{setting sail on my little boat}

On Tuesday, Tina and I headed to the other side of Phoenix for a mixed-media get together started by the amazing Dina. Despite getting a bit turned around on our way there, Tina and I made it to the little scrapbooking/mixed-media supply shop hosting the group.

And what fun was to be had!


Photo by Tina. Aren't you glad you're not the only one that takes over the table when working in your journal?

Three tables, women with paint, brownies on the counter, laughter in the air. We all pulled out our journals -- a myriad of kinds, some made the weekend before in Kelly Kilmer’s classes, others started during a class of Dina’s, full of paint or paper or tape -- introduced ourselves, and got to play.

We shared supplies, showed others new things they could try, got ink all over our hands. I finally found a place that could refill my Copic markers. There were baskets of colored waxed linen thread, paints and papers and inks and stamps. Racks of beautiful large sheets of paper along a wall.

Pic by Tina. I'm in purple. I really want one of those little lab-coat thingies...it would have saved mine and Tina's shirts...

But the fun was to be had simply laughing, creating, and chatting with other women who have the same loves. Who read the same magazines and blogs, who want to expand their artistic abilities through experimentation and community. We all had different styles and experience levels, and yet in that room, we were all the same. Just women having fun creating art.

my page from that night. i went a little overboard with the glimmer.

I took the time to chat about my most recent issues and what I should do. I think most of the video workshop I’ve written came from conversations a few months ago, and I went forward off my own passion -- something I don’t regret. But as I sat through the first week of it being announced, I found a black cloud gathering above my head. I wasn’t having fun. After the stress of the website and blog (and the time loss from a massive migraine), I needed a release, and wasn’t finding it.

It took a lot of advice, letters from friends and strangers, and some soul searching to really figure out where I am and where I want to be. I’ve had the amazing luck of now working with some women to design banners and blogs for them (and I have never felt so valued and capable before!), but have missed the play. I think the other night reminded me of that.

So I’m putting the video workshop on the back burner. It’ll be self-paced and available later this spring, but for now, I’m following my joy and developing and writing the art journaling workshop I’ve had in mind since October. I’m even pitching it to be taught here in town. I’m painting weekly and making journals just for fun (and throwing them on Etsy as they roll out of the Closet Studio). There are tons of projects and opportunities going on here behind the scenes.

In planning on offering my little class from the first round of 21 Secrets (for $10!), I discovered a way to create a social network like a Ning site here on my own server, and have bold ideas on where such a place could go. Clubs and classes and secret things! I need to get back to my roots, to who I am and the art I love to create.

And I feel less fear twisting my stomach in writing this than the month I spent working on the video workshop.

So bear with me as things continue to morph and grow and expand and take shape. I’ve set sail on my little boat, but this time, I’ve got a sat-phone and some amazing friends on speed dial.