Monday, March 30, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 22

Working on the blankets, defining lines, adding shadows.  Also adding shadows to Lucias hat and smoothing out the birthing mama.

My in-laws are visiting this week and our home is getting new counter tops.  A new faucet in the kitchen and possibly a new sink.  Easter is ahead and a night of coloring Easter eggs with the kids is on the agenda.  I have finished sewing a duvet and two pillowcases with my new sewing machine, made some bias tape and finished sewing some crystal grids.  I have batiking to try my hand and then folding and dyeing.  I will be making more tapestries and have a few more dream catchers to craft.  Creativity has been spilling over lately and I've taken on a second drawing, Alice.  I think I've been doing good so far in 2015 balancing my projects and home.  I mean, laundry and cleaning sometimes get set aside in order to give attention to the kids and crafting - but hey, it gets done eventually.  My husband is getting ready to head back to work next week after healing nicely from his surgery.  I'll be doing house cleansing for a friend, smudging to clear the house from negativity.  Creating a barrier of protection and safety for the family and gifting them a dream catcher for their bedroom.  Lots of things happening, I'm ready.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 21

More work on the blankets and getting the clay mama straightened out.  Started adding some darker tones with the B pencil.  Slowly and surely.  Not fussing around with Lucias face for now.  Content with it at the moment.  Trying to bring the blankets and clay statue up to speed.  Taking great care to pay attention to proper proportions before my grid layout disappears into the pencils.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 02

Still getting the basic lines and rudimentary shading on the paper.  The grid helps me keep everything proportional and will disappear as the drawing progresses.

I met Vayda through Etsy Teams, Deadhead Art Alliance Team specifically.  This past Christmas I was a part of the teams Secret Santa Christmas exchange.  My husband had gotten mixed up and not gotten me anything for Christmas!  A few days prior to Christmas he informed me of this tragedy and I posted in my Etsy Team Facebook page with a plea to anyone that had items ready for shipping I would look through their shops and make purchases for myself so I had something to open for Christmas.  Jodi Sunflower came through with an amazing handmade pottery mug for me and sent a patch.  Chelly Beanies had pretty headbands, sent me an extra headband and a cute necklace!  I am so blessed by my Etsy teammates.  Then my Secret Santa gift came.  Wow.

Hippi Heaven, Vayda, was my Secret Santa and sent me a beautiful, handmade skirt, crocheted hand and wrist warmers with matching headband and a crocheted three in one dreadie hat - tube, cowl or hat AND a cute little handmade ornament!!  So that is how I met Vayda.  We became friends online and then I start seeing pictures over the last month of her dog.  I get the feeling her dog is dying.  I feel very sad.  Then she posts a picture a few days later of her and Alice with the words,

"This is REALLY hard ... And I have been and am truly struggling with this ... Sadly I am loosing a big piece of my heart and my best friend Alice. Unfortunately she has lymphoma and is going down hill quick. 3 wks ago all of her lymph nodes swelled up and she drastically lost weight. I had high hopes that treating her with antibiotics would heal her. And yes swelling went down but not like it should and Then sadly last week she lost her eye sight within 3 days. And as each day goes by her symptoms are progressing. So now my focus has been lots of love and spending as much time with her so she knows I am here and am and will always be loving her.   Honestly this is one of the hardest losses I have ever been thru.  So if I seem distant, down, flaky, not my normal shining self you now know why..."

I felt so much overwhelming sadness upon seeing this post and picture - at the same time, I knew I would draw Alice.  I wasn't entirely sure how I would fit her into the plan.  Then Alice passed on sixteen days later - the day I decided I would draw Alice for Vayda.  Day One of Alice.  After Vayda finds out about my drawing she private messages me,

"You know that skirt I gave you. Well it has a story and is connected to Alice.  That skirt originally started out as a dress I made for myself.  That skirt is the bottom half of the dress I wore when I found Alice in Montana at a garage sale while visiting my husband's grandparents."

I am always blown away by the connections.  I was virtually speechless.  Alice will be drawn nightly and Lucia by day.  And so it is. 

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 20

Adjusting lines on Lucias hat and a few adjustments to shadows on the blankets. 

Lots of things happening, new sewing machines, overnight company for a few weeks, house hunting, duvets, grids and tie dyes - oh my!  Two drawings and near sleepless nights are keeping me busy and at times worn out.  I'll sleep later.  Life is getting interesting.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 19

Fixed a few minor shadows on Lucias eyelids today.  Shaded more on the clay mama and more detail work on Lucias hat.  All I can think about these days is my husband, kids and drawing.  All I want to do is draw, sew, tie dye and I am hoping someday soon to paint a meditation with Lucias mama, Angie.  I am consumed day in and day out with creating and my little family.  I am ready for spring but also not wanting to leave my hibernation cave just yet.  I have so many projects I want to complete first.  I am participating in so many exciting things, things I can't even tell you about yet.  Soon. 

Many of you know I started a new drawing last night.  I just couldn't help myself.  I thought maybe I would be taking on too much, then my husband suggested I take down the custom portrait listing in my Etsy shop.  That seemed to quell the self doubt I was holding on to.  I felt an immediate sense of relief as I started Alice.  I am really looking forward to immersing myself day and night in drawing.  It seems I should have been drawing like this all my life rather than intermittently.  Alices drawing will give me much needed practice on fur.  And really, there is no greater show of unconditional love than that of a pet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Alice 01

My friends, I have so many portraits I look forward to drawing.  And I will.  Draw all of them.  But for now I draw two.  Lucia and Alice.  Meet Alice.

This drawing is one I felt called to do, before she departed our earth - I knew I had to fit her in somehow.  Today Alice took her last breath, broke many hearts.  This is a special soul and there is room under my pencils.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 18

I spent time with Lucias features today.  Paying close attention to details on her lips, eyes and nose.  I smoothed out the lines on her blanket and shaded more.

All sorts of interesting things are happening...spring flowers are emerging, the days are getting longer, traces of winter are disappearing.  I am finishing up promises and requests, about to embark on new crafting territory.  I love making tie dye as much as I love wearing it.  I purchased a few supplies for batik and will be combining my skills for new creations.  I'm stoked to finally try my hand at batik, its time to take the plunge.  I'll post my first batik adventure here.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 17

More work on the clay birthing mama today.  Defining more lines on Lucias hat and shadows on blankets.  I truly look forward to working on my drawing everyday.  Or shall I say, Angies drawing.  I am so blessed to know her.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 16

Deepening the tones on the clay mama.  Adjusting lines and shadows on the blankets.

Today I read deeper into Still Life with Circles and found this post called Sanctuary.  It reasonated with me, reminded me of the way I like my home, the way I must create and how I love to spend my time in nature.  How I need space, how I feel change coming, how I can't be confined in small spaces for much longer.

 "I need space to howl at the moon, and my children do too."

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 15

Blended the shadows of the blankets a bit more, worked mostly on the clay birthing mama today.

I decided to spend some time paging through Angies Still Life with Circles blog and found this gem of a video.  She painted out her grief and healed others too.  I've seen these small paintings she has done and this explains the story behind them.  Lucias mama is also an artist.  She meditates and makes the most magnificent paintings.  I hope to work with her one day and make art together.  Lucias mama is one stunning person.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 14

Shaded more blankets today, getting the basic lines and shadows on the paper.  Shaded more on Lucias face, smoothing things out a bit.

Today I used my crystal grid for the first time that Angie gifted me before my crystal healing.  As she laid out the formation for me to see, my eyes started to tear up.  Lucias mama is so generous, knowing just what I needed to work on my drawings.  The grid is composed of a large piece of rose quartz for the center, smaller rose quartz on the end of the six points, apache tear between the center and points of rose quartz and rhodonite between the six rays.  

Crystal Grid for Grief work

Soon I will be batiking the flower of life, sacred geometry design on squares and tie dying them according to chakras.  These will then be used as crystal grids.  Excited.

my humble workspace

Lastly, Kole is finally reunited with his mama today and she happily received his drawing.  We met at a Vietnamese restaurant, enjoyed yummy food, talked about our families, friends, life experiences and parted ways.  So happy to bring joy to Koles mama in this way, for them both. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 13

Feeling satisfied with Lucias face for now.  Worked mostly on her blankets today.  Yesterday I felt so fatigued and sleepy, so I took the opportunity to rest and renew.  Nobody wins when the artist works while fatigued.  I think Friday was so magnificent and healing that I needed a day to recover.

Lucias mother, Angie, from The Moon + Stone Healing is a Usui Reiki Master Teacher, Advanced Crystal Master and Certified Crystal Healer.  I made an appointment for a crystal healing to see what its all about.  I am very curious in nature and love to experience new things, we can learn so much from others.   When I arrived at Alta View Wellness Center I was greeted by serene and relaxing music, quiet and peaceful atmosphere.  I had the chance to review the selection of crystals, handmade jewelry and other local artisan crafters on display.  Then I was whisked away into a beautiful room (one of the many beautiful rooms there - massage, reiki and other offerings are also available) full of beautiful crystals.  I noticed a beautiful crystal grid layout under the spacious and luxurious table.  The pillow was so fluffy!  Angie made me feel at home and comfortable.  We chatted a bit beforehand about my expectations, things I wanted to work through and what the process entails.  We started by meditating and we carried the meditation through the whole session.  Angie started by checking my chakras health, then after receiving the information needed, she began laying crystals upon my body in a crystal layout.  I had an eye pillow covering my vision during the session and unfortunately could not watch this curious and wondrous work.  After she laid out the first round of crystals, I felt heavy and breathless.  Then the name LUCIA passed in front of my eyes (still closed, still dark, still under an eye pillow) all of a sudden I burst into tears, my whole body shaking.  Then after a minute I felt a calmness wash over me.  I felt it necessary to tell Angie about Lucia and the calmness that I experienced after.  She too acknowledged Lucias presence and pointed out Mother Mary and Magdalene had made their presence known too.  Mother Mary often comes to me during channeled meditations and last month I felt compelled to purchase a Mother Mary statue to compliment my Sacred Heart Jesus statue.  She anointed the crystal over my heart chakra with rose oil and continued.  I released (cried) a few more times during the crystal healing (which is normal) and when she finished we went over everything that happened.

One of the first things she told me was the layout she used and the crystals she used.  She proceeded to tell me all my chakras looked good.  A few were smaller but the crown, third eye and throat were open, so she just supported them while she worked with the others.  I was not unbalanced as I felt, but rather needed to open the channel connecting my chakras, if I understood correctly.   Then she asked me if I had been thinking of cutting my dreadlocks.  Yes, I had been considering trimming them, but hadn't yet because I felt I was doing a disservice to my friend Houd.  I had put them into dreadlocks just days after he decided to end his time here on earth and I was afraid if I cut them I would be somehow cutting that period of remembrance and memories out of me.  Angie told me the message came through during my healing that if I wanted to cut my hair that it was okay to do.  Clearly my friend Houd was there too (it felt like him anyway) telling her these things.  She also told me a bald man with a bit of hair above his ears and a belly called me Mandy, told me he loved me and was always with me.  I immediately felt this was my Pap.  I'd been waiting for a long time to hear something from him, anything.  My spirit guide, the most stunning, strong and motherly native american woman you've ever seen, made herself known to Angie and communicated to her spirit guide.  We discussed many other things and she showed me so many beautiful crystals and messages during our session.  At the close she asked me which chakras I'd like to work with and before I could answer she took the words right out of my mouth.  The crown, third eye and throat was her recommendation.  She pulled out three beautiful crystals for me to work with and sent me home with a bag of bath salts.   I cried and cried on the way home, thinking of my Pap.  I'd waited so long to hear from him, I miss him so.

My crystal healing was amazing, I felt great when she was finished.  I was tired the day after but I think that is probably normal recovery as with any type of healing or exercise.  I write this out for you knowing not everyone believes in God, crystal healings or the spirit worlds existence.  That is okay with me, but understand I write this, because it happened and I must speak my truth.  I cannot cover myself up anymore because of what others believe or don't believe.  This is my experience with crystal healing and yours will doubtfully be exactly like mine if you decide to get one.  It was amazing and beautiful and healing and everything I always thought it would be.

So I trimmed my hair today...

I feel lighter and stronger and ready for this year.  Things are getting real.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 12

Still adjusting Lucias nose today.  I focused solely on getting it acceptable.  Anyone that knows me knows I'll be making more changes on it again in the future.  Ha.

Today I am heading out to spend some time with Lucias mama.  I'll be getting a crystal healing from her at the Alta View Wellness Center, its wonderful how we can all benefit from each other in some way.  Everybody has something to offer, something to teach us, love to share with us and some of us can even heal the healers.  I'll let you know how my time well spent with Angie from The Moon + Stone Healing turns out.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 11

Adjusting tones and shadows on Lucias face.  Wasn't happy with her nose and worked primarily on that and shading.  This portrait will undergo many changes until its just right.  It is very challenging for me to NOT draw what I see.  I have reference materials to use but my eyes are wanting to make it just as they see it.  I will just keep plugging along until it all feels right and looks right.  I'll know it when it arrives.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 10

More work on the lines framing Lucias face.  Shading on the blanket and shading on the birthing mama.  Defined her nose a bit more.  Really enjoying this portrait.  A pure, innocent soul. 

I really love the relationships formed with the family of my portrait subjects.  We will always have a sacred connection through their loved ones.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 09

Back at it today.  Lots of things happening in our home at the moment.  Husband had surgery and recovery during an ice storm and 7+ inches of snow two days later.  I've felt like a single parent, taking care of children, all household chores, shoveling and taking care of my husband.  On top of that grieving the anniversary of my friends death, which reminds me of all the other family and friends that have gone.  Then I think of my drawings.  So rather than work on dear little Lucia during the midst of all this turmoil of frustration, exhaustion and sadness.  I took a week to recover myself and I'm back at it with fierce intention.

I adjusted more shadows and tones on Lucias face, finished the base of lines on her hat.  I shaded the clay birthing mama more and added definition.  Lines are beginning to make me comfortable and I worked more on the lines on the blanket as well.  Lots more work to go, we are still in the beginning stages.  I also lightened her lips as I felt they were a bit too dark. I am enjoying all of this baby love - chubby cheeks, little noses, soft lips.  When Lucias mama posts new pictures of Lucias baby brother (just a few months old) and he is in the perfect position or has similar lighting - I snag them to use to assist me in this drawing.  Lucias baby brother and her have very similar facial features and I couldn't reconstruct her without him.  I love how we are all connected.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dear Departed Drawings ~ Lucia 08

Yesterday was a sad day.  My friends two year anniversary day of departure from our earth.  Houd was such a special person.  So many qualities, compassion and soul.  He is missed.  I felt inspired today to work on Lucia.  And I did.

I added more shading to her face and eyelids.  I also filled in more shading on the clay mama and started more blanket shadows.  A bit more on the knit hat as well.

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