Trust-Your-FeelingThis week’s 21 Secrets Live workshop was about dreams and symbols.  Dreams as in your desires and wishes.  Our instructions were to write “Trust Your Feeling” and “Trust Your Imagination” somewhere on our journal page, and then do a little visualization exercise where we were supposed to see a symbol and then use that symbol on our page.  Ugh… it was all too reminiscent of my year of self-help workshops, and it didn’t speak to me at all.  I tried the visualization, but got no dreams, no symbols, nothing.  So I didn’t do the exercise.

The next morning I woke up and realized that all my night-time dreams for the last week or more have shared the themes of feeling lost, confused, anxious, and incompetent.  A symbol immediately popped into my head– a big ?  Why are my dreams so angst-filled right now?  What does it mean?

So I decided to work with that.  First I wrote down my crazy dreams, printed them out, and glued them to my page.  Then I covered a two-page spread with paint, the two “trust” phrases, my question mark symbol, and whatever else came to mind.  At the last minute, I decided I need wisdom and guidance, so I cut out a photo of Maya Angelou’s eye and put it in a compass.

I finished it last night; then, as I lay in bed, I put the suggestion in my head for my dreams to speak to me, to tell me what I need to know.  I dreamed my entire house was full of poop!  Oh dear.  Dreams are so cryptic.  What does it mean?  I need to clean my house? Literally?  Figuratively?  Or I need to just give up and move, as the end of the dream suggested??  No answers yet, I’m afraid.

Here are my crazy dreams, for anyone who wants to actually read them:

Dreams  5-29-14

Last week I dreamed that Dad was making me take his truck in to get the oil changed.  His truck was a huge red pick up, and when I got behind the wheel, I had to sit on the very edge of the seat to barely be able to reach the pedals and see over the steering wheel.  It was very difficult to maneuver, especially since it was way too big for me, and I was in an unfamiliar town.  I got lost trying to find the service center.  I was feeling very anxious about driving the truck and having no idea where I was going.  I finally ended up at a mall, and the next thing I knew I was in the mall trying to get on an elevator with a bicycle!

A few nights later I dreamed I was at Apple in the break room, changing into my Apple shirt.  I always have a tank top under whatever I’m wearing, but I suddenly realized I had forgotten to put the tank top on, so I was standing in the break room in my bra.  Then I realized I had also forgotten my Apple shirt and my running shoes, and I was wearing jeans instead of shorts (which meant I was going to be too hot).  I had to wear a long sleeve Apple shirt, the hot jeans, and flip flops, which aren’t allowed but it was all I had.  I was going to try to go home at lunch and change, but on my 15-minute break I fell asleep in a bed somewhere, and went over my break time.  At lunch I started walking (to go home maybe?) but I was in an unfamiliar town, and I went way farther than I had time for, and was late getting back from lunch as well, and never did get the right clothes.

Last night I dreamed that I had to go online to accept two scholarship offers.  It wasn’t clear if they were scholarships for Karlie or for me.  But the space to write the acceptance was pretty small, so I kept it very short and casual, even leaving out pronouns the way I sometimes do when texting.  I received a letter back telling me that the scholarship offers had been revoked because of my “sloppy internet language.”


Last night I dreamed that my house was full of poop.  I went  into the bathroom to find that the toilet had overflowed, and there was not only poopy water, but big piles of poop in the corner of the bathroom.  I started trying to clean it up, and realized that it had already gotten tracked all over the house and was in big piles in the corners of all the rooms.  I decided I needed a shovel and a rake to make a dent in it, and that I would need to bleach the whole house. Mom came over to help and I was at a loss where to even start.  It felt insurmountable, and no matter how much I cleaned there just seemed to be more.  Parts of the floor had crumbled off, and the corners were full of poop and debris and possibly mold.  I wanted to bleach the whole carpet, but knew I couldn’t, and didn’t know how to disinfect the carpeted areas.  I was on my hands and knees swabbing and scrubbing, but I never felt like it was making a dent. At the end of the dream Shaylie asked me why we were moving to an apartment, and I told her it was the only way to get a fresh start.


The Savage Mirror


I needed a break from my weeks-long secret project, so I dived into one of the 21 Secrets workshops.  The one I chose was entitled “The Savage Mirror,” and involved painting a self portrait while looking in a mirror, then journaling about the process.

The instructor encouraged us to write continuously for ten minutes, emphasizing that it’s at the end of the writing purge that the important stuff comes out.  I’ve journaled for years and was skeptical, but decided to do it anyway.  I set my iPhone timer and just started writing.  It took nine minutes and fifty seconds:

“Looking in the mirror and studying my own face… trying to see beyond the physical shell and into the person beneath the surface… first I am caught up in the lines and wrinkles–the creases around my mouth and eyes, the furrow in my brow… I am unhappy that my mouth naturally curves down into a frown now, that my lips have thinned.  I begin contemplating Botox again–a desire to recapture the youth that once looked back at me in the mirror. Trying to draw what I see, wanting to get the lines right, make my drawing look realistic, portrait-like, caught up in the outcome, as always. I most enjoy drawing the eyes–they are the part of my face I still like the best.  Though the skin around them sags, the eyes themselves never age.  The eyes that stare back at me in the mirror today are the same eyes that have stared back at me for fifty two years. I am the same person, the same soul, hiding inside the aging physical form, that I have always been.  Older, hopefully a bit wiser, but still me inside there. The mirror is indeed a savage mirror, ruthlessly exposing every flaw on the surface. But maybe the eyes are the real mirror, reflecting back the soul within… ageless, perfect, timeless?”

Happy Birthday, Kathy



Thursday is my wonderful friend Kathy’s birthday.  We became instant friends the moment we met 15 years ago this month, and I can’t imagine what these years would have been like without her.  For some reason, she seems to genuinely love my art, and I was inspired to make this for her several months ago.  I gave it to her tonight, and her delight made me SO happy.  It feels a little presumptuous to give someone a piece of art that you have created, like you are somehow obligating them to display something they might not even like.  But I loved this piece enough to want to keep it myself because it reminds me of our very special friendship, and I hope Kathy will think of us whenever she looks at it.

Happy Birthday, my true friend!  You really DO hold my heart.  I love you!

A Little of This, A Little of That

I’ve been quiet on the blogging front, but it’s not due to lack of arting.  There are at least three surfaces in my house that look like an art tornado hit, and my supplies are spread out into four different rooms.  Not very efficient, as I can’t find what I need half the time, but I can’t seem to contain it all.

The reason I haven’t been posting is for lack of any finished product.  I started a project a few weeks ago that has been consuming most of my time, and it’s going to be at least a few more weeks before it’s finished.  It’s been great fun, and I’m dying to share, so here is a SNEAK PEEK…

sneak-peak Other than my big project, I’ve been devoting little chunks of time to my ongoing documented life project…


Practicing some actual “drawing skills” in a little sketch book…


And doodling all over Brian’s unopened mail whenever I’m at his house.  Last weekend I liked one of the doodles enough to save the envelope and bring it home to add to my documented life  project and turn it into a journal page…


Also still adding a daily entry to my gratitude calendar and an occasional Happy Haiku.  And absorbing tons of artsy inspiration from my weekly 21 Secrets Live spree cast  (interactive live video class with a different artist every week).


My art obsession is definitely helping keep me sane through all the trauma and drama of living with two teenage girls.  Being able to absorb myself in a project while the hormone hurricane swirls around me at least sometimes allows me to maintain some distance and keep me from getting swept away in it with them.  SOMETIMES.