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HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS: A MINI ARTICLE
If you've read the past few Articulation issues, you know that I spent the past two and a half weeks visiting my parents in Dallas, a trip which put me face-to-face with many of the cycles of humanity...life and death, ebb and flow in friendships, and the transitional role of "home" in our lives. Isn't it strange how often the word "home" changes meaning to us? What home meant as a child is entirely what home means to us now...and perhaps we'd even define it differently today than we would have a month ago. For something as static as a house or apartment, the concept of "home" has a remarkably fluid nature.
In addition to my own transition back to my OWN home this week, this topic seemed to settle into today's newsletter quite synchronistically.
This week, Artella members are enjoying a Members-Only audio lecture by Diane Armstrong of CultivateLife.com, an amazing clutter coach who has helped me make major headway with clutter in my environment. Then, when Feng Shui expert Susan Lavery stepped forward with an offer to present Articulation readers with a free phone Feng Shui consultation, I knew the topic of home had found me! (See the "Artful Link" section below, for information about how to take advantage of Susan's offer.)
No matter where we consider "home" to be, perhaps nothing else influences our general mood and productivity more than the environment around us. Deeply ingrained in each of us is the desire to relax, let go, and be who we truly are. Whether we are aware of it or not, most of us have a deep longing to assume this authentic personal posture when we are at home. The desire to have a comfortable space to relax and rejuvenate is a very basic one. After all, consider the members of the animal kingdom. They are motivated by the same innate desire: to create nests and other comfortable, functional shelters.
All too often, however, our living spaces tend to be "last on the list". Home is the last thingthat gets our time, money, or attention. The idea of our perfect "dream home" is so far away from what we can feasibly obtain that we lose hope. Much like the way we shut out extraneous sensory input from the world, clutter and uninspiring decor causes us to put up mental blinders around the areas of our space that are displeasing to us. We get to the point where we don't even think much about our home at all.
When we are looking to bring more creativity to our lives, sprucing up our living spaces is an easy way to do it. Spring has just sprung, so the timing is perfect! I know what you're thinking...you don't have the time, and you don't have the money. I find myself thinking these things, too...and I've even written several books about creative decorating! (See the Artful Links section)
As familiar as we are with all those "excuses", allow me to make a gentle reminder of what we already know: our environments have a powerful effect on us. The time involved in decluttering or beautifying an area can come back a hundred fold, in terms of productivity and happiness. This Spring, don't ignore your space because you are too busy to see it! Don't allow yourself become unconscious to what Thomas Moore calls the "mystery of home". In The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, Moore says:
"Nothing is more intimate than home, and therefore nothing more proper to the soul. Whatever it takes tocall forth the spirits of home, our own lares and penates -- ancient Roman household spirits -- is worth oureffort and expense. It is always time to trim a plant, glaze a window, clean a rug, or write a poem abouthome...All of these go into the making of the soulís home, a daily work that prepares us for our death andgives our lives the intimate focus that is the primary gift of home."
- Where can you place some candles in your space to add instant aroma and light to your space? Invite a bit of ritual into your life by lighting them daily while taking a moment of quiet reflection.
- Take a look around your home. What have you not noticed before? What catches your eye? Do some new ideas for re-arranging or re-decorating or decluttering come to mind, when you see things with open eyes?
- What items can you take away from your space, that no longer have personal meaning to you?
- Walk around your home and have a conversation with it. What would you home say? What does it need to support you the most fully?
- This weekend is Mother's Day. How has your Mother influenced your experience of home? In what way can you bring "home" into the concept of honoring her this weekend?(And be sure to download our free eBook, A Mom Was Your Angel... to give to Mom!)
THIS WEEK'S ART-SPLASH!
This week's art-splash was inspired by my experience of going home, and then coming back home again. It's called Knowing Home.
This is the link to view Knowing Home.
If the above link doesn't work, copy and paste this into your browser: http://www.artellawordsandart.com/artic71.html
Artella 6 has been mailed out to subscribers and everyone who ordered it, and this week's Come-Unity invitation is something very powerful that you can do in a very short amount of time. If you enjoy someone's work in this issue, write them an email to tell them! (This extends way beyond Artella, too -- we can all afford to be much more generous with our praise to those we admire!)
To an artist or writer, hearing that their work has moved someone is what makes it all worthwhile. So I invite you to take a small chunk of time and send some notes to the contributors of this issue, knowing that your feedback is so appreciated. Let's do this as a community this week!
1. Mother's Day Wishes! Say Happy Mother's Day by sending Mom our free gifty, a PDF booklet called "A Mom Was Your Angel...", which contains a handful of whimsically illustrated odes about Moms. Download it for free at this link!
Also - it's not too late to get Mom a special gift! If you want to order ANY item from our Web site as a Mother's Day gift for your Mom, we'll send her a special email to announce your gift, BEFORE Mother's Day! You can give Mom an Artella subscription, e-course, or heartwarming handmade item from The Shoppes of Artella.
2. Artella 6 is out in the world! As of today, ALL issues of Artella 6 have been shipped! Have you placed your order?
Check out some of the buzz...
"It's the best issue yet, and I've been a fan since the beginning. Artella 6 is the most the beautiful magazine I've ever seen, anywhere. My head is swirling with inspiring ideas!" ~ Deborah King
"I am still making my way through Artella 6 indulgently; it's better than chocolate, better than ripe June strawberries DIPPED in chocolate..." ~Karen Jones of BenevolentPlanet.com
"I just got my copies of Artella (that includes all the copies I ordered for my friends so I don't have to keep sharing mine) - they are the most sumptuous yet! It is so interactive and intimate! Not only does Artella present words and art that touch my soul, but Artella also encourages me to join in the fun - to stretch outside my comfort zone in art and try something new...Thank you Artella for awakening and engaging the child in me! It's the most delicious issue yet!" ~ Tammy Vitale
3. Winners of Poetic Idol Competition! Our First Monthly Poetic Idol Competition brought in some wonderful poems (stay tuned to read them on our Web site.) Here are the winners:
- Honorable Mentions, winning a 1 month Artella membership, an issue of e-Artella and the eBook, Behind the Veil, are
- Terri Urban for "I Matter"
- Kimberlee Titus for "Mahogany"
- Marilyn Hansen for "Greyt Life"
- Jan Barlett for "Love is Knowing"
- 3rd Place - Jenny Ryan, author of "Evolution", wins all of the above PLUS guaranteed publication in e-Artella and a $25.00 award.
- 2nd Place - Denise Mihalik, author of "My Corner", wins all of the above PLUS free enrollment in an Artella e-course and a $50.00 award.
- 1st Place - Eileen Grobeck, author of "A Redress of Clouds", wins all of the above PLUS publication of an e-chapbook of her poetry, a month as Artella's Poet in Residence, and a $150.00 award.
Congratulations to all our winners! Stay tuned to read the winning poems on our Web site, very soon!
We've altered the schedule for our Poetry contests, so that the every fourth week, we will only judge our Monthly Poetic Idol contest, having the Weekly Contest resume the following week.
If you submitted poems for last week, we'll combine them with this week's entries. Remember that the next deadline is tonight (Friday) at midnight. Details are here.
4. Theatre & Cinema Submission Deadline is May 10! The firm deadline for submitting work to Artella 7, "Theatre & Cinema", is May 10. Be sure to get your submissions to us by then. For details and instructions, see the Submit page.
5. "Dreams" ATC Swap! Artella is hosting an ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap with the theme of "Dreams", organized by our own beloved Administrative Assistant Deb Silva. For more details, email Deb.
Our featured artist this week is Gloria Page, who has placed her amazing book, Holy Moly Mackeroly: Reflections on the Business of Art and the Art of Life on an exclusive sale at The Shoppes of Artella. This book changed my life and the lives of so many other artists out there, and we are offering it as a generous discount. Check it out!
We have lots and lots of products on sale, so be sure to gowindow shopping on the shoppes home page and click on the shoppes with "sale" signs in the windows, or visit our Specials page for a list of all our current sales.
My favorite discount?: Christine Anderson's whimsical pins are only $7.00 each...what a fantastic bargain! And I have to mention that Rita Nelson's brand new collage kits are on an introductory sale where you ephemera buffs out there can save $10 per pack!
ART TIP OF THE WEEK!
If you're looking to build up texture in a piece of artwork, you can get some really interesting effects using the Translucent Embossing Paste by Dreamweaver Stencils. Traditionally used with brass stencils, this paste is very light and easy to work with, yet it's thicker than heavy Golden's gel medium, so the texture possibilities are spectacular. Since it dries completely clear, you can create splendid special effects by adding paint, Pearl Ex pigments, gold leaf, etc. It creates an amazing three-dimensional water-like effect! The lowest price we found online was $7.00 a bottle at StencilWithStyle.com. Also available at your local art supply and rubber stamping store.
WRITING TIP OF THE WEEK!
One way to get your writing voice moving on a day when it just feels stuck is to write on a topic about which you know NOTHING. For example, try writing a how-to article on how to perform surgery, or how to distill wine, or anything else you don't know how to do. Or pick another country (no fair picking a country you have actually lived in!), and write an account of your day - from waking up to going to sleep. Use lots of details. Which fruits are on the fruit stand on the cobblestone path? What do the rickshaws on the dirt road sound like? Of what do the sounds echoing through the palace walls remind you?
If you release yourself from having to be an "expert" on anything, it is easier to let yourself go and have fun.
1. Feng Shui Really Works is the Web site of Susan Lavery, a Feng Shui practioner who is passionately dedicated to reviving lives by reviving spaces. Sign up for her newsletter and receive three free articles about Feng Shui and the home. Furthermore, Susan is offering a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to Articulation readers, where she will answer any question you have about Feng Shui and your space. To sign up for your session, email Susan at email@example.com.
2. Home-decorating-made-easy.com has published several eBooks that I've written on creative home decorating with an easy, invigorating, FUN step-by-step process for creating the home of your dreams. Take a look at at the Artella Book Shoppe to read more about this unique set of eBooks, called The Awaken Your Interior Designer Collection. If you order any of the decorating eBooks from The Shoppes of Artella during the month of May, you'll automatically get a special bonus pack of free eBooklets and articles on the topic of creative home decorating...just my way of saying thanks!
3. WomensCreativity.com is a cyber resource space where creativity is honoured, shared and celebrated. Showcasing a visual arts gallery, inspiring articles, and free email newsletter. I really enjoyed browsing the article archives, and I definitely found myself at home on this site!
Sending you a house-warming gift of magic and sunshine...
~hanging my hat,
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