Monday, August 31, 2009

Stand UP

Hello, hello, hello all you beautiful, creative, talented TST-ers!!

How are you? How has life been? I want to hear from ALL of you. Let's chat!!

I'd like to start by giving Amanda Fall, creator of Persistent Green and Felicia Kramer, creator of Another Bright Idea, a BIG round of applause (feel free to throw in a few cartwheels and somersaults as well, if you like) for maintaining the TST for me!! Thank you both for picking amazing things to imagine and incredible people to celebrate. I LOVED it!! And to all who tuned in to read and/or comment, thank you for being you and celebrating these fine women!

I'm filled with a million thoughts and ideas but instead of thrusting them all upon you right now, I'm going to share as we go along in the days to come. The most important moment I want to share right now is the one pitcured above. That is me. I made a LIFE LONG dream come true!

I am a Native New Yorker who has always had a burning desire to surf however there was always something that held me back...time, place, fear, Jaws. Yet, after all that I'd been through prior to this trip, I thought to myself, "What the hell. Why not really shake things up."

Yes, I faced many fears as I stepped into the water with this huge board. I am proud to admit that I stood up 7 times (2 of those times I had awesome runs). However, I also fell, I screwed up, I got tossed, I got slammed but I got back up. I got back up. Sounds a lot like life, no? I wish I could explain what it felt like to move with gorgeous waves or what it felt like to sit in the palm of nature's hand. Every time I think of it I can't help but want to shout, "I DID IT!" It's something I did for me...a challenge I rose to not because of what anyone else would think but because I wanted it for myself. I'd allowed the waves of life to crush me and been lost in the water for awhile. It was nice to resurface and breathe deeply again.

We need our dreams and our challenges as much as we need to accomplish them. In doing that, we grow stronger. We believe more deeply in ourselves and that allows us to share more of our big, overflowing, unique hearts in our art and with the world.

There are more challenges ahead for me. I am working to face down daily challenges and giving myself permission to fall, get tossed, and get slammed with the understanding that I will get back up. And I'm trying to share some of those with my little one. I want her to know how to surf both in the water and out.

What's a lifelong dream of yours? Have you accomplished it? If not, why not? How can the TST help you to get there? You can do anything. Just believe in YOU!

I've missed you. It's nice to be back :) Breathe deep, let's add even more living to the stories of our lives. (And I wrote a little moreabout all this on if you feel like reading more.)


FunkyMonkey Girls said...

Welcome back!!! I am glad that you had a great vacation! I would love to go & get my BS in art and then be able to retire from this evil day job & just create jewelery & earn enough to pay bills...

Funky Monkey Girl,

Natasha said...

Jolene! It's SO great to hear from you. How are you? Have you looked into schools? I wonder if anyone here has gotten there BS and if they could offer any advice...I want to see that dream happen for can do it!!! You are creating now...keep doing it, keep working toward it....I know you can succeed....

Natasha said...

Jolene - what would help you to achieve that dream?

Rowena said...

You look gorgeous and rested and strong. :)

I'm so proud of you for getting knocked around and then getting up again and riding that wave. That's my metaphor, but I don't know as I really want to surf in actuality.

My dream is still to move to California and live my life as an artist and writer without needing a day job. I'm working on it all, but it goes slower than I wished. I suppose I must have patience.

Just keep swimming/surfing. And get back up when I get knocked around.

Natasha said...

Rowena - thank you oo much I feel really good. As always it is so good to hear from you.

I have absolutely no duobt that you will make your dream come work so hard and are so good at all you do...

What makes you want to live in California? And what part? I definitely see you living as a writer and artist and even then I know I will be such a huge truly inspire me

aquamaureen said...

Oh girl, that picture of you standing by that surfboard . . .looks like you've been doing that all your life!!!!

Woohoo for you, for trying and falling and getting up again!!!!

My dream? supporting myself financially via my creative work.

Right now, in the midst of emotional transition, I've stripped most of my house of all its art work (mine and others). All I have up is an original of Amanda/PersistentGreen's that says: "explore your heart's wilderness" and a framed quote by Hillel: "I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."

I too am very grateful to Felicia and Amanda for giving us some TST activity while you were gone, so we didn't have to go cold turkey!!

But ooooooooooooooooooooooooh, I'm sooooo glad you are BACK!!!!

Natasha said...

Aqua!! What a treat to hear from you! LOL funny you should say it looks like I've been doing it all my life...part of it, despite all the spills, felt natural.

You are another beautiful soul that Ican totally see you making a living with art. I have a question - why have you taken everything down aside from those two wonderful pieces (they inspire me by the way)???

I'm SOOO happy to be back too hehehehe!!!!

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

Hi Natasha! I just need to plunge in and just do it. The only problem is I don't want to go back to school again. I got my BS in Business in 2000 but I do want to learn about the history of art and see if I can expand my horizons. I do have a wonderful federal job but it doesn't fulfill me at all, sigh.

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

To get to this goal, I need many people to "push" me and really help me out running/designing my jewelery. I know it is very unique and very beautiful. I do have a plus now, a wonderful boyfriend who just proposed!!!!!!!!! He said that he will help me out:) sigh....I never ever thought I would find my soulmate and would be single forever and I was fine with that...then God drops this wonderful man in my lap LOLOL.

JanetDavies said...

Hey Natasha! Welcome back!! Look at you... all surfer girl! Maureen is right, you're a natural. I'm so happy you all got a chance to re-connect and that you went after that dream!

I have so many dreams and the top one is always changing..choosing one is hard. Very likely it would have to do with being with animals, being outdoors, having community, art. I guess it's just to lead a full rich life, full of people, animals and things I love.

Some of those things I have, some I wish I had more of but it doesn't seem too far out of reach to have it all. :)

lifeartdesigns said...

Wow... :))...welcome back Natasha! I was hoping you would go to the beach, because that's what it does for me. Surfing! How cool! Way to go girll!
Right now, the next dream I have on my plate is to get a ral life private art studio set up. And I'm hoping to accomplish that after our move in Oct.

Natasha said...

Jolene - first CONGRATS!!! That's wonderful that you are now engaged to your soulmate. I'm sooo thrilled for you both (and I LOVE that he is supportive of your dreams)!!

I will totally help to "push" you by rallying and asking you about your dream - without being annoying. I think when you expand your horizons even more you will be over the moon and making your unique pieces will come along as naturally as breathing...I'm so excited for you. All good things are on the horizon!!

Janet - thank you, thank you, thank you hehehe...I'm now officially obsessed with surfing :) My wonderful, colorful friend your dream is coming the time I've known you I have seen you create beauty and that has attracted more beauty to you..people, art, can all be will all be yours and you'll shine even brighter...who knew that would be possible?/!! I love it...

Janie ...I've missed you!! So you are officially moving in Oct? Are you insanely excited?? You've had so much on your plate...what is the one thing you are dreaming of specifically when you picture your studio?? Or is it simply joy at the idea of a room of your own?? I'm sooo excited for you!!! And the beach does so much for me...we may need to move closer to

Felicia Kramer said...

Welcome back, Natasha! So good to see you looking like "surfer girl" and hearing that happy lilt in your voice again! I was thrilled and honored to fill in for you, and perhaps I did an adequate job, but I'm sure everyone will admit it just wasn't the same without you!

As I read these comments, I realize that others have touched on my lifelong dreams, two of which I have accomplished. One lifelong dream was to get an art degree, and I finally did it, enrolling in college at age 30. I didn't pursue it as a career immediately (pure economics) but I am now a full-time artist - that was another lifelong dream. Now I have the same dream Maureen has - to have my art provide at least a modest income. I know I shouldn't look at "sales" as validation, but I do somewhat. But - for the time being I'm happy just DOING IT!

Welcome back, sweet friend!

lifeartdesigns said...

Oh my gosh, I didn't realize it until Felicia said it...I always had it as a life dream to be doing my art full time - and I finally am! Woo hoo! How do I picture my space? Not sure yet, i'm still organizing it all in my brain. I want something neat and tidy yet peaceful and sereen but totally functional with everything at my finger tips. Lots of major work before getting there though! Oh, and the beach part...we are moving to Dauphin island, so i am totally thrilled!
Felicia, I know what you mean about the sales part. I am in a mess in that area right now and am thinking about just closing my shops for now and taking the pressure off until life settles down a little.

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

Hooray for you Felicia! That is wonderful!!! :)


ps...Tom is the first guy EVER in my many years of making jewelery that has supported me in this:) is pretty awesome!

jodi said...


Welcome back. Love the photo. Looks like you had a great time. But, we did miss you.

My dream right now is to be a full time artist. I'd like to be more focused. I'd love my creative outlet to help support my family financially. And I'm working on this.

A long ago dream was to be a Radio City Rockette. That dream has passed and I'm okay with that. I can still "bust a move" when I have the chance, usually in the kitchen while cooking dinner.

Welcome back.


Felicia Kramer said...

Jodi - LOL - Radio City Rockette! Good for you - I'm too short and could never kick that high but if you can "bust that move" you're a better person than I!! BTW, check your etsy convos when you get a minute. You won my August Charades contest and I need your address.

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

Hi, everybody!

Natasha, your post brought tears to my eyes. What a joy to see you in your element--fluid, graceful, strong, brave, full of life. I hope you get the opportunity to try surfing again. I know every time I've been at the beach (which isn't very many, since I'm in landlocked South Dakota!), it's been very healing...something about that never-ending blue, the warmth, the embrace of the water.

My dream...well, I am living it already, to some extent. Writing & creating artwork on a daily basis, and sharing it to inspire others. Lately, I feel as if I've had to push it all to the back burner, with my new nanny job. I need to find new ways to schedule in BOTH--or I'll go crazy. ;)

One specific dream I have on the horizon is creating some sort of inspirational art book, combining prose or poetry with artwork. I'm not sure if I'd go with a traditional publisher, or produce it myself. Anyway, it's a dream born out of Rowena's 100 in 100 challenge, and the VERY positive responses I've gotten from my work through that time.

Anyway! Welcome BACK!

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

Jolene -- I do have a B.S. in Art. Even with our very small and financially neglected art department, I had some of the best times of my life there.

Something I'd suggest, if you're really interested, is simply taking a few classes at first. You don't have to begin with the intention of a second degree. Many teachers will even allow auditing a class for a lesser fee (although you don't get as much feedback from them, usually).

Also, have you checked for local community education classes? Some towns will offer singular classes and workshops in specialized areas of art.

If it's in your heart, go for it!

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

Jolene, another thought on that--if part of what you're interested in is art history, I enjoyed two wonderful textbooks in my art history classes. I could get the names of them if you like. You can easily order them off Amazon and teach yourself! The books are picture-heavy and very inspiring.

Natasha said...

Felicia!! It's so awesome to see you here. An adequate job?? Try a stellar job!! You were great I loved thinking about those questions. And a BIG cngrats to you and Lifeartdesigns for being full-time artists!! I understand what you are saying about needing to earn a living but you're right the sales are not are an amazing artists with a hell of an eye ....the sales will come just keep creating that gorgeous work!!!

Jodi...helllo there....I missed you as well..tons! Once again as a fan of your gorgeous work I believe that ALL of your dreams will come true...what do you feel you need to make your outlet more profitable for the family?? A Rockette? That's awesome...I'm sorry it didn't pan out but selfishly glad that the road you have taken has led you here...and "busting a move" is the BEST! LOL you're awesome

Amanda!! It's so great to see you and be back here...oh surfing will happen life is under renovation and surfing will be an integral part of the rebuilding for sure!!!

Congrats on the new nanny job...the kids will teach you so much and you will inspire them in so many are all so lucky. That balance is a constant struggle. Regardless of whether you have children or not life always throws curveballs at us...just when you think you have it down pat BAM something else comes along (totally did not mean tot sound like Emeril there LOL) but each new lesson we learn we add something to our lives and our art. You will contine to blossom...and you are already such a vibrant shining light...I love for the book I don't care how you publish it as long as it gets out there...the world needs YOU and your have so much to teach...oh you will do it...can you see yourself taking steps toward it??

Marja aka Glass Elements said...

Natasha - welcome back! Look at you, surfer girl! Love it. :) Congrats on embracing something you've always wanted to try and succeeding! Yay!

I had a dream to find something that made me happy, that fulfilled me and helped me express my creativity. I found that in glass and I'm so so lucky to be doing it full time!! My dream now is to continue growing, exploring, sharing and finding ways to make it sustainable so I don't fall back into doing an old job that didn't make me happy. Because even if you achieve a goal, it still takes work to maintain it! :)

But with all this support, we can all attain our dreams!

Felicia Kramer said...

As I read these comments, I realize that we have lifelong dreams, but sometimes we have "mini" dreams. Amanda reminded me that one of my minis is also to publish a book of my own prose/poetry and art. It's a mini dream because it's on the back burner and only simmering, not burning! And I realize that we had better continue to have lifelong dreams AND mini dreams - or else we have given up entirely. We might be melancholy occasionally, as I am these last few days, but give up? Never.

Trina said...

Natasha, welcome back. That is such a great picture of you.

I'm glad you had a good break, Natasha. It looks like you had a ton of fun. Who knew getting tossed around would be so fulfilling?

lisianblue said...

and of course I'm late again! i'm sitting here with tears running down my cheeks! That is so awesome - and wow what a metaphor for life!! I have always wanted to try surfing - and at this point in life it is probably not going to happen - and that's ok - but I am soooooooo happy you got to and I hope you will get to many many more times!
Dreams? some of my dreams have come true - and some I've just had to let go of - probably the one dream I really have is that someday I will feel good again, and feel that way every day. But, while you were away I did a little painting without it making me feel worse !!!!!!! GREAT BIG HOORAY - Painting - being an artist has been one of my biggest dreams in life - I have some organizing to do and then hopefully will do some more before the weather gets cold and the window has to be closed!
It is amazing how resilient we are.
Love ya Natasha!