Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Highlights...

Well, summer is officially winding is almost back in session for me and Isabella.  I thought I'd commemorate it by sharing some of my favorite photos from our life this summer.  Enjoy!

Walks at the dog park--early warm weather meant we started going early in the season.

Flowers right outside my door - one of the best parts of summer. 
Walks with good friends by Lake Michigan.
I got interviewed for my first magazine article in 30West magazine!

Isabella's yearly dance recital.

Good talks on my friend's patio.

Our yearly week up on Lost Lake in St. Germain.

 Shane turned the big 4-0 in July.
We got a real pool this summer!
Isabella's first Packer game at Lambeau Field--she's officially a cheesehead--look at her excitement:)

It was a good summer...filled with fun, sun, lazy days that I wish would never end.  What was one of your best memories of this summer?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Project 137 with Patti Digh

Before I took the leap from teaching middle school full-time to pursuing my art whole-heartedly and working part-time I discovered Patti Digh and her book Life is a Verb.  This was almost three years ago and at the time I decided this was my new favorite book.  I pretty much tell any 
reader I know about it.
life-is-a-verb (1)

It's hard to have just one of course, but this one really affected me.  I honestly can say it changed my life, or at least my outlook and how I now TRY to live my life.  This book (she's written others since then that I have) is full of essays written from her heart and her life's experience.  It's hard to "sum" them up here, but I found them inspiring, heart-warming, gratitude-infusing, eye-opening, humorous, at times sad, but truly life-changing.  She also fills her books with readers' artwork.  Love that so much.  I've talked about Patti Digh before in my blog, and now she's at it again.  She has launched something called Project 137 and I knew I had to be a part of it.  She is calling all of us, including herself to "love well, live fully, and let go deeply" and to "make a difference in these precious 137 days."  I'm there.  She has inspired me and so many people so far, now I get to put some of this into action through her daily prompts.

One thing that really stuck with me today and inspired me to have a great day no matter what was her saying that "living fully is embracing the laundry and the carpool as deeply beautiful."  Wow.  Profound.  She is teaching us to accept what is and to even embrace it, to celebrate it and I thank her for that.  I've always been the type of person to want to change "what is" and if I couldn't I'd wish it away until I couldn't see straight--which never works, does it?
I'm wondering if you try to "live fully" what that means to you?  Today for me, on my drive home from meeting my husband at his work for lunch with our daughter, I saw these amazing windmills (wind-power generators), and I pulled over to the side of the country road and just stood to look at them.  They were huge, powerful, yet so simple and beautiful slowly spinning in the warm summer sky.  I had to stop and just drink them in.  See, on the way there I kept tell my daughter how amazing they were and that I wanted to pull over, like I do many times when I see something breathtaking, so finally after lunch on the way home, I realized I had to-I have to stop "driving by" things that interest me, literally and figuratively speaking.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Spirit of Giving and Giving Flight

I've mentioned before that I took Kelly Rae Robert's online course called Flying Lessons and have met the most wonderful women ever.  They have become my friends, some I've met in person, some just online, but they have been so amazing to have entered my life even if we've only talked on the phone or on Facebook.
Since it's just been the one year anniversary of all of us taking this course and meeting online we decided to give back and donate so other women can take Kelly Rae's class too.  Well it turns out we've given enough for EIGHT women to get enrolled in this amazing class "on us" and Kelly Rae is matching it.  It feels so great to be able to give some other creative girls a chance to get inspired and hopefully form some great connections with some new friends as well.  Kelly Rae has given us so much through her e-course and we have given to each other, so we thought we could repay the favor to those who may be starting their creative business journey as well.

© Jill's Dream Artwork

I want to thank all of my fellow fliers, my "fly tribe" for giving so much to me.  Every single day.  

To enter the giveaway go to:

Also, if you have a chance stop by our blog hop and read some of the other blogs about the spirit of giving...

Rachél Payne
Live Laugh Love Retreats

Monday, August 13, 2012

Feeling the Love

A year ago this month I took Kelly Rae Robert's Taking Flight art business course and my life has changed so much in that one year.  Not just because of the great creative business ideas I've gained, but the amazing and supportive creative women I've become good friends with.  Believe it or not, we have shared, (some in person, mostly on-line), divorces, moves, licensing deals, disappointing art shows, great art shows, surgeries and then some.  We are on-line for each other almost 24 hours a day because a few are even in Europe and Australia.  I know that I can go to them when I'm doubting myself or super excited about something with my art or even my family. These women have given me more encouragement and confidence than I ever imagined could happen just from taking an on-line course and meeting through a Facebook group.   
One of the friends Linda who lives about two hours south of me and whom I've actually got to meet and have lunch with in-person did a really great blogpost about me and I'd love if you would stop by her blog and check it out.  I'm honored that she wrote such great things about me and my creative life.

Thanks Linda!

Monday, August 6, 2012

We are Connected

We got some horrible news yesterday that a gunman went into a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek yesterday and killed six people inside.  My husband and I grew up in Oak Creek--I lived there till we were married.  My mom and my husband's whole family still live there. We pass this area every time we visit.

My heart just feels heavy for our world and this Sikh community.  Why is this happening?  It seems to be a hate crime...what can we do differently to raise our children to be accepting?  Do we need to raise our boys differently?  I just feel like I have to post something about it here because it's so close to home and it's so heart-wrenching for this community of peaceful people.  Tonight there will be a candle-light vigil near the temple in my hometown.  I'm sure there will be many people there praying together, hoping for a change.

I hope for a change.  I pray for comfort for these families though I'm not sure how that's going to happen.  It's hard to find peace in times like these.  I'm not sure how to stay positive when these events happen.  I'd love to hear how people of faith find a way to deal with this and still believe in our kindness and humanity.

Friday, August 3, 2012

You are My Sunshine - New Painting

When Bella was a little baby we used to sing "you are my sunshine" to her as well as other songs, but this one tends to be almost a universal one that many people know and have great memories about.  Bella's four-year-old preschool teacher Miss Starr (no the teacher wasn't a four-year-old) used to take each little kid one-by-one and put them on her lap and sing this song to them...she still remembers that special time at the end of the day while waiting for their parents to pick them up.  Another funny memory of this song for me was when I was a teenager my dad would take me to his Lions Club meetings for a father/daughter dinner and all the dads sang this song at every meeting.  I thought it was such a hoot to hear all these "old" men singing this sweet song as we got ready to eat dinner.

I just finished this painting and I'm really happy with how it turned out.  Bella's getting older and her room decor is Paris-themed with dark pink and black, so she no longer has this type of art in her room, so I made it for my etsy shop.  It makes me think back to her sweet, chubby little baby days.

I hope you like this new painting of mine as I really feel good about how it turned out.  I'm hoping a sweet girl will get to hang this on her wall.  Do you have any sweet memories of songs from your childhood or your children's childhood?
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