1. Thank you all for opening such an incredible discussion about the upcoming collaboration between the Thursday Sweet Treat and the NYC school students. The idea that is taking shape is mind-blowing. I think this is going to be simply amazing AND it is already generating buzz here. The discussion is going on now so if you'd like to jump in please visit - http://thursdaysweettreat.ning.com/
AND feel free to invite friends as I can tell you I have been approached about another collaboration. I will be sharing more as I work out details. Ever feel like something's just happening ...something magical?
2. The forum that I set up is not the new site. The new site is coming very, very shortly and the forum will be a part of that. For now, we at least have a place to have a conversations, share photos, and more. I know some folks are brand new to it all so I will be adding information there to help you navigate. Fear not, you won't be a newbie for long, I promise :)
Ok...let me just say that I feel no shame in admitting that I cried as I went through these submissions this week. I was incredibly moved by the idea that these artists opened up their inner working space, that space where decisions are made that effect our growth as individuals and artists, where questions are discovered and sometimes answered, where our hunger for knowledge exists, alongside our friends vulnerability, bravery, hope, creativity, heart, imagination and inspiration. The fire that burns within artists - within all people - is sacred so to have it shared so openly was one of the most beautiful, captivating and unforgettable experiences of my life. I am deeply honored to have been given an invitation to visit that sacred place where ideas are born and, in some cases, to help find answers to pertinent questions.
Today, I am not simply inviting you, I am urging you to take a moment and warm your heart and minds in front of the ranging fires within each artist. Please take your time as you read each story as some artists have questions for you. Please share your thoughts with them.
Now, come on in and sit by the fire, won't you?
The virgin beader
Was pulled from the fire with a
Fire Keeps Me Warm
“This week, I have been working hard... but I am running late,” said Agathe. “I love fire and the creatures, especially the mythical ones, connected to it. My first idea was of a phoenix, because the idea that life can be born again out of its very destruction is a sustaining one, I find. But that didn't give me a "doable" design. So I kept searching. Found very pretty griffins... that I am going to use soon, but not yet.”
“Eventually, I began what is my first attempt with silver clay, but you all have to use your imagination, hoping this tiny salamander (can you see it, it's so tiny, on the first photo?) sitting on a flaming ring (see the flames on the second photo?) fires it. As I am writing, the ring is still drying. I will then have to polish and (probably) correct some... and then fire it (fingers crossed here).
Meherio68blog : http://lebarduvent.blogspot.com/
"When I started thinking about this theme I was immediately drawn to the colors red, orange, and yellow and their connections to the body's chakra centers," said Jodi. "Last year I was studying yoga with a teacher who spent each week focusing on one of the chakra centers. Red is the color designation for the base of the spine and vitality, courage, and self-confidence come from this area. Orange comes from the sacral area (lower abdomen) and happiness, confidence, and resourcefulness come from this section. Finally, yellow governs the solar plexus which is wisdom, clarity, and self esteem. This three tier pendant is composed of three distinct sections for each of the 3 chakra centers. The top is made from a fossilized coral bead and is surrounded by deep red swarovski crystals and golden yellow pearls. The center section is a button. It is embellished with seed beads and more Swarovski crystals. The lower section is a pearl button surrounded by seed beads. I incorporated the three chakra colors between all the sections. The pendant is backed in ultrasuede and hangs from a neck wire."
Michelle, creator of mkc photography, created this "Little Toes"
"When I first read the theme, I immediately thought of the red tulips in our yard, sunsets, anything that was "fiery" in color, but nothing clicked...then I realized I was taking the theme too literally and I needed to step back and think...what is it that really fuels me, drives me forward?" said Michelle. "The answer came at once: "my children." While I don't define myself solely as a wife and mother, I realized that I always push myself forward artistically because I want to be someone my boys look up to, someone they admire. I want them to grow up knowing their mother was never afraid to challenge herself...these are the little feet of my inner fire during a quiet moment in our back yard."
"Another odd sort of sharing for me. "The Warmth of the Fire Within" really grabbed me," said Maureen. "I am discovering, day by day, that something powerful has always lived inside me--it has just been so hidden and repressed that I had forgotten it ever even existed. But this indwelling urge/need/mandate to express via creativity has only been banked--a fire, persisting, needing only a little space, a little breath, to let it burn brightly again. And it is not a consuming fire, but a purifying one, an illuminating one. On Saturday, it was my turn to decorate the display case outside my church with some sort of inspirational message. All day the fire within me burned warmer and brighter as I created and assembled bits and pieces. Finally, I started using my "good" watercolors, last used in 2003, wetting down old flakes of paint. My "canvas" for the rainbow was the back of a poster which had hung in my home since 2004 and whose message NEEDED to be let go of. Other little art squares were monoprints . . My art surrounded Bible verses and hymns that spoke of not fearing change, since we were each embraced by God Who is Love, and held in Love's plan for us. In short, I spent most of the day Saturday feeling like my authentic self, an artist who had finally found the fire within and was doing what she was born to do."
Ruth, creator of Allover Art, created this phenomenal Fire and Ice Hand-Painted Art Pendant Necklace.http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24355735
"The peyote ring forms that are the base of this pendant are a design element I've been using in many of my pieces in the last year or so; the sunburst worked in "hot"colors seemed appropriate for 'The Fire Within'", said Kelly. "But as is so typical for me, a simple ring seemed inadequate and I added the smaller center ring and realized I had created a mandala! The additional "arms" somewhat give the appearance of a compass - perhaps it's really a guide to find that fire of creativity within myself!"
Felicia Kramer, creator of Another Bright Idea, created these exceptional pieces of art.
“A candle light within”
"I have been working with Photoshop for quite awhile, but studying it most intensely the last few months," said Felicia. "I love its infinite possibilities, and I’m still experimenting with techniques. This past Christmas, playing with a new camera, I used the “fireworks” setting and photographed my patio lights while moving the camera. I created several layers with those photos, along with my photograph of a lit candle, then used various Photoshop adjustments to create my submission.
“Lighting the fire of creativity”
“Lighting the fire of creativity 2”
"I almost didn’t submit this one, but decided to send two versions and get some opinions to see which works better – the monochromatic version or the more colorful version," said Felicia. "Or should I just scrap this one entirely? I will take any comments or critiques, even votes for the third option. I can’t believe I’m comfortable enough here to do this!"
Kris aka lisianblue, creator of lisianblue, created these magnificent pieces of art.
"I was doing a hot air balloon for my 2nd project for my stained glass class," said Kris. "This project didn't go well from the start. The glass would break where it wasn't supposed to, my cutter would slip and miscut. I finally got all 5 upper pieces cut and they all fit together pretty well in spite of all the mishaps. I had ground all the edges and they were all wrapped with copper foil. As they were sitting on my work table, I was contemplating whether to go ahead and solder them or wait until the next class."
"The more I looked at these pieces of glass, the more I knew they just were not meant to be a hot air balloon," remarks Kris. "Too big to be pendants. Taking the foil off and cutting them down, would be a waste of foil. I wasn't sure what they were going to be."
"Since Natasha came up with the theme, “The warmth of the fire from within”, I had an idea on what to do or what to write, but since being a mom comes first, I didn’t get a chance to truly work on it," Jenjen said.
We love this tree. It was planted by the original owner of our home 55 years ago on Mother’s Day. For over ten years now, our lawn guys have been telling us that the tree is dying. Earlier this spring, we’ve trimmed and cut-down a few branches that have no more life.
This morning, my 8yo noticed this tree and exclaimed,
“Mom, how can a tree bloom with so much flowers when it’s already dying?
I think my life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend is like this fighting tree. I am very passionate about keeping the family together. I can’t just give up and just like what I want my children to learn and remember:
“Keep on Fighting for What You Believe In”
“You can accomplish anything that you put your heart and mind to.”
The fire and passion that’s driving me to live and pursue is all because of my family and the warmth of their love knowing that in order to achieve the highest goal, one has to be determined to fight till the end!
So just like our tree, which was appropriately planted on Mother’s Day, I will go on fighting to Dream Big!
(Here’s something I wrote a few weeks ago, “Proceed”…)
There are things in life that just takes time and effort.
Some things seem to be so far away from your reach.
If a project is easy and takes a little time, wouldn’t you have already finished the task?
If a mission takes so much energy and preparation, maybe it’s worth fulfilling it.
Maybe it’s something grand that changes not just your life but the lives of other people.
Most achievements are developed in multiple stages.
You just have to keep pushing yourself to stay focused and do the task.
Don’t postpone it.
It may be easier to procrastinate.
It may be easier to be anxious.
It may be easier to put it on hold.
But it will definitely be rewarding to proceed,
Knowing that every step brings you closer to your goal.
Flame of Love – the warmth of a woman’s love
My computer desk overlooks our backyard and I’m just so blessed to see all the colors of spring. Pink, yellow and green – all vibrant and striking that they all scream “LOVE”.
I took this picture in the beginning of spring.
It started out as small flower buds, and a little spark of sunshine and with lots of rain, the buds bloomed into vibrant flowers.
And as days pass, the more vibrant the flowers get – Just like my love for my husband.
When we first planted this tree 5 years ago, the first one did not survive so we had to get a replacement.
And just like these flowers, I didn’t find the VIBRANT love the first time around, but for almost 17 years now, I’m lucky to have found my husband!
Passion to Make A Difference
Like everyone here in TST, I’ve always been passionate to make a difference. I guess my parents instilled in us through our faith and values, that we are not here on earth just for our own prosperity and happiness. We are here to branch-out and reach out to those who need our help. It does not have to be grand, a little gesture can make a difference.
This tree reminds me of what my parents have taught me and in turn, I’ve instilled to my children. “Share love, fun and happiness – you’ll get more if it in return!” Branch out and don’t be scared or timid to help someone. Just a wave hello or a sweet smile can light up someone’s day so keep smiling!
The challenges that we face sometimes tend to be magnified.
We easily get disillusioned – that’s easy!
But the state of being discouraged is only overwhelming if you let it overpower you.
You have to power to say “NO” to the magnetic pull of being discouraged;
You have the will to be happy, enlightened and be “gung-ho”;
You have the blessings!
There are so many depressing situations in the world;
There are so many injustices;
There are millions of ways to make a difference;
There are millions of means to inspire someone.
You have to choose that path that you want to take;
The road that will make you smile,
The footsteps that move you forward,
The realization that you are here to make a difference.
So get off your slump and be out there!
Laugh out loud, sing a song, and dance to the rhythm.
Reach out to someone and invite them to make a difference, too.
There are plenty of opportunities – just live, love, laugh and move-on!
Bird, creator of Crow Tarot, Kitty Hawke, Cat Bird Crystals, and One Earth, One Tribe, shared these exceptional pieces of art.
"'Love the Lions and let them go' is my understanding of a piece of advice given to me by Jacob, a wonderfully wise being channelled by Judy Crookes (http://www.jacobspeaks.com/). You read about the power of manifesting, etc., and maybe you even get kind of good at it, but what do you do about those days when you decide to have a human moment, in the "whoops! Not-a-saint-me!" sense? It can feel like you are a particularly tasty wildebeast being chased by a pride of hungry lions. So - what to do? You love the lions, yourself, and then you let them go, so that you can concentrate on the happier things that you really do want in your life. So far it seems to be working. :-D
This particular version has also been a lesson in self-love and allowing things to be gentle. The first pic I was planning on using this week was considerably darker in tone, because that's how I felt at the time. But, thanks to the lovingkindness of some of the wonderful TST-ers here, things got better, so the picture chosen got lighter as well.
"'Drink from the Cup of Passion's Fire'" was a poem that came to me upon seeing the picture. The hummingbird drinking deep from the flower to get the nectar it needs to live really seems to be also the situation of the artist, who needs to drink deep of the Creative Cup in order to truly live. :-)
This was a beautifully painted pipe, with a couple more pieces I haven't yet gotten the stories for. Perhaps next week - you never know! :-D
Drink from the cup
of Passion's Fire
and feel it burn
in your throat,
in your belly.
Feel it rising up
exploding out of you
a creative volcano
that you can't control
and wouldn't want to,
even if you could.
"'Passion's Fire Word Art - Light the Flame'" was inspired by my remembering the beautiful pics I used to do as a creative break back in the days when I was a typesetter for University Community Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Take a word, break it down, with different fonts and sizes turn it into an abstract that still says something about the word. In speaking of it on the forum today, I realized just how much I missed doing them. So, I started again. Lighting the Flame isn't just for creativity. Sometimes it's for starting over too. :-)
Was that not the best invitation you've ever accepted?
Please share your thoughts, ask the artists questions, leave a comment and some love here. Then, go visit them at their shops and blogs, share some more and tell a friend! Thanks so much for visiting!!