Get Up From The Table

I. I don’t want to talk about Mother’s Day at all except to say that there was sweetness, and there was bitterness, and I’m doing my level best to give my time & energy to sweetness these days.

This quote sums things up nicely:

“You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served.”
– Nina Simone

II. Six years of therapy in and I have learned to get up from the table and even flip the fucker over when necessary.

Onward.

III. This is going up in Moonshine on May 17th for Full Moon in Scorpio.

I *loved* making her, but she did a number on my neck, and shoulders. It was *hours* of filling in the petals on those background roses. Hours! But in Moonshine, we treat our effort as an offering to the divine for blessings, boons, and the attainment of our desires, so a little blood, sweat, and tears goes a long way. HASHTAG ART WITCH. :)

IV. I am falling in love with couch art done on my iPad with an Apple Pencil. You can set Procreate so that it records your every stroke, which makes for really fun time-lapse videos.

This was only my second piece, and I’m learning so much.

“Nuture”

This was my first piece.

“Mother Love”

I foresee some of these going up in my Society6 shop at some point.

IV. I feel pretty low right now. Empty. Spilled out, with not a lot coming back in. I was talking to my son about this the other day, about how I’m in the middle of grieving a lack of care that’s been a theme throughout my life, about how easy it is for me to do and give and please until I start to feel completely spent, about how often I don’t even know what my needs are let alone how to ask to have them met.

I need a crisis before I can say OH HEY DON’T DO THAT or OH HEY PLEASE DO THIS. That fucking sucks, but given my history of being abused or abandoned if I express a need, it comes as no surprise. I’m over it, though. No more of that. I am paying very close attention to where energy exchanges begin to feel unbalanced, too much like fawning or people pleasing. I’m asking myself ‘what do you need’ and I’m learning to ask for those needs to be met.

Hard work. Worth it.

In response to our conversation, and because he knew I’d had a spectacularly shitty day, he made me dinner – a perfect meal of steak and sautéed summer squash, and did not let me life a finger for the rest of the evening. We’re talking wine refills. We’re talking dog wrangling. We’re talking cleaning up the kitchen.

Other care.

It’s a thing, y’all.

V. I often meet my own needs by proxy, by which I mean I throw myself body and soul into meeting the needs of others. Doing what I can to make others happy, comfortable, satisfied, to make them feel like they matter feels *really good to me*. It feels redemptive. It feels like something I am also giving to myself.

But.

I can (and do) take it too far. I can (and do) take it to the place where I give all and ask for nothing, or I set up some kind of way off balance energy exchange, paying way more than I should or giving way more in return so I don’t feel guilty about having BASIC HUMAN NEEDS.

That. Has. To. Stop.

My therapist has started calling me on it, so it’s very in my face as a thing I’m becoming aware of. Catching it when it happens is step one. Preventing it from happening is step two.

VI. I need a retreat. I need a break. I need to refill the well. I need to be touched with love. I need a massage. I need some fucking F.U.N. STAT. before this low takes me under.

VII. THREE SLEEPS.

VIII. Sometimes, when I’m feeling really depleted, I buy myself things. This was one of those weeks. I got myself a new set of long handled watercolour brushes, a Paul Rubens palette of glittery watercolour paints, and a pad of Paul Rubens hot press paper. I also got myself a wifi booster, since wifi in the studio is pretty craptastic and that makes doing anything live really frustrating.

VIII. Speaking of Paul Rubens stuff, I saw it reviewed on Emily Artful. If you don’t know her, you should. She’s hilarious, and I have really been enjoying her channel. This whole ‘talk while making art’ thing people are doing on YouTube is really inspiring me. If only I had time!

Maybe I’ll make time. What should I call my series?

IX. I am super disappointed in Game of Thrones and I can’t even talk about it. This article sums up my thoughts.

I am hoping that the book will make up for the DISASTER THAT THIS SHOW IS BECOMING. *EPIC EYE ROLL*

X. That’s me, today.

 

 

 

 

 

And The Winner Is!!!

A few days ago, I held a giveaway for a seat in Ever After and here are the results:

Random.Org helped me select a random person from among the comments, and here’s the number that came up:

That means that JILL (jillsfine@gmail.com) has won a seat in Ever After 2019. YAY! KERMIT FLAILS! I will be emailing your details to Tamara today, Jill! CONGRATULATIONS!

The Contest is NOW CLOSED! Thanks for playing!

In the meantime, I hope to see you In Ever After 2019 for it’s FINAL RUN!! Here’s some info:

Ever After began in 2016 and ran again (with totally new art lessons) in 2017 and 2018. It has a blend of magic (because FAERY TALES) as well as style development that is fantastic for beginners, intermediate, and advanced artists.

If you’re not ready for (or into) style development then you can just buy the ‘Ever After Fairytale Bundle’ offer on its own (without the style development element) which simply is an awesome mixed media art class with a fairytale theme taught by some of your most favourite artists and fabulous teachers in our beautiful mixed media community!

This year I’ll be working with the story: The Witches Of Eastwick. I know, I know – NOT A TRADITIONAL FAERY TALE – BUT it has all the elements of one, and I will go over those with you in class. I will also be switching things up a bit the way I do so that our heroines get a better deal. *Wink*

You can find out all the details (and sign up with the Early Bird price) by clicking here.

Please note: this is Ever After’s LAST YEAR! If you know you want it, please use the Early Bird Discount code to get 20% off!

MAGIC2019

The Happiness Your Body Can Bear

I. You might remember my saying a few days ago that I had this in the works as bonus content for my peeps in Patreon & Effy365. I’ve finished filming it and it’s going up on Sunday, May 12th as a kind of “Mother’s Day” present for all of you who nurture life in whatever way you do. It was super fun to make, and the tutorial will come with 40 minutes of video. Just long enough to teach you, but short enough that you can watch, and then go off and create your own luscious bouquet. I hope you like it.

II. I had an ‘I feel pretty’ moment the other day, so I took a selfie and posted it on Facebook. It was good for my soul, because the news that I have cataracts made me feel kind of old and brought me face to face with a bunch of underlying stuff I’ve got going on about aging (like the whiskers growing out of my chin, and the fact that I haven’t had a period since December).

I’m aging. I totally thought I was cool with this given how thrilled I’ve been with my delicious crows feet, and the way my wisdom glitter is coming in…but I realize that the stuff I have around aging isn’t about my appearance. I think aged women are beautiful, and I am aging beautifully in that regard.

What I’m grappling with, it turns out, is mortality. My body is showing the usual signs of wear and I feel a little bit like I’m just getting started in the living, loving, laughing department, so I admit to have some resentment about it.

It’s also making me think long and hard about the things I do that contribute to my less than stellar health – the sedentary nature of my lifestyle, the smoking, the drinking…

Being happy has had the unexpected side effect of making me want to live to be 120.

A thousand years beside him wouldn’t be enough, and right now I’m looking at maybe 30 if I’m really careful and lucky.

Speaking of 42, this one’s for him, because reason.

III. Realness.

IV. This went up in A Year Of Rumi a day early because I’m bad ass like that.

V. I’ve spent a fair bit of time over the last 72 hours counselling one of my kids through a pretty devastating break up. There’s a child involved, too, so the heartache is compounded by all the questions we all have around how things are going to be for the little one. My kid is navigating all of this with grace, grit, and maturity, and his siblings and I are all circling him like he’s a bear cub and we’re fearsome.

I believe it’s going to be okay, but I wouldn’t say no to a little healing mojo being thrown his way if you don’t mind.

VI. This family crisis came in the middle of some omgdoom at work in terms of needing to get things done for things that I was feeling behind on. I am happy to report that I managed to carve myself an ACTUAL WEEKEND OFF – Friday & Saturday, at least. I will need to work on Sunday. I got up at six this morning in order to make this happen, and I am super chuffed with myself.

My son watched me fly through the list today and said “I wish I was a go getter like you…”

I felt seen. I am a go getter, and I believe he will be, too, once he heals up and recognizes the value of getting up and going.

VII. I’m feeling very affirmed lately by my people, including my students, who are all expressing appreciation for my way of being in the world. I just want to take a moment to thank you for that, because I grew up without any kind of affirmation and spend most of my adult life feeling ‘less than’. It is nice to feel that turning around.

VIII. The Ever After Giveaway contest ends tonight at midnight. Go get it. I’ll announce the winner on May 10th. That’s TOMORROW.

IX. I have therapy today at noon, and then Bean is coming over for a few hours. I am deeply grateful to be getting in some Bean time. Deeply. Grateful. While he’s here (his dad will be here, too), I am going to get a big pot of beef stew started since there are so many people hanging out this weekend. My love tomorrow, my kids on Sunday & Monday. I’m hoping to get some solo time in on Saturday, but I have to go to Costco at some point to do my contacts fitting, so yanno. Probably not gonna happen.

X. This song today, dedicated to the one and only Kidlet, because reasons.

 

 

Better Man

I.I turned up wanting to be elegant. A soft place to land. Sanctuary. I wanted to keep my questions to myself, to take what was offered, and ask for nothing more. I wanted to hold it lightly, to be easy as a summer’s breeze. I thought of him as a hummingbird. No one can possess such a thing. We just let them flit in and out, watch in awe as they sip the nectar we offer, and hold that jewelled moment in our heart’s forever. Right? We hope they’ll come again, but we don’t set our clocks by them. When they are here, we stop. We drink deeply alongside them. When they leave, we get on with our lives.

II. My past experiences with love have trained me up to expect very little. I had begun to think of myself as a kind of drive through, where my loves could pull in, fill up, and drive away again. I got filled up elsewhere. Through my friendships, or my spiritual practice. Through music or art or writing. I didn’t know it was possible for there to be anything like an equal exchange.

III. Having discovered that there is such a thing, and having experienced it for just a little over half a year now, I have become very possessive of it. I can’t imagine going back a life in which I allow myself to serve as fuel, as a prop, or as something that can be easily shelved, and taken down only when it suits someone else’s agenda. I can’t imagine being in a relationship in which I have no expectations. That seems like bullshit to me now. Like a raw deal. Like something I can’t believe I *ever* signed up for.

IV. When the former is all you’ve ever known, the latter comes in like a wildfire and burns down everything you thought you knew about love. It is impossible to be elegant in the midst of a wildfire. I have not been elegant or easy. I have been full on. I have grappled. I have asked all the questions. I have expressed what my needs are. I have asked for more.

V. He meets me there.

VI. For me, possession isn’t about ownership. It is about how he has taken up residence in me, how he pours himself into me so that there is no room for anymore of this kind of love. I used to think that the only way I’d ever get my needs met was if I had multiple partners willing to patchwork up some kind of solution to the problem of my too muchness. No, man. That was not the answer. The answer was finding someone who filled me up to capacity and then some, and now I know that exists. This means that non-monogamy – something I have wholeheartedly embraced and believed in my whole life – is no longer an option for me. The thought of sharing my body with someone else makes me cringe. The thought of redirecting any of what I feel toward anyone else just doesn’t work. I can’t.

VII. This doesn’t mean that I’m not sovereign in my own life. I am, absolutely. I can withdraw my devotion at any time. I have the right to change my mind. I just don’t see it happening, though, because my devotion is met with devotion. My love is met with love. My questions are met with answers. My needs are met with care.

When people approach me with interest, (have you noticed how when you are in love, you get more offers than ever before?) my response is pretty much “N’aw, honey. I’m good. All sorted. Thank you, though.”

VIII. His are the only hands I want on my body. His is the only mouth I want on my mouth.

IX. Something about how he invokes the best in me. Something about how his showing up sent me flying into an accelerated evolution, threw me into a healing crisis as though my whole body knew that this was it, and we had to do our work now, because we have living to do, and *waves at all of that back there* was in our fucking way. Something about wanting to show up as my whole self, because he deserves that, and I deserve to enjoy him as my whole self. Something about how he brings a warrior energy with him that makes me feel encircled in safety, makes me feel safe to be a woman. Something about how at home I feel in my own skin, how embodiment is easy with him. Something about how anchored I am in the moment when his eyes are on my face.

X. This song, today, because reasons.

Sunshine & Roses

I. This little cherub is having a morning bottle while I have a coffee and check my email. I so appreciate this habit of his while he’s here. He wakes up pretty sunny, all grins and burbles hello, let’s me change him and give him a bottle, and settles back in for about an hour or so before he needs my full on attention. So sweet of him, don’t you agree?

We had a lovely time last night. He arrived, played for a bit, ate a big bowl of baby food, munched on some little star shaped broccoli, spinach, and puffed rice snacks, played lots more, and then went down at 8. My kid and I talked and watched GoT. Said kid wandered off at 11, and I woke the Bean up to change him and give him another bottle in the hopes that he would settle right back down and sleep through the night.

HE DID! Hallelujah! Woke me up at 6:30, all grins and chattering, but settled right back down with a dry bum and a bottle.

He’ll squawk at me shortly for a proper breakfast and some playtime before his parents pick him up at ten.

I’m really enjoying having him here.

II. I’ve got a bunch of things coming out soon that are collaborative in nature that require some intense attention this month, so I’ve had to bow out of my first fest of the year. I thought long and hard about it, because I really need a break, but I also really need to not overwhelm myself the way I did last year with too many fests and not enough forethought. I ended up so depleted in September that I got sick for, like, weeks. It was horrid. So this year, I’m going to be a little more mindful of what kind of energy I need and how much I can spend. Adulty, right?

III. Speaking of adulty, I went to the eye doctor on Sunday (Costco optometrist works weekends!) and discovered I have cataracts. Dammit. That’s just a little bit too adulty for me, yanno? From what I’m hearing, though, I could walk out of surgery with 20/20 vision, which would be AMAZING, so I’m not in a panic over it. I’m being referred to a specialist who will tell me what my options are. Long wait times, though. Maybe six months to a year before I actually get the surgeries done? We’ll see. There is an option to get it done privately (Lasix does it), and it would be done in no time at all, but it’s really expensive. Doing it through the healthcare system means it’s covered.

Things to think about.

IV. I get to see my love this weekend AND the weekend after. It amazes me how much knowing this (and counting sleeps) lifts my spirits. I mean, my spirits are actually pretty good right now, all things considered, but they are especially uplifted given that I can say THREE SLEEPS. *Bounce*

It is incredibly healing for me to have someone in my life who is as eager to see me as I am to see him. Zero ambivalence. All in. Swoonworthy.

V. I was thinking about him yesterday and painted this in response to my thoughts.

I like it so much that I’m filming another version of it for my Patreon & Effy365 peeps. Might release it in Wild & Free in a little bit, too, but I’m going to give my sweet coterie of devotees first dibs. Here’s a progress shot of the first layer.

VI. Speaking of Wild & Free, did you know about this? It’s a library of free resources I’ve put together for my peoples. That means YOU. Go get it. 

VII. The Ever After Blog Hop is still on. I’ll be closing the contest to win a space on the 9th (that’s in two days!), and announcing the winner on the 10th. Go get it!

VIII. I’ve been invited to teach in this sweet offering from Shai Bearden (CEO of Wild Sister Magazine). I’m really excited about it because it combines my two loves – mental health related self-care and art journaling. I will be hosting a giveaway for a seat next week, but for now, dudes…$33 gets you SO MUCH STUFF including a lesson from me.

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll get notified when I post the giveaway!

IX. This sweet cover of Maps because it makes me swoon.

X. I created this template for my Year of Rumi students, and I thought you might like it, too. Print it out and do whatever you like with it. We’re going to be making a sweet painting using the Rumi quote “Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”

The image started as a sketch in my sketchbook and then got imported and edited in Procreate on my iPad Pro. Best gift I’ve given myself in a long time, and I’m having so much fun with it. It’s also super useful for stuff like this!

When I finish the painting I’ll let you know.

 

Ever After Blog Hop + Giveaway! – Winner Announced!

UPDATED TO ADD:

Random.Org helped me select a random person from among 130 comments, and here’s the number that came up:

That means that JILL (jillsfine@gmail.com) has won a seat in Ever After 2019. YAY! KERMIT FLAILS! I will be emailing your details to Tamara today, Jill! CONGRATULATIONS!

The Contest is NOW CLOSED! Thanks for playing!

 

MORNING WILDERHOOD!

SO EXCITED!! :) Ever After 2019 is now open for registration AND we are running a blog hop and many give-aways to kick off this fun news! (Scroll down for blog hop and give away info!)

Please note: this is Ever After’s LAST YEAR! If you know you want it, please use the Early Bird Discount code to get 20% off!

MAGIC2019

Ever After began in 2016 and ran again (with totally new art lessons) in 2017 and 2018. It has a blend of magic (because FAERY TALES) as well as style development that is fantastic for beginners, intermediate, and advanced artists.

If you’re not ready for (or into) style development then you can just buy the ‘Ever After Fairytale Bundle’ offer on its own (without the style development element) which simply is an awesome mixed media art class with a fairytale theme taught by some of your most favourite artists and fabulous teachers in our beautiful mixed media community!

You can find out all the details (and sign up with the Early Bird price) by clicking here.

This year I’ll be working with the story: The Witches Of Eastwick. I know, I know – NOT A TRADITIONAL FAERY TALE – BUT it has all the elements of one, and I will go over those with you in class. I will also be switching things up a bit the way I do so that our heroines get a better deal. *Wink*

Even if you know for sure that you’re IN LIKE FLYNN you can join the GIVEAWAY! YAY!

Blog Hop & Give Away Information!

To celebrate the launch of EA2019 we’re running a super fun blog hop with all the teachers who can each give away 1 space on Ever After 2019! Want to win a space? Follow the blog hop along and make sure to follow the instructions on the teachers’ pages to get entered into the draws.

To enter the give-away please do the following:

*Sign up to my newsletter*

* Share this blog post on your Facebook page/ Twitter or Instagram *

* Leave a comment below saying I DID IT!

I’ll announce the winners on May 10th 2019!

There are multiple chances to win, so HOP ALONG WITH US!

To up your chances to win and to learn more about the amazing EA2019 teaching team, be sure to follow the BLOGALONG:

Date Teacher Blog URL
1st May Tamara Laporte willowing.org/blog
2nd May Andrea Gomoll andrea-gomoll.de/blog
3rd May Danita Art blog.danitaart.com
4th May Effy Wild effywild.com  <————YOU ARE HERE
5th May Natalie Mecham nataliemechamart.com/wall
6th May Angela Kennedy pennystamper.blogspot.com
7th May Marieke Blokland bloknote.nl/tag/blog
8th May Pamela Vosseller pamela-vosseller.squarespace.com/
9th May Renee Mueller reneemuellerart.com/blog-1
10th May Lora Murphy facebook.com/lora.murphy.9
11th May Maria Pace-Wynter mariapacewynters.com
12th May Patti Ballard pbsartstudio.blogspot.com
13th May Natalie Neumann instagram.com/moonshadowgarden
14th May Shilpa Lalit (Artyshils) artyshils.com/blog
15th May Alena Hennessy alenahennessy.com/blog
16th May Tanya Cole tanyacolearts.com/blog-2

 

Registration is now open! :D

See you there!