Thursday, December 18, 2014

Season Beauty

Williamsburg Beauty

It is such a wondrous time of year!
Every one of us can say we are way to busy,
we have so much to do,
our lists keep getting longer not shorter,
there are so many gatherings to attend,
we are a bit more stressed than normal,
and that we we will truly 
"never get it all done"
and forget getting anything creative done right now!!!

Yet there is so much magic and beauty
all around us
if only we will take a look and see!

I wanted so much to let this be 
the holiday that I didn't stress to get it all done,
that I slowed down to bake the cookies,
that I stepped lightly through it all,
that I enjoy my grandchildren,
wrap the presents
and watch every holiday
Hallmark movie
I could!
So far ... so good!

I think I've done that
and with a strangely sense of calm.
I am just writing to remind you
that YOU CAN control how you act,
how you feel and how rushed you choose to be.
Each holiday is truly made of
the effort you put into it!
Return to self, return to calm,
return to simplicity.
Let your holiday season be
one that is filled with accomplishments,
love for one another,
and a sense of wonder.

Enjoy the little things ...
hot chocolate ... hot apple cider,
24 hour holiday music channels,
smiles you receive from others,
decorations you pull out of the attic every year,
gaudy holiday lights in your neighborhood,
cards in the mail from friends and family,
ornaments on your tree that bring back fond memories,
Christmas Eve traditions,
making homemade gifts
and oh so much more ....

Christmas time in Edenton, NC

For me it will be celebrating my life
with two precious grandchildren!
Loving my family to overflowing,
having time off to enjoy and soak it all in.
Truly recognizing how blessed it all is!

My little Annabelle and Grayson

I wish you peace and joy
I wish you health
I wish you a happy heart
I wish you creativity in whatever form that is for you
I wish you a happy point of view
I wish you joy ... for it is truly a gift

Happy Holiday Season
from me to you!

With love and gratitude,
Donna Lee

Monday, December 8, 2014

Living and Teaching with An Artful Spirit

I love how the words "An Artful Spirit" sounds!
It took quite awhile for my creative partner
Suzan Thompson and I
to come up with a name for our
creative workshops ...
then finally Artful and Spirit came together so beautifully
(as we brainstormed for quite awhile).
We each had a word we wanted to incorporate into our title,
each expressing how we felt about creating art ...
I think we magically put it all together!

We wanted to create day long workshops
where someone would be able to escape for a day
to experience fellowship, to create a deep sense of self
and learn for just a short time.
We wanted to offer a safe environment
 of encouragement and learning,
choosing a new technique to explore 
with each and every workshop.
I believe we have truly done so!

I have learned so much from co-leading and teaching
our workshops.
The participants have each brought their own
beautiful energies
and have returned over and over again!
It warms my heart to see that.
When we began this workshop concept,
over three years ago,
I truly wouldn't have believed
just how much I personally have grown,
in confidence as a teacher,
in wisdom of art techniques,
of brainstorming and planning
future workshops.
The friendships that have grown out of our gatherings
and the beauty of each and every self expression,
surprises me over and over again!

I truly believe that I strive to live
with an Artful Spirit each and every day.
Looking for moments to express myself.
When I am not able to create my art ...
I find myself out of sync,
restless and yearning to create just one small thing!
I love Art ... it truly saves
it nourishes the spirit
it is a gift we can give to ourselves.
I find that my purpose is to 
lead others to find their own artful spirit as well!

Just enjoying sharing today ...
and wishing you a truly artful spirit filled kinda day!
Donna lee

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Practicing Gratefulness

Fall Beauty

I was writing in my Documented Life Journal this morning
some Love Notes I wanted to say to myself:

then I realized ...
Why not share them on my blog today??

During this wonderful week of Thanksgiving
(a time of Gratefulness and Praise)
sit down with your own self
list what you are grateful for
list what good has come your way
list things you want to say to yourself
list all the things that make you smile
list all the thoughts that are in your heart
you will be surprised with what you come up with!

Here is mine:

Keep my family close
Accept what is
Be happy in all things
Never desire more than you can handle
Keep your wishes alive
Be strong in yourself
Grow and always try to learn something new
Step of your comfort zone
Practice gratefulness each and every day
Believe in your beautiful self
Reach higher and further
Love who YOU really are

May your holiday be filled
with love and gratefulness,
family gatherings, good food,
time to sit still and savor what is!
This life of ours is full of wonder,
but we must take the time to see it all.

Love and Light
Donna Lee

Friday, November 21, 2014

Collaborating with Annabelle

"Collaboration with Annabelle"

I have had a paintbrush in little Annabelle's hand
as long as I can remember!

I am anxious to teach her how to play and create
with all of her grandmommy's art STUFF!

We have created little paintings with watercolors,
when she was just getting used to holding the brush in her hand,
she was hesitant at first
(aren't we all when trying something new)
so it would take me several visits with her at the Art Table 
to have enough work to fill a page!

I knew I wanted to have Annabelle paint the background
and I would draw a Mandala on top of her play,
how fun was that!
I think I will have a keepsake for a very long time!
I already have ideas for future projects!
My little grandson Grayson is too little just now,
but I see some creativity in his future too!

Collaborating with others can bring
a new meaning to your own artwork.
It could be in writing, journaling or in painting.
I have had the gift of collaborating with friends
in Mandala work, Poetry and Mixed Media work,
how lucky I've been!
Is there someone you would love to work with
and create a collaborative piece?

Give it a try, you won't be disappointed!
I'm always open to a new challenge if you
decide to look my way!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's been a little while

My Heart Talisman
Photo taken in Providence, RI

Well I must say it has been a little awhile since I've been here.
This girl needed a break from her blog!
So much has been going on since I took my hiatus . . .

I have written a lot of poetry,
taught a lot of Zentangle classes,
rebuilt my hot yoga practice,
worked on creating my own Mandala style,
got a new MacBook I have been getting used to,
held another Artful Spirit gathering,
I've worked on my book beginning
while finishing up my e-course
with Christine Mason Miller
(a must do experience!!),
I took another session of
Sketchbook Skool,
and have fallen in love
with sketching and watercolor!
I am observing the world all around me.
I participated in another gathering of
Love Notes Project,
I attended the amazing
Squam in the City,
in Providence, RI,
and was able to reconnect with
amazing and precious friends,
I cut my work week
down to three days a week

but most important of all ...

My second grandchild was born,
Grayson Blake Wynn!

So my life is amazingly and wonderfully full!
Being a Grandmom really rocks!
I have so much I want to share with Annabelle and Grayson.

I think I have my hands full!

With fall comes a time to slow down,
appreciate the season change, 
it is truly my favorite time of year.
I gave to myself the gift of quiet,
the act of slowing down as much as I could,
putting the computer aside,
I cut out as much as I could
and concentrated on living more simply.
I am restored and life is still full.

What I did miss was writing on my blog,
sharing my thoughts and life moments,
my artistic adventures ...
it is good to be home again,
it just feels right.
I've learned so much blogging ...
I have gone back to my beginning posts
and read all the way through,
WOW I have written and experienced so much.
Thanks for being here with me my friend
Donna Lee

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Taking a Rest ...

Seeing the simple beauty in things
(Photo taken at the beautiful Sanderling Inn, OBX)

Well it is Wednesday
and that is always my blog post day,
today it feels different.
I have a routine ... while my precious
little Annabelle naps,
I write my blog post,
sipping green tea and just being present,
somehow the words always come.

Yes today it is the same routine,
but I am writing knowing that it is time to
take a break,
a blog break.
My life message lately is to slow myself down,
be quiet, commit less and to get my house in order.

I have just begun a new work schedule,
after 41 years of working in the eye care field,
I am dropping my work days to just three days!
How exciting is that!!!!!

I want to use the time wisely
and the message I keep receiving is to go deep within,
slow myself down, create more just for pleasure,
write more and just be ...
If we don't slow down,
cut the computer and television off,
how do we hear what is deep inside?

I have a second grand baby due in October,
my son Drew and his wife Lauren
are expecting their first child,
a little boy.
I anxiously await his arrival!

One week from today,
I am leaving on a jet plane
Providence, Rhode Island
to attend Squam in the City.
(Keeping my fingers crossed the whole time baby isn't extremely early!)
I am excited to be creative
reconnect with precious friends
and of course make new ones!

Fall is my favorite time of year,
it is a time that I remind myself
that I am truly ready for a change,
a life renewal,
a calming of the heart,
a slowing down process,
a listen to my inner self time,
I am ready for it!

So I will see you when I know it is time to return,
when I feel called to return to this
sacred space of mine!
How I love blogging,
writing and sharing with you.

So in the meantime ...
be well, be happy, take good care of yourself
and listen to your inner nudges,
they won't lead you astray!
You can't hear them guiding you
if you are too busy,
we all need time for a self check!

Beauty is all around us!
(Photo taken on an afternoon stroll with my little Annabelle Lily)

Donna Lee
Living creatively each and everyday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Entering ...

How I love photographing doorways!
I have begun a watercolor journal
of just doorways,
one of my favorite Pinterest Boards
is Doorways and Windows,
check it out here.
There is so much beauty all around in architecture
I found this beautiful door while
walking the streets in a little town
in Washington, North Carolina
on a beautiful Sunday Morning.

The door was locked
so I couldn't enter up the stairs that you see,
so I just enjoyed the beauty
I had found that morning.

It certainly got me to thinking 
about Entering ...

in life we enter so many things,
we come and we go in,
we gain admission to something new,
we create new beginnings, 
we step forward,
we participate in new things,
settings or groups,
we step into new opportunities
that come our way,
when we open ourselves up
to learning something totally new,
we allow new feelings to enter our hearts,
we enter into agreements,
we participate or share in the spirit of an occasion,
we begin to consider something new

Entering the unknown can be scary,
yet it can also be very exciting.
We can learn and grow from new experiences,
if only we will take the time
to recognize how we feel,
Learn what we need to while walking through it
with courage and strength.

I know for myself,
I am Entering a new season in my life,
(yes it is September and a new season!)
I am cutting my hours at work 
to just three days a week,
and I am excited about what will be in store for me.
I have another grand baby due in about six weeks,
My artwork is blooming,
My Zentangle practice and teaching are moving forward,
My Poetry writing is strong,
there is so much for me to practice

I am also Entering the unknown,
retirement is not too far down the road 
for my hubby and I,
that can be scary and exciting,
I can't wait to see where it all leads.
So for now,
I will live each day with anticipation, faith and strength,
not knowing what is in store if I open a new door
and enter in.
I am willing, I am ready, I am present

Donna Lee

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Thoughts for entering September

"Reminders for Fall"

Summer flew by way too quickly
here we are into September
and the temperatures are changing,
my mindset is shifting
and I am ready for what Fall has to offer.

My summer was filled with beautiful moments,
a week in the Outer Banks with my family,
lots of Zentangle Classes,
writing classes with Senior Adults,
had a wonderful Artful Spirit experience,
re-connected with my hot yoga practice,
Wednesdays with my little Annabelle,
stolen moments to Sandbridge Beach,
watching my future grandson
grow in his mommy's tummy,
lots of fun moments with friends and family,
it was as it should be.

Now it is time to shift into Fall,
this is my favorite time of year.
I will be attending Squam in Providence in just a few weeks,
and I am excited about re-connecting
with precious friends,
taking lots of pics with my camera
and learning collage from a new teacher!
I have lots of Zentangle classes
on my calendar
and I eagerly await the birth
of my new little grandson
near October 19th!!

It's time to breathe slowly,
feel the gentle breezes flowing through,
open up the windows in my home,
listen to the sounds of nature,
observe nature as it changes,
I look forward to the seasonal time of year.
With fall comes change,
my heart and soul are ready.

I hope you will take the time to slow down,
enjoy your surroundings,
create beautiful things,
appreciate change,
it's all around!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Soul Collage Journey Continues

"She Feels The Pull Of The Ocean"

I have been enjoying the Soul Collage process
since February of this year;
in fact I shared a blog post on it
when I had first begun.
You can re-visit it here

I have been collecting images
and more images
and more images!
I have quite a beautiful collection to pull from now,
it certainly takes time and thought.
I don't just choose any picture,
I carefully choose an image that I think is speaking to me,
that I will be able to use somewhere in one of
my Soul Collage Cards,
it is a soothing and quiet practice.

I have also been keeping a journal at the same time,
whenever I create a card,
I give it a title, I date the card
and do a small writing practice
using the phrase
"I am One Who ..."
which is part of the Soul Collage process.

I must say I love the writing process
and it is so good to return
to the cards over and over again
that I have created.
For each one carries significant meaning to me.
Each representing a certain time in my life.

Months went by and I
hadn't visited my Soul Collage practice.
I had been very busy preparing
for my Mandala workshop for Artful Spirit,
and teaching lots of Zentangle classes.
I noticed with the dates on my cards,
a span of time had passed since I had worked on a card.
I had wondered why I hadn't created
a card in such a long time,
I had missed them . . .
until I was able to share the process
with my sister,
it was her very first time with this magical experience!
We spent a sister morning together and I shared my entire
process of creating a card with her.
She learned so much,
enjoyed collecting images
and creating her very first card,
she is now hooked!
I created the card above with her that morning.

I just finished collaging a wooden box,
where I am going to keep my precious cards
that I have created ...
It's kinda special to me!
Can you see the little girl (Donna Lee)
peeking through the window?
The little caption reads
"Once Upon a Time"
it was just perfect for my box.

Soul Collage speaks to your heart,
it helps you to think intuitively,
sends comforting messages
and helps you to sort out personal feelings.
I am grateful for having discovered
this beautiful art form.
Give it a try, you will absolutely
fall in love with 
the meditative and soul searching
 process of it all.
Images carry many meanings,
no words are ever needed,
it is unlike any other art form 
I have jumped into.

This is my latest card,
I have been having a squirrel keep
coming into my life (and my home)
I figured he has a message for me to learn!
I created this card as a reminder ...

"Lessons Learned From My Squirrel"

Be Well
Be Happy
Think of Others
Live Creatively!
Donna Lee

(disclaimer ... the images I have used are for my personal use only .. not for sale or trade, I am grateful for them)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Last Day of 56!

Just a little art journaling today!

Well this is my last day of being 56 years young!
I decided to create something as a keepsake in my journal.

I kinda love it don't you?????

Art journaling is a wonderful expression of self,
my journal pages are growing,
each and every entry means more to me
than the previous one.
Within the pages I am free to express myself,
try out new ideas,
play with paints and inks and all kinds of art supplies!
How I love returning to my journals
and looking at all I had created over the
past few months,
it gives me such joy!

This past year, my 56th year of life
has been full of wonder and joy!
I am so proud of where I have been
and totally happy with where I am now!

I have lost 40lbs!!!

A goal I set for myself as a birthday gift,
it was hard work, but I made it!!!
I totally love the Isagenix program - it changed my life!
I have enjoyed every minute of being a grand mommy
and eagerly anticipate the birth of my second grandchild in October,
(a baby boy for my other son Drew and his wife.)
I have strengthened my yoga practice,
Taken The Conscious Booksmith e-course
and started my book
"A Journey through Dementia",
I have taught all kinds of Zentangle Classes,
and Artful Spirit Workshops,
participated in many open mic Poetry readings,
continued to teach creative writing to my senior adults,
had an incredible eight days in the Outer Banks
with my precious little family,
celebrated 37 years of marriage with my Jimmy,
knit some wonderful lace pieces,
painted some original paintings,
traveled to New York City all by myself,
and so much more!

So for this girl who is turning 57 tomorrow,
born in the year 1957,
I eagerly await what the next year has in store!
I am sure there will be more art, more creating,
more photography and certainly more writing.
Each year is an opportunity to grow,
to learn, and experience new things.
I am open to a world of new possibilities.

Have a beautiful week
and thanks for visiting my little blog today,
be blessed
be happy
be creative
be in love with your precious life!

Donna lee