Tuesday, November 13, 2012

north star

I read The North Star by Peter Reynolds to my daughter tonight. I know I have read it to her (and even myself) before. But today seemed like a good day to connect with that story. I'm not sure if she is just sensitive or classmates are really being mean, but more than once this school year she has told me about some events with tears in her eyes. It's hard to say just ignore them. Do what you think is right.

The story is about a little boy that is on a journey. He meets animals along his path that help him find his way, but remind him, their way is not necessarily his to follow. He helps little animals, that quickly scurry on by. He finds friends that are happy to stay where they are. But is reminded, he must move on and follow his star, his heart. One of my favorite lines in the book, among many others, is when he meets up with a bird after losing his way that says,
"Ask yourself where it is you want to go, and then follow the signs you already know."

We talked about the story and the star afterwards ~ and to my surprise, it was obvious, she made the connection, this was more than just a boy in the woods. I know I say it often, but I am so thankful for my muse ~ her eyes and heart share so much. ~ xo ~

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

bending back ~ a giving initiative

What do I LOVE about charity work = the heart. Listening to the volunteers, hearing the passion in their voices.
What do I dislike about pro-bono work = the feeling of not enough, that the annual report donated or logo designed won't make the impact to propel a cause forward. 
Well, I think that's is what Sharon of Bending Design, was thinking when she was dreaming up a team for the charitable initiative Bending Back. Not just giving a bit, but partnering and donating strategic creative services – including a brand identity redesign – to one LOCAL 501(c)(3) charity for a year.  The mission is to help each charity more effectively communicate their message, thereby making a more positive impact in the community. 
"After years of 'one-off' pro-bono work for non-profits, I knew there had to be a better way to provide a more sustained, long-term impact.  Since we've learned through our own business that with sharpened focus comes clarity and success, we decided to devote our energy to working with one non-profit organization for an entire year," explains Sharon Bending, President and Creative Director of Bending Design, and Founder of Bending Back.
In order to provide robust services, Bending Design is partnering with local talent including FloodlightDesign in Elgin (web development), Graphic Arts Services in Villa Park (printing), and Shutterwinks Photography in West Dundee.
Once the winning charity is notified, a kickoff meeting will be set and the project will occur in five phases:  research, strategy clarification, establishment of graphic identity, design refinement and development, and lastly, managing assets and launching the brand.
So if you have a cause dear to you or know of someone that does, be sure to check out details that can be found at Bending Back. Deadline for applications is November 16, 2012, and the winning charity will be notified on December 14, 2012. 
I'm (and the team at Bending Design) really looking forward to making a difference ! 

Friday, September 28, 2012

infusive associative thinking ~ cusp 2012

If someone ever tried to decipher my notes from a conference, thoughts from a client meeting, the margins of a favorite book or entries in my numerous sketch books ~ one might think I'm a bit all over the place. Well, confession ~ I am.

So when the first image on the screen at the Cusp Conference last week read:
"You are not normal."
I thought, good, I must be in the right place.
For the past four years, I’ve had the privilege to attend this thought provoking conference. I’m grateful, Sharon Bending, owner of Bending Design knows the importance of creative input and associative thinking. Feeding your brain, with seemingly unrelated ideas that might not impact the bottom line today or tomorrow, but stimulate broader, more creative thinking. Each year, I’m more overwhelmed and energized than the one before. The event put on by Greg Samata, Dave Mason and Kevin Krueger of smbolic - brings people from all backgrounds to talk about “the design of everything”.  With good reason this post took a week to conjure up, cusp takes a bit of time to digest ~ it is inspiring, aspiring and unbelievable.

Here are just a few reoccurring threads I heard from the presenters:
} A creative thinker doesn't just sit down and say, today I'm going to design something that will change the economical landscape, change how people interact with a product or make the most iconic painting. They just do their authentic work. 
} You may fail many times. Just keep moving forward and try to fail better. 
} Be humble : be human
} People might think I’m crazy, but maybe they are. 
} It's okay to be naive enough to believe that it might work.
} You can’t wait for the inspiration and passion.
What all these speakers had in common is passion, focus and the ability to see possibility in the big and little things, perceived and real. You must listen and see.

So, what happens within my fragments, doodles and phrases ~ trying to listen ~ I find parallels and patterns. A part of me would like to soak up all this inspiration and energy, bottle it and disperse as needed. I know it doesn’t work like that. But, this experience, among others weaves into my thoughts and actions each day trying to become more authentic and creative in my passions.
~ hope your autumn is inspiring ~

Friday, September 21, 2012

...things you would only hear at cusp

After two mind rattling days at the Cusp Conference, I have a whirlwind of inspiration to digest. Not to diminish the intellectual nature of the conference, I felt compelled to share just a few crazy statements from a few speakers that made me think, wow this is NOT your ordinary conference.
I will have a more introspective post soon. But these made me laugh:
~ ... it was 2 am and my lab-mates and I we're bored, so we decided to make a video. 
~ ... sitting is killing you ...so I got rid of all the chairs in my office.
~ ... enough of the someday SHIT!
~ ... I'll treat this how I treat my dates, I'll give it a go and see how far I can get.
~ ... I never felt guilty about watching gay porn. --- WHAT!
~ ... and here is the feather room.
~ ... embellish your evening attire with carrots
~ ... no Mom and Dad, I do have a real job
~ ... I observed, it has something to do with balls.
~ ... shut up slave, pay your taxes
~ ... if it looked like shit, I just gave it a glow.
~ ...so I dropped out of Princeton, because I was really intrigued by garbage.
Okay, all these completely taken out of context are really absurd. But sometimes when you give 27 speakers the mic for 25 minutes, you never know what they will say! More soon on the real heart and inspiration of the conference.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

color my world & another show

Show news: I'll be at ART ON MAIN SHOW in THREE LAKES, WI
Sunday, August 12th between 10 - 3. 
Looks like the weather will be perfect, and it's always nice to see my friends at my home away from home. Remembering the warm reception just a few years ago makes me smile.
I've been quiet, but busy ~ not necessarily with my jewelry, but trying to stay creative in the everyday, hoping the passion would come back. Finally, I can say indeed it's back. There are so many ideas bouncing around in my head right now. Different and even more vibrant ~ I'm liking it. Just wish there were more hours in my day. Don't we all. One overarching thread I've noticed in my new pieces is the mixing of textures and color. Here are a few new pieces.

and a few pieces in the works. Fine Silver, semi-precious stones, artisan created lampwork, leather, hand dyed silk ~ from the Deb's wonderful stash ~ wings and resin.

The Art and Soul in Elgin went well.  Jessica of mettleart
and I made our booth a homey boutique ~ conversation and lots of textural and visual stimuli greeted our guests. My little artist camped out beside the booth to create, when she wasn't wrecking havoc.
okay, time to head back to the table to tinker away.
Hope everyone is having a vibrant summer!
~ x o x ~

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

show this weekend - july 28-29

I'll be sharing a booth with Jessica of Mettle.art! She does the most lovely hand-painted up-cycled bowls. And I'll have my mixed-media jewelry and a few new collage pieces to show. Come visit us!

Monday, July 16, 2012

a new year ~ reflection

Celebrated another birthday ~ so grateful for my family and friends that joined in the perpetual week long celebration.
I always think of my birthday as a new year. New start and reflecting on the past 365 days. This past year was a very important year of changes and challenges.

Besides hot yoga, walking, biking and swimming - I ran this year! This was a real stretch. I was never a runner, even in high school. My initial goal was to run/walk once a week for a year ~ doing it! Then to run a 5K with my running club ~ check! A special thank to Suzanne Ness of Living Forward. When I started to see progress, my updated goal was 100 miles before my birthday ~ accomplished! Now for the next challenge, the MUDDY BUDDY race! coming up July 21st! Come out and cheer on Denise and I ~ team OWN IT!

I said it was my birthday, I didn't say I've grown up! I'm living it up, doing the things I love ~ roller coasters, concerts, watching friend's bands play, going on hikes, chasing butterflies and twirling ~ just because.

And as with any change, when times get hard ~ I try to remind myself to be gentle with the process and have faith. It seems that when I might not believe entirely in my decisions or feel a bit defeated, a feather graces my path ~ knowingly someone believes in me. This year the feathers have been abundant ~ thank you universe and above. 

So it begins. Another year ~ I'm ready. Transparent and light, as though I had wings.

Friday, June 15, 2012

forward frenzy

I've been busy at a pace that I know is not sustainable. Busy with social engagements, social media, "should" dos, taking on too many obligations and feeling like I'm devoting myself and my time to everything, but achieving nothing. A forward frenzy, created to combat the deafening stillness that creates despair. If I keep busy at a pace that seems productive, then I don't have to think or recognize the hurt and disappointment. I don't have time to care. I think I'm finally coming down from this self-inflicted cycle, with brief flashes of over doing, but I'm finding normalcy. Not a forward frenzy any longer, but a forward thinking, a relaxing into reflection. I'm relating it to the slowing down of a growing vegetable or fruit, like the strawberry above. Pruning the extra sprouts, plucking the premature flowers. The editing before the true bearing of fruit begins. If I don't do this, the plant will start to get "leggy" and unstable upon it's newly formed roots. I need to start the editing, before the true fruits are nurtured.
I need to stop filling my time with too many faces, places and things. I need to take the time to look in without getting lost in the disappointments of the past - and focus on the present. I need to edit the things that don't serve me. Editing and focus have always been a constant challenge, but I'm working on it.
Forward thinking, but patient in the present.
~ x blessings x ~

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same. happy birthday, guardian angel.

Friday, June 1, 2012

not the only one

The blog-o-sphere is such a wonderful place to find yourself and other kindred spirits.  I think some of the greatest inspiration and healing comes from comments made thousands miles away. Many times by someone that might not even know you. But connecting to the universe through the computer screen makes the world a little smaller. There is a comfort in knowing, besides the friends you connect with in person, there are other people out in the world that are a bit like you, C.S. Lewis says it perfectly:   
"Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another: "What? You, too? I thought I was the only one."

I have been following  Susannah Conway for awhile now, her gentleness with herself and genuine posts intrigue me. So when I heard she published a book, 'This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart' I knew I needed it. The day it arrived, I was at work but, I couldn't help but sneak a peek, opening the petite hard-cover and read "....when something bad happens that's big enought to make you question your entire life, all the other hurts... will come out of the shadows and ask to be healed too. It's entirely possible to squash your pain down and carry on with your life, but one day it will catch up with you... with an almighty rip, all your crap comes tumbling out." This one passage reminded me, I'm not the only one.
I'm devouring the book whenever I can, finding genuine reassurance and positivity among the pages. Writing down and thinking about the "assignments", that she calls reflections, planning on revisiting them shortly. And as if the generosity in the pages was not enough, she announced a Class Offer , Exploring the Senses, free if you purchase the book. It starts this week, June 5th, I'm looking forward to delving in a little deeper and exploring my world through heightened senses. Connect with me, if you would like to share in the experience.
grateful, thankful and blessed. ~xo~

Friday, May 4, 2012


As you may or may not know, my email was compromised a few weeks ago. My friend, Jessica  said it best when commenting on my fb status about the hack "nothing like feeling vulnerable and violated first thing in the morning, huh?" It's true there is a vulnerability putting yourself out there in the online world. 
I remember vividly when the hacker tricked me. It was an official looking email that stated yahoo was reviewing older accounts and would begin purging them off the servers if you did not verify the account by the end of the month. Panic set in, I had this account at least since '95. I have all my contact info there, all my receipts from past years stored neatly in folders, lists of resources tucked in one place. NO! I can't loose all this. 16 years of my life. Even now, I keep thinking, I can't believe I could be so naive. I should know better. And like that, I verified my email account. Just as I clicked okay, I knew it was wrong. 
It was a decision made out of fear. Fear of losing everything and a few weeks before taxes were due none-the-less. And so it did happen. I lost all my contacts, receipts, everything I gathered in that one place for years. 
I think many of us do similar things, react in fear, believe in the one option, keep doing the same old to avoid the unknown. I challenge you though to take a step back once and a while. Especially when the answer seems too obvious. Think of the options, what would be the worst case scenario and try not to make a decision base on convenience, the fear of the unknown or because it is more comfortable.
I've always loved this saying "Do what you fear most, then the fear is certain." 
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments or feel free to drop me a note at my new email address : clynstudio[at]gmail.com. 
By the way, it's been awhile. But I'm back.

Friday, January 6, 2012

one little word ~ 2012

And so the "one word" tradition continues... inspired by Ali Edwards, my previous year's words can be read here. My one little word for 2012:

I also added a few more charms, as little reminders.

Reflecting on 2011, I realize that the simplest, but most important things I value are truth and honesty. And to expect that from others, I need to find it within myself. So this year I intend to:
} remember my truth ~ trust it, without regret
} embrace my truth ~ even if it's sometimes ugly, it's mine
} follow through with my life, living out my truth
I guess you could say that Kelly Clarkson has my perfect theme song ;)

My truth is raw, different and not like anyone else ~ but that is what makes me... me.
Tell me, do you have one little word for 2012?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 ~ happiness & truth

For last year's words belong to last year's language.
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
{T.S. Eliot}