintings I'm working on. As you can sort of see in the pic I have a picture sitting on my table that i was looking at for reference. It's a sweet picture of some moss I took in Ely... it can actually be found on this post!
The process of painting is a p r o c e s s! Sometimes it comes so easily sometimes it takes work, take patience, takes practice.

I'm not 100% happy with this piece yet... I just keep working it and re-working it adding more and more layer. They are all so individual, telling a story of my days, my life. I recently read something... it related our life's being like a puzzle and sometimes you have that piece that doesn't quite work... that one that seems like it won't fit. But it takes putting together that entire puzzle to figure out WHERE that last piece fits!
That's kind of how I feel about the "moss" painting. 



In other news
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
This is my new easel

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omg, omg, omg!

I feel so blessed to have this beauty! My husband bought this for me for my Birthday/Wedding Anniversary present back in July but it just made it home because I had to get a truck to get the thing home from Duluth. The cool thing is, an artist friend made it too! Best presents ever!

Really need to go buy some big canvases now!

































Captured these while painting...

love the drips!































OHHHHH and did I mention I'm on Instagram now!
I am so flipping excited!

Follow me at: Cre8tiveQueenNat

Much love,
Nat

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beach In November


Buddy and I got to visit lake Superior a couple of weekends ago... it was a girls weekend with the exception of Bud!
No matter what the weather.. the lake has this amazing calming effect on me.

Do you have a place you like to go that has a calming effect on you!?

I wish Lake Superior was 10 minutes away!
 
Buddy loves treasure hunting on the beach as much as I do!
I have Christmas project in mind for all the driftwood I've collected! =)

Stay tuned...
Nat







Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gratitude & Abundance!

Do you ever get crabby? In a FUNK? Beaten down? Frustrated?
Or maybe its just that you're chugging a long... finding it hard to FIND THAT inspiration and joy...
Or maybe you have a bad experience? A crabby waiter or store clerk? 

We all experience these "Funks or Bumps"...
and that's why I wanted to give you a few ideas for boosting yourself back to gratitude
These are DAILY HABITS to practice... not just a one time deal and your good for life!

5 Easy Tips to Bring More Gratitude & Abundance 
Into Your Life!

1. PICTURE IT!
One my favorite ways to express my gratitude is to take pictures through out my day of the little things in life... that I'm grateful for. The other night I captured this shot on my walk with bud...with technology, iphones and pocket cameras this is so fun & inspiring!
 
2. WRITE IT!
At the end of your day - make a list of the 5 things you are grateful for. (Sometimes I sketch mine) If you can write more... AWESOME! There have to be at least 5 things that you can be thankful for, even if it's as simple as your warm bed or a cup of tea.

3. VISUALIZE IT!
I like to visualize! I walk everyday with my 4 legged best friend and as I'm walking I start to take in all the things around me and in my head (or sometimes out loud) I say...Thank you for the birds, Thank you for the beautiful trees, Thank you for the clean air, as I think about all the beautiful things in nature that I am thankful for I visualize that love and gratitude going out into this world. I always feel lighter and brighter after I do this one.

4. FLIP IT!
Have you ever heard the saying "Attitude of Gratitude" ?? When your speaking negative things or thinking negative things you are actually drawing that to negative energy into your life. My husband and I kind of have a deal, when one of us is getting into the negative talk or focusing on all the bad - we say "Attitude of Gratitude!" This is our cue - and our friendly reminder to one another to stay on track with a positive mind set. Catch yourself when you aren't in that positive mindset or if your speaking negatively - and FLIP IT! All it takes is that simple little shift!

5. EXPECT IT!
Ya, I just said.... expect it! You should expect greatness in your life. Why wouldn't you? When I expect my day to suck, it always does. When I expect that my day will be AMAZING, it ALWAYS IS. ALWAYS. Expect beauty. Expect joy. Expect love. Expect blessings. It is life changing.

Your attitude, your feelings, your words - can shape you, can transform your life and your days for the better or for the worst. Maybe you aren't sure which way you are being shaped right now but you have the power to change that....
RIGHT NOW.

Try one or all five! Gratitude = Abundance
xoxox,
Nat 


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Finding My Voice

I love to sing. 
So, so, so much. Music can take you on a journey - it's so freeing. It's kind of like painting - I can get lost in it. I hate driving long distances but the best part about my 30 minute commute to work is jammin' out at the top of my lungs.

I was in choir all through elementary school and junior high.... then for some reason - singing in a choir just fell off my list of activities... for no particular reason, other than I was doing other things. I still loved music and had always had knack for learning the lyrics to every song on the radio. A couple of my friends parents growing up even called me "Singing Natalie"
I used to blare the stereo after school with my best friend and jam out to Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Micheal Jackson. Singing our favorites on repeat for hours.

I wish I would have stuck with it.
I have felt this tug on my heart to sing again... for over a year.

At the church I go to they have a team that sings up in front... I've kind of thought wouldn't it be awesome if I was good enough to sing with them?

I have been out of practice for so long though... 
It's scary and a long shot!
What will my family and friends think?
Now all the sudden I want to sing? 
Do I really want to make that commitment?
How do I even approach that? 
What if I'm not good enough?
Do I love it enough?
These questions have been swimming around in my head for over a year, paralyzing me.
It was way too out of my comfort zone to start singing again.

One day my wedding photographer who I had no idea was a singer - posted this video on his website about how he found the courage to sing again after he had  given it up. He actually released an album! He encouraged everyone to GO DO THAT SCARY THING that we've been thinking about...just have the COURAGE TO GO FOR IT!

Oddly enough mine "scary thing" was singing too...

Now... don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to release an album any time soon.
I just want to sing.

As soon as the video ended I reached into my purse and found the little piece of paper I had grabbed at church the week before. It said
"Would you like to join the Music team at Journey? Contact.... so and so."
So I emailed "so and so" and set an appointment to meet him and talk to him about singing at my church.

He just started his position at my church and is the lead singer in the band at the alternative service. It's a laid back kind of service geared towards a more nontraditional approach.

When I went to meet him to talk about the possibility of singing somewhere (maybe at the nontraditional service) at my church, I quickly blurted out... "I'm not very good... I haven't done this in so long... I'm not ready to just join, I need to practice."

"Let's Jam" he said, as he pulls out his guitar...


OMG.

REALLY?

My voice was quivering.
I was was so nervous.
What am I doing?! 
(I thought)

I went and "Jammed out" with a total stranger at my church.
Seriously!
It's not skydiving but I was soooooooooooo nervous!!

After doing it... I kind of felt like

DAMN.

I did it.

Sounds simple, sounds like no big deal.

But it was a leap of courage for me.

I'm not sure where I'll go with this adventure but I'm on my way to finding my voice.
And it feels pretty awesome.

So just like my Wedding Photographer... I want to encourage you.

Go get em'.

This life is so short.

If not now... then when?!

You are never too old to start doing anything!

Who knows what's next for me? Dance, Guitar?

I won't limit myself. I won't be defined by what I think I can or can't do.
And you shouldn't either.

ROCK IT,
Nat

 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Eye Candy!


I think I'll take these AMAZING fall COLORS... to the canvas!
These were snapped last weekend before the temp dropped and the wind started howling today!
































Lots of love and inspiration!
Have a beautiful weekend,
Nat

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In Memory of Jacob

Today was Jacob's funeral. It was such a beautiful fall day. The sun was shining and leaves falling. I took note of the birds, the clouds, the grass.... 
feeling gratitude for all the little things on this earth that I see everyday.

As I approached the open casket I noticed noticed pieces of paper propped up inside the casket. They were drawings his little son had drawn. They looked like drawings of their family, stick figures drawn in markers.

My heart just broke.

I wonder if his son will be an artist like his dad?

As artists we create things with our hands. When I paint - I pour my heart, my spirit, my soul out onto the canvas. It's raw... it's sometimes scary to put that out into this world and I think that's why so many are afraid to say they are an "artist." People say oh it's JUST a hobby, I'm not really good at it or whatever. 

But these snip-its of our soul... whatever they may be - paintings, photographs, quilts, sculptures, journals, scrapbooks or whatever it is you create are left for those to remember you by. 
Although I know that when we leave this earth all of our earthly possession are gone. 

What matters is who you touched on this planet.
Did you make a difference? 
Did you follow your dream? 
Did you do what you love? 
Did you sing, and you laugh, did you dance? Did you live in the moment? 

Somehow though....the art that Jacob created, all his sculptures that are left...
Can bring back memories, can make his friends and family (or admires or strangers) smile and hopefully inspire them and bring them joy. 
His high school in Iowa wants to make a memorial garden for him with some of the sculptures.

How cool is that?

I love hearing that! I hope his art touches and inspires generations to come.
I never really thought about leaving this planet and leaving behind art.
You would hope it would be when you are kids are grown and you have grandchildren.
 
Because Jacob was taken so abruptly in such a senseless act, I feel like the sculptures are something they can cling to, pieces to his heart, his soul and spirit. 
From what I knew of Jacob in only the short time I knew him...
I could tell he was very passionate about his work... and like most artists
he poured his heart, soul and spirit into each and every piece he created.

Recently I asked my grandma about my her mom, my great-grandma. 
I was wondering if she had any journals, or old letters.
Something.
Some sort of light that I could shine onto my past, a piece of her, a story, something more that pictures and what little memories I have of her.
She died when I was just a little kid, but I feel strong a connection to her even now.
She has given me signs but I'd love to know the stories of her heart.


The funeral actually inspired me to create. 
I left thinking... Why has it been over a week since I picked up a paint brush? 
I need to keep doing what I love.
Why? 
Because I believe that when I do what I love I might give someone else the courage to follow their passion and do what they love.

Let's make this world shine!
xoxo
Nat

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two wake up calls in one week!

It was a normal Monday morning I woke up and got ready for a meeting at work. A beautiful fall day, the sun was shining and the sky so blue, the colors at peak.
On the car ride I was listening to a local radio station that always lifts me up. They were talking about gratitude... and what we can be grateful for on the Monday morning. Some mentioned sunshine... I tuned it out for a moment and thought about my beautiful mama.

The night before we had made jam. I had my first ever canning experience. My mom taught me all the tips and tricks. She has the biggest heart, and is SUCH a good cook. I look up to her because she has been such an amazing home-maker, I admire that. I was thinking about how lucky I am to have her, she is really a gift from God!

My nose started to drip...
So I reached behind me under my seat... I couldn't feel it.
I know it's there...
I looked up and I was in the other lane (oncoming traffic) I turned the wheel HARD to the right... I was going into a ditch... a field...

I had 
l o s t  
c o n t r o l...

It was feeling of helplessness.
Of fear.
Of surrender.
I saw a green metal yard stake that was about waist high...
I blacked out.
I shut off.
I think I missed it.

The car stopped.

And there I was in tall grass... deep down in a ditch.
I looked up at the road and there were 2 gentlemen pulled over, and out of their cars checking to be sure that I was okay.

"I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay."
Was all I could say.
The car really had no damage, a flat tire and my already broken windshield shattered a little more.

I was alive.

No one was hurt.

When I saw that green stake I envisioned it going through my head...
I thought that was it. My life was over.

All that I have...

my family, my friends, my dog, my life...gone

I was so scared.
When I called my dad the tears came.

"How could I do this? How could I do this?" I cried to my dad.

It's been a week and I'm over the initial shock and shake up of it all.

It sure was a wake up call.

I have so much to be grateful for. My angels were watching over me that day.
If I would have been 10 yards further I would have hit a bridge guard rail and maybe been seriously injured. What if I had hit someone else... What if...

I've WHAT IF-ED the scenario so many times over and over, I can tell you everything that could have happened, but didn't.

..............................................................

That next night I was supposed to meet a couple of friends that I volunteer with at the Maple Grove Arts Center but because my car was out of commission and I was so shaken up I emailed them to see if we could change the date.

We were going to meet on a new program we are going to start at the Maple Grove Arts Center. It's a program to get businesses involved in the art community by featuring local artists' artwork - called "The Art of Business." Another artist - Jacob was interested in this idea too. So Jacob and director of the Arts Center - Lorrie and I were all going to meet to brainstorm ideas. We were emailing a lot but thought it would be best to just meet in person.

I had only meet Jacob a couple of times, but after seeing his amazing sculptures I was psyched to be working on this with such a talented artist. At the last board meeting he had brought this sculpture of a bunny head made out of found objects... I was scolding him for not getting a booth at the ever popular Junk Bonanza - a perfect venue for him to sell his recycled/found object art.

On Friday night I got a message from Lorrie on my voice mail, call me I need to talk to you about Jacob. 

I thought that was kind of weird message... we were so busy we a birthday event and then a wedding all day yesterday, I thought maybe she had emailed me about it.

This morning I hopped on the computer and read on a local website that artist and active volunteer at the Maple Grove Arts Center Jacob Beneke was one of the victims in recent shooting tragedy at a sign shop in Minneapolis.

Sadness.

Shock.


No.


I had emailed him and Lorrie after the accident. 

He emailed me back and said "I feel for you. I have been in a few myself. Yeah, its a life check."

I asked him about making a sculpture for me. 
Because I'm obsessed with sculpture. OBSESSED.
 
I've always wanted to make my own found object sculptures...
So I've been collecting and saving antiques and junk. 
I really wanted a "junk" dog (a dog made out of old junk!)
We emailed back and forth a few times - he said he was looking forward to it.
We were supposed to meet tomorrow.

Now tomorrow we will meet as a board to figure out a benefit for his family.
 
When I went to my email after I read the story on the local news website...
I had gotten an email from the director - Lorrie.

The words felt like a ton of bricks.

I only briefly knew him. I was so excited to be working on the "Art of Business" project with him. He seemed like such an amazing guy.
He was passionate about the arts, and artists... and having them get their artwork seen. I have this same passion. I could help but admire his artistic talent. I barely new him and I really admired him....I just can't imagine what his family is going through.
He seemed like a pretty special guy.

I send his family a prayer for peace
For understanding
For love
For light
FOR HEALING
FOR HOPE

How can you recover from the sadness... from the shock of this tragedy?

From my understanding he was married and had a little son, my prayers is that maybe the child can bring joy and happiness to their world as try to put the pieces back together.

My heart is just breaking.

I am so sad that this world lost such a talented and special person.


Two wake up calls in one week...
 
Life is so fragile. So special. 
Don't wait until tomorrow.
Make it count.
Always kiss your loved ones good-bye.
Tell them you love them.
Make time.
Make memories.
Show you care.

Ya get where I'm going here?
 
 
All my love,

Nat


 



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Some weekend wind!

I wasn't really intending to take all these but it just kind of happened...
This dog is happiest when his ears are in the wind!
Dang... he got to ride a four-wheeler this weekend at the cabin (didn't get pic) but it happened! And now I'm laughing just thinking about it - did we really do that?
Oh... yes we did!
There's something about golden retriever's I'm telling you! I've never had one until this guy... but I'd swear he's part human. I can't tell you how many people have said to me "They are people with four legs!"
Happiest with the wind is in his hair...

This view is nice too... just not as nice as the first one, and definitely not the preferred view.

















And the view inside the car, well - not so much... lots of huffs and puffs on the four hour ride this weekend!
Luckily....
There are lots of small towns along the way where we slow down to 30mph... so we can take breaks to get some air!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Are you smiling yet?
I hope so!
Nat

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Walking It Off & Healing Myself!

One morning this week I woke up and in my email box was a lovely post from Goddess Leonie
It was about things feeling out line... yucky, mucky... bad energy. This week I didn't sleep well, had nightmares and just felt a little off, even my husband was having nightmares.

I thought... yea - Maybe the planets ARE OFF!?!

So this week I've been taking walks in the morning...
walking off the yuk... releasing everything... the nightmares, the restlessness, the yuck-muck!



































Even Bud was releasing some energy - I let him chase the geese...
 I looked up... looked all around me - and soaked it up...

I took a TON of deep breathes... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


Call it a healing...call it "walking it off"... call it meditation. I think it's all of those things!


I looked for miracles.


Blessings from mother earth.


From God.


I thought to myself...

Show me your beauty...

Show me a miracle...

Give me strength....

Give me new energy....

Give me a refresher...

Revive me....

Renew me....

E X P A N D my life...

My dreams...

My thoughts...

Make room for new...




As I breathed in the fall air... the weight melted... my energy shifts...



I felt lighter and brighter...

Go walk it off! I promise it will do you a world of good.
xoxo
Nat


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Making time for YOUR passion!

You know all those things you wish you could have time for?
Those things you used to do?
Always wanted to do....
You know all that list of things you will do when you have the money?
When your kids grow up?
When you get your dream job?
When you finally finish your house?
When your sister gets better...

OMG!
Just flippin do it!
YOU DESERVE the time for your passions and your dream list. You do.
I have to tell you this because I have a feeling your like me... and life gets crazy, work, family, kids, pets, to-do lists, house projects.

Two simple reasons to take the time....
1. You were born to do it!
2. It will light YOU UP... and light up everything else in your life.

 
It's been four weeks since I picked up my paint brush...
I've had nothing to do with my camera...
And it hurts.
I'm so excited that my big deadlines are over and my work schedule will sort of go back to normal.
I feel like my creative spirit came surging back today!
I gave myself some breathing air.
The weight lifted.
I felt something bubbling up inside me.
Nervous and scared to paint...
I headed up to my art room. 
To a canvas I thought was ugly (cause it was.. kinda in the awkward teenager stage)
and it just 
came alive...
Tears were there... mystery and beauty overflowed and fear melted away.
There it was...I am overwhelmed with happiness!

YOU 
CAN 
DO IT!

Making time for your passions is not easy.
But once you do it.. it gets easier the next time. And you remember how amazing it feels. How it can change all areas of your life.

Make time for dreams or time will disappear and your dreams will fade away.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Amazing Healing Workshop!

I've been buried. 
Busy.
Under water.
Overworking myself and over extending myself. Promising too much. Traveling too much.
JUST way TOO flippin' MUCH.
The past few days working 15 hours each day. Tonight I took the night off. Went to yoga, grocery shopping and did some cleaning. There was still more work-work to do, but I needed to give myself some me time. 
One word for this Graphic Designer... 
DEADLINES!
There have been a lot of them lately.

Even when I am crazy swamped I somehow still follow Goddess Leonie's blog 
(I guess cause I'm friends with her fb and every freakin post and thing she does inspires me and makes me happy!)
She recently released a healing workshop.
WOW.
The past 3 days I've been able to keep my shit together using her simple healing techniques to clear my energy and keep myself grounded and sparkly. My husband works nights and tonight he said... 'Wow, with as much as you have been working I thought you'd be all crabby and tired - you look healthy!"
HA HA... I'll take that as a compliment I guess?!

Need to brighten your days? Clear your mind and spirit? Maybe this workshop is for you!

She talks about our energies... and how we shine them. 
I've been reflecting on that and it all makes so much sense.

When we are happy and shining our light... a real light (even maybe has a color if you will) and others see that... we put that out there into the universe
People see it.. they respond to it - and shine in it as well. 
She talks about sort of "owning" our space and our light and drawing it inward... when we don't want to share that light.

Protecting our light.

My husband works in hospital, where there are lots of sick people, people with dementia, people who are suicidal. I've told him to surround him self in a white light just to protect himself from negative energies and toxic stuff. 

I taught my husband a few of the NEW things I learned in Leonie's Healing Workshop and he loved it. He said he instantly felt lighter and brighter.

I love meditation, and protecting myself with light, it has changed my life since discovering it.I believe the power of our mind is a strength we can't even really get a grip on.

Under all this pressure and stress... I could have cracked. Been in tears. Angry.
Annoyed.
But I am none of that. (The deadlines are over yet! haha!)
I feel at peace and refreshed.
Clear.
I think I need more sleep... but I am light.

We all need to take the time... even if its a few minutes to heal ourselves, keep our strength and and keep our inner light alive and strong.

If you are looking for healing... check it out. It is only available to her circle members but you get it all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (AND it is WORTH EVERY PENNY!!)
Getting all access is the only way to go! I utilize all her courses, meditations, workbooks!
This is my second year being a member and I LOVE IT so much!
Go get your shine on... she has only released it to those of have the AMAZING MEMBERSHIP!