Monday, February 22, 2010

~*~ Mariposa Mouse ~*~

I finally got her finished! My fancy little mouse is available on my website on the animals page if you would like to visit her!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Drug Out

I have to level with you, I don't know how people can become drug addicts. I don't even like to take prescription medications. Unfortunately I have to take some. None of them are that serious, but they are necessary. The ones I have been taking for years have no side effects luckily. But this last one that they gave me had nothing but side effects.

Among other things, I had headaches, nausea, lethargy, apathy, memory loss and worst of all...I did nothing but scratch for the entire time because my skin was so irritated. R and my Mom both insisted I stop taking it. Fortunately it was something the doctor was just trying and it's not critical that I take it.

I have stopped taking it two days ago and while my skin irritation has calmed down considerably it hasn't left my system completely yet so I haven't been posting.

I just thought I would give you a little update so that you knew why there had been no posts. With some luck I should be back to normal in a day or two. Until then, I won't be indulging in anything other than my recreational drug of choice...which comes in a white cup bearing the name Starbucks!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Setting The Stage

Picking up from where I left off yesterday...when I tell people how to figure out what they want to do, I tell them to set the stage so to speak. I suggest they make a simple list of everything they like even if it doesn't immediately seem to pertain to a possible career in the art world. Or any world for that matter. Sometimes we see patterns emerging when we do that.

I also tell them to imagine themselves already immersed in the world they want to be in. What kind of life would they live if they could live their dream life? Visualization is a very important thing in realizing what your dream is. Over the years I have visualized myself doing many things, and some of them have turned into realities.

But I have never really visualized the bears themselves living a life beyond the little legends I give them to define their personalities on my site. I have always had a vague notion that they were old toys that someone loved to a worn state, but that's about it.

Now I need to interject a little something before I continue. A few years back I had made some bears that were exactly what I had been striving for. It took me a long time to truly get where I wanted to be with their look and shape. After making several hundred of these bears, I had done it. I had accomplished this goal. So I decided it was time for a new idea and a new goal as to how they should look. The problem is I never really got a new idea. I have just been going along trying this or changing that a little without a real specific design in mind. It's very hard for me to work like that and be satisfied. I love the bears I have created since then, but I still need something specific to strive for which is why all of this is coming about.

I figure after nearly 30 years they deserve a life and world of their own. They have earned it. Besides if you want to get to know someone, knowing their history is a large part of who they are. I thought all day about where the bears and their animal friends would come from. It just seemed terribly important to think about this, I wasn't completely sure why. As I went around doing my household chores I thought about what would their world look like if it didn't have any people in it? I didn't worry about what the inhabitants would look like yet though.

The logical part of my brain said well bears live in the woods. But these are teddy bears so we don't have to be logical. They could live in a city, but what would that city be like? It didn't seem quite right.

I thought it would be best to start setting a mental stage. I kept picturing a sunny meadow in the middle of a lush forest. Even with the addition of butterflies, it was pretty but it still didn't seem quite interesting enough.

But then I realized this is my world I am creating, so I can make it anything I want. I didn't have to choose between city bears or country bears. I could have the best of all worlds.

Suddenly their were dwellings in the forest...all the fanciful places I would like...a striped silk tent, a tree house that is a cuckoo clock on top, a large acorn house with shutters where one of the smaller animals would surely live. I would swear I even saw a dirigible flying in the background. My forest suddenly had a community with a slightly steampunk feel to it.

Suddenly it came alive. And the biggest surprise that came out of all this daydreaming was that I had an idea for what my website should look like, despite picturing the bears yet.

Maybe it seems as if I am doing things backwards, and maybe this seems like a waste of time to the more pragmatic bear artists out there...but I have a feeling this will bring me to the place I need to be. If I take time to set the stage, I will know who to cast in the roles. I probably should have done this years ago.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Defining The Dream

If you have been reading my last few blog posts, you can probably tell that I am rather unsettled. Now as a disclaimer, I have to tell you that they have put me on a medication that is altering my mood and state of mind a little bit. But aside from that, I couldn't figure out why I am so obsessed with being in a rut or trying to find new perspective until this morning.

While soaking in the tub I read an article about a woman who has finally realized her dream as an artist and is living it. These types of stories abound, and they always leave me feeling happy for the person the article is about because I have been able to live my dream as well...right?

But suddenly this morning I wasn't sure if I was? If I was being interviewed for an article and someone asked me what my dream is, I would probably say to make bears forever. But when it gets right down to brass tacks, that's rather vague.

If someone asked you, could you truly define your dream? Has it changed from what you initially set out to do? If so why did it change? In my case, I realized that it has changed, but I am not sure to what? Of course my dream is still to make bears...but what do I want to do with that? What kind of bears do I really want to make? When you live your dream it becomes reality, so we need a new dream to strive for. Somewhere to take our original vision after we have accomplished what we set out to do. I think ultimately that's why I am unsettled. I don't know where I want to go exactly.

That's something I need to figure out. Just two days ago I was giving someone advice on how to figure out which direction they wanted to go...I think it's time to take my own advice.

Now with the meds, and my unsettled state of mind, I can't say for sure what the rest of the weeks posts will hold. In fact I never know what my posts will be until I start writing them.

I have read that many people plan and even orchestrate their blog posts. I try doing that sometimes and I never end up writing about what I intend to. Life is a journey, blogging is a journey, and even defining our current dream can be a journey. We will see where that road takes me. You're all welcome to come along for the crazy ride!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

I have always been the sort of person that by the time something turns into a fad I have already been wearing it or doing it...or I have completely avoided the whole thing. It's not by design, it's just an innate sense I have of such things. I was the first kid at my school to wear a new kind of jeans, and I was one of the first people to "distress" bears. I completely avoided glitter makeup and needle felting. Every once in a blue moon I will jump on a fad bandwagon after it becomes a fad though.

Last Fall I did exactly that. I had been seeing lots of pictures people took of their feet. While I didn't really understand it, I was oddly intrigued by it. So when I was outside looking at fallen leaves in my backyard I snapped a pic of my feet half buried in the leaves and posted it. After I did it I felt a little cheesy for jumping on the bandwagon since it had been done so much.

I have made a few posts in the past about Artful Blogging magazine. I love this magazine despite how it leaves me feeling a little bereft after reading it because I feel like I can never measure up to the bloggers featured.

I buy it without even peeking inside. The new issue came out last week and I was excited to pick it up this weekend. I came home, plopped down on the couch with the quilt all ready to indulge in this guilty pleasure.

Two pages in the phone rang. As I was talking on the phone I flipped through the pages to see what I had to look forward to. It struck me how many "feet pictures" there were in it yet again. Eleven to be exact. I realized this is why I jumped on the bandwagon. Every issue has had several "feet pictures" since the inception of the magazine. But this time they were no longer intriguing. In fact they were kind of disappointing in their rhetoric.

Artful Blogging, like many of the Somerset publications costs $14.99. That's a pretty expensive magazine. They have cornered the market on craft and art inspiration type magazines. They have lush images and use a delightful heavy paper. But for 15 bucks a pop I want to see something new now.

That is my one complaint about all of their magazines, they tend to stick to a basic style, even to the point of crossover features on the same people in several publications. While I guess that's ok up to a point, and it's definitely good to have a continuity to their style...for my money I want to see them change it up once in a while.

There are many wonderful artists out there that could be featured, there are also a million and six different types of images they could use that would still conform to the format of the magazines.

When the next issue comes out, I won't buy it automatically. I will look through it before I do. I am not sure I want to spend another $15.00 to support the editors foot fetish and see the same old thing as every other issue. I am afraid that those of us who read their magazines on a regular basis are subconsciously conforming to that style by tiny degrees.

My last two posts have been about getting a new perspective on the world. Maybe it's time that some of our windows to the world get a new perspective too.

Old Habits Are Hard To Break

Having an interesting idea doesn't always guarantee good results. In my last post I told you I was going to try changing things up a bit from my daily routine. I decided if I wanted to see the world from a new perspective I should literally wake up with a different view on it. With that in mind I decided to do something I have never done in the entire decade I have lived in this house. I slept on R's side of the bed.

This seemed to perplex the cats, who are used to sleeping on his side of the bed. Cats are creatures of habit as well as humans and they don't feel a need to try to change that rut they may be in. Gypsy kept pawing at me and walking to the other side of the bed as if she was trying to tell me I was in the wrong spot. Poor Basil simply didn't know what to do with himself. He couldn't get comfortable anywhere else, and Rizzo hopped on the bed, assessed the situation and simply left until things righted themselves.

Maybe I should have taken a cue from how unsettled they were, but I decided to go forth with my experiment. It took me a while to fall asleep, but I finally did. I kept waking up from disturbing dreams. As a result I slept poorly. I finally got up and let the dogs out, took a shower and laid back down on my side of the bed to warm up. Many hours of blissful sleep later I woke up.

I had to immediately start cooking soup that had to cook for a number of hours. I had decided to make it the day before and I knew R was looking forward to it. I have never gotten up and started cooking before my coffee, so that was changing it up too, despite not being planned.

It also made me crabby, and the soup turned out poorly. I don't think it was anything I did, it just wasn't a good recipe. Despite all the spices it called for, it was oddly bland.

The next few days I decided to continue on with the experiment in small doses. I tried doing this and that a bit differently.

I would like to tell you it was all life changing and that I had a whole new outlook...maybe even an epiphany. But I didn't. What I learned is that we fall into our little routines because they are comforting. They steady the reins and stay the path throughout the course of our day. Maybe that's not so bad afterall. Maybe life throws enough curve balls at us every day, that we need our little routines so we don't feel entirely off kilter.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Day Of Not Doing

Every day when I get out of bed, I brush my teeth, let the dogs out, feed the cats and get coffee. I wander downstairs and have a look at the internet to see what is going on.

Every day when R comes home, he walks in, kisses me hello, pets the dogs, changes his clothes and then settles in to read the paper. I know I am not supposed to talk to him until he is done reading it, but some days I feel kinda chatty and don't observe the sanctity of the paper. He gets a bit annoyed when I break up his routine.

There is a certain comfort in doing the same things. Human beings and animals both like their routines. We have morning routines, eating routines, shopping routines, daily travel routines and work routines. We get into leisure time routines as well. But when does a routine turn into a rut?

As artists we need to be careful about the routines we fall into because that can carry over into our work. Sometimes we need to change things up a bit in other areas of our lives in order to change up what we make. Changing our routines, even for one day can give us a fresh perspective.

I kind of feel like I need to do that. So I have decided that tomorrow will be my official day of not doing. Of course there are certain things you have to do, like eat and let the dogs out. But I am not going to get on the internet. I am not going to have coffee first thing, maybe I will try some juice. I am going to try to change up as many things as I can.

I haven't been terribly motivated to work or post or do a lot of things I need to do, so I think it's time for a fresh perspective. I will let you know how it goes. I also invite you to have your own day of not doing as well. Maybe we can compare notes and see what we learn from it.

I have a feeling this little experiment is going to be very difficult, but worth it. I guess we shall see. In the mean time, I am going to go to bed. That's one routine I can't change!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Behind Again

I know I said I would be making regular blog posts, but honestly I haven't had a lot to say lately.  I don't know why, I just haven't.  Not to mention that I am behind on everything yet again.  In fact I am so far behind that I can see myself going in front of me.

It seems as if January and February are always catch up months for me.  I know that might seem odd since they are at the beginning of the year, but it just seems to work out that way.  Maybe I should observe Chinese New Year since that's about the time I always seem to get going, plus they have those great lanterns. 

I will try to come up with interesting things to say...I swear I will.  (Ok well I will try!)  In the mean time, I hope you are all happy and healthy, prosperous and wise in the year of the Tiger!

Hugs, K. <3
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Current copyright laws allow for all work to be automatically protected when it is created. All original artwork, photos, text, logo, descriptions, and derivative works from Blondheart are not to be copied, imitated or distributed in any way. All rights reserved solely by the artist, Kelly Dauterman.

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