Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Participating in Love Notes

Photo Postcard created by Jennifer
I keep in my planner for daily inspiration!

Let me start today by saying just how much I love 
and how I adore her Love Notes Project!
I have been participating since she began,
(I have missed a few rounds)
but I participate as often as I can.
Everytime I jump in,
I gain so much out of the three week experience!

Jennifer created Love Notes
to connect others
from all over the US and countries abroad!
Each time (about four times a year)
participants grow and grow.

We begin by being connected with one writing partner,
we reach out to each other
and the magic begins.
Jennifer gives us a writing prompt to contemplate
during the week,
and then we send a postcard  . . .  a love note in the mail,
responding to the writing prompt.
It is not overwhelming, just post card size!
It lasts for three weeks ... three different writing prompts.
Don't we all love recieiving a bit of love and attention??

The postcard can be purchased or created
(I always choose created by me!)
In the past I have Collaged, Zentangled®, Watercolored,
used Mixed media and more.
I love creating my three in a series,
so my partner has something to keep!

My current set of three postcards for this go round!

Week One mailed out


Here is one of my favorite past cards I created:

Created a Zentangle® postcard my last go round!

I love the experience . . .
of reaching out to someone,
of writing something and sharing my heart thoughts,
of getting my hands into my art for a purpose.
 I love supporting my precious and dear friend Jennifer.
She has taught me that my words matter,
that I am important,
and that connecting with others can be a gift.

The link is on my side bar,
click on it and visit Jennifer's site.
Step out of your comfort zone . . . 
the next time she is offering this project just jump in!
I promise you will love it
and
you will have three wonderful love notes to keep
and look back at them with fondness.
You will remember the connections you have made
each and every time you participate!
If you are lucky like me . . .
you may actually get to meet your partners
face to face
Now that is a fun experience!!!

Sending love out to you today,
Donna Lee

Monday, January 11, 2016

Still Renewing in 2016


A beautiful bowl full of Kale

I have been working sincerely with my word for the year,
"Renewal"
consciously walking with my word each day.
It seems to fit perfectly for where I am in my life right now!

My collaged word for the year ... a gentle reminder!

Health and Diet of course are part of my Renewal,
and I want to feel better, look better and take better care of myself.
Today I attended a 
"Salad in a Jar" workshop,
at my friend Pam Spell's home.
and I am beginning a 30 day challenge today
so having fresh salads prepared for the week
was perfect timing for my journey.

We were asked to bring 4 Quart Ball jars,
a salad green  of our choice
and one salad item to share with others.
Pam spoke of health and renewal,
how important it is to eat fresh foods,
and to have beautiful color on our plates
and to care for our bodies as we age.

So many choices

The table was filled with such beauty,
and we went round and round
creating our own salad designs,
what fun!
I tried to make each salad creation a little different.
There was so much to choose from:
Fresh Quinoa, chick peas, cranberries, chia seeds,
rasberries, oranges, pumpkin seeds,
cabbage, tomatoes, peas, corn, carrots,
different olives, broccoli and more!!!
OH MY!

Salad ingredients everywhere!


The colors popped!

I created five wonderful salad jars,
there was laughter, fun, creativity and so much more.
I was able to connect with friends I hadn't seen in a long time,
of course we had to grab a photo!

Carol, Pam and me ... high school connections

What a fun and amazing way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Thank you Pam for your generosity, sweet spirit and for planning this event.
I know I will continue to create salad jars in the future!

My first salad creation

I guess Creativity isn't always about having
a paint brush in my hand!
Creating beautiful works of art with food is fun too!
Even better . . . it is taking care of my body and health!

They were starting to add up ... each one was different!

We were all pleased with our creations,
we went home with more than we brought for sure!
Tonight grilled chicken with one of my creations,
if you get the chance to attend one of these workshops,
I strongly urge you to join in the fun!
You will not be disappointed!

Showing off our creations

New Year, New Beginnings,
Renewal
that word just keeps popping up in my life!
Take care of yourself,
make healthy choices,
eat fresh and colorful,
drink lots of water
and get as much sleep as you can!
I certainly am off to a great start

Donna Lee

Friday, January 1, 2016

Renewal ... My Word for 2016

My first art journal entry of the year

My first blog post of 2016! 
May I first take the time to wish you well in this new year!
A time of new beginnings,
letting go of what wasn't working,
stepping into freshness,
where everything is new and hopeful!

As I look back on 2015,
I find it was a bit difficult for me.
I eagerly anticipate 2016
and bringing along a new beginning for me.

I recognize that I wasn't at my best.
My health took a slow turn, 
my neck issues kept me from my yoga practice,
and I missed it very much.
I didn't write as much Poetry . . .
and I yearned to put pen to page.

I was definitely creative,
I accomplished a lot artistically,
I taught so many art classes
and even attended a few awesome art retreats.
I made some wonderful connections too!
(filling up my own creative well)
I learned so many new things,
I'm learning to focus on what I am good at
and what truly gives me a sense of peace when I am creating.

 I found my way back to Tapestry Weaving,
which I am most happiest about.
I'm slowly working through
Rebecca Mezoff's online course.
I even brought my new "Gracie"
Dryad tapestry loom into my studio
(freighted here from Pennsylvania)
we are still getting to know to each other!

A few of my favorite moments

As I began the "Word of the Year" process,
I gently wrote down every word that came to mind,
over the process of the last few weeks.
I then scratched out some,
added a few more,
some remained on the list
and some went away, 
because they no longer felt right.

Renewal

became my word.
It was perfect in every way.
I want renewal in the things I love the most in my life.
It is time for me to choose those things that matter most,
let go of time wasters, people drainers,
commitments that rob me of my joy.
Time for a new and creative year,
renewing what stirs my heart and soul!
I look forward to seeing where this all leads.

Do you have a new word?
Have you committed to something new this year?
What are you letting go of?
What do you need most in this new year?

I wish you a year of love and happiness
and all good things.
Reach down deep, find out what makes you stir,
follow your dreams,
listen to your still small voice,
trust yourself and step forward or away!

Love,
Donna Lee

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Teaching Others


I never grow tired of teaching others
the creative process of art,
whatever form it may take!

This past weekend I had the pleasure
of leading a wonderful group at
The Hermitage Museum in Norfolk,
a beautiful venue and favorite of mine!

The classroom is a restored building
which used to be the Horse and Cow stable on the property!
It now houses the art room and pottery studios!
It is the perfect venue for leading others


Saturday was my last class of the year,
it was bittersweet!
It was an awesome Zentangled® Card class,
much fun
and yet I need the next few weeks to prepare for the holidays!




We started the first hour with a Zentangle® lesson
and then dug deep into creating all kinds of cards, 
gift tags and postcards.
I stressed to my students that we are losing the art
of the hand created, handwritten letter ...
especially in this Instant Message, Texting, Facebook kinda 
world we currently live in.





Of course there was some chocolate involved
and some pretty awesome music playing in the background!
(I have quite a great iTunes Creative Time Mix)
We took the time to gather and admire each others work,
we all had the same materials, the same teaching,
learned the same tangles,
yet our work was so totally different.
We are all individuals, and create our own style;
that is why I love Zentangle® so much!!!






So much laughter, aha moments, 
fun conversations and sharing techniques.
Each student added their own magic to their creations.
Class time is special,
leading others allows me to grow
just a little bit more each time I step into the classroom.



I never grow tired of seeing my name and class in print!
I consider it an honor to lead others through
the art process.



While students were creating quietly in the classroom,
 I was able to sneak a quiet moment
outside on the grounds of the Hermitage,
sitting in my favorite spot of the museum,
taking in the cold breeze,
listening to sounds of nature,
re-focusing and centering myself,
before returning to my students,
to give them just a little bit more!

I love being an Art Teacher,
it sustains me,
teaches me,
guides me
and shows me how to be a better individual.
Communication is a talent.
I am looking forward to 2016,
my calendar is already filling,
and I am excited!

Happy Holidays to you and your family!
I will see you in the new year,
gonna take the next few weeks,
to focus on family
and our holiday time together.
Also working on a new look for my little blog home!

Love and Blessings!
Donna Lee

Thursday, November 12, 2015

It's all about the little things

Annabelle Lily's shoes

I absolutely love Fall!
It is my favorite time of year . . .
for me it is a time of settling in
slowing down
writing more
painting more
pulling out those socks on my knitting needles
(which have been there since last fall!)
creating crockpot soups to simmer all day
nesting in my home . . .
for there is so much joy in this time of year.
We even have a new little puppy in our household,
and she is bringing a new kind of joy into our home . . .

Meet our Josie Grace

Halloween has passed
the candy is just about out of the house,
I've watched all the old horror movies
on TCM,
I must say truthfully, I don't get very
excited about that holiday,
but this year seeing my little munchkins
dressed up for the holiday,
made it even more enjoyable!

Our Grayson Blake just turned one in October

Now I look forward to Thanksgiving,
finding and recognizing all that I am grateful for,
and there is so much for our family this year.
It just keeps getting better and better,
and our family continues to grow.

Our miracle baby ... Dylan James

Take a long look at the world around you
and notice
the little things that are changing . . .
see the beauty in the leaves falling
the temperature dropping
the cool briskness in the air
the full moon at its brightest
Nature is amazing and it is a gift to us all.
Don't forget to look UP!
You never know what you are missing!

Leaves just starting to let go

I have pulled out my art journal again,
trying to work at it more diligently ...
I was inspired from fallen leaves
and collected so many to do a watercolor study.
Here is a sample of my journal page ...
I got out the watercolors, oil pastels and had at it
Words just flowed ...

I love art journaling


It truly is all about the little things,
those things which bring you joy in your life,
Whatever that may be!
Take the time to slow down and enjoy
all that is around you,
all that you have been given.
Cherish the special moments,
the ordinary life moments,
and the treasured times.

This weekend, pour that extra cup of hot tea,
and read one more chapter before rushing out the door!
Write a small haiku,
call a friend,
here's a thought ... write a letter to someone,
in your own handwriting!
Just treasure the still moments given to you

I am wishing you a week of joy,
a time of restfulness of spirit,
a time to be creative,
a moment to restore your soul,
just be in the moment,
be in this beautiful season . . .
it won't let you down

Donna Lee


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Twelve Things on a Wednesday

I always pass this tree when picking up my little Annabelle


 The smell of Autumn is intoxicating

One must always find time to nurture the inner self

Slowing down forces us to take a deeper look

Rest is important, so very important

Reconnection with friends is always a must

Time spent near the ocean is rejuvenating

Writing a handwritten letter for someone is a beautiful gift 

We are all too busy, we are forgetting to look UP

We should be asking ourselves "What truly guides us?"

Letting go is very hard to work through

Poetry is a gift that is often not appreciated

Life is moving way to quickly these days



Just found myself with these thoughts in my head
Sometimes we just have to get the thoughts down on paper
(or computer as it is here!)
I hope you have a blessed rest of your week,
take the time to listen to what's inside,
write them down, get them out,
sort them out,
they have come for a reason.
Stop and listen

Donna Lee





Thursday, October 15, 2015

Letting Go of What Was ...


My dream added to a DreamCatcher at my beloved Squam


This is totally not an easy thing to do ... letting go!
Think about it, we get so comfortable with the way things are;
over and over, day by day, year by year.
Change is a very hard thing to embrace,
or at least it is for me!

I feel that 2015 has definitely been a year of change for me,
and I am trying to handle and live gracefully with each change.
I have had severe neck issues this year,
so I have had to stop my yoga practice (for now)
and that was very hard for me!
I have to question a little, who I am,
without my yoga practice?
I find that I am a little less in shape,
more anxious, and not as centered!
Letting go of what was...

I've been writing Poetry for years,
the dream to publish recurs over and over again,
I think reality is settling in,
my poems are for me,
they are private, personal and for me.
I think the dream of publishing is fading,
Letting go of what was...

2015 also brought a third grandchild into our family,
little Dylan is such a blessing,
but we have all had adjustments to make,
especially his big sister Annabelle Lily!
I now have three precious grand babies ...
all 2 years and younger!
Free time? Not anymore,
letting go of what was...

I learned that I can no longer weave on my 8 Harness
weaving loom, because looking down is impossible!!!
I took up Tapestry Weaving again,
and am happy when I am throwing one small pic of thread at a time!
So I sold my precious loom to a wonderful friend,
and "she" now has a new weaving home.
I wove myself one last chenille scarf,
treasuring each row thrown with my shuttle
Letting go of what was...

How I loved throwing the shuttle

I was able to purchase an upright Dryad Tapestry Loom
for myself 
(The story is a total God thing)
and it was delivered by freight last weekend.
I am truly letting go of what was and embracing new!
It's gonna take us some time to get used to each other
So here she is:

Her name is "Gracie"

Change isn't always easy ...
Even in my day to day workplace,
so many leaving, new faces coming 
 Letting go of what was...

Friends come into your life,
some stay for a long time,
some stay for just a blink of an eye.
I am grateful for what I have learned,
the giggles I have shared,
the experiences we walked through,
 Letting go of what was...

My hubby and I recently got a puppy ...
she's nine weeks old
little Josie Grace
my free time isn't what it used to be
but oh it is so worth the sacrifice!
Letting go of what was...


How about you?
What is it you need to let go of today?
What changes are coming your way?
Embrace them,
you never know what beautiful growth
can come out of it all!

Wishing you a week of grace, love and awareness!

Donna Lee







Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Weaving as a Life Metaphor

Beginning of a new tapestry

It has literally taken me weeks to write this post,
yes life can get busy,
(perhaps having my third grandchild born and a new puppy is considered busy!)
but I find the words hard to come by for what I want to express.
(I've literally written this post over several times)

I have been a weaver since my first born was 1 year old,
(we just celebrated his 35th birthday last week!!)
I will always remember taking him to my mom's house,
for her to watch him so I could take a weekly 2 hour weaving lesson
for six weeks!
At the end of that class, I purchased my first loom!
It was a simple tapestry frame loom on a stand.
I later went on to purchase a large floor loom ...
I had a weaving loom in the living room of our new house,
and no other furniture for years!
(My mom couldn't understand why I didn't have a couch!)

So weaving has truly been a part of my life for a very long time.
I think I am drawn to it because of it's simplicity, it's beauty,
and sitting at the loom is so peaceful and meditative!
I have always said I am drawn to arts that soothe my own soul.

My tapestry loom - using Waterlouge app

I have recently been drawn back into Tapestry weaving
and I am amazed how much attention weaving is getting,
especially on Instagram.
I am so happy to see so many enjoying working with fibers,
creating wallhangings and working with frame looms!
So exciting to see a new generation of young weavers!!!

I have been taking Rebecca Mezhoff's online Tapestry class
and it has been such a wonderful experience!
She is an amazing teacher and I am learning so much!
I have returned to my Mirrix Tapestry Loom,
which is a work of art all by itself!

True Tapestry weaving is a slow and patient process,
I love how I am learning new techniques,
watching the fabric unfold before my eyes
has been so rewarding!


Tapestry is a beautiful art form
With each row I watch the cloth unfold
It teaches me to not rush the process,
just enjoy the process of weaving.
How I love the sound of beating
the row of yarn in with my hand beater!
I am always excited to return to my loom whenever I can.

I have also been experimenting with
creating freeform tapestry, by using the
needle weaving process I learned many years ago
from Helen Banes (now deceased)
At our next Artful Sprit Workshop,
we will be creating
Handwoven Dream Pouches!
Here is my design created on thick foam core board
and waxed linen as the warp!

In Process

My completed dream pouch!

A Completed Dream Pouch

Weaving is metaphorical to me.
It means more to me than the finished product!
First you must create a warp in which to weave,
(lay down the foundation)
then your weft is the beautiful fibers that cross over the warp,
continuously over and under, over and under
creating the cloth.
I have always illustrated that the warp threads
are metaphorically the foundation of my life,
that which sustains me, 
strengthens me and guides me along the way.
The foundation is what I build my life upon,
(for me it is faith and family).
The fibers which cross over the warp
are the experiences in my life,
creating my very own precious fabric,
unlike anyone else's.
The different colors and textures
represent the different experiences in my life;
the people that have touched my life,
lessons learned and 
my hopes and dreams.
All of this creating the beautiful
fabric of my very own life!
It's pretty magical if you think about it this way!

Teaching my little Annabelle to weave

I guess you could say
weaving has been a huge part of my adult life.
Sure I have left it, returned to it and left it again over the years.
I can honestly say, it is the one art form in my life
that has always been consistent.

I am weaving the fabric of my own life
each and everyday,
filling it with opportunities to learn something new.
Weaving slows me down,
It teaches me how to just enjoy the process of creating.
I am grateful for the lessons it continues to teach me.

Currently on warped on my loom

May your week be filled with newness as Fall approaches,
slow yourself down just a bit,
try something new
or
return to something you haven't seen in awhile!

I am always grateful for the time 
you spend here with me,
thank you!

Donna Lee