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Monday, March 28, 2011

Soul Restoration 1 redux

So, the wonderful women (and men) over at Brave Girls Club are running a giveaway for posts about Soul Restoration 1.  I wrote about SR1 shortly after the experience, and now, a little month after SR1, I have a bit more to say... (of course I do!)

I didn't say much about the art therapy of the workshop, but it's fun, simple art that takes you "inside" the weekly lesson.  I am a big fan of art that asks you to get messy... get your hands dirty, because making art should be visceral.... it should grab your guts and squeeze a little.  That little squeeze helps you make some room in what is probably an overstuffed insides; it allows the lesson some room to become a part of you.

I didn't say much about the process of digging around inside my head so that I could find the doors that needed to be nailed shut and the ones that needed to be pried off their hinges so that they could stay wide open, but I alluded to the process.  In the getting messy art projects, my hands got busy while my head got quiet and I  got a chance to really hear my own voice again.  I am usually quiet, no, silent, because I am a girl who tells the truth instead of a girl who says what is expected.  Don't get me wrong, I'm polite, but I won't make nice of something that is not.  In my experience, few people actually want an answer; they want to be told that they are right or that it will all be okay, or  that it's not what it seems...  Yeah... I'm not that girl.  I'm going to tell you when you are wrong, that you're strong enough to handle what might not be okay (or smart enough to get help handling it) and that when it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and ruffles it's tail feathers in your face and says "I'm a duck" and you insist on telling me it's a peacock, I'm going to pin feathers on your behind and ask if that made YOU a peacock.   So... I don't talk much because planet Kaere is really sacred to me, and hurting you with what I see, what I believe, what I think I know isn't why I tell you it's a damn duck, fool, it's just that I don't have your experiences to see planet YOU.   It is easier for me to hush than to be worried about how you'll hear what I have to say.  In my first post about SR, I said that I  re-learned that just because you have something to say doesn't mean you should say it, and I repeat it here now because it may be one of the most important things I took away from this course.   The community fostered by the SR workshop puts you in touch with A LOT of women... and there's a lot of good stuff going on in there, but just like real life, there are people who are careless, people who are uniquely unqualified to be giving you advice, and people who need to be heard more than they need to hear what you've asked.   You know what? that's great.  Because we need to be reminded that just because somebody told us, doesn't make it true, that just because someone doesn't agree with us doesn't make us wrong, that just because someone said something we don't like, doesn't mean we don't like them...  The community of SR will strengthen not only  the way you relate to women but also the sound of your own whispers so that you are sure of your voice, even when you don't like what you are saying.  You will learn to trust your voice, and that there are things in all of us, yes ALL of us, that are not things we want to have in us... for some of us, those are big ugly drooling monsters with gnashing teeth that eat babies, for others they are dust bunnies that mar an otherwise perfect floor... and you know what?  they feel EXACTLY the same.  And I don't just believe this, I know it. 

I did talk a little about forgiveness, and letting go, and getting on with it.  Because at the end of the day or the beginning of each day's journey, what it really is all about is getting on with it.  Life is a great big beautiful mess and we are unique and amazing creatures who are making our way throuh this mess, leaving footprints, fingerprints and handsmears all over the place... can you see your way as a path for those who come behind you?  Can you see your way as the indelible art of life?  You can .

make something beautiful with your heart and your hands,

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Red Hair and Black leather, my favourite colour scheme...

hmmm...  So I got this email yesterday from (if you're not already registered you can register here) that let me register for a free trial over at with a ten dollar credit... (and then when you cancel the trial they give you another 5.00 credit) so I downloaded some music I've been really missing, old Til tuesday, Jewel, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and Tori Amos... a copy of Richard Thompson's 1952 Vincent Black Lightning (where the post title comes from)  and I made art to my old music last night... and a lot of neat things came about...

Sooner or Later you're going to have to take a big breath and just spreadyour wings

Music has always been important to me-- it turns a bad mood into either angry energy or a better mood, it makes a good mood feel brighter... singing is like being able to put my own hands around my heart and give it a good healthy hug... lyrics are the poetry I know best  (excluding a little carl sandburg, ee cummings, t.s. eliot, and w.b. yeats)  And this particular batch of music  is all connected to other people in my life over the years...  Til Tuesday was the soundtrack to my recovery from a devasting relationship in the mid eighties.  Jewel was the soundtrack to me finding my voice again in the late nineties.  You get the picture... and as you can see from the above, so did I.  The background collage for this piece had been sitting around for over a week waiting to speak to me of the girl that lived there.  It stayed silent... but then... "he made me feel so second best... I never should have let him do it.  but when he makes his pretty mess, somehow you just fall into it... Have mercy on him, the love that I gave him is gone.  Have mercy on him the love that I saved for him is gone... He wasn't just another touch; he was something I created.  And though I loved him much too much, I never thought my love was wasted"  and all the thoughts I've been having about making SHE ART (Christy Tomlinson) versus making my art kind of gelled into this post Pop faerie girl who knew... just knew that flying was a possbility. 
"pray your gods who ask you for your blood, for they are strong and angry, jealous ones, or lay upon my altar now your love...I fear my time is short, there are armies moving close, be quick, my love...  is it that they fear the pain of death or could it be they fear the joy of life?  "  and thereby the wings of cracked paper in a dead brown were born but shimmering with a copper fire, full of light and motion (gotta love Stickles)

"I have given, I have given and got none, still I'm driven by something I can't explain... It's not a cross; it is a choice, I cannot help but hear his voice, I only wish that I could listen without shame... let it rain"  and this only makes sense to me (and one other person on the face of the planet but i doubt that person will be reading this) The little red ribbons tied around the ceremonial shanks of hair... red for the colour of love, the colour of blood, an homage to the girl who loved and was wounded deeply.

"she has learned to play in a world today where nothing else matters, but it matters: we've got to start feeding our souls..." and there is the bird on her arm, taking flight, showing her how to spread those wings...

"i never was the fantasy of what you want or  wanted me to be... don't judge me so harsh little girl..."
and that's why she's a faerie, the fantasy of wings, of magic, of flight that is more than just the whisper of wings, but the beating of them. 
"we thought just for an instant, we could see the future, we thought for once we knew what really was important.  coming up close everything sounds like welcome home, come home...'oh by the way don't you know that I could make a dream that's barely half awake come true?' I wanted to say, but anything I could have said, I felt somehow that you already knew..."   and so she has that line from Kellie Rae Roberts' book, because sooner or later, that dream that's barely half awake, comes true...

Christy Tomlinson's  She Art workshop is worth it... every penny, every hour, and every bit of scrubbing your hands clean from playing with ink and mod podge, and using textiles to make texture masks... it's worth it if you've never made art at all before, and it's really worth it if you're making art but struggling to find your own style, your own voice... It took a little more than the course for me, it took digging out the soundtracks to the time in my life when I was sure of my voice... and all I can say is... Don't you know that I can make a dream that's barely half awake come true?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

a different 10 list...

A few weeks back, I wrote a "ten things you probably don't know about me" post...  I've been slacking in the craft room this week so I thought I might revisit the ten list and give you some other things about me, and a few things that might encourage you to think a little about you, too.  We've all heard the axiom "you can't take it with you" but not so very long ago, and for some of us not so very far away either, you were buried with the things your loved ones thought you would need (or want) for the after life (and the journey thereto).  Now, those of you that actually know me know that I'm a clutter monkey... there's stuff everywhere around me, all the time and mostly because I just plain love stuff.  I love textures, patterns. I love colour and aromas.  There was a time in my life when I could pare it down to three suitcases and a cardboard box and pick up and move and not miss a thing.  That was a LONG time ago.  Then there was hurricane Katrina and everything I own except the jewelry I was wearing at the time was destroyed or lost forever.  There went my years of collected vintage clothing, costumes, more shoes than I care to mention, jewelry, my journals, my art, my collecton of dolls, music boxes, piggy banks, antique glassware, a really stellar (albeit small) wine cellar and boutique whiskey collection, thousands of books, hundreds of cds...  and funny... I've not really replaced most of it.  I have about fifty cds now (and yes, I'm always looking for something I no longer own), some books have been replaced, but I no longer keep books the way I used to. It got me thinking about the things we keep... I'm a scrapbooker and a journaller so the keeping of histories is something I of course support, but what would I take with me, if there's a taking to be had?

the Ten things I'd request to be buried with for the afterlife (an journey thereto)

1. Diet coke
2. Richard Bach's Illusions
3. My son's fleece blanket
4. My leather jacket
5. Speedball pen
6. Acrylic ink (see above)
7. real love is forever ring (James O'Barr's The Crow memorabilia, a piece that survived the hurricane)
8. Photo necklace of my son
9. any one of my handmade journals
10. my green sweater

So, yeah, I know now I need to show you a picture of the stuff... or at least some of it.. but not tonight...
And you know, coming up with the ten things was harder than you'd think...  give it a shot...  I'd be interestesd to see what matters to you.

make something beautiful with your heart and your hands,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oh... there it is..

You ever spend ten minutes, two hours, three weeks looking for something you know you had but can't remember where it is?  Yeah, me, too, at least once a day, every day of my life since Seamus was born.  And, no, it's not that Seamus moves things on his mama, it's that his Mama has become overwhelmed with a lack of sleep, the stress of being a single income family, the amount of crafting supplies that I have amassed, the number of projects I'm working on on a daily basis, and of course, a lack of better habits.  I lose about an hour every day to the searching for things.  When I put something down at work, if i walk away from it, I can't remember where I left it.   I was reading a forum post early this morning when my little voice said... "huh, there it is," and planet Kaere switched into overdrive.  The Soul Restoration workshop, and the She Art workshop have been great experiences for me, don't get me wrong, but they've also been a bit of a search and rescue mission.  I listen to people tell their stories of amazing change, or share their excitement at discovering a new talent, and today I thought... "but you're missing the point... it WAS there ALL along."  I lose something in my purse just about everyday, too.  I get frustrated digging through the pockets, knowing it's in there but I just can't lay my hands on it.  I get a little aggravated with myself for all the things
I do find in there--- receipts that could long since have been  thrown away, more tubes of lipstick than one woman should own, never mind carry, mint wrappers... you know the drill, but then, okay, there's my phone--- there all along, my pen, there all along... And that's where I'm busy sitting with SR and She Art... it was there all along.  The unique and amazing discoveries we are making, are just that-- we are finding what is already there with in us, and for me, at least, right where I left it.  I had just forgotten where I put it.  So the reason I'm writing this is to remind you that while you can be grateful, have respect for the teacher, be in awe of your discovery, it is YOU.  And hey, it was there all along.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Combat boots and a Prom Dress

Right, so... you know, I blog in spurts... something comes up that I want to participate in, or something exciting happens in my world, or I'm feeling really closed off and need to reach out, or I just want to share what is making me happy... I'm trying to be better about blogging regulalry, but I'm finding this virtual world sometimes just makes me downright cranky.  I'm the kind of girl who believes in things... when you tell me something, I believe you.  I'm a trusting sort, and I keep my filters pretty low.  I like to believe the best of people, even when they are determined to present anything but.   But I'm getting tired.  I'm tired of people who always need to be the center of attention.  I'm tired of people who think that talking about their problems is a better idea than doing something about them.   I'm tired of wanting more for you than you want for yourself...  So I've got this image in my head, because I've been doing some real thinking about the idea of being a girl, and where I've gotten to is that princesses stink.  The world doesn't owe you anything, a man isn't going to magically make everything better, and the only happily ever after waiting for you has your name carved in stone.   As girls, we're taught to be nice, to be compliant, pliable.  We multi-task constantly and define ourselves by what we don't have and who we aren't...  we fail to see the team behind those super women (hello, Martha, Oprah) and think we are incapable of ever being good enough.  We meet real life girls every day and fail to offer them support or praise... (and you know you want to, you just don't want to be weak or rejected...).  As mothers and wives we maintain a front of plausible perfection so our children don't see the struggles of the adult world, and our peers don't know that we might not be able to pay the mortgage this month and we sleep in separate rooms.   We create niceties but often fail to be nice.  So I'm going to go out on a limb and say the hell with glass slippers... I want combat boots.  Life is messy and hard and you need to be able to kick down a few doors without being worried about slicing your toes to ribbons, thereby making you even more helpless than the already imposed perception.  I want to be able to climb mountains, not be carried up them.  I want to have you there with me, sharing in the joys and hardships of the journey, not telling me about this or  that drama (that by the way, You allow).   I love to share in your creations, watching you grow and develop.  I love that you come to see the same in me.  So... c'mon, you can wear the prettiest pink dress with lace and ruffles and underskirts and what ever... but ffs, put your combat boots on...' kay?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Winners announced, and a few thoughts...

Okay... brave pendants belong to Sandra
Sandra said...
You are unique and beautiful
I have loved reading every post you have put on soul restoration
I truly believe you have the whole world in your heart!
your pendant is beautiful and I love the word brave - beacuse that ids what we all strive to be!

and Sue

Sue said...

I am in awe! I am honored to be given the gift of your words. This post is so thoughtful, fruitful, full of the insight and so well articulated. Just what a woman seeks before leaping. And leap they will!
I feel so blessed to have taken the leap myself into this course along side you and ALL the other women we came in contact with.
I look forward to continuing this journey with you sister!
Thank you for being you!

Many Brave Girl {{{HUGS}}}

Sue Hetherington

Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments. Please send me a snail mail address via (replace the-at- with @) Also, let me know if you have a colour or pattern preference for you pendant.
If you loved the pendant and didn't win, they are available in my shop or you can message me and request a colour or pattern. 

I have to tell you that I really enjoyed reading all of your comments.  It is often easy to forget that we make a difference to others.  Thank you so very much for letting me know the impact I on had on each of you.  I hope to see a few of you here more often.  nothing is quite as lonely as writing a blog that seems to never have visitors...then again, y'all know me, when I get talking... watch out sister.  I also appreciate all the support of  my sideline business, that little extra income is invaluable to me. 

As most of you know, we're going through a major transition at work right now that is making my job a little harder than usual, a little more stressful than working at a craft store ought to be, and a little less of the place I love to be.  Things will even back out and the new scrapbooking section is absolutely amazing-- and that is why I love my job... even when it gets hard or yucky, I get to be surrounded by  things that inspire me and people who share my passions. 
It is my wish that each of you find in your day to day living a place surrounded by those same things. 

Make something beautiful with your heart and your hands

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Soul Restoration Blog Hop

Hopefully, you arrived here from Trisha's blog.  If you've somehow landed here towards the back half of the Soul Restoration Blog hop, you can start from the beginning by clicking here.  And just to share a little love, I'll be drawing two, yes two random numbers from all the love you leave for one of my glass tile "brave" pendants.  You have to leave some love, and I have to be able to contact you. 
This is not going to be an easy post to write, and I'm turning my internal editor off (though spell check remains active!)  Y'all know I took part in the incredible Melody Ross (and company) online workshop "Soul Restoration"-- and that I won my place in the course through the also incredible Christy Tomlinson's blog.   The workshop is a guided journey into our psyches through creative journalling and semi-structured projects.  I'm not going to say more about the content of the course... for that info:  “Join us for the powerful and fun online workshops taught by Melody Ross that are being enjoyed and loved by women all over the world! Soul Restoration on-line classes - Now expanded to TWO sessions: Soul Restoration Part 1 – Finding Your Truth (6 weeks) April 5, 2011 Session: $99 – Register HERE and Soul Restoration Part 2 – Living Your Truth (6 weeks) For graduates of Soul Restoration 1 only June 7, 2011 Session: $99 – Register HERE” .  What I want to tell you, and I don't really want to tell you, but I need to tell you, is that inside the most amazing woman (and this is true for men, too, but c'mon now, this is geared for women only right now) you have ever met lives another person who is sometimes afraid, who sometimes hurts, who has days when she cannot face herself in the mirror or does not recognise the woman she sees there.  Inside the most amazing woman you have met lives a girl just like the one inside of you and me.  And inside the most rotten woman you have ever met lives a girl like yours or mine.  I've never been an easy girl... My brother says of me: “Even when you were two, we could stand you at a fork in the road and say ‘this is the easy way, this is the hard way’ and you’d hitch up your diapers and toddle off down the hard road.” I HAVE to learn by getting my hands and heart dirty. . I wanted to participate in Soul Restoration because I believe. I believe that we all have wings, that we all have a story to tell, that in each of us there is an answer to a lesson that someone else desperately needs to learn. I believe that we are unique amazing creatures and that for most of us, being unique and amazing is an impossibly daunting task for which we learn to hate ourselves and hide our hearts.   I believe that thinking we know how things are going to work out is probably the worst thing we can do-- we don't know.  I see the world from such an interesting little place that when I share what I believe or what I know about the way things work, people give me a funny look... sometimes it's the "oh my gods, why didn't I think of that?" look, but usually it's the "whatareya freakin' crazy?" look.  I've lived a lot of life in my forty-two years and the hardest part about being unique and amazing is that when you really open yourself up, you let all kinds of things in... and some things really hurt.  And the more often we hurt, the less likely we are to remain open.  No one is as careful with your soul as you are... and yet the desire to share ourselves with others continually puts us in the position of letting others affect how we think... and the longer we think some thing, the more actual it seems.   My experience with Soul Restoration took me back to the quiet places where I could hear that voice inside again very clearly and listen to the things that are important.   The Soul Restoration "process" encourages you to share with the other participants and gain support from them.  I really enjoyed talking with others about the things that "get in our way".   I re-learned that just because you think you have something to say doesn't mean you say it.  I made friends and was inspired by more unique and amazing women than I expected to find.  I challenged myself to accomplish things that will make my world feel closer to the ideas I have about life.   I healed some history and found my words again...
Soul Restoration gave me a chance to meet some incredible women, and forge some friendships that I was desperately needing in my life.  It gave me my voice again, for, oh, about the tenth time in my 42 years and it reminded me to do some of the simplest things... share what I know, listen with my heart, live with my eyes wide open, and enjoy the journey, even when it's yucky.   Those of you here who did this with me, thank you.  Those of you here because you know someone who did this, thanks for stopping by...

In you lives a girl who already has the whole world in her heart... if you forgot her or lost her along the way, I can't recommend Soul Restoration 1 enough.
Now, remember, leave some love, and then go visit Shelley to continue on with the hop!

make something beautiful with your heart and your hands