The new site is up, and that's where you can find me from now on! If you try the link and my site does not come up, hit refresh on your browser.
I can now officially share some BIG NEWS, and what I am most excited about in this moment is that once I spill the beans I can then share what these last few weeks have felt like ~ the few weeks when I've had to keep this on the down-low while I waited for all the details to be finalized.
The news is this ~ in November 2011 my next book ~ a book about inspiration and intentions ~ will be released by North Light Books. I submitted a proposal for the book last April, and after a number of revisions, adjustments and re-arrangements, it was finally presented to the powers that be and given a green light for publication. I got word last month on a Friday, and within a few days all the details regarding deadlines, permissions, and file formats were sent to me, the basic message being "Time to get to work!" The contract was finalized last week, which means it is, indeed, time to get to work, and I can now let this piece of news fly freely.
I'm not quite sure where to begin sharing my feelings about this project, so I'll start with the word that most everyone who was let in on this little secret used when I told them about it: HUGE. It always went something like this:
Me: "Hey, guess what? It looks like I got a book deal."
Other Person: "Really? That's HUGE!"
I always followed this with an explanation about having to wait for the contract to be finalized before I really celebrated, feeling like everyone thought it was strange that I wasn't jumping up and down like a little girl who's about to get a new puppy. But it wasn't only my cautious side taking the reins, there was ~ and still is ~ a part of me wanting to savor this news quietly. In other words, this period of time I've had to let it sink in slowly has been incredibly precious, because it gave me time to really consider what it means ~ for my life, career, and self ~ to secure a book deal, which is an accomplishment that I think is often held up as one of the penultimate achievements in the blogosphere.
The term book deal has been synonymous with success, validity, and recognition ~ one of those pursuits that carries such a heavy burden of expectations that I have felt downright wary at times of my desire to pursue having another book published. I have taken time now and then to check in with myself, to explore what was motivating me to create and submit one book proposal after another (lest you think I just hit a home run on my first try, this is the fourth book proposal I have sent in as many years.) There were some days when I had to admit my intentions weren't altogether pure ~ when I had to admit part of my desire was to keep up with one person or outshine another, or because I felt like I was in a race against time and I simply had to make something HUGE happen. I had those days, and I had to face them openly and honestly, had to stop what I was doing and remember what I so often forget ~ that a book deal doesn't come with a certificate that says, "You have now MADE IT, and are hereby granted a permanent, profound contentment with your life. Well done!"
Instead, this is what this opportunity has given me, and what I've been pondering since last month:
* Responsibility ~ To North Light, to my editor, to the magnificent women who agreed to contribute to the book (who you will meet soon), to anyone and everyone who might pick up this book and read it. I have a job to do, which is to create the best book I can create, and give something to the world that is positive and inspiring.
* Humility ~ This is an incredible opportunity, and I am honored North Light decided to invest in this idea. I don't see this as a gift that was handed to me for any reason other than I have worked very hard in this industry ~ for fifteen years now ~ and the only way I will continue having opportunities like this is if I keep working hard. Remember my favorite quote from Jenny Doh? She said it perfectly:
"The lesson I've learned through it all is this: Work hard. ALWAYS WORK HARD. And always be committed to quality and attention to details. Because when you do, you create a foundation of credibility that can weather anything ~ a foundation upon which you can construct with unbridled imagination, your destiny."
* Gratitude ~ I get to write a book! And work with a circle of amazing, extraordinary women who are granting their time, attention and inspiration to this project! And I won't have to write, create, edit, format, press check, pack, ship, distribute, market, promote and sell this book all on my own! I loved publishing Ordinary Sparkling Moments myself, but let me tell you, I am thrilled beyond belief that I now get to collaborate with North Light. That is what feels HUGE in my heart right now ~ gratitude.
* Trust ~ I don't think I have ever set forth on a new creative journey feeling as expansive and open as I do right now. This book is going to come together perfectly, and I know that even though ~ believe it or not ~ I do not have an especially detailed vision of what this book will look like. I don't feel like I am taking a hammer and chisel to a piece of rock, which I need to shape into a form already worked out in my mind, as much as I feel like a channel, where I am taking in a million pieces of light and letting them tell me where they want to go. And if I do my job, then ~ voila! There will be a book. My job is to serve the book, and the book will guide me. I trust its voice; I have already heard it.
And with that, it is time to get to work, because the first two chapters are due in less than two months."Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so." ~Belva Davis
I feel like I am now sliding along the backside of summer, where a fall season filled with all kinds of goodness awaits me. I experienced a brief spell of overwhelm for a few days last week, but managed to settle my mind down a bit by spending some quality time with my calendar and sorting things out. Knowing the majority of the plans I make will likely unravel more quickly than I can say yoga pants, it still helped to work on some much-needed priority setting. I can't share all the news there is to share just yet, so I'm now savoring this time of anticipation before I can shout everything from the rooftops.
In the meantime, here's what I can tell you:
* Trust the Mess ~ A weekend workshop with Sabrina Ward Harrison ~ is now beyond the halfway point with registrations. In other words, there are only 7 spaces left. If you want to attend this magical event, the time to register is now. Click here for all the details.
* My latest essay is up in The Wish Studio.
* Save the Date! My next show will be at my studio in Venice on Saturday, October 23, 2010. My work will be hanging alongside Gus Harper, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Trevor Meeker and Lisa Occhipinti. I know ~ WOW!
* It also must be said ~ the Yoga Pants comments? I am loving these beyond words. I think this might have to turn into a video post. Reading them aloud has been hysterical! I bow to you, dear readers, you are magnificently funny and creative!
A quick reminder about my show this Saturday, July 17th. There is going to be great wine & hors d'oeuvres, a DJ and plenty of beautiful artwork. A number of you have asked about pieces I've posted here and many of them will be on the walls this weekend. I hope to see you there!
This is going to be a difficult entry to keep concise, as there are so many beautiful threads that have been woven together to create this story that I can hardly separate them. The best way I can summarize this is to share that this studio has bestowed yet another gift to me, which is a confirmation that no matter how much I try to plot, plan, analyze and wonder about anything, life has a way of unfolding in more magical arrangements than I could have ever imagined.
I have been a fan of Sabrina Ward Harrison's work for many years, and despite the fact that we have been orbiting around one another - with a number of mutual friends between us - this entire time, we never met. Even though I always liked the idea of connecting with her, there was something that told me we would find our way to each other in our own way, and that this needed to happen as organically as possible. It was just a feeling, and I've honored it all these years.
Not long after I moved into my studio, certain events transpired and suddenly the urge to reach out hit me. So I did, and it turns out this was the moment that had been waiting for us all these years. Call it a strange confluence of available space and a connection that came right out of left field, bounced of five different walls and somehow landed in our laps. I can't explain it any other way.
Because of this new connection, I am very excited to announce that I will be hosting Trust the Mess, a two-day workshop with Sabrina Ward Harrison in my Venice, California studio next month. Sabrina and I invite you to join her in a magical space that has re-awakened my deepest creative energies and inspired me to move in many new directions. I am honored and delighted to be part of what I know will be an extraordinary gathering with Sabrina. All the details are below ~ we look forward to seeing you!
Trust the Mess
A Weekend Workshop with Sabrina Ward Harrison
Saturday, August 21 and Sunday, August 22, 2010
11:00am - 4:30pm
SPACE IS LIMITED: 16 participants maximum
$445 per person if registered by August 6, 2010
$700 per person after that
Spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. To register, email me at email@example.com.
August 10, 2010 Update: Registration is now closed and the workshop is SOLD OUT. If you would like to be among the first to know about any future workshops, send me an email. Thank you!
Here's a little commercial for my recently released line of clear stamps, available exclusively at Crescendoh.com. I have never had any experience with clear stamps before now, and I have to say that they are crazy fun! I have only experimented with a few tiny projects so far, but wanted to share them here. I'll continue posting images as I try new things. I took all three sets to my Book in a Day class at Squam Art Workshops (SAW) last month, and they were a big hit.
Shown above, starting in the upper right corner and going clockwise:
* Hand-stamped envelope - I also added a butterfly to the lower right corner of the envelope
* Small clear stamp block - I got a set of three sizes of the blocks at Jo-Ann Fabrics
* Hand-stamped muslin gift bag
* Turquoise stamp pad
* Set of small cards I gave out at SAW last month. Cards are about 1" x 2"; I applied vintage book pages and a thin layer of acrylic paint, then stamped an inspiring message from my Ordinary Sparkling Sentiments Set.
* Medium clear stamp block
* Handmade flat notecard, pictured below
* Everyday Expressions Set
* A second handmade flat notecard, pictured below
Have you tried the stamps? If so, I'd love to see what you're creating with them!!
[Beautiful Mess Inside :: To see the progress of this piece, go here.]
"If I'm going to do something that could be provocative or artistically relevant, I have to be prepared to put myself in a place where I feel unsafe, not completely in control. I have no fear of failure whatsoever, because often out of that uncertainty something is salvaged, something that is worthwhile comes about. There is no progress without failure. And each failure is a lesson learned. Unnecessary failures are the ones where an artist tries to second guess an audience's taste, and little comes out of that situation except a kind of inward humiliation." ~ David Bowie
In the midst of all the adventures I'm currently having in the studio, much goodness abounds...
* My latest essay is up in the Wish Studio.
* Many of my latest creations will be up for grabs at a show at my studio Saturday, July 17th, 2010. The show will be that evening - details forthcoming!
* And I apologize for teasing, but an insanely exciting development for the studio is taking shape and I'll be announcing it right here at the beginning of next week. I'm giddy!
In a sea of so many extraordinary stories, this might end up being my favorite. So many threads came together to weave a story I still can't quite believe happened. This 100 Books Journal Entry is featured in the current issue of Somerset Studio. You don't want to miss this one.