Tuesday, June 30, 2009

enthusiasm it is.

I'm a few weeks behind the rest of the group in the Artist's Way Book Club, but this experience has been invaluable. I am discovering things about myself that I never realized and my creativity is overflowing into all sorts of areas, even new ones such as baking{which my husband has no complaints} and a greater awareness of my desire to help others live inspired lives. I am holding a small event with some friends called, "Inspire: A Night of Discovering Your Creativity" and I'm so excited... more on that later.

Last week I read Chapter 9: Recovering a Sense of Compassion. There were a few points that really stood out to me. I'd like to share them with you.

The need to be a great artist makes it hard to be an artist.
The need to produce a great work of art makes it hard to produce any art at all.
(pg. 152.)

I've dealt with this one a few times, just a few. For example, I've heard this thought once or twice... "Are you making any money with this?" or "Can you sell that?" I become consumed with the fact that I am not shipping out products multiple times a day. Not surprisingly, I tend to experience moments of "creative drought," after this, until I realize I paint to paint or I sew to create, not to put some money in the bank. Now, I'd gladly accept the profits of my talents, but to get lost in that concept will only send me to the land of eternal creative-nothingness. I don't ever want to visit there.


Setting impossible goals creates enormous fear, which creates procrastination, which we wrongly call laziness. Do not call procrastination laziness. Call it fear. Fear is what blocks an artist. The fear of not being good enough. The fear of not finishing. The fear of failure and of success. The fear of beginning at all. There is only one cure for fear. That cure is love. (pg. 152)

I must confess I hate the idea of failure (who doesn't), but that I have been more afraid of success than failure. Some people have called me crazy. I remember once there was this guy I liked and one night during a long conversation about life, hopes, dreams, and all, I asked him, "Have you ever been afraid that all your dreams might actually come true? Have you ever thought about the great responsibility that would come with those dreams, that it might be too hard?" "No," he said. He thought that made no sense. {Perhaps, his thoughts never got that deep.} In case you are wondering, that almost relationship, never became a relationship. Sometime later, I met Matt and he had much more to say on the subject of dreams and the responsibility and commitment to those dreams. He actually understood how I could ask such a question. That, along with many other reasons is why I said, yes, when he got on one knee and held up a pretty little box with an even prettier little ring in it.

Finally, my third excerpt.

"It must take so much discipline to be an artist," we are often told by well meaning people who are not artists but wish that they were.... As artists, grounding our self-image in military discipline is dangerous. In the short run, discipline may work, but it will only work for a while.... We admire ourselves for being so wonderful. The discipline itself, not the creative outflow, becomes the point.

That part of us that creates best is not a driven, disciplined, automaton, functioning from willpower, with a booster of pride to back it up...

Over any extended period of time, being an artist requires enthusiasm more than discipline. Enthusiasm is not an emotional state. It is a spiritual commitment, a loving surrender to our creative process, a loving recognition of all the creativity around us.

Enthusiasm (from the Greek, "filled with God") is an ongoing energy supply tapped into the flow of life itself. Enthusiasm is grounded in play, not work. (pg. 153.)

When I read this, I was so moved that I felt like the words were jumping off the page and dancing with me. Yes, that made sense. I was going through this time where I kept thinking, "My art needs more discipline, more discipline, please." Obviously, that didn't work. I could be more disciplined in my life, my habits and exercise, but in my art, I needed enthusiasm. I needed to be filled with God. I find myself remembering this idea on a daily basis. I've noticed, the more devoted I am to my Savior, the greater the creativity that I feel. It makes sense, yes?

Like, I said, it's been a great journey so far. If you are interested in reading more, you can find The Artist's Way here.

b is for blocks

and babies, of course...
As soon as I saw this super easy tutorial here, I started to make my own blocks for the Hudson baby. I'm telling you, easy. You don't even need a sewing machine, to be honest. I am definitely going to make more, but I got weary of all the precise measuring and cutting after just two blocks. I am not so much a precise measuring kind of girl. It's just not my thing. I might add different letters of the alphabet or even his initials. This is just some of the fabrics that I use for my Little Jolie's toys.

Oh, I seriously love my Hudson.
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

listy list.

It's been a lovely day. lovely. when days are this lovely, they call for a list.

Here is a list of all things, fun, silly, random, and the stuff that dreams are made of:

1. I love to allude to Shakespeare, whenever possible. Some days, I really love that I have a B.A. in English, {because I like English, writing, and literature} not because I wanted to be a teacher. Today is one of those days. I have a feeling that it's especially because.... see #2.

2. I watched You've Got Mail today. It definitely ranks on my top {insert number here} list. It inspires me to own a quaint little book store, to have more fresh flowers in my home, to imagine how fun it might be to actually live in New York City, to read Pride & Prejudice {again, yes, again} because, like Kathleen Kelly, I have a confession.
Also, I adore the witty banter, and always fall for a good movie that includes lots of letter writing and characters who narrate their thoughts, especially when characters think of such things as:
Which leads me to #3.

3. I think we should wear hats more often.

4. Speaking of doing things more, I could listen to David Gray's, Life in Slow Motion, at least twice a day, everyday, for the rest of my life. He is a poetic and musical genius and if I ever created a soundtrack to my life, he'd hold a few tracks. Which, brings me to #5.

5. Regina Spektor's music makes me giggle and dance. Her new album is the best yet. Her music cheers me up right away. {this of course, leads me to... }

6. Whenever I hear the words, "cheers me up right away, " I am playing the scene with Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak, in Breakfast at Tiffany's, which is my number one favorite film of all time, when she tells him about how Tiffany's makes her feel.

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Paul Varjak: Sure.
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that would make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!

She says, "calms me down right away," but I think she equally meant cheers me up right away too. And this, obviously, brings me to #7.

7. Barnes and Noble is my Tiffany's. I mean, it is like instant therapy. I actually, just have to open the doors and breathe in the marvelous smells of coffee and books. This both calms me down and cheers me up right away. Something else that cheers me up right away, well #8, of course.

8. We're teaching Hudson how to kick a ball, no eight months is not too early. We're hoping that it comes so naturally, that he instinctively wants plays soccer, rather than something miserably boring, like baseball. He laughs some of his very best laughs every time we help him "kick," the ball. Which is a good sign, of course. I love my little boy.

I must conclude this list because...
...Sunday morning always seems so much earlier than the rest.
...The coffee never seems strong enough.
...I, in no way, resemble those strange creatures called, "morning people."
...I often miss going to Mosaic in LA, where we had an evening service only, that's the most brilliant idea ever.
...I love my church and want to be awake for it, which won't happen unless this happens....

bon soir, sweet dreams.


Note: I have been looking for curtains or fabric to make curtains for the Hudson baby's room for well, since he was born. As a perk of renting, our marvelously "good priced," apartment, there are a few aspects that we just accept, like two rooms of ceiling to floor hideous wood paneling. Ugg.

Today, a friend brought me some fabric that she found because it reminded her of me. That's fun right? It looked really cute and I thought, hmm, I can make something out of it, I just know there's something. I brought it home and walked around the house with it, trying to imagine what I could do. When I got to the baby's room, I instantly thought, hey, this might look good in here. The more I looked, the more I realized it was almost a perfect match. Not even kidding. Can you imagine how excited I was? Very.

I am not a person who can just envision a project and wait a few days to complete it. I almost have to do it instantly and I usually must finish it, promptly. Sometimes, this exhausts my poor husband, when I need his help and he's exhausted. Good thing, he loves me.

So, tonight, we watched You've Got Mail, which delights my very being and I made curtains.

See how brilliantly the colors match?

In case, you're wondering, I gave a little squeal when I saw them finished and hanging on the wall. I love them. Thanks Julia.

Oh, and did I mention, how much I love You've Got Mail.

Note: His bedding is from Pottery Barn.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We're on Etsy, people!!

Yes, it's true, my etsy shop: is up and running... Check it out here and enjoy!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

a little update...

Hello, hello...
(Imagine large, steaming coffee in hand)

I am thrilled to announce that my painting Dream Trees, will be part of a huge giveaway at the end of July with the blog' Love. Obsess. Inspire.'

It's a fantastic blog full of all sorts of creative goodness. You could win the 16 X 20, original acrylic painting along with many other lovely products from various artists. I will keep you updated, don't worry. But until then, you can subscribe to her blog, yourself, so you don't miss a thing.

And please, check out my facebook page, leave a comment about your favorite pieces, because I will be announcing a HUGE event from Olivia Moore Art + Design in the next week.

Have you seen the latest projects? Little Jolies, unique toys for little wonders?? Plus Noted Cards, currently available on omoore.redbubble.com

Oh, and welcome to my new fans, I'm so delighted that you are interested in my art, enough to receive these updates from me. If you feel so inclined, I'd love your help to spread the word about Olivia Moore Art + Design.

I hope you are doing well and feeling inspired...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Artist's Way + Baby Steps

One of my dreams is helping other people realize their own creativity. I want to inspire other people to fully live, to take risks, and dream. It breaks my heart to hear people say, “You are so creative, I could never do that.” Now, I love a compliment, but I know that great creativity lies within each of us. Sure, we possess different outlets, but there are talents deep inside of us waiting to be discovered.

We often believe that these possibilities are anything but attainable, but I’m suggesting, along with the writer of The Artist’s Way, that this creativity is easier than we think. Here is an excerpt from the book:

“The grace to be a beginner is always the best prayer for an artist. The beginner’s humility and openness lead to exploration. Exploration leads to accomplishment. All of it begins at the beginning, with the first small and scary step.”

“What do I mean by filling the form? I mean taking the next small step instead of skipping ahead to a large one for which you may not yet be prepared. To be very specific, in order to sell a screenplay, you must first write one. In order to write one, you must come up with the idea and then commit it to paper, a page at a time until you have about 120 pages of script… Most of the time, the next right thing is something small: washing out your paintbrushes, stopping by the art-suppy store and getting your clay, checking the local paper for a list of acting classes… as a rule of thumb, it is best to just admit that there is always one action you can take for your creativity daily, this daily-action commitment fills the form. All too often, when people look to having a more creative life, they hold an unspoken and often unacknowledged expectation, or fear, that they will be abandoning life as they know it….

Blocked creatives like to think that they are looking at changing their whole life in one fell swoop…. Creative people are dramatic, and we use negative drama to scare ourselves out of our creativity with the notion of wholesale and often destructive change….

Filling the form means that we must work with what we have rather than languish in complaints over what we have not.”

-The Artist’s Way, pages 141, 142, 143

How many times do we say, “I love to do this, but I don’t have (fill in the blank) or I would do this if I (fill in the blank). What is one thing you could do today? One small, attainable thing? I started this blog, because I wanted to write more. I had neglected it for so long, because I got so caught up in this disappointment of “I’m not writing a book…I’m never going to write a book… That English degree was pointless.” So, of course, I wasn’t writing. I started this blog, because I finally realized I just needed to write. If I write tonight, and tomorrow, and keep writing, then I’m one step closer to writing that book, maybe. Who knows, but at least I can say that I’m writing something.

I'd love to hear what steps you are taking...

Classic Movie Summer

Let's face it, summer television is umm, lame? So, in order to protect our brains and
enjoy quality, family friendly movies, we decided to compile a list of classic movies to watch,
you know, the ones you've always heard of, but never actually seen (and some we just love). It's been so fun, and we don't feel our brains turning to mush. Here are a few that we have watched so far:

What's your favorite classic film?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

coffee meets its match.

I'm not the first one to say it, but I can't imagine how I managed to live twenty five years of my life without this most delicious crumble cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and there's rhubarb inside, which I love and adore.  Coffee cake is really easy to make, as I'm learning most things are and naturally, the perfect companion to a perfect cup of coffee.  Speaking of coffee, my eyes are considering starting a revolt if they don't see an over sized mug filled with some soon.

All I'm saying, make some.  It might be the highlight of your day.

Note: In this picture, I was enjoying some Tazo Passion Tea in one of my city space mugs from Starbucks, I need them all.  Oh, and place mat from Anthropologie (a few years ago.)  Suddenly, this is turning into my favorite things.  Coffee, coffee cake, Starbuck's mugs, Anthropologie...  love love love.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.

It's late and my mind is filled with remnants of the great evening that I shared with two good friends.  It was one of those nights that lifts your spirit, with encouragement and affirmations.  I couldn't possibly capture it all, but I do want to share one thing.

I'm definitely a girl who thrives on words of affirmation, it's often worth more than gold.  Mark Twain said, "I could live on a good compliment for two months."  Tonight, a good friend told me, that she felt one of my greatest qualities is truly living life, not just existing.

Take a second, isn't that something? I was very blessed by those kind words, because I really do strive to live, TO LIVE, it's not so easy.  Sometimes existing just happens, but you have to happen to life or it will just happen to you.  

I recently read this quote,  "What are you going to do with your one wild and exciting life?"  I can't remember who said it, but I like it.  Seriously, what are you going to do?

I sure don't have all the answers and sometimes I get caught up in all the things that I'm not doing, like touring the cafes of Paris  to decide who makes the best cafe au lait or checking out that ceiling of Michelangelo's....  but today I am laughing, dreaming, hoping, praying, loving, and living, so that's something.  I baked bread, had friends over for dinner, made the baby laugh, wrote in my journal, flirted with my husband, connected with people, and further realized part of my greater purpose  (That's huge).

Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."  So go ahead, live, no one else can write your story or dream your dreams.  

Tonight, I was inspired to keep up the constant and unpredictable pursuit of life.  What does that look like to you?

Need a boost?  Watch Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, it always does wonders for me.

Molly Mahoney: I'm stuck! 
Mr. Edward Magorium: Oh, to my floor? 
Molly Mahoney: No, sir. 
Mr. Edward Magorium: Then what? 
Molly Mahoney: Like a person. You remember when I was a little girl and I could play Rahmaninov's Second Piano Concerto and everyone was talking about my potential? 
Molly Mahoney: Well, I am 23 now and every one's still talking about my potential but if you ask em to play the song I know best... I'll still play Rachmaninov's Second. 
Mr. Edward Magorium: May I suggest you stun the world with Molly Mahoney's First? 

Mr. Edward Magorium: 37 seconds. 
Molly Mahoney: Great. Well done. Now we wait. 
Mr. Edward Magorium: No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime. 

and finally....

Mr. Edward Magorium: We must face tomorrow, whatever it may hold, with determination, joy and bravery 

Monday, June 8, 2009

... in words #2

when a girl has nothing to wear... make something.

In anticipation for the previously mentioned, best concert in the world, I went shopping for something to wear.  Perhaps it was my limited budget, but I'd like to chalk it up to my complete lack of finding anything at all that struck my fancy.  Of course, nothing I already owned would do, so, I thought and thought and then decided, to make something.  Yes, make something.  I'm by no means a super seamstress, but I know my way around the sewing machine.  

I received this fabrc for my birthday, and loved it.  I thought it was perfect.  I didn't use a pattern, I'm not a pattern kind of person, I guess, I think it constricts me or something, you know, I don't like following rules and procedures, so I studies various photos and pieces of clothing - being the visual learner that I am and took my time, I mean, it had to look good, naturally.  I even installed pockets, because I heart pockets.


The whole ensemble.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Now my feet won't touch the ground...

Last night, I finally received my birthday gift and it was the best gift ever.  After waiting for probably years, I got to see my most favorite band of all time, in concert.  Yes, Coldplay, it was brilliant, every single second of the show was interesting, dynamic, beautiful, and entertaining. 

We originally had pretty mediocre seating, way up high, sorta behind the stage, but because of how the curtain was hung, we were moved from Section 313 to Section 108.  This picture shows just about how close we were.  So that was unexpected and wonderful.  Our section was full of pretty cool people who were not crazy kids who don't know anything about music and just like to scream, thank God, so we really could enjoy the brilliance of the music.  I've listening to these songs hundreds, if not thousands of times and it was so awesome to hear them live. 

I don't think Chris Martin knows how to sit still for a second and he and the rest of the guys definitely gave everything they had.  I never wanted to show to end.

There was no disappointment to be had by this Coldplay fan, none.  I even got to hear my most favorite song in the entire world, The Scientist, and that was perfection.

So, God thank you for Coldplay and my husband for letting us by the tickets... and thank you for music.

"Oh, love, don’t let me go
Won’t you take me where the street lights glow
I can hear it coming
I can hear the silent sound
Now my feet won’t touch the ground"
-Life in Technicolor, Coldplay

Monday, June 1, 2009

...in words #1

Changing the world is good for those who want their names in books, but being happy, that is for those who write their names in the lives of others, and hold the hearts of others as the treasure most dear.

- Orson Scott Card, 
Children of the Mind

Courage in the Kitchen #2

Homemade Rustic Italian Bread, made by moi.  Can I just say, I am not sure why I thought it would be so hard to make bread?  It's delightfully easy and I think kneading bread is one of the most therapeutic activities, have you experienced this?  I think the fears come from the time investment it takes to make it, the process of letting it rise. Our society doesn't like this.  We'd rather give more time to being busy and cringe at the idea of waiting for something to happen. So we'd rather go out and purchase bread, spending much more money than it would take to mix a few cups of flour, some yeast, a little sugar, oil, seasonings, and water.  Seriously, six ingredients.  

This particular kind would make a delicious panini, garlic bread, or be perfect dipped in some herbs & oil.  Who doesn't love dipping warm bread into oil?  This is the recipe I used and the only thing I would suggest is instead of making just one loaf, I'd split the dough into two, it makes beaucoup amounts of bread.  I made one small and one large.

I feel very confident that I can face many other types of breads now... hmm, what shall I make next?