Monday, November 17, 2008


UPDATE: CONGRATULATIONS JENNIFER R.D.! You won my book giveaway from this post! Whoo Hooo! I'll pop it in the mail this week sometime! :)

Eight years ago today my life changed in one quick moment. All because one man was in a hurry to get home and failed to stop at his red light.

I don't remember much of the moment. Mostly just my husband saying "Oh God, please, somebody help me". And screaming. And the feel of glass on my tongue.

I had to be sent to a hospital 100 miles away because they didn't think I would live. For 3 days they waited while I dreamed in my morphine-induced haze. Then I saw my brothers' face - oh, it was so beautiful! He was there when they wheeled me in to put back together all the shattered bones, once they knew I would actually live long enough to enjoy their labor.

Still, I don't remember much until 2 weeks into the journey. The most clear moment was with me alone, in a darkened hospital room, crying. I cried because the pain - physical and mental -was too much to bear, even with all the drugs. My body had been crushed and repaired as best as could be and I couldn't do anything for myself - not walk, not feed myself, not use the bathroom. Nothing. And the pain, oh God the pain. Like nothing I had ever known before.

So laying there crying, I had a talk with God - The Universe - The Supreme Being - Whatever you want to call it. I said: listen here, if I'm supposed to learn something from all of this, if I can actually take this kind of pain, then please send me the strength to fight. And if I'm not strong enough, than please, please, just take me now - cuz begging the nurses to kill me isn't working. Put me out of my misery and don't make everyone else suffer along with me! I'm going to sleep now and if I wake up in the morning, then I'll take it as a sign that I'm strong enough to overcome all of this and I'll try my hardest.

Well, seeing as it is 8 years later, I guess you know what the outcome was. I obviously fought. And I did it hard! The doctor said with my extensive injuries - two shattered wrists (now with metal rods in them), a shattered left arm (now brand new with a cadaver donated bone, which leaves me craving steak when I hated it before!), a shattered left shoulder and a obliterated left knee (currently with metal rods and soon to be with a new knee altogether) - that it would take 4-6 months in the hospital to recover. I did it in 7 weeks. But it took something I had never had before: A belief in my self worth. I literally had to wake up each morning, tell myself that I was worthy and loved (most importantly by myself!) and that I could do it. And I did!

Now don't get me wrong! I don't think I'm all that and a bag of chips (yum, chips!) by any means! I still struggle with self esteem issues and crankiness due to chronic pain and a body that doesn't work the way it should. I mean come on, I had spent 32 years up until the moment of my accident hating everything about myself! And while falling off of the front porch while trying to walk to the car is funny in hindsight, at the time it is pretty humiliating! But I am defintiely in a better place with myself now. And honestly, I don't think I would have ever found that without flying through that windshield! I'm so very thankful to still be on this earth! The last 8 years have not been easy, that's for sure! But every day I am given a life that I love - I create art, play with my furry children, love my husband and read about the lives and share art with my dear artist friends online! I get to wake up every day and know that I am loved and share that love, smiles and art with others. And that, honestly, is what I think this whole life journey is about! What a lucky girl!

Now, to celebrate this day of becoming who I was meant to be, I am giving away this book:

"SPILLING OPEN: THE ART OF BECOMING YOURSELF" by Sabrina Ward Harrison. This book was one of the first ones I bought after finding my creative muse (all because of art therapy in the hospital rehab!). It really is a beautiful book filled with so much insight about life and art. All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post by SATURDAY the 22nd to be entered into the drawing. And if you want to share a story about a bad situation that turned out for the better in your life, that would be awesome! But it's not necessary!

Now, go have a wonderful week! And please remember that running red lights is NEVER a good idea, no matter how much of a hurry you are in!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wonder of Wonder, Miracle of Miracles!

I actually accomplished some art this week. Actually, these took me a while to finish at my snails' pace! But finally finish them I did. The first one is an 8" round that I made for Megan. Her theme was POLKADOTS. The inspiration for the piece came from a song by Rufus Wainwright called "Tiergarten". Tiergarten is the word for animal park in german and it is an actual historic park in Germany. I didn't think these would turn out so "fun", but I'm glad they went that way!

These next two pages are for Sandee in our round robin tip-in. Her theme was FAVORITE POEM. Instead of choosing my all-time favorite poem - The Daffodils by William Wordsworth - I decided to find a new poem (to me) that inspired my creativity. The one that really captured me was "Child in Red" by Rainer Maria Rilke. I'll put it at the end of this post since it is difficult to read from my scan. I hope she likes what I came up with for her. I did enjoy thinking about the very few dresses I actually wore as a young girl (I was a tomboy!). And one I remember had red and white checks and I wore red shoes with it. I remember twirling around in it and feeling like such a young lady. And, I kinda still have a thing for red and white and red shoes today, actually. So those moments, as this poem suggests, really do stick with us.

Child in Red

Sometimes she walks through the village
in herlittle red dress
all absorbed in restraining herself,
and yet, despite herself, she seems to move
according to the rhythm of her life to come.
She runs a bit, hesitates, stops,
half-turns around...
and, all while dreaming, shakes her head
for or against.
Then she dances a few steps
that she invents and forgets,
no doubt finding out that life
moves on too fast.
It's not so much that she steps out
of the small body enclosing her,
but that all she carries in herself
frolics and ferments.
It's this dress that she'll remember
later in a sweet surrender;
when her whole life is full of risks,
the little red dress will always seem right. Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Floating in Blue and Retail Therapy

So, I've been a little down lately. It happens even with my daily intake of happy pills. I've learned to accept it as a part of my being because to fight it just makes it worse. Sadly it has been affecting my creation of art - ie: I really don't want to make any! It's been difficult to pull through my swap commitments as the whispering muse just isn't there. What once flowed like a swift river has been like drudging through half frozen molassass. What a yucky feeling that is! I'm starting to come out of that, though, which is good. One of the things that has really helped has been looking at artist blogs. There are so many amazingly talented artists out there in blogland! And while I haven't been able to create anything even close as inspiring, just gazing upon so much creativity is filling up my soul!
One of my newest finds is an artist named Monica Magness. Please click on her name to see her blog! As soon as I started reading her blog I was delighted. She has so much creativity and sunshine! Well, after reading some of her blog I had to check out her ETSY STORE, of course. And I ended up doing a little retail therapy! Now, if you know me, you know I'm a big one for saying "Oh, I really want that!" and then not buying it! Because I do like to be practical...and I'm on a budget! But I found a couple of things in her store that I just HAD TO HAVE! Seriously, I just couldn't imagine not having them in my life! Was it the depression talking - begging - for some retail therapy to chase it away??! Perhaps. But instead of overanalyzing it like I do every single thing in my life, I just decided to go for it and buy the things! I feel so...irresponsible! Heh! But when the items arrived today, I was so thrilled that I had listened to my irresponsible voice! I think these things were meant to come live with me and tomorrow I will find a place in my home to put them where I can see them each and every day. I'm hoping they'll bring me many smiles and even - dare I ask for it?! - a touch of inspiration!
Here are the goodies I splurged on:

She is the "NEWFANGLED" art doll. Oh, there is so much wonderful texture on her and her face is SO COOL! She reminds me a little of Picasso and Katie Kendrick, but in her own unique and delightful way! And she arrived in bright tissue and a fabric ribbon that will be stashed away for future art projects!
This beauty is called "LOVELORN..." and represents lost love and unrequited love. And oh, she is just awesome! Her skull face is made of clay and she wears a beautful metal heart with a key wrapped around it with wire. There is so much texture and she is so well made! I feel - and please don't laugh at me here - but I feel honored to house this special art piece in my home! She's really that cool! I'm in lourve with her, man! She's going to sit on my fireplace mantle with two other Day of The Dead Dolls we have I think. I'll take pics when I can find my camera! Heh!

And lastly, I bought this lovely art doll form to inspire my creativity! I love the red swirly fabric and the shape of her is really great in person! I'm already thinking that she needs wings of some sort - maybe metal or wooden. And I have this cool vintage ceramic face pin that may just work for her head. She'll be my very first art doll (other than paper dolls) and I hope I can do her justice!

So that was my wicked behavior for the week. Hopefully the universe will forgive me for indulging myself! But just in case I need to bank up a little karma credit, I think I'll root around the art room tomorrow for some blog giveaway items. So stay tuned for that this next week, beautiful artists!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I was tagged with seven things meme by the beautiful Megan of Peaches and Peonies.

1. Post the rules on your blog.

2. Write seven random things about yourself.

3. Tag seven people at the end of your post.

4. Pass on the tag.

Tamara’s 7 Random Things:

  • 1. Every Saturday night at midnight for 2 years I performed in front of The Rocky Horror Picture Show as a Transylvanian with a tuxedo jacket, bow tie and silly party hat! Our group was called "The Denton Affair" and it was one of the best times of my life!

  • 2. My favorite place outside of the U.S. is Caerphilly, Wales. I would love to live a little thatch roofed cottage near the castle ruins when I am old and gray!

  • 3. I absolutely love tofu! Seriously I could eat it every day! There are so many things you can do with it and it makes me feel well nourished and healthy!

  • 4. When I was younger, I wanted to be a window dresser/designer in a big city and even went to FIDM in San Francisco for a day of classes to check it out. But I didn’t think I was artistic enough to do it!

  • 5. When I was 5 I had an OBE (Out of Body Experience) when I had severe pneumonia. I remember floating across the room and up to the ceiling where I was watching myself on the couch. My mother came in and when she saw me on the couch she said “Oh my God…” and I rushed back into my body. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks because I was so sick. I believe if my mom wouldn’t have come in, I would have kept going onward…

  • 6. The hubby and I love books and cannot be without one or more nearby at all times. We have books in every room – including the bathroom – and even keep some in the car, just in case!

  • 7. I adore my 4 furry children (cats Figaro, Gabriel, Leopold and Sally) and fully believe that we understand each other a lot of the time! I also worry about them when we go away on vacation, so I call and talk to them on the answering machine to reassure them that we are coming home. I realize this makes me sound like the crazy cat lady down the lane, and I’m ok with that! Animals need love too, ya know!

As for tagging 7 people, I think most people I know have been tagged already. So if you would like to play, please leave me a comment here after you blog your 7 things so I can read about you!