Friday, May 18, 2012

Bragging rights

Can you hear that?  
It's the sound of bloggers everywhere tooting their own horns.  Amy's rocking blog hop "All Together Now" starts today.  There will be many proclamations of awesomeness.  And giveaways.  Did I mention giveaways?  Not just from me, but from everyone who is bragging about themselves today.  So when you're done listening to me prattle on and on, you should go back over to Amy's site and see who else is playing along.
It's an amazing and talented group.

Now, before we get to the prizes, pour yourself a beverage, put your feet up, and allow me to introduce myself:

 Also known as:
(years old)
Okay, that part might not be true anymore, but only a year ago it was totally true.

I used to think I wasn't creative.
(those of you who read this regularly or know me in real life can stop rolling your eyes now)

I used to think art was for other people.

I used to think "creative" was a title bestowed upon you by those in the know.

I'm not really sure what happened to change my mind, but one day I decided to:
and even MORE amazing than that, I told myself:
And so I started making stuff like a madwoman.  
Paintings, collage, postcards, journals, ATCs .
and I started this blog.
and I started joining challenges and taking on-line classes and leaving comments on other people's art blogs.  even the ones that intimidated me with their awesomeness.

and my life is transformed.

You see:
and it wasn't a puppy.

It was this.

It doesn't matter what other people think.
It only matters what I think.

I create because:
 and also because:

and because I think I might just wither up if I didn't.

But all that isn't really proclaiming my awesomeness.  That's just telling you stuff.
So here comes the bragging part.

I'm smart.
I have an awesome smile.
I'm funny.
(talking chickens are funny!)

and I make wicked good pie.
and you know what else?
I like the things I make.
they make me happy.

Now I know you all just came for the prizes and if you've been drinking your beverage you probably have to pee by now and you would really just like me to cut to the chase and tell you what you need to do to win.

But I have a few more pearls of wisdom.

Here's what I think:
My story isn't all that unique.
I've met a lot of other bloggers who also took a long damn time to stop stuffing all their creative passion under the rug.  People like me and you who didn't think they had it in them, but then went and did it anyway.  The blogosphere is full of us - emerging with tender, vulnerable, glittery wings.
so I'm pretty sure you've heard the story before.

But I'm telling this story anyway.
For you.
Yes you.
The one who has been lurking.
the one who maybe feels a teeny bit:
I hope beyond hope that you find some inspiration in my endless stream of blathering.
because you are worthy.
I am worthy.
we are all worthy of doing what brings us joy 
and sharing it without fear.
If you do it, you won't regret it.
I speak from experience.

So thank you all for your support and camaraderie.
Whether it's your first time here, or you've been cheering me on all year.
Your presence here means a lot.

and now FINALLY, since you've hung in here so long, we'll talk about prizes.
I'm giving away a variety of little books - made by me, for you.

There will be at least four winners.
Maybe more, because I keep making books.

All you have to do is leave a comment.
but here's the catch.
you have to tell me ONE LITTLE THING you like about yourself.
Just one.
But you have to do it or you can't win.
(you don't even have to brag about this):
I will draw random winners from all the horn-tooters.
You have until next Friday, May 25th to leave your comment.
I'll draw the winner on the 26th.

Make sure your comment links to your email so I can let you know you've won.
(and then go see what everyone else is up to.)
All Together Now


  1. what a rockin' post - thanks K!! Yes, so many folks are afraid to crawl out and into their creative being one of them. Thanks for the encouragement

    One thing about me - I'm a totally loyal friend.

  2. i didn't mean to peek at your post before i added your link, but i got drawn in. for some reason i'm crying a little bit.
    i really really like you.
    p.s. NOW i'm going to add your link!

  3. Ok, that "Daddy looked very surprised" card made me laugh out loud so hard that I snorted. I can almost hear the little girl down in front cackling. Thanks for that...and thanks for putting your awesomeness out on display. I really like you too!

    I'll go ahead and toot that I have an uncanny, idiot savant level talent for recognizing voice actors.

    Not to sway you in any way, but I just put together the fattest stack of paper crap that I've ever put together for anyone. EVER. (And STILL managed to tape up the package and forget a couple of things, but whatever).

    You have a great weekend, girl. I'mma go check out those other blogs now :)

  4. How fun, Karen! I am sure happy you stopped worrying about what other people think and started doing what you want to do. I think I have always been pretty much like that ...doing what I want I mean....
    One thing about me i like? Hum.........I like how I always find moments and small things each and every day that I like -- and I string all those happy little moments together to make a very lovely life....

  5. PS--I'd love one of your handmade books but I would have commented anyway!!!!

  6. Can I come live in your Art room? Will you feed me paper and pie? You're the best karen......and I'm so glad you share your creativity with all of us.

    ****I like that I'm not all that shy. With that said.....

    ****I LOVE my Boobs! Yup! They are just the right size for me-They feed my precious Lily-They provide a resting place for my 3 year old son's hand-They make my 5 year old daughter giggle-They make my husband smile-And The cleavage makes for a great crumb catcher (I know this because I'm eating some toast right now....and I have crumbs all UP in there).LOL!
    *****I'm a "WINNER" too.....but I Like to say that I'm a "WINTER" :-P

  7. Wow - I feel like you just told my story - but no doubt better than I would have. I'm with you - being a little brave and stepping out into the unknown has changed my life - the most important way being that I'm just happier.

    Okay, if I must horn toot - I was ridiculously terrified to actually draw a face for a long time - but now I'm actually pretty darn good at it...

  8. I love those books! I've been into making books lately, and I love seeing what other people make! I like the little one on the right with the stab-stitch binding!

    I like my hair! Although it doesn't always do exactly what I want, right now it's short, deep red (with a hint of purple), and I love it! Anyway... That sounds kind of...shallow. So I guess that I also like that I like to be my own person, and don't want to just 'fit in with the crowd'.

  9. oh what a fun blog post! Love how your artwork has words and you told a story with your art and words. Hmmm.. horn tooting... um, I am a good mother!

  10. I swear, you get more brilliant everyday. I loved how perfectly you've summed up your past posts.
    something about me: I have the coolest aunt ever!!!!!

    1. ok, i know that wasn't horn-tooting, so I'll say that I'm proud of the art that I was able to create in your studio (and other places after that).

  11. We are both old artsy bloomers and we are both in love with books! That is extremely grand. I didn't start writing until I was almost 30. And I'm kind of glad for finding my storytelling bug late, for now I have so many tales to tell. Your colors show the say, they are wise and beautiful--lived and loved.

    I'm still chuckling over the fact that we both made books!

  12. You are extremely funny!! "Hooray the poison worked" had me rolling!!
    You are just a bundle of creative energy and information and....well, strange to use a food to describe you but, so marshmallowy....let me explain. Not at all to do with the rotund shape (since that is not fitting) but with the fact that on the outside, it bounces back from pokes trying not to let on how delicious it is, but once you get inside, it's all gooey and sticks to you and is simply irresistable :)

    As for my horn tooting....
    I took Spanish in High School and actually still speak it! Amazing, I know.
    I'm a freak :)

  13. Love your blog. Love your art. Love your story. Thanks for sharing!!!

    One thing I like about me...I'm not afraid to try new things. They don't always turn out fabulous, but I like to try.

    And I love your little books!!

  14. Only a year!!!!...and I didn't know your name was Karen lol Awesome post...and I want a talking chicken too :D
    What do I like best about me.....I give the best hugs ever! Even strangers at bus stops come to me for a hug...just because they know they will get a proper squooshy hug from this momma bear :D XXX

  15. I think this is my fave tooting so far. :) How long has it taken you to put this together? I'm amazed! Wonderful post and art and I would love to win your giveaway. :)

  16. OMG !!! Four winners !! I want to be one of them :D..
    Thanks for sharing a part of your life

  17. I'm so glad you realized you're an artist!
    And I'm also glad we've met... you're kooky fun! It's been nice to get to know you recently.

    Hmn... something about me that I like.
    It's kind of vague, but I like that people like me. It means I must be doing something right, I guess.

  18. Your smile was the first thing I noticed about you. And big moments in my life are when I heard Peter Buck say in an interview that "nobody was ever good at anything until they sucked at it first," and I read Wayne Gretzky point out that "you miss 100.percent of the shots you don't take." i don't follow either of those pieces of advice enough. Though in fairness to me, it migh be because Peter Buck sucked at something after he got good at it, which scares me.

  19. Okay, this is the BEST introduction post ever (even though I'm already a fan!) They way you used the art to express your thoughts and add to them - brilliant! LOVE it.
    AND yes please! Thank you for the chance to win, xoxo!

  20. I love this tribe too - you are so right, we just went on our there and did it. Bravo to us. That's what I like about ME. I go out and do things! I loved this post and seeing all your art so much that I read it twice - there's dedication!

    If we had salamanders I would catch them all the time too - cause they look so cute. We don't have many lizards in these parts, they are very shy and live in stone walls (probably)... along with fairies (definitely!)

  21. You are funny funny always. I so enjoy your quirky sense of humor and you poking fun at yourself as well. Great, great post. xox

  22. Such a colourful, funny, sparkling, great post !!!!!!! Love all the art pics you added, makes for great viewing/reading. When I was 9 years old I dressed up as Pippi Lomgstocking and won 1st prize, ever since she has been my muse/my alter ego I dig this chick and her strength and gutz and free outlook on life, it doesn't always have to be serious. Tjolla-hop ! ;)

  23. Love this post, so true, there are many of us who kept it all inside all of these years and then "BAM" we explode and can't stop creating! Here we are on the scene, painting, blogging just going for it. I'm so glad that I've found blogging and all of the amazing talented and fun people like you.

  24. Hi, Karen! Yes, it's me from the flutterbye swap group :) I love getting stuff in the mail, too, so I'll be sending something your way soon. So here's the little something about me (because I really, really want one of your books): I am pretty fearless when it comes to making stuff. I have never stopped to think, "Oh, gee, I can't do that..." If I want to do it, I go for it. And I like that about myself.

    I really like your work and this post made me laugh out loud. Thank you for the giggles!

  25. If I have a bad day there are a couple of things that can always make me feel better - getting lost in a good book, creative time, chocolate... and I really would have to add reading one of your blog posts to the list. How could you not smile, laugh and be inspired.

    Horn tooting - I am an awesome mom. Just ask my kids, most days.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful art, humor and pearls of wisdom.

  26. ...Freakin' Awesome...! But you already know that, about yourself, and your blog :D.
    & I should've known, I'm 2 years older than you minus three days :D. Sags (pronounced likes "badges," for those who may not know) are pretty fabulous, wonderful, humble people, aren't we :D? OK, we just might have to have a bi-coastal pie bake off too!!!!

    & not to be a copyCat, but,
    My horn toots: I have a really great smile, and not just with my mouth, but the whole sha-bang: eyes, wrinkles, freckles, teeth. And I do it every day, as many times a day as I possibly can, to everybody I know and don't know. 1. It makes ME feel good. 2. 99% of the time I can make everybody else that looks at me smile too :D!! (adults, kids, babies, dogs, cats, piglets, sheep....I have a therapeutic farm at work...!:D) 3. I feel smiling helps to connect all of us, and lighten our moments in our days - it crosses all barriers of language, wealth, health/sickness, etc. 4. Sometimes I even wanna say to crabby people, "HA! Betcha didn't think I could make you smile, huh?"
    Sorry for such a long toot, ha ha! Thanks for being part of this wonderful creative late-bloomer in life gang!

  27. correction! 2 years and one week, by looking at a 1967 calendar. Sag cusp, but you seem Sag to me :D

  28. Wow! This is a creative post!! You did a great job!! I'm really glad to know you! :)

  29. KAREN!!!!!!! Oh my, I went away with a smile & came back to re-read (yep so good I had to read it twice) & the party is still going so I got myself a little bubbly (sssh)... this is the BEST post, it is full of affirmation of the talent & creativity that lies within us all & to never EVER think we have anything to prove - BUT to be true to oneself & freaking not be afraid of anyones opinion or whether others approve or like what we create...
    Your pie making ability is something to lust over (I buy icecream cakes for birthdays, a truthfully pathetic baker) Whoops I'm suppose to say something good... mmm I will, but the bubbly has me forgetting all my awesome qualities ;) OK I love EVERYTHING here, but call it twisted but my absolutely (like as Amy would say 'pee my pants') moment is that sweet little girl... "I'll tell them my scissors slipped" Oh my God, that is awesome & the little girl whose buried something "No one ever needed to know" Crap on a stick - totally AWESOMELY hilarious!!!!
    I feel like I have glittery wings & I feel like giving you a hug, and I want to say a little thing that's good about me & because My Big F (hubby) was close by I asked him... what's my awesome quality....?
    Sparky... full of life, an energy force...
    I now feel a little humble
    I also think he may want a favour of me tonight ;)

  30. great post, fab art! and pie...I LOVE pie. I struggle and feel lost at times with my art but I KNOW I'm on the right path and something big is going to happen...don't know what but I feel like in the words of GaGa "I'm on edge of glory".
    Dream big!

  31. Fabulous blog. I truly enjoyed your honesty. I love the background on your blog. If I remember correctly, it's the cover of your traveling art journal, right? I have loved being in this group. I enjoy the way you incorporate words, statements or sayings into your art. It draws me in. Happy blogging and traveling art journaling.

    What I like about myself: I think I have very nice hair, naturally wavy without being curly. It is black with gray coming in for the past 15 or 20 years. Very salt and pepper. I've actually been asked where I get my highlights done. Really? If I was going to pay for hightlights, would I pick gray? I refuse to dye my hair. I believe that God made us is such a way and to change it demeans his creation.

  32. I was signed in to the wrong blog. Here is the correct one. My other one is my writing blog. Sorry about that.

    Fabulous blog. I truly enjoyed your honesty. I love the background on your blog. If I remember correctly, it's the cover of your traveling art journal, right? I have loved being in this group. I enjoy the way you incorporate words, statements or sayings into your art. It draws me in. Happy blogging and traveling art journaling.

    What I like about myself: I think I have very nice hair, naturally wavy without being curly. It is black with gray coming in for the past 15 or 20 years. Very salt and pepper. I've actually been asked where I get my highlights done. Really? If I was going to pay for hightlights, would I pick gray? I refuse to dye my hair. I believe that God made us is such a way and to change it demeans his creation

  33. I love love love how you told your tale with your art! Such a brilliant way! When I saw your age I thought it said 4. Why? Because you have the joy in you that a child has before "growing up" changes it. I cannot believe how similar our paths have been (although I do not catch salamanders- I am chicken when it comes to creepy crawlies). I am looking forward to seeing where your journey takes you next!

  34. Wonderful post, that word is overused but it is so perfect for you, wonderful, i' m late getting here but loved this story about you! I Am s o glad you jumped right in, The party and blogland is so much better for having you around in it. As for me, my good thing today is I keep trying to fix things, even when they're unfixable! I keep at it! See you around,

  35. Thank you for sharing your story in such a wonderful way. Your creativity and fun, black humor are a real boost. To brag, I make art cards that I love and other people seem to like as well.
    I don't understand how to give you my email as I don't have a website for a URL.

  36. I have been lurking, I'll admit it. I love your stuff and once I found out you live in the same state as me, I've been hooked! ;) Just think if I won you could just drop it off in some secret place and I could pick it up!
    One thing I like about me, my name Suzanne. I don't even respond to people when they call me Sue or Susan, even family members! Haha is my blog :)

  37. Loved all the art telling your story, you are so very talented, with a real flare, not only in your art, but making people feel comfortable here

  38. i'm late. but here i am now.

    well, i think i commented at the beginning, but i was crying.

    look i love your post.

    oh hell. you already know how i feel about you and your art.

    you are wonderful for a million trillion reasons.


  39. oh my gosh i think i love you. YES! i am so glad you decided to let your creative side show because it's brilliant! i hardcore like your "hooray, the poison is working" piece. it made me giggle. they're all great, actually, and i love how you used your artwork to help really TELL this story - i had no idea so much awesomeness was out there in a blog i hadn't yet come across, so glad i do now :)

  40. What a like about myself : my (lifelong commitment to my) diary.

  41. Hello, I like how you incooporated all the art to describe everything..SO VERY COOL!!! And I would love to win a book of yours..that would be so grand for me!!

    One thing about myself..I got a cute little haircut this morning..all because I tried cutting my own hair to find out..that I'm not a matter how much I try..LOL

  42. You're right, you do have a great sense of humor and are very funny - that's why I love checking in and reading your posts (plus seeing all your great art). I'll never forget your pushing me to join Seth's art call with the "you are worthy" phrase. It's the first time I ever sent anything in and it's because you made me realize I could. I want to 'pay it forward' and share that spirit on my blog as well. Thanks for all you do.

    My awesomeness? I'm a great cheerleader if someone is down, I'm smart and well read, I've started several blogs and love every one of them!

  43. Hi Karen. You are such a "ham." I love that clever, witty, humor. You have inspired me without even knowing it(and I've no doubt others as well) over this last yr which is when I stumbled upon your blog. You are at the very least, pretty awesome.

    Me? My awesomeness? I am a pretty compassionate person, where as I am pretty sensitive to how other people might be feeling, often with putting myself on hold(which in some ways is not good.) And I also have a pretty head of silver threads which I have learned to accept and love as I am entering a new chapter of my life, which is that I am "the happening and the captain of my ship now, and if you don't like it, you can just jump ship!"

  44. This is all sorts of fabulous, and {maybe} makes me feel like I'm going to be the lagging imposter at that RISD class..but no! Because one thing I like about myself is how many things I'm self-taught in. It always seemed easier to teach myself whatever-it-was--knitting, sewing, whatever--then figure out how to take a class with all these kids, and I was always nursing somebody, seems like. I like that I didn't look at that situation and think, Oh, I'll have to wait then. Instead I decided I had to teach myself, and I did. So there is no Not Doing because of Fear, either.

  45. I love this post so much. Isn't it funny how we stuff ourselves down thinking this life is only for other people.

    I am Natasha and I am no longer stuffing my creative journey down under any rugs! :)

  46. I'm not going to tell you how amazingly fantastic this post is because you are clearly tired of hearing that! However... I LOVE IT!

    Now, I know I"m not supposed to be online, but I started having withdrawals, Rushmore.

    Here's the deal: it's none of our business what other people think of us. Even so, I tell you that you are an artist.

    I just listened to this interesting podcast about the art market, and it's amazing how completely whack it is, what the rich, froofroo arty gallery people so with art, when the fact is, they have no idea what it is. They hardly know what they themselves think of it! They're all driven by what will look good on a mug. What the most people buy. The color red. All that dumb stuff! They are missing OUT, baby! So when we tell ourselves we aren't artists, we are playing their dumbass game. We need to ignore them.

    My nickname is The Apartment, by the way.

    Or maybe, The Sting.

    Well, it's certainly not The Court Jester.

  47. Criminy. I got so wrapped up telling you how dumb the gallery art market is that I forgot to tell you something I like about myself.

    I like my nickname, Lachrymose Joe

  48. OMG! 4 winners! You are so generous and I love your work!! Please stop by my site and get your name in for mine!

  49. Hi Karen, I didn't know about this bragging blog hop, but I love your post. You ARE funny...those pieces of yours had me grinning! My "story" sounds similar to yours...not really embracing my creativity until a year and a half ago or so. I guess that's what I would say I like about myself: now I am all about my creative side, and people who know me finally KNOW about it! I never would have dreamed that I would be seen as "the creative one," and it is a very fun and comfortable identity.

  50. This is great!!! There is a world of former rug suffers out there and I'm one of them too :0)

  51. Ohhhh Karen...:::sigh:::, this is such a beautiful juicy amazing touching inspiring post! I'm just now getting around to reading some of the blogs in the All Together Now party. I am really touched by your post!

    I'm so glad I've had the chance to get to know you a little bit! You rock! xo

  52. This is some great horn tooting ;) I love all the things you make. I'm amazed you've only been doing this for a short time. What took you so long?! It was that little voice that said "you can't do that" wasn't it? I've been an artist all my life and guess what? I hear that little voice too sometimes.

    I've been out of the blogging game for a couple weeks, I didn't know you were making these books, I love them! Oh and you do have a really great smile :) My brag about myself is something I didn't have anything to do with, my curly hair. I like it.

  53. Karen, not only are you an artist, you are a very talented, original (and funny) artist, and looking at your mad works always makes me happy. What do I like about myself? Well I would say my curly hair, but Jaime has said that, so I like the fact that in my late seventies I am still prepared to get in there and keep up with all the blogging, and pinning and emailing - and even playing Wordfeud and Drawsomething with hubby, daughter and grand-daughter. Whew!