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
Amy Hillenbrand
Beatriz Peñas B.
Beth Cougler Blom
Carmen Patti –
Carol Bray
Christina Fajardo
Cindy Jones Lantier --
Connie Rawlins -
Dana Brock -
Deborah Velásquez-
Elissa Brown-
Hillary Courson --
Jacquie Williamson -
Jane Paynting
Janet Forrest
Jill Lambert -
Julie Hamilton
Kanchan Mahon -
Karen Claverie
Kari DeSaulnier -
Kathleen Conard
Kathleen McKinnon-
Kelley Miller
Kelly Corso-
Kelly Hoernig -
Kim Hyer-
Kris Lanae Binsfeld -
Lenore Angela -
Linda Barutha --
Lisa Michele Products -
Liza Zeni Baker -
Lynn Richards--
Lori Leissner--
Lori Moon --
Mary Sterk -
Megan Schmitt
Melanie Douthit
Michelle Dwyer
Michelle Reynolds -
Rachél Payne (Rae)
Rain Hannah -
Rhiannon Connelly -
Ruth-Mary Smith
Sherry Richert Belul -
Shirley Ann
Stacey Chadwick Brown -
Susan M. Walls-Beverly -
Teresa Cash-Czech
Tina Carlborg -
Tonya Love -
Ursula Smith
Zulma Cadena

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.


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