Sunday, September 29, 2013

Drapery rods on your mind?

So I was playing with this technique for a swap.

I have a love/hate relationship with swaps.
(do I write about this at least once a week?)

I get so excited about various swap themes I click YES-SIGN-ME-UP, and then get stressed by all the deadlines, and grumble that I'm not doing any "serious art" for myself, because all I have time for are these  *&%#! swaps.  But if I didn't have these parameters and deadlines, would I be making this much art?  I think not.  I think I'd be sitting on the couch lost in the laptop, and still not doing any "serious art."

Perhaps swaps are a very convenient excuse that let me pretend I want to make SERIOUS art without having to put in the time and effort and vulnerabilty.

Or maybe it just feels good to be silly most of the time.
There's a lot to be said for silliness.

Last Sunday night we watched "Nacho Libre" and I made this:

Tonight we showed Max "Life of Brian"
and I worked on this bit of fluffy frivolity:

Talk about silly.
But if I don't keep my hands busy while I watch TV, I fall asleep.
Having mom snoring on the couch takes some of the fun out of family movie night, so Sunday nights are about moving-without-thinking.

But not thinking is just about impossible for me.
My brain is on overdrive right now.
I have agreed to speak at a gathering of women this week.
My friend Marilyn is a life coach and all around amazing person and she asked me to speak at this event she is calling "Spirited Women Live"
Here's the description of the evening:
"Join us as we gain inspiration from four incredible Spirited Women.  They have found their way, although not always in a straight line, to an exciting, meaningful place in their lives-a place where they’re connected to what matters deeply to them and, despirte the challenges they’ve faced along the way, creatively move in a forward direction."

And here's what the flyer says about me:
Like many other women, Karen is fully committed to her career and is grateful to be engaged in work that makes a difference in the lives of children and their families as Director of the Southboro Extended Day Program. But, Karen has another side to her life, creating and connecting to people as an artist and blogger, passionately exploring that world to sustain and energize her.  Taking risks as an artist allows her to stretch and strengthen areas of her life that unfold in ways she could never have imagined. Take a moment and check out some of Karen's work.  and  
What on earth was I thinking?

All the old negative scripts in my head have come pouring out as I prepare for this event. 
I will be impossible from now until Thursday.
Best to keep my focus on the absurd:


  1. We should ALL keep our focus on the absurd!

  2. Well I know you are an artist, and a great artist at that. And you have inspired me since the first time we 'met' on The Messy Book challenge with Lisa and I realised what a way out innovator and wonderful person you are. What lucky people they are who are going to hear you talk. I love the collaged face - I feel a bit like that myself today!

  3. Loving the art ! You will be a great speaker, wishing I lived in your area. I would be front and center for that event.
    Best of luck!

  4. I think Marilyn is very smart to ask you to speak. You're brave and approachable and funny--I bet you'll be a fantastic, inspiring speaker. I wish I could come!

  5. These junk cards are seriously cool! I love your wacky sense of humor, and I REALLY want to know what catalogs and magazines you use.

    If you still have that chicken card, I would love to own it! I'll be happy to swap for it.

    1. alas, the chicken was on an envelope that already went out. lately I've been working my way through a stack of vintage Fortune magazines that I found this summer. They are full of the coolest old images and text.

  6. LOVE all your collages here!
    As for your "pedal to the metal" life, you must be a fire sign! But then, you're also still working and raising kids (as opposed to being retired and living alone as I am) and so you're still very much in the thick of things. At my no-longer-frenetic pace these days, though, I'm still using some of your swap ideas to do my own work and/or to exchange with one or two other artists.
    Regarding your speaking engagement, I suspect it'll be no problem at all, since you'll be talking about what you love to do.
    Hope you have a great week!

    1. I had to look it up - but yes, I'm a fire sign. (Sagittarius)
      and yes, I'm very much in the thick of things, but I am also very much a spaz by nature :)

  7. I'm a Sagittarius too - that must be part of why we connect :). Public speaking can be weird and frightening and stressful (I've done it many times and feel frantically nervous beforehand) BUT, when you're speaking from the heart about something you believe in or are passionate about, it makes it so much easier.

    As usual, your art brings a smile - it's a gift Karen, revel in it!

  8. HAHAHAHAHAHA. You crack me up for oh so many reasons, as usual. From Nacho Libre, to LOB, to the awesome collage portrait & other collages, knitting madness, and Spiriting Away this Thursday. You will inspire them and light a Sagittarian fire under their butts. I know telling you not to worry won't do you much good - but you know you'll be awesome, cuz you always are. I just wish I could be front and center to heckle you (JUST KIDDING :D!)... Deep breathing and/or a run beforehand :D? XO & have fun

  9. I love that you have to knit to watch tv....Maybe you need an off switch...I know what you mean about signs up, that's why I am fried and am letting it all go this week to be refreshed for Texas. So proud you will be speaking, spread those wings darlin! xox

  10. You will be fine -- and I wish I would be there listening to you. I bet you will actually enjoy it! xo

  11. I just love you! Sometimes I just sit here spitting Diet Pepsi out of my nose because I am absolutely SURE you have a hidden camera somewhere in my house and are watching me sign up for challenges, swaps and Blog Hops and then roll around on the floor because I haven't 'gotten anything done'!
    So what should we do? Make collages out of chickens of course...that's what I would do! Girl- just go this thing and be you- that's all you need to do and they will love you as much as we do! you want to do a "Mail Swap Challenge"....?:)

  12. You are so inspiring and always make me smile just reading what you right - I think it would be a wonderful treat to get to see speak in person, you just need to be yourself!

  13. What a bounty of fabulous and hilarious collages. You are the perfect "Spirited Woman" Karen! xoxo

  14. OMG!!!
    How are you? How was Thursday?!

    I hear ya

    p.s. How was it?!

  15. Neat technique, Karen...we could all use new uses for all that junk mail. I like the frog silhouette. I can think of all kinds of fun shapes to use with the technique. I agree with you that swaps keep me creating, and when I'm not working on them, I can often be found sitting on the sofa with the right about now!