Saturday, December 24, 2011

30 Days Of Gratitude Day 12



Okay.... so I picked the 30 busiest days of the year to do my 30 days of gratitude and I have fallen behind on writing it down.... I am still feeling a great deal of gratitude... today I am grateful for family, mostly for my 4 year old grandson that we just put to bed with a Christmas bedtime story after putting out cookies and milk for Santa.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

30 Days Of Gratitude Day 11

The gratitude I feel today is enormous.
I am so thankful for my family and friends.




Tuesday, December 6, 2011

30 Days Of Gratitude Day 6

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping-stone to greatness.
~ Oprah Winfrey

I don't like roller coasters and as a Taurus, I really like to have my feet planted firm on the ground... however.... life sometimes takes us on little roller coaster rides.... Today I am grateful for the journey of my life and the choices I have made because without those choices I would not have learned what I know today. And what I know today is that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Monday, December 5, 2011

30 Days Of Gratitude Day 4

Today I am grateful for the days that I experience little or no pain.

I think I may have pushed myself a little too hard at the gym yesterday. I woke up this morning, it was cold, rainy, my shoulders, arms and neck hurt. I went back to bed and was thinking about the days months and weeks that used to go by when I worked a the newspaper and not a day went by that I didn't experience that pain. These days, if I wake up feeling that way, I take a hot bath, go back to bed and wait for it to pass and it does. So .... I am thankful that I no longer have that job that was toxic not only to my health but to my soul.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

30 Days Of Gratitude Day 5

I am grateful to have the strength to build courage in the face of adversity!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” - Marianne Williamson.

30 Days Of Gratitude Day 3

Carrie, Christian and Andrew

Day 3 and I thought this would be easy, however, I woke up this morning feeling less than excited about spending Sunday morning alone, drinking coffee. I have to eat before I go to the gym. Yuke!  Food in the morning, alone.... bummer. It's Sunday, it's cold dark and rainy. Not a problem if you have someone to stay in bed and cuddle with. I used to look forward to Sundays. I have been rethinking my life lately and these days my priorities have changed. My day revolves around my art and I plan my studio time around the sunshine.... and there isn't any. So let me see... there was nobody to wake up with AND no sunshine. WTF? Okay... no sun... now what? 

WaaaLaaaa.... within seconds of deciding I was not even going there in my mind, I got a video text message from Christian, Carrie and Andrew. There is nothing like watching a 4 year old crawl in and out of a life size box that has been converted to a fort to make my day!


So what am I grateful for on this dreary December day? The light of my life. My children and grandchildren. I hear it said often and I will have to agree that my children are my biggest blessing and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel grateful for them!
Total Gratitude
that Adriane and Christian
picked me to be their MOM!
Chris, Dylan and Adriane on Dylan's 15th Birthday

Sarah, Dylan and Adriane on Dylan's 15th Birthday

Friday, December 2, 2011

30 Days of Gratitude Day 2

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs
is people who have come alive.”
~ Howard Thurman





30 Days Of Gratitude Day 7

I value compassion, courage and honesty
I am grateful for those in my life that display 
Compassion, 
 Courage 
And 
Honesty.

30 Days of Gratitude Day 8

I am grateful for
friends and family
that make me feel empowered.

30 Days Of Gratitude Day 9

I am grateful to know that I am enough


30 Days of Gratitude - Day 1

I saw a post on my niece's facebook page late last night - 30 Days of Gratitude - Inspired by someone I don't know. However, one of my big lessons of this past year is that we all need a TEAM. And sometimes some of your best team members are people you don't know.

T - Together
E - Everyone
A - Achieves
M - More

I am starting my 30 day of GRATITUDE today and it will end on Dec 31. Yay!

Today I am grateful for all the people on blogs and facebook that spread the love!




Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For Love of the World -Tribute to Sudie

I went to a memorial service last night. Sudie wasn't just the mother of a good friend, but a mother to the community. I have always said that I wanted to grow up just like Sudie. When she held court at her reserved tables at Artz Rib House or Donn's Depot, "The Queen Mother" was always elegantly dressed wearing just the right earrings with her laced dresses. Throughout the night, everyone in the room would take their turns setting at her table and bask in her beauty. Watching her interact with Sarah was like taking a look into a mirror of my past with my own mother. Everyone always talked about how "Nice" Sudie was and Sarah would say "She really isn't that nice." I had the same insight into my "sweet" mother's personality. It makes me laugh. They were human, yet still angels to me. Sudie said that she was too old to be nice to people she didn't like. My mother was the same. My mother's favorite saying was "I don't take shit from no one." (Spoken with her adorable Spanish accent) The lesson I took from their stern reaction to that which they disapproved of and the way they loved is stated in the poem read by Christine Albert at Sudie's service last night. I am going to put a copy in my purse to remind me of "What Would Sudie Do?"
For Love of the World
Charlotte Tall Mountain

... For the love of a tree,
she went out on a limb.

For the love of the sea,
she rocked the boat.

For the love of the earth,
she dug deeper.

For the love of community,
she mended fences.

For the love of the stars,
she let her light shine.

For the love of spirit,
she nurtured her soul.

For the love of a good time,
she sowed seeds of happiness.

For the love of the Goddess,
she drew down the moon.

For the love of nature,
she made compost.

For the love of a good meal,
she gave thanks.

For the love of family,
she reconciled differences.

For the love of creativity,
she entertained new possibilities.

For the love of her enemies,
she suspended judgment.

For the love of herself,
she acknowledged her worth.

And the world was richer for her.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Sound In Your Mind


I love music, it is healing. It warms my heart to learn that someone I admire grew up listening to the same songs that I have lived by. When I was a teenager, I would sit in my bedroom and hang on every word Bob Dylan sang while trying to teach myself the songs. My father would walk by my bedroom door and say "He Sounds like he has a cold." Meanwhile my mother was washing dishes while singing all the wrong words to the Everly Brothers in the Kitchen.

I imagine that the geeky Steve Jobs was sitting in his bedroom listening to the same songs in 1969. I saw him the other night on PBS talking about his relationship with Bill Gates, stating that it had been "A Long and Winding Road."
I think of most things in life as either a Bob Dylan or a Beatle song.
~ Steve Jobs
Personally, I think of most things in life as a Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan a Beatle song. These days instead of trying to learn the songs, I create a piece of art to go with the song. I woke up this morning dreaming about "The Sound That You Hear In Your Mind." So much healing goes on in the early morning hours.....

Click on the song title to see the song on YouTube.

The Sound That You Hear In Your Mind



Well I've been feeling a little bad
Cause I've been feeling a little better without you
It's a little like rain but it's a lot like a sunny day
And it's hard to explain but the sound of your name don't make music anymore
It's more of a sound of a love that I lost one day
It's a little too late to start thinking about startin' all over
I'd rather stay where I am I can't take another slam in the mind
I've been feeling a little bad cause I've been feeling a little better without you
But remember my love is the sound that you hear in your mind

I've been running around even laughing at half of the memories
And you're not hard to remember I just have to think of your name
I've been feeling a little bad
Cause I've been feeling a little better without you
But remember my love is the sound that you hear in your mind

Monday, October 31, 2011

Blog Hop - Listen to the Whispers

Listen to the Whispers
 I can't even begin to express the gratitude I feel concerning the growth I have experienced in the past few months. I signed up for the Kelly Rae Roberts "Flying Lessons" not really knowing what to expect and what I got was a wonderful TEAM of ladies that have been an incredible daily inspiration.

I consider Oprah to be one of my most important teachers .... and then I happened onto Kelly Rae Roberts, who delivers the same messages to me in a way I understand even more because it pertained to art. Oprah says to listen to the WHISPERS in your life that come in many different forms. You can listen, pay attention and take action BUT... if you don't pay attention... you will get a THUMP up against your head. And if still you don't pay attention there will be a DISASTER.

At the beginning of this year my life felt like a disaster on so many levels yet like so many disasters, it taught me so much and has brought me to a wonderful place. A place where I feel confident about myself and my art. In the midst of all the craziness a friend sent a Kelly Rae Roberts angel to me. Oddly enough, that day I had a friend ask if I would be interested in creating a line of greeting cards with angels on them. That deal fell through but I was feverishly painting angels and I couldn't stop. They would come to me in my sleep. It wasn't until my brother came over and saw them did we both realize she resembled me as a teenager and I was working through some old stuff subconsciously. Wahlaa! My "Luna Chick" series was created and I now have my art all over Austin and a few other places around the USA.

On this journey of self-exploration and growth I am now listening to those whispers that are just mine. I have come to realize that I had become accustomed to giving 110% to others while putting myself on the back burner while making myself small.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 
~Marianne Williamson

All along I thought I was living my dream and flying... I wasn't. It is taking a few months but I am shaking the mud from my wings and feeling like I can really dream big and soar. Effortlessly.

Thank all you ladies who have been flying with me. I have really enjoyed this ride! You know who you are. Well, of course you do... you are all listed below. And for those of you who aren't listed below... click on a few of these links. We are doing a blog hop and these are a group of awesome artists from allllll over the world!

This I know, when you live with an open heart, unexpected, joyful things happen!


Amaranthine Violet http://magic-gypsy.blogspot.com/
Amy Hillenbrand  http://amyhillenbrand.blogspot.com
Beatriz Peñas B. http://beatrizbepe.blogspot.com/
Beth Cougler Blom www.sobliss.wordpress.com
Carmen Patti – http://www.carmenpattistudio.com
Carol Bray     http://theredpaintedcottage.blogspot.com
Christina Fajardo http://christinafajardo.blogspot.com/
Cindy Jones Lantier -- http://www.lantier.org
Connie Rawlins - www.dabblinginlife.blogspot.com
Dana Brock - http://www.dzynbydana.blogspot.com
Deborah Velásquez-http://deborahvelasquez.blogspot.com
Elissa Brown- http://thefreckledarmy.blogspot.com
Hillary Courson -- http://www.hillarycourson.com
Jacquie Williamson - www.jacquiewilliamson.blogspot.com
Jane Paynting  http://inkspiredwings.wordpress.com
Janet Forrest http://tatterednworn.wordpress.com/
Jill Lambert - www.jill-lambert.blogspot.com
Julie Hamilton   http://spaark.wordpress.com
Kanchan Mahon - http://Kanchan-Mahon.blogspot.com/
Karen Claverie http://giddyupletsride.blogspot.com
Kari DeSaulnier - http://karidesi.blogspot.com/
Kathleen Conard http://newfromoldcreations.blogspot.com/
Kathleen McKinnon- http://harmonyschoolhouse.com/expressions-blog.html
Kelley Miller www.kelleymillerartworks.blogspot.com
Kelly Corso- http://birdinatreecreations.blogspot.com/
Kelly Hoernig - www.kellyhoernig.blogspot.com
Kim Hyer-http://www.apaperaddict.com/
Kris Lanae Binsfeld -  http://cherishdesigns.wordpress.com
Lenore Angela -http://www.lenoreangela.blogspot.com/
Linda Barutha --http://lindabaruthadesigns.blogspot.com
Lisa Michele Products - http://www.lisamicheleproducts.blogspot.com/
Liza Zeni Baker - www.lizazeni.wordpress.com
Lynn Richards--http://alittlebluesky.blogspot.com
Lori Leissner--http://leissnerart.blogspot.com
Lori Moon -- http://lorimoonstudio.blogspot.com
Mary Sterk - http://justmarydesigns.wordpress.com
Megan Schmitt www.schmittenwithwords.blogspot.com
Melanie Douthit www.douthitgallery.blogspot.com
Michelle Dwyer http://www.magnetisedbylife.com/
Michelle Reynolds - http://shellsinthebush.blogspot.com/
Rachél Payne (Rae)  http://collectingyourself.wordpress.com/
Rain Hannah - http://honeyandollie.com/
Rhiannon Connelly - http://www.starrybluesky.wordpress.com
Ruth-Mary Smith http://patchworkfamilieshub.blogspot.com
Sherry Richert Belul - http://simplycelebrate.net/cherry-blossom-soup
Shirley Ann http://leonardarenaissancewoman.blogspot.com/
Stacey Chadwick Brown -  http://staceybrownarts.blogspot.com/
Susan M. Walls-Beverly - http://www.susanscharmingtrinkets.blogspot.com
Teresa Cash-Czech www.asmilemaker.com
Tina Carlborg - www.tinachicky.blogspot.com
Tonya Love - www.passport2creativity.com
Ursula Smith http://www.EasyScraps.com/blog
Zulma Cadena www.edustory.wordpress.com

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The leopard can't change her spots! I Think I finally Understand!

Life lessons and miracles appear in the strangest of places. Almost two weeks ago I lost my cat, Rosita. Hard to do considering she was an indoor cat but let me back up a bit. About five months ago, I adopted Rosita, a feral cat, from my cat rescuer friend, Susan. She was small, orange kitten with a very pretty face. She LOOKED like the perfect playmate for my very laid back, big fluffy two year old orange cat, Katie. I adopted Katie from "Austin Pets Alive" when she was 6 months old.

Tony's cat, Geroge had come to stay with Katie for Memorial Day while Tony and I were in New Mexico. Katie seemed a little lost when George left, even though George spent most of the time in the closet while he was here. So I thought she would be happier with a friend living here. As you can see by the photo, they looked like the perfect fit. Looks Are Deceiving! When Susan brought Rosita over, she explained the process of introducing a feral into a home. I was thinking "What do you mean, introducing her to the other cat will take at least 10 days?" But surprisingly, the introduction went well. She hid behind the toilet in the bathroom for 10 days. I went in 3 times daily to hold her. She hissed at me but she let me hold her. During that 10 day period my son was staying with me and going through a difficult time. At the end of the 10 days he picked himself up, dusted himself off and moved to St Louis and I am proud to say he is now doing very well. The cat ... not so much.

Unexpected issues occurred with the cat. After the 10 day period the cats were introduced and became very good buddies. They played together, ate together and slept together. However, after releasing her from the confines of the bathroom, Rosita never let me touch her again. I would sit on the floor three times a day and throw treats to her and coax her into coming closer and closer.  She would bat the treats off of my finger but if I tried to reach over with my other hand to touch her she would jump three inches off of the ground and run. Then the next day it was as if we had never spent that time together and I would have to start all over. She would come up and smell my feet, she even slept on my bed but if I tried to touch her with my toe she would jump.

This went on for five months. There were other problems as well. She would pee on my bed if left alone in my bedroom. Fortunately, like any girlie girl I have lots of blankets and pillows so it didn't go through to my new mattress. It happened twice before I realized I would have to keep my bedroom door closed day and night. I began to feel like a prisoner in my own house. At night while I was asleep with the closed door, she had the run of the rest of the house. I would find earrings, hair clips and assorted other items under the kitchen table or under the couch that she would carry off to play with. I brought home toys from the pet store to entice her but it seemed that the items that smelled like me were her favorites. That seemed strange considering she wouldn't let me touch her.

I was told that getting her spayed would calm her down. A couple of months ago I made an appointment but the vet canceled because they were taking care of all the rescued animals from the Bastrop fire. So two weeks ago I had made plans to get her spayed on Wednesday. Monday morning I woke up to her sitting on my kitchen counter. She looked so cute, so innocent but she knew she was getting away with something because sitting on the counter wasn't something she did during the day when I was up and around. I went over to wash off the counter before making my coffee, while explaining the guilty cat under the table that she was going to be trapped in a cage this week and taken to be FIXED!

Later I was taking a nap with the front door open and the cats were sitting right in front of me watching birds as they often did, in front of the screen door. There was a crack under the door where Rosita would stick her paw out to get dry leaves to play with. That day she pushed a little harder than usual and the screen door opened. In a flash she was gone. I thought well, she isn't in heat and I was seriously thinking about making her an outdoor cat after she got spayed anyway so I would allow her to venture out into the neighborhood. Surely she would decide it was a scary place and decide to come home shortly... if not, she would be home for dinner. She never showed. It felt like having a child run off with the circus after you have tried your best to be a good parent. So much for being a cat whisperer.

I went to bed that night, I didn't have to close my bedroom door, Katie got to sleep peacefully through the night and when I woke up in the morning there wasn't anything broken or torn up. There was no cat hair in my cast iron skillet. Katie cat didn't look at all sad to see her gone, in fact she looked a little more relaxed than she had in a few months. Hummm.... well, I was very sorry that Rosita was out on the streets but suddenly my house felt like my home again.

I learned an unexpected lesson with Rosita. A couple of days ago I saw her in my yard, I walked out to greet her and she ran away. Some alley cats just can't be tamed. Here's the lesson. It pertains to cats and humans. Oprah says to listen to the whispers in your life that come in many different forms. You can listen, pay attention and take action and if you don't pay attention you will get a thump up against your head. And if still you don't pay attention there will be a disaster. Rosita was a thump on the head. She taught me that looks are very deceiving. She looked like the perfect house cat. She was able to act like the perfect house cat as long as I didn't try to get too close. But as soon as I turned my back, she was up to no good. I thought I could love her into being something that she isn't. There's just not enough love on the planet to change who she is. An alley cat.  The leopard can't change her spots! This applies to cats and most importantly this applies to people. Pay attention!



Friday, October 28, 2011

KUT Song of the day by "The Preservation!"

The Preservation
Would you look at that! My sweet little niece's band has the song of the day on KUT!
Click here to hear to read about them and hear the song on the KUT website----> The Preservation: “Modern Dance” And here you can also download the song "Third Story." 

So here is the CD   ------------>
I haven't had time to listen to the whole thing, I'm sure it is wonderful.
To date, my favorite song is one they wrote for me called "Sweet Cecelia."
Mario's sister, Maria created this video for it.  Yeah I know you are wondering why a song about me would be called "Sweet Cecelia".... my full name is Cecelia Christina. That's a good Catholic name, wouldn't you say? Sure enough, out of the mouths of babes, the advice in the song has proven to be good advice. I am almost scared to listen to this whole CD... I may have to start paying attention. The name of the CD even scares me. LOL

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waking up EARLY and drinking coffee in bed is one of my favorite things to do if I know I don't have to be anywhere. I have a couple of appointments later today to do some graphic art but the BIG art show is behind me.

I am happy to say that my friend Sofia and I had a great art show this weekend. The "Viva la Vida" Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Festival was really a lot of work but also a lot of fun and we made some money! I was so busy I forgot to take photos and there was so much to photograph. The costumes were wonderful, there was lots of music, food and fantastic art!

Every time I do a show I am surprised at what people buy. I spent days reluctantly working on earrings. I used to sell lots of earrings but as I have gotten older I have started creating large art because my eyesight isn't as wonderful as it used to be. I can only create earrings in my studio in the afternoon when the sun is shining brightly in the window. Well guess what, the earrings weren't the big sellers. But I also know from experience that at another show, they will be and wahlaa... I already have them made! Yay!

So I am feeling grateful this morning that Sofia decided to do the art show with me and that my grandson Dylan came to help me and that her fiance, Jeff came to help her. Being at a show for 12 hours is one thing, setting up and tearing down is another. Will I do it again. Yes!


So here is to another example of why a TEAM is important.

And here is Steve Jobs talking about having a TEAM

Happy Dia De Los Muertos to you all!

Monday, October 17, 2011

You're my buddy, my pal, my friend

I feel so incredibly fortunate when I am hanging out with my grandsons and working in my studio.  This week is going to be a busy one preparing for the "Dia de los Muertos" show on Saturday. Fortunately, Dylan spent the weekend with me this past week and helped me get some of my polymer clay pieces made. He is a worker. He always does his best and never complains. When I grow up I want to marry someone just like my grandson! LOL. Seriously, there is always a sense of peace and fulfillment when I am just hanging out with Dylan. I am hoping that when I am long gone that he will be able to share great memories with his children and grandchildren of the days we spent in my studio, in my garden and in the kitchen creating. It warms my heart to know that he feels the same about me. He has lived 40 miles away since he was in the second grade so most of our conversations are on the phone but it seems that when I do go pick him up in New Braunfels, as soon as he throws his backpack in the back seat and jumps in the car, he has profound questions that he appears to save up between visits. I used to think "How cool is that that he saves them for me?" Now I realize he is just that relaxed and cool all the time. At any rate, I am happy to do my part, I openly share all my tricks of the trade and knowledge from the school of hard knocks. I even email him info that I wish someone had shared with me as a teenager.

Today my lesson for my children and grandchildren is from Steve Jobs.
Seven Rules of Success by Steve Jobs

So there are those practical lessons that Steve Jobs shared and then there are those lessons that you can only learn in your grandma's art studio, kitchen and garden. And as much as I have taught my grandsons... they teach me so much more and I feel so blessed that they are my own personal little angels.

Here is my musician grandson, Andrew playing my bass when he was 2 years old. He is now 4 years old and awaiting a new brother or sister.... I am so blessed.

Here's the lyrics to a song by Willie Nelson that I would like to dedicate to my grandsons.

I've Loved YOU All Over the  World

You're my buddy, my pal, my friend
It will be that way until the end
And wherever you go, I want you to know
You're my buddy, my pal, my friend

And I've loved you all over the world
You are my sunshine
You keep my life in a whirl
And you love me sometimes
I'll always follow my heart
Wherever it takes me
And until death do us part
I'll love you all over the world

I'll always follow my heart
Wherever it takes me
And until death do us part
I'll love you all over the world

~ Willie Nelson

Friday, October 7, 2011

Miracles Appear In The Strangest Of Places ~ Fancy Meeting You Here!

Sunday was an exciting day for me. I had been working on 18 paintings for my art show at Hyde Park Bar & Grill off and on for a few weeks. I was up at the crack of dawn, with not 1 but 3 very strong cups of coffee on Sunday and had the paintings hung by noon, with the help of Anne Ducote, thank you Anne. I came home and continued working on my next show, the Viva La Vida Fest 28th Annual Dia de los Muertos Celebration, Saturday, October 22, 2011. After about 30 minutes, I heard this little voice saying "Christina, it is a beautiful day. Treat yourself to a day off, go out and get out and get some sun." I closed my laptop and jumped in my car and off I went to South Congress Ave to take a stroll, do some window shopping and get some ideas for my next painting. 

My excellent parking karma on a very busy street was an indication that it was going to be a good afternoon. I walked up one side of Congress, and I do mean up.... South Congress is on a steady slope all the way then I crossed over and came back down the other side. I stopped in a really cool new book store that has one of a kind collectible books and art.  Django Reinhardt music was playing, that is always a sign. I talked to the girls behind the counter about her music selection for a little while and then discovered that she had brought the old album from home. She mentioned that she was going to playing in a marching band in the parade that takes place at the Viva La Vida Fest. It was a cool connection. I walked out of the book store and in the silence of walking alone on the crowded street. There was sort of melancholy haze had fallen over me for the afternoon. I started feeling the let down of having finished a big art project, wondering what is next.


I walked another block and experienced what could be a scene in a very heart warming movie. There on a bench, rolling an American Spirit cigarette was one of my favorite people on the planet, Billy Doss. Truly, miracles appear in the strangest of places. I had not seen Billy in at least 3 years, he lives 100 miles away down IH35 (a road neither of us like to travel) If I had had dared to dream of one thing I wanted for the day to shake the blues away, running into Billy would have been #1 on that list. This was another lesson in "When you hear a whisper from the Universe... LISTEN."

We sat on the bench for a while and talked then went to listen to some music at Guerro's and then to El Gallo for some Mexican food. I took him to my house, he immediately noticed that a piece of vintage tile work that he had given me was hanging between the kitchen and dining room and very much an inspiration for the decor of the two rooms.

Lost Without My Computer

I am still trying to figure out the significance of all of my applications crashing one by one right at the moment I read on Facebook that that Steve Jobs had passed away. I expected that my computer would start acting right after I restarted it 3 times. Nothing. So I took my computer to my  computer tech, went home and worked on a couple of projects before I realized I am broken without my Macintosh so I packed up and came over to Tony's to use his computer.

Since the weather has been so nice I finally got out and started working in my yard. I started creating and hanging my bird houses along the fence of my narrow side yard so I can see them out my kitchen and studio windows. Well, the good news and the bad news is that it is raining today.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There's a New Star Burning In Our Sky Tonigh ~ In Memory of Steve Jobs

It was 1987, I was 32 and a single mother of two children. My life as I knew it had just crumbled and as we all know that leads to serious soul searching. I had always wanted to go to college but life had gotten in the way. Now my determination wasn't just about me, it was about my children. I had no husband and I was a terrible waitress. It seemed that a higher education was the only choice I had. I knew I wanted to be a graphic designer (at the time the title was commercial artist) I looked into going to UT and Austin Community College. Then someone told me there was a really good Commercial Art Department at Texas State Technical Institute in Amarillo. They had a computer lab with Macintosh computers unlike any other. I was sold. But wait, that meant that I had to move back to a Amarillo and not just Amarillo, extreme north Amarillo. By the nuclear plant, Pantex. Well as Steve Jobs said "It is all about connecting the dots." I was going to have to go way off of my beaten path to get to where I wanted to go. Not only was I going to have to move to Amarillo, I was going to have to leave my 8 year old son with his father in Austin.

So there I was a 32 year old student, living in family housing with my 9 year old daughter. The campus was on an old army base so family housing was a duplex where the officers lived. It was a block away from the computer lab so I spent every waking hour at the computer lab.  I laugh when I think about what I was able to do on that computer now. I was determined to make use of all the fonts and colors available. Little did I know that a man my age had invented this work of artful magic in his garage just 3 years before. At that time (1984) I had a Calico computer that I had bought at Target, it was basically a word processor that the kids played games on.

So yesterday was a sad day. Oddly enough as I was multi-tasking on my Mac, working in Photoshop, sending emails, reading Twitter and chatting on Facebook I learned that Steve Jobs has gone to the big computer lab in the sky. One by one all my applications on my computer stopped working except the internet and none of them are working even now so as soon as I finish this post my computer is going to my own personal computer genius, Sammy so he can fix it for me. What would I do without my Mac all day every day?
 
Sometimes it seems that bright stars burn fast and bright for a shorter time than most and then move on. I am hoping that Steve will be sending us ideas from the beyond. Thank you Steve for sharing your genius with us and I would also like to thank my computer lab professor Steve Cost for sharing his genius as well.

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Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

"If today was the last day of your life would you being doing what you are doing today?
We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will."
 
~ Steve Jobs     Feb 24, 1955 - October 5, 2011

 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sometimes you have done all you can do....

I thought that blogging often would be an easy thing to do ... not so much ... for so many reasons. I discovered my laptop is not allowing me to upload photos. Bad timing... I was getting ready for my art show at Hyde Park Bar & Grill starting this Sunday. I had so many wonderful moments to share along the way, painting, waiting for paint to dry, putting on another layer. Each stage of the process is always magical. This time I surprised myself, I actually had all 18 of my paintings ready by Wednesday! Deborah came over and helped put hangers on them yesterday and I was done! In that process I had moments of perfection and moments of happiness and I believe that is all I can ask for.

As for being able to share visuals .... I think I need to buy a new iPhone that has a better camera than my present camera phone. For now, I don't feel I have it in me to write anything wonderful. I am feeling grateful for all my online artist friends who have supported me along this journey and I am going to share the first thing I read this morning from "The Brave Girls Club." I don't even have to ask how the Universe knew I needed to read this first thing this morning.

A message from your friends at the Brave Girls Club - www.bravegirlsclub.com

 Dear Thoughtful Girl,

Sometimes all that you can do is wait for it to feel better, wait for a bad day to be over, wait for things to work themselves out. Sometimes you have done all that you can possibly do, and then you just have to wait.

Patience teaches us tremendous lessons and rewards us with tremendous gifts. Patience makes us grow in ways that nothing else could. Patience is hard to embrace, and practicing patience is hard to do. Most things that have lasting value come through doing difficult things.

If you are in a time, beautiful friend, where you have done all that you can do and now you must just wait, take heart. Don't give up. Don't give in to the hopelessness, sorrow or bitterness that could and does consume some. Keep your heart open, keep believing what you believe. Keep your thoughts toward where you are headed, and how you WANT to feel, toward what is ahead. Do you best to learn in the moment. Do your very best. Things will turn around, just like they always do. Life will work out, just like it always does. You will be through this before you know it.

You are so very loved.
xoxo


Friday, September 16, 2011

Arrival? Nope... still on the journey.

Last Saturday was the last day of my 5 week e-coarse with Kelly Rae Roberts. Here it is a week later and I am still reeling from all the information I gathered and am processing at light speed. Thank you Kelly Rae for being the hub to the wheel of so many beautiful women brought together from all over the world by your extremely enlightening e-coarse. I believe that everything happens in perfect timing and as usual, the Universe opened door after door for the past 5 weeks. You know what they say about being careful what your ask for. I took the class thinking I was going to learn how to get my art licensed. Ha! I really have to laugh at myself. What I got was bombarded with extremely powerful spiritual lessons in life that would lead to some day being ready to be licensed. 

I opened my computer daily to a message from a beautifully, powerful, positive woman who gave step by step instructions to accomplish my goals. I hit the ground running and at about week 3, after redesigning my website, blog and twitter pages, I realized I wasn't close to being ready to be licensed. The cool thing is that everything she taught me was stuff I already knew. It is just going to require turning up the energy and tweaking what I have already been doing. 

She affirmed all those spiritual beliefs I live by. She teaches that a dream team is required.

T.E.A.M.–Together Everyone Achieves More

I knew that but somehow felt defeated because I don't have a life partner who shares my goals. But I learned that I don't have to be business with or married to my dream team, in fact, my dream team doesn't even have to live in the same city with me. As soon as that wall went down I realized that there is a community of women across the country that support each other in their artwork. They teach online art classes, have weekend retreats and they chat daily about ART daily! What a concept. You mean I have been doing this all alone for and I could have had a dream team all along? I got an email from a friend in New Mexico with a great idea for my Luna Chicks.

The other day I read this post on chat from one of my artist friends, Lori. I have heard this concept a million times but I am finally starting to pay very close attention:

If you are trying to reach certain goals, consider creating a mastermind group that consists of 4 or 5 people. Meet once a month to discuss goals and progress. Try to choose people that include ones that are one to two levels above what ever it is you are trying to achieve. This could revolve around higher income, charity work, creating an art business etc. This allows you to move forward faster with less complications, have a community and create accountability.

"Mastermind group" sounds a little scary so I prefer "dream team." It sounds a little more relaxed and less L. Ron Hubbard.

I thought that by this time in my life, I would have reached a magical, peaceful destination. Instead I have come to the realization on a very deep level that it really isn't about reaching the destination. It really is about the journey. And I am going to pass through a lot of situations that look very similar until I learn that lesson. There is still so much healing to do. Here is my lesson for the day.

On that note, you should crawl up in your favorite chair (or bed) with a cup of tea and click below and watch this video. I think it may change my life... and Brene Brown is funny.

Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability

Friday, August 26, 2011

Believe

Believe Card 2 by christina_fajardo
Believe Card 2, a photo by christina_fajardo on Flickr.
Thoughts become things... Therefore I am choosing the good ones! I have an alarm on my computer that goes off every morning to remind me to light a candle, say a prayer and commit to my dream. 

Christina's Alter
My mother's Virgen de Guadalupe, who now lives in my living room.

Before my mom passed away, she told me that she wanted me to have her Virgen de Guadalupe because of her four children that were still alive, I was the one who had many health issues. She worried about me constantly and she thought I would need the saint to watch over me. Needless to say, I feel the presence of my mother watching over me so I was thinking who needs a statue in the house? I thought it was cool but had no idea where I would put it. Then my brother became very ill with a brain tumor. I don't remember ever praying with such intent, even when I was sick. I constructed an alter in my living room just to remind myself to pray and my mother's Virgen de Guadalupe became the focal point of my living room. I sort of laugh at myself now because the statue has become an such an important part of my daily ritual. I love the response when someone new walks into my house and does a double take of my little blue Catholic lady standing tall above all the family photos on the alter. I can see that look on there face of "Wow! I didn't realize Christina was so religious!" Then after I tell them the story, they sort of check out the photos to see if the little lady is watching over them. The photos change from time to time and there are other special nick nacks that are special to me on the alter. But mainly, there is a presence of peace around my alter that is a constant reminder that there are those that have gone before us who watch over us. I am glad to have the spirit of my momma with me always.

Day Dreaming


These are words to "May This Be Love" one of my favorite Jimi Hendrix songs. I request the song every time I go see my friend Marvin plays because this song takes me to that place that is only felt when I am creating art or listening to my favorite music. This one line in the song sort of goes along with what I have been feeling for the last couple of weeks about my art and my livelihood.

More often than not I feel that I don't have someone completely believe in my dream or more to the point, I don't have a dream team. I keep hearing this term over and over by all the successful people that I am paying close attention to and learning from. There is an enormous problem that keeps occurring to me... if I don't have a partner who is in it for the long haul, if I don't have artist friends, if my two children live out of town, where do I turn?  This is a question I am just beginning to feel comfortable even asking. I am sure that is why I keep hearing it over and over. I have heard it said on Oprah, I listening to a CD set called "Cracking The Millionaire Code,"  and the said it, then last week Kelly Rae said it in her e-coarse and then tonight I heard Marcia Weider from Dream University say it. I am starting feel comfortable in knowing that I am deserving of a dream team. I am deserving of being supported. I have identified the limiting belief that I have been living with since 1986 and I am turning it around and shifting my behavior. I am becoming very clear about what I want and I am really starting to believe in myself on a level that is very new to me. Instead of filling my days with helping others with their dreams, which is what I have been doing for YEARS, I am scheduling activities that will move ME towards my dream. What a concept. Here is what I have learned... My dream team doesn't have to be in the same town or even the same state. In fact most of the support that I receive is out of state. So what? Dah! Email, cell phones, blogs, facebook, Etsy... what else do I need?

So back to the song.... it takes me to a serene place. A place of being in love and feeling loved. I was reminded after going to see my friends Danny and Marvin play two nights in a row that women go to hear music to dream. We want to hear love songs even if we don't have a lover, we dream of one or have fond memories of lovers in our past. Men on the other hand like to go hear the best guitar players. Lyrics are just lyrics. It is a reminder of why we may need dream teams. We need good lyrics and a great guitar player on every team.

I ordered the movie "Who Does She Think She Is" because in the first week of my e-coarse with Kelly Rae, she posted a film clip. I will have to say, the movie made me a little sad because it told my story of being a woman, a mother and a struggling artist. Struggling... why? Because I am a woman and just for starters 82% of the student population in art school are women but only 40% of the artists in galleries are women. I may have to come back to this later when it doesn't stir so much emotion.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Working On My Blog.... All Weekend... Really?


I keep bringing up the e-course I am taking but I am feeling much like I imagine my grandson is feeling today on his first day of high school. Meeting new friends, discovering all the things they have in common as well as the diversity and mostly discovering a world you never imagine existed.This blogging thing is very new to me and that is odd because I have had a bog forever but is is sort of like having the bass guitar I have setting in my living room that I never play. I have had several friends ask how to subscribe and here it is. Very simple:  At the TOP LEFT CORNER of the page you can click on "Follow" and it will take you to a stand alone page, click "Follow." That seems to be the easiest way to follow. Or ...On the right side of the page it says  "Follow me by email." Type your email address there and it will send you a confirmation email. Or....You can click on the little orange RSS Feed button on the right Under the heading of "Follow My Blog" that says "Posts" and you sort of have to wait a second and a menu comes up to subscribe by RSS. This is for folks who follow lots of blogs and have them sent to their RSS feed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Synchronicity

Synchronicityn

an apparently meaningful coincidence in time of two or more similar or identical events that are causally unrelated

"Flying Lessons" With Kelly Rae Roberts this week has been fun and informative. No, I'm not learning how to fly a plane, I'm learning how to soar with my art biz. I'm amazed that I had become so well versed in how to connect my musician friends in the online world but clueless as to how to do the same for myself in the artist world. That' a well trained woman for ya. I would insert a LOL here but I am realizing that putting myself on the back burner for a solid 56 years has not served me.
Okay, so timing is everything. I don't think I was ready to soar before now. The synchronicity involved in my decision to sign up for "Flying Lessons" is more than perfect. I read somewhere that when you are on target, synchronicity happens. I have been somewhat focused on my art my whole life, but I sensed that this year was time for me to soar in my art biz. This transformation didn't come without growing pains. My new "Luna Chick Series" evolved from a place of deep healing and that, my friends, is another blog.

Rene's Red Guitar By Christina
Painting by Christian Ethridge
I have been a mixed media artist since the 90s. For four years I had been creating mixed media pieces with the focus on music and vintage nudes. Thank you Rene for sending me in the direction of music. I wanted to go there, I just didn't know how. I have lived in and around the Austin music scene for the better part of 30 years. My friends Rene and Danny had just bought a new house twice the size as the one they had been living in and had to buy all new everything. They needed art. Rene saw a painting of a guitar in a furniture store that she liked but the guitar was brown and she wanted a red guitar to match her lamps. She asked me to paint one as a gift for her husband. I had NEVER painted a large canvas painting, not even in art school. It was scary and fun all at the same time. My son was staying with me at the time so I asked him to join in on the fun, well actually I asked him to draw a large guitar so I could paint it and I came home from work and he had gone off in a whole new direction with the painting. So I bought another canvas and did it myself. Our paintings turned out vastly different but equally wonderful and Rene bought them both for her new house.
Red Guitar Butterfly Blues - SOLD
Shortly after that I started dating, Tony, a Gypsy Jazz guitar player. I started listening to lots of Django" Reinhardt music and as usual, my art seemed to have followed the music. Naturally, I painted and sold lots of guitar paintings, mostly RED guitars.. Because Gypsy Jazz music originated in Paris, France, I became very interested in the art of that time and at the same time was exploring the idea of selling art on ebay and discovered ACEOs. I started creating collage art with vintage nudes and music. I thought this would be a great way to break into selling on the internet without hurting myself. ACEOs would be easy to create and cheap and easy to mail. That was four years ago and I am still selling my ACEOs on ebay and Etsy.


ACEO By Christina
Then after a very rough few months, my artwork took a turn to being a muse to dive deep into some old wounds. I ended up with my Luna Chick Series, paintings that looked much like myself as a teenager but more angelic. I had a  article written about me in a New Mexico newspaper it opened all kinds of doors.  After seeing the paintings on Facebook a friend approached me to create "Angel Greeting Cards." That same day I got a package in the mail from another friend with a Kelly Rae Roberts "Create" angel ornaments and a crystal as a gift. It felt like a message from the Universe saying "Yes! Create Angels!" My friend and I continued to throw ideas around, we painted a few angels then she backed out after realizing there wasn't much money to be made selling cards at local stores but the wheels kept turning in my head, I already had product in stores and online so I continued on track. That very week another friend of mine invited me to hang some of my art in a new flower shop. I went to the flower shop to meet with the owner and she had a Kelly Rae Roberts skins on her Mac. Later that day I went to a gift shop where I have my art and two booths down was a booth full of Kelly Rae Roberts art. The messages on Kelly Rae's art were the same messages I had been painting and she was obviously doing very well financially doing her art.

Luna Chick By Christina
So, long story longer, I am learning from the best and taking notes. The message, dream big and work with a team!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Loving My New Flying Team!

When two people or more people gather in his name and PRAY 
for the same cause there is MORE POWER.  
I am praying for a Dream Team!
Martin Luther King said "I have a DREAM," not I have a plan.
He found thousands who had the same dream.

Week # 2 of Flying Lessons with Kelly Rae Roberts

Last week was crazy busy getting ready for an art show. This week I feel that I am going to be very creative because the jewelry mojo was turned on full blast last week during crunch time before the show. I have been collecting beads and wonderful findings on Etsy over the past year but I just couldn't make myself set down and create the jewelry. Amazingly when I finally sat down and did it, I enjoyed it and I got a really good feel from Sherry and Amanda that it will sell. Nothing like a couple of girly girls to let you know that your jewelry really does rock!

I had been on a spiritual journey this year, spending hours writing in my journal and then taking those thoughts and prayers and turning them into mixed media art. Mixed media art takes me to that place of meditation where I unravel my myths and stories.  I have unraveled some really deep myths and stories through my Luna Chick series this year. I traveled back into my youth and that lead to unraveling information from my New Mexican heritage. I has been quit a journey!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Have So Much To Read

Whew..... really there are so many creative souls out there and I am learning so much! I have a list of books to read. Looks like I need to get an iPad!

Taking Flight: Inspiration and Techniques To Give Your Creative Spirit Wings
By Kelly Rae Roberts
Learning by Heart-teachings to free the creative spirit 
by Corita Kent & Jan Steward 
Point Zero-creativity without limits 
by Michele Cassou
Art at the speed of life
by Pam Carriker
Collage Couture
by Julie Nutting
The Artistic Mother
by Shona Cole
Collaborative Art Journals 
by L.K. Ludwig
 The Handmade Marketplace
by Kari Chapin 
I'd Rather be in the Studio
by Alyson Stanfield
Fearless Creating 
by Eric Maisel

How Get Your Art Into Retail Shops

I just listened to a pod cast on how to get into retail stores by http://pinkolive.com/
This is been a mystery to me for years and I do mean years. After listening I am amazed at how simple it is.

First... Do your homework! Visit the store that you want to sell to! Take time to go to the store and get to know the store or check them out on the website. Simple enough and I have done that a million times and it stopped right there.

Second... Have a website with your artwork on it. Good photos and detailed information.
Great Photos! Close ups are good and then take some on the backdrop that looks like the store you want to sell to.


Third... Each item needs to have a style number. Names are cute and catchy but numbers are easier to work with. You can use the letters of the product for instance, Red Luna Chick = RLC-787
Example --->    Minimum: 4 pcs per style; $250 per order

Now, when you finally get up the nerve to talk to someone at the store, go with your information in hand. Have a great business card with a link to your website and blog. Have a genuine approach. treat it like a win win situation instead of having the "I just want to be in your store attitude." Remember, you website will do the selling.

No here is where you are going to need a pot of coffee and your reading glasses.
Develop a Line Sheet. "What is a Line Sheet?" you ask. This is probably one of my biggest problem areas. It is sort of like writing up a business plan for me but I am sort of getting used to the idea AND I am going to work on mine this week. I am already halfway there! Piece of cake!
Put your Line Sheet on your website so that buyers have time to go there in their own time. Your line sheet should consist of the following:

Line Sheet
  • Great Photos: The photos should be on a backdrop that looks like the store you want to sell to.
  • Style Numbers: Each item should have a style number. Names are cute and catchy but numbers are easier to work with. You can use the letters of the product. Red Luna Chick = RLC787
  • Wholesale Price and Wholesale Order Minimum
Develop a sample packet. If you come across someone who may be interested in your art, give them a sample packet and include wholesale seller contact information. I am thinking about sending a line sheet to repeat buyers on ebay to let them know what other products I have... just a thought.
 

How to Draw Owls

How to Draw Owls with Step by Step Drawing Lesson « Step by Step Drawing Blog

These are a few of my favorite things

Abundance; Acceptance; Affirmations; Alive; Allow; Amaze; Angels; Appreciate; Art; Aspire; Awaken; Aware; Awe; Babies, Balance;  Beautiful; Become; Believe; Bliss; Blossom; Blossoming; Blue Skies; Bountiful; Breath; Breathe; Bright; Brilliant; Brilliance; Bubbles; Buzz; Calm; Caring; Caressing; Centered; Challenge; Charge; Cheerful; Chocolate; Chirp; Choose; Clarity; Clear; Cleansing; Colorful; Compassion; Composed; Confident; Confidence; Conscious; Courage; Courageous; Create; Creative; Crystals; Curious; Dance; Dazzle; Decisive; Delicious; Delight; Determination; Dream; Dynamic; Earned; Earnest; Effervesce; Electric; Embrace; Empathize; Empower; Energy; Energetic; Energize; Enjoy; Enthused; Equanimity; Excite; Exuberant; Faith; Fantastic; Flow; Flowers; Fly; Forgiveness; Fragrance; Freedom; Fresh; Fruity; Full; Fun; Gentle; Giggle; Glorious; Goodness; Grace; Grateful; Groovy; Growth; Happy; Heal; Healthy; Humane; Humble; Humility; Humor; Imbibe; Improve; Informed; Inhale; Innocence; Inspire; Inspiration; Intuitive; Invigorate; Jasmine; Joy; Jump; Kindness; Kinetic; Kiss; Laugh; Lavender; Learn; Light; Listen; Lively; Love; Majestic; Meaningful; Manifest; Miracle; Music; Nature; Natural; New Beginnings; Nourish; Nurture; Open; Optimistic; Overflow; Passion; Patient; Peace; Peaceful; Play; Playful; Poise; Positive; Power; Powerful; Prosperity; Pure; Purpose; Quiet; Radiant; Realize; Reflective; Refresh; Release; Renew; Responsive; Richness; Sanctified; Savor; Scintillate; Serene; Shine; Sincere; Simple; Simplicity; Sing; Smile; Soften; Sparkle, Special; Spontaneous; Stainless; Strength; Stretch, Strong, Success; Suffused; Sunshine; Surprise; Survive; Sweeten; Taste; Tender; Thankful; Thoughtful; Therapeutic; Thrill; Thrive; Thunder; Tickle; Titillate; Tolerant; Tough; Transcend; Transform; Tranquil; Trust; Trusting; Understanding; Unfold; Unperturbed; Unselfish; Unshakable; Uplifting; Useful; Valued; Vibrant; Vibrancy; Vigorous; Visionary; Warmth; Wellness; Whole; Wholeness; Wild; Wonder; Wonderful; Worthy; Yoga; Youthful; Young; Zest; Zeal

Thank you Studio Without Walls

Art Shows Are Hard Work But I Always Meet Some Very Nice Folks!

Nothing like living in a city with small town mentality. I say that because I rarely leave 78704, Central South Austin. In my mind 78704 is all that exists the majority of the time. I rarely watch local news and I rarely go north of the river. Therefore I was clueless of what happened at Highland Mall during The Texas Relays in 2008. My memory of Highland Mall was 30 years ago when I lived off of 51st St and walk the mall with my then 2 year old and newborn in a stroller. It was air-conditioned and Highland Mall was a new and beautiful building with lots to look at. It still is a beautiful building but it is now a ghost town. So I was taken aback when after setting up my booth yesterday, I took a stroll down the empty corridor to find the ladies room. More than half the stores are closed, the store directly across from me is closing on Friday.  "Riots. Really? All the stores closed for a whole weekend during Texas Relays, really?" I am having this conversation on the phone with my son in St Louis while I am sitting in the lonely mall. I was invited to do the art show by my friend Amanda and I sort of talked Tony into playing music too. The fee was reasonable and Amanda and Tony were going to be playing music... should be a good time...right? Well it was fun. Dylan helped me like he always does. Amanda and Sherry bought lots of jewelry from me, Tony brought me dinner from Quality Sea Food but I just barely doubled my $25 booth fee. Monetarily it was hardly worth setting in an empty mall for 12 hours but I had fun and I met some really nice folks. That is one thing I have always loved about art shows, I always leave being best friends with neighboring artists and by the end of the show we trade and/or buy from each other. So the lesson here .... that I already knew... Pay close attention to the booth fee at an art show... if it is a very low fee, it is for a reason.... you aren't going to sell much. The really good thing about having done this show is that now have lots of inventory and I got a good first hand feel for what Amanda and Sherry like in my art and jewelry and can make more of the hot items. It's all good.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I am hearing the message, loud and clear!

Today was day 4 of my "Flying Lessons" with Kelly Rae Roberts. Focus today was on blogging. I have never been a big fan of blogging or blogs, even though I was responsible for a really cool one back in the mid 90s. I earned a "New Fellow Fellowship" from "The Newspaper Association of America" and traveled to several newspapers around the country for a year and then in the end got to pick the one I wanted to go to for a week. I went to San Jose. There was a lot of new technology going on there and I thought I could learn something because I hadn't seen much going on at other newspaper across the country. I ended up hanging out with a really cool guy who showed me the ropes at the newspaper for about an hour every morning. I actually did the entertainment listings for the Contra Costa Times for a week. But most of my time was spent in coffee shops and  sight seeing until midnight every night. It was June 3, a beautiful day in sunny California day and I pulled up to a coffee shop and the old Bobbie Gentry song "Ode to Billy Joe" was playing on the radio. "It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day. I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay." At any rate, at the end of a very enjoyable year of travel I had to come up with an online project to present to the Newspapers Association of America panel so that they knew their money was well spent. I had run across an online diary (they weren't called blogs back then) of a couple of guys who were traveling in an RV across America on Route 66. First of all traveling on Route 66 in an RV has always been my dream for old age. I always visioned myself, with my husband in an RV at the end of long lives together traveling and camping across the land. I was a hippy, wasn't I? Now I see myself traveling to Spain and spending time in an adobe house in Santa Fe. So I thought this traveling online diary was a winner but I didn't see myself going anywhere any time soon, I had a 16 yr old and a 18 yr old at home. However, my friend Lana was going on a European tour with her dad Willie Nelson, so I asked her to meet with the new online department at the Austin American-Statesman and asked her to write a daily diary of their travels. It was an instant success. The next year, Statesman.com had a new manager and didn't want to participate so Lana started blogging on WillieNelson.com. Random House Books liked it so much that they offered her a book deal. Willie ended up taking over and writing the book himself but Lana made enough money on the deal to build a house for her daughter. So that was my first blog experience. I wasn't sure then and I am not sure now that what I have to say will be of interest to anyone but if Kelly Rae says it is key to her success I am going to give it a try! I have a commitment to my DREAM! I do! I do! This shouldn't be hard at all! I have been writing everything on Facebook that I should have been blogging. I love posting photos. Why not do it here?

Today I had to focus on creating jewelry for my art show at Highland Mall this weekend. I have found that it is important to have the big expensive canvas pieces so people know you are an artist but most purchases are small,  inexpensive items. Most people either can't afford a painting or don't have anywhere to put it but like to take something to remember the experience. Small inexpensive items at art shows are key to success.

Anyway here is a great video from my e-course. Simon Sinek says exactly what I heard on "Breaking the Millionaire Code" earlier this week. Is it a coincidence that I heard it twice in one week? I don't think so.  Christian and I are talking about committing to our art business. He is thinking BIG. I like that! We have opened the door to success. He just happened to walk into a textile art studio at The Hill in St Louis yesterday while waiting to get his cooking knives sharpened. Coincidence? What are the chanced that he would walk into a warehouse where 2 women were doing exactly what he wants to do. Paint one fabric?

So her is the video of the day. Key  -----> The goal is to do business with people who believe in what you are doing. Developing trust and loyalty. You and or your product makes them FEEL good therefore they want to be a part of it. You hire people who believe in your product and have an investment in it.
 Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | Video on TED.com
"Breaking the Millionaire Code" quoted the Bible, Matthew 18:20 and what I have always believed about that Bible quote is that there is power in numbers. When two people or more people gather in his name and pray for the same cause there is more power.  I am praying for a Dream Team! Martin Luther King said "I have a DREAM," not I have a plan and he found thousands who had the same dream.