DAY # 365 – enVISIONing the New Year

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Wahoo!!!! The Final post of my 365!!! Who’d a thunk it?

I couldn’t fathom sitting at my table painting alone on my last day.  That just didn’t seem like a fitting ending.

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So I invited a couple of friends to join me!

A new year requires new energy, a new perspective, maybe some new strategies?  It made me think of vision boards. Everyone can use a little re-focus for the new year!

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I apologize for the horrible copy, but a wonderful woman came up with this grid for creating vision boards.  Her name is Erin Goodman and if you have a moment, check out her website.

Anyway, creating a vision board is a great way to reflect on your current circumstances and prioritize for the upcoming year.  What would you like to experience more of? What do you want to welcome into your life?  What is ready to leave?  What no longer works?  Magazines are a great way to find images and words that reflect your desired state of being.  After you create your board you put it in a private place and continue to reinforce the messages you would like to welcome in the new year.  I’ve always found many truths in the boards I create. I am thankful I carved out some time to create one today.#365 - enVISIONing the New Year (3)

It was great to share some good laughs on all the “shoulds” in our lives.  You know, the dictations of perfection created by society. The diet I’m supposed to be on, the great job that will make your family happy, the soul mate to complete your family photo.  When you get away from all of that, what do you really want?  Usually it’s fairly simple – peace, happiness and health. 

I know I have a lot of examining I need to do.  I have absolutely no idea what direction to go in next.  The beginning of this year will be dedicated to figuring that one out.

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My super creative friend made this beautiful little hanging for me.  It has some amazingly awesome quotes on it and all my friends signed it.  I will post this where I wake every day and I’m sure some of its wonderful wisdom will sink in.

I have so much to think about. So much to take in. So much to analyze.

I simply want to thank all of you that came along on this journey with me.

I really feel that by putting myself out there and by sharing my strengths and weaknesses, I connected to other people, to humanity.  I’ve met so many people along the way and this is the part of the experience I shall cherish.

Thank YOU, the people. For “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”  If I stay a hermit and do not share my creativity with others, do I honor my purpose in life?  You guys were my awareness.  You kept me from slipping, from being to hard on myself and you challenged me to try harder and to try new things.

I truly feel blessed. Thank you.

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I spent Day 364 home sick in bed.  Well actually, I did go to the doctor to get antibiotics for my mangled throat and then I got in bed and slept – a lot.  It’s funny, this is what I envisioned doing on January 2nd – minus the sore throat and ear ache!  I guess I’ll have to find something else to do now on January 2nd – Like be healthy!


I tried to figure out what I could do from bed today in between resting.  I have this giant box of buttons just begging to be played with, so I pulled it out.


First I went through and picked my favorites and then I had to figure out what I wanted to do with them.

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I have these gold-plated bangles with an empty bezel in the center.  I use to fill them with polymer clay designs and sell them to gift shops.  They just happen to be the perfect shape for vintage buttons.  I assembled different combinations of buttons and then wired them to the bangles.


Next I made myself a necklace.  I tried to make the necklace symmetrical in design yet each button is different.  I love that look.  I’m definitely not matchy-matchy. I guess you could call me mixy-matchy!


Of course my daughter popped in to see what I was up to and had to join in on the fun.  She found the wiring a bit difficult, but as usual, she’s always keeping up with her mom! Her necklace looked great.

So although my head is pounding, and my ears ache, I still made time to be creative. Tomorrow, when I’m feeling better and I’m on my last day of my 365 Challenge, I will now have something fun to wear.

OK. Off to take my evening dose of amoxicillin.  Tomorrow I have something fun planned, so I better rest up!

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The Walsh Clan is going down in a ball of fury!  First my son, then my husband…now me.

My throat hurts, my body aches and I just want to spend the rest of the week in bed.

I was so proud of myself for staying healthy during the Christmas season.  Stress always gets me sick over the holidays and I thought tanking up on vitamin C was going to see me through.  However our house has been full and sharing a bed with two sicklings was more than my body could take.

Did that stop me from trudging on with my creative 365?  Nooooo.

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South County Art Supply had given me this rubber stamp block for carving.  It’s super soft as opposed to carving in linoleum which is hard. I thought the size seemed perfect for creating thank you cards. Don’t we all have someone to thank this time of year?

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Let’s just say I figured out how to use the material after I was through with it! Meaning, these didn’t come out all too well because I was learning along the way.

This is what I learned:

First, when creating a design, you really must consider the spacing between objects.  I didn’t leave enough and lost most of my design, especially the lettering.  Second, I started carving with an Exact-o Knife which was not the correct tool for this rubber block.  The Exact-o Knife stabbed too deep, did not make uniform marks and made the rubber stamp crumble.

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Half way through the process I figured this out and pulled out my Speed Ball linoleum carving tools.  THEY WORKED PERFECTLY. Unfortunately I didn’t have any large rubber blocks left to apply what I learned!

I had a smaller block which I only used the carving tools with. See how the lines are a lot cleaner.

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It’s really not my favorite activity to try something, mess up and have to post it on the world-wide web, but hey I’m honest, I should at least get points for that!

If I were to try this again, I would spend way more time on a well conceived design and I’d only use carving tools. I could see using this technique for only one large object per block. Maybe a bird, sunflower or I thought of doing a flying pig!

Of course my daughter wants to try this now.  So we will be picking her up a rubber block to create what else? None other than a platypus!


OK.  My back is killing me, my glands are soar…I’m crawling into bed now… :(

Two more days…two more days until I take a long winter’s nap! I desperately need one!

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What a day, what a day.


Maybe I should start by telling you about my night.  We got home late from NYC and everyone dove into bed.  Three hours later I hear someone screaming bloody murder.  It was my son.  He’s been sick all week and it finally culminated with a terrible earache.  12pm,2am,4am and 6am, I had to rock him to sleep as the pain medicine kicked in.

So let’s just say neither of us slept much.  My son spent today sleeping.


…but I didn’t.  We had a huge family pizza party instead!  Four generations of my husband’s family gathered today which is a big deal.  My husbands brothers live in different states and it gets harder and harder to get everyone in the same place at the same time.  Post Christmas and Post Thanksgiving seem to be working best and really it is so much less stressful.  You get to gather without the pomp and circumstance, which allows everyone to be themselves.

It was a very nice day.  A very busy day. A very loud day!

Which brought me to the end of the evening.  Bags under my eyes and flat-out tired.

Not the best working conditions for art making, but I forged ahead.  I had painted a little this morning and finished up tonight.

I think this is it for faces.  I’m done. Finito. No more-o!

We have more family here tomorrow.  Hopefully my son will sleep through the night tonight and I will figure out what I am going to do tomorrow…tomorrow!

Good night!

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Say hello to my little friend Lucy!

Shame on me for not meeting her sooner, but I finally made it to Forest Hills/Queens to meet her!

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You see, I call Heather one of my college roommates, but technically, Caryn and I were roommates and Heather just happened to always be sitting on our couch.  So, Heather was our by-proxy roommate. I also knew her husband in college.  He lived in a dorm of mine at UCONN.  It is said that I introduced the two of them, but that was so long ago…who knows.  What I do know is I did think they should date in college and they both said “ICK NO!”.  We graduated, got jobs, moved all over the globe and somehow, the two of them reconnected. Ten years later, they weren’t so icky to one another…and then they fell in love :)

Don’t you just love happy endings?

It’s pretty cool because I’ve known them a long time and now they are both in my life.

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and now Lucy is in our lives too!

So Lucy is set to be a little City kid. We saw her library, school, playground and neighborhood today.  She is going to have some wonderful adventures!

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I gave Lucy the poster I made for her, but since there weren’t any lights, rattles or movement, she sort of lost interest.  Mom and Dad liked it though!  It’s red and yellow which tied in with Lucy’s bedroom perfectly!

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Heather and I got manicures from my daughter today.  Each of my nails had a different design and heather got ladybugs.  My daughter thinks Heather is the coolest person she ever met.  I wonder if that was because she had a bowl of Doritos and Oreos waiting for the kids when they got there.  That is the best!

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Lucy summed it up.  It had been a long weekend and it was time to go home.

We gave our new little friend hugs and kisses and said goodbye to our dear old friends too.  I sure love spending time with them.  Next time I see Lucy she’ll be running and hopefully it will be in a bathing suit at my house!

Thank you for a wonderful visit and congratulations Heather and Jay.


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I write to you from the highway, The New Jersey Turnpike to be exact.  My husband hooked up this little gadget that gives me internet access in our car, but it’s a bit sketchy at best.  This is why I will try not to over-write and I shall make this quick.

We are on the road.  We just went to the end of the turnpike to visit my husband’s grandmother and now we have changed course and our driving to Hackensack to visit his cousin and aunt.

The image above is a special drawing I have been working on for tomorrow. Tomorrow we will travel to Queens, NY to visit one of my college roommates.  Heather just had a baby girl named Lucy.  I actually began my 365 at their place one year ago.  I went out with them for New Year’s Eve and posted from their living room the next morning. It seems fitting I shall see her in my last few days of my creative 365.  In the course of this year baby Lucy was born.  Heather told me I couldn’t meet the baby unless I created her a piece of art! Thanks Heather, no pressure!

Now Lucy’s room has a Sesame Street theme from what I hear, but if I am going to put time into this endeavor, I want it to last a little longer than toddlerhood.

I decided to create a “Look and Find” poster for Lucy’s room.  It has around 16 Baby Lucys to find as well as a multitude of New York City famous landmarks.  I was hoping as she goes to sleep at night she will ask all sorts of questions about the images and mom and dad will have plenty of stories to tell her about their travels and experiences.


Of course this one has taken me quite a bit of time which is something I haven’t had any of this holiday season!  I just want my college roommate to know I spent quite a few hours past midnight slipping time in here and there.

I sketched it in pencil, this morning I converted it to ink and by tomorrow I plan on having it fully water-colored for our visit.

I sure hope it turns out well.

Huh, I sort of feel like one of those fairy godmothers from Sleeping Beauty.  You know, the ones that come bearing gifts.

Really Heather, I couldn’t just stop at Baby Gap?  Just kidding.  I would take making a handmade gift over a store-bought gift any day!

So that’s it for now. I’ll probably be painting it around midnight when we get back to my moms tonight.

But regardless, I look forward to meeting this little angel!

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Santa Claus came!


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There were treats and goodies everywhere. we even had some friends stop by for cocoa!


But alas, we had to put everything down and go and get ready.

My Auntie in New York is having a super Christmas pajama party.  There ought to be a couple dozen of us in our jammies.  I can’t wait to see my family.

I will leave you all to enjoy your day with a favorite family quote:

“Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp” -The Grinch by Dr. Suess

“Yay Yay  it’s Christmas day!” – Be Creative Mary :)




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I have to say, I really didn’t like either of yesterday’s faces.  They were weird and although I am actually trying to go for weird they weren’t cool weird they were recycle bin weird.

Following yesterday’s disappointment, I thought it a good idea to scrap the spontaneous painting and go with a little more structure.

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With all the previous heads, I’ve simply added paint to the paper, swirled it around and began to look for the faces in the paint swirls.  For today’s paintings, I paid closer attention to the negative & positive spaces.  I knew I wanted them colorful, but I tried to show a little restraint and use some neutrals for the faces and the color for everything else.

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I’m a lot happier with the outcome.  They are quirky, strange little 7×11″ watercolors. I think they’d make a fun hallway.  I want you to look at them and wonder things.

Now that I’m back on the right track, these are my favorite from this series thus far:

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OK. It’s Christmas Eve and I can’t check out without mentioning this special day.

I think I like Christmas Eve way better than Christmas Day.  The day is filled with giddiness and excitement. The kids hung their stockings, they sprinkled reindeer food all over the front yard, we made cookies for Santa and finished off the night snuggling on the couch watching The Christmas Story.  It was quiet, calm and just the 4 of us.  It was a gift.

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I thought this was cute.  My daughter left Santa a note: “Dear Santa, whose cookies are better mine or my mom’s?”

I’ll have to tell you tomorrow which Santa preferred… :)

To all of you a Merry Christmas.

Whatever your religious disposition, gather and hold your families tightly.  When we push aside all of the crazy capitalism, thinking of others and creating memories can be a beautiful thing.


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I don’t know what I was thinking painting a face with blue paint, but that’s just what happened to come out today!   The other figure looks a lot like my Cabbage Patch Kid from the 3rd grade!  I decided I am going to create a whole bunch of these little figure studies and put them all together at the end. Here is what I have thus far:

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I may have to work a little bit on cohesiveness.  I’m not really seeing how these tie together!  I better start thinking before I continue.  Create a theme or vision of some sort.

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On a busier and more merrier note, we have been feverishly preparing for our Christmas festivities.  Today is our wrapping, and labeling day.  I helped the kids during the day, but my husband and I will be up for hours tonight helping Santa :)

My son is sick. He’s been coughing and has had a fever for the past three days.  I just found out there is a confirmed case of strep from his classroom.  I am still on the fence, does he have an old-fashioned cold or something worse?  His throat is giving him too much trouble.  It’s mostly a fever creating lethargy.  Murphy’s Law will decide it Christmas morning.  That’s just how it goes!  Unfortunately I have been tanking up on vitamin C.  I am on the cusp of some kind of cold myself, but I have dodged it for an entire week now.

Come on UNIVERSE!!! I can be sick on January 1st.  I’ll sit in a warm blanket and watch TV all day. It just can’t happen a minute sooner!


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It was nice. I finally found a little time to relax this weekend. In Fact, I even took a nap!  It felt good to decompress. Somehow holidays have a way of getting me all wound up. As I worked on the figure above, I realized the mouth area had this menacing dark patch of paint surrounding it.  What better setting to create a venue for letting off steam!

I am continuing on with my little 7×11″ inch watercolors of faces. No one specific, they are more like color study abstracts that I paint faces on towards the end.


My husband snapped me in my Santa sweat shop. He said it’s a reminder of what they see every day.  It’s true, my journey has been through my own lens, not from those around me. There have been quite a few days where I end the day in the same P J’s I began the day in.  I have never seen myself as messy and disorganized as this year.  This I shall not miss and thanks for not documenting one of those days husband!

For the second half of my 365 challenge my art got larger and larger sometimes almost 5 feet in size. Reverting back to small works puts wind back in my sails, a spring back into my step, it seems to be the perfect remedy.


These little paintings are making me smile.

I’ve got a little one sick with a fever.  Not sure what tomorrow will bring.  I better rest up.

See you tomorrow!

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