DIY

Foot Powder? – The Best Deodorizing Foot Powder!

Are you looking for the best deodorizing foot and shoe powder?  I found myself Googling foot powder a few months ago.  My daughter was in Boston dealing with lots of snow, heavy layers of clothing, and several pair of boots, that were great in the cold, but too hot sitting for hours in a lecture hall.  I told her to make sure to put some foot powder in her boots so they would stay fresh smelling.  (I grew up in the north. I know what can happen to boots over a season.)  She asked me what she should buy.   Hmmmm -it’s been so long since I bought it, I’m not really sure. The nerd in me decided to do a little research online and see what she should pick up.  That’s when I stumbled across Rocket Pure.

 

foot powder - managedbymom.com
My Daughter’s Winter LL Bean Boots

What caught my attention and made me visit their website was the fact that they use natural ingredients in their  deodorizing foot and shoe powder.  I consider myself “natural-ish”.   I try to use natural ingredients whenever possible, but I buy what works the best.  To this point I had always bought foot powder for shoes like Dr. Scholl’s, but I was intrigued. I read the product information. Here is what their website says about the foot powder:

Natural Lemon Deodorizing Foot Powder – Rocket Pure

“Fights foot and shoe odor, freshens feet, sports shoes, and sneakers. Deodorant powder can go directly on feet, or in shoes and socks.  Made in the U.S.A. of natural ingredients, no harsh or toxic chemicals, paraben free. Made of cornstarch, bamboo stem powder and essential oils of cedarwood, clary sage and rosemary. Rocket Pure Guarantee: 100% Satisfaction for the Lifetime of the Product, or 100% Refund or Replacement.”

Image from Rocket Pure Website
Photo: Rocket Pure Website

After reading the reviews it seemed lots of people liked the “lemon” scented powder. Lemon scented deodorizing foot and shoe powder? I don’t know. Doesn’t that seems like a strange scent? I decided to send an email to the company asking about the scents they had available and if they had samples. I had a response within hours from the founder of  Rocket Pure – Alex.  Talk about great customer service!

I explained I wanted to find some foot powder for winter boots, and although their lemon scent had great reviews, I couldn’t imagine it.   He said he would be happy to send my daughter a sample of a couple of the scents at school and she could see what she liked.  She had the samples within just a few days.  He even followed up with me via email that week and asked for my feedback on the product – positive or negative.  Okay, I thought, I’m already loving this company.  I hope the product is good because I wanted to buy it just because his customer service was so great.

My daughter tried the lemon and cedar scents, one a deodorizing foot and shoe powder and one a spray, for a week.  She really liked the lemon scent and said she thought the powder worked better than the spray for her winter boots.  I was really grateful that he had sent the samples because it saved me money, and the hassle of returning or exchanging a product she may not have liked.

foot powder - managedbymom.com
My Husband’s Running Shoes

We purchased the Lemon Foot and Shoe Deoderizing Powder for her in Boston and I decided to try the Eucalyptus Foot and Shoe Deodorizing Powder for my husband’s running shoes here in Atlanta. Both have worked great!  I am super happy with their foot powder!  The bonus for us is that, since the ingredients are natural, I’m sure we’ll also be using it all summer inside our flats (here is an article you may be interested in if you wear flats) and sandals because it can go directly on our feet, not just get sprinkled into our shoes.

I also bought the Tea Tree and Lemon Grass Natural Hand and Food Balm.   I like the clean scent of tea tree oil and the website mentioned it was great on dry heels (which truth be told we all get a bit of in the winter, right?)  I honestly haven’t used it on my feet yet, but promise I will try it soon.  What I have used it on is my hands, specifically  dry areas on the back of my hands, and around my cuticles to keep my nails looking nice. It comes in a convenient little tin, and when you open it you just have to swipe a little of it because it smells so nice and looks so smooth.  Its convenient and super moisturizing.

Anyone who reads this blog should know that I only share information here that I’ve personally tested.  I do not receive compensation for any of my opinions, and I’m very picky;)   Rocket Pure is really a great product.  The foot powder works great for northern winter boots, stinky running shoes, and it feels nice on bare feet.

If you haven’t tried Rocket Pure Deodorizing Foot and shoe Powder yet, and you’re a runner, have kids (or a spouse ) who are athletes, or have kids with sweaty little feet (LOL) consider giving it a try.  I love that it smells fresh and clean without heavy perfumes and that we are using natural ingredients and not a bunch of chemicals on our skin.   I also love that my laundry room, where everybody keeps their smelly shoes, doesn’t smell like a high school locker room anymore – bonus!

Here’s a link to Rocket Pure.  If you’re looking for some foot powder give them a try – and let me know what you think!

-Kate

 

2018 American Craft Council Show – Artists I loved!

The 2018 American Craft Council Show and Artists I loved!

Are you an art lover?  A crafter? A jewelry lover?  Have you been to an American Craft Council Show yet?  If not, you need to find one in a city close to you and GO! Here’s a link to find a list of show locations.

A close friend invited me to go with her to the “2018 American Craft Show” on Friday (going on all weekend at the Cobb Galleria Center in Atlanta) and it was FANTASTIC!  I’ve never been before.  This is not your run of the mill craft show.  I would consider this a high end art show with exhibits by incredibly talented, some very highly trained, and prolific artists from across the country.  There was something for everyone!  There were 230 artists/booths at this show and it was $13 for admission for the day.  For the price of a movie ticket my friend and I spent 4 hours viewing some of the most incredible glass, jewelry, furniture, ceramics, fashion wearables, fiber, wood and metal art pieces available and talking to artists.

I met several artists who’s work I really loved.  I hope to give you a taste of their art via this post.

CHIE HITCHNER:

The first artist I want to highlight is a woman whose exquisite hand-loomed wall hangings, with timeless and intricate designs, literally stopped me in my tracks.  I had  to get a closer look.  She is a textile artist named Chie Hitcher from Montgomery, AL.  I’ve included a link to her website below so you can view her biography and look at her gallery.  I just love her work!  When I asked her about her pieces and her process she had such a kind and quiet demeanor she simply drew me in. The amount of work that goes into each piece is mind-boggling!

Her exquisite wall hangings have clean and timeless, even modern, designs. They are incredibly beautiful and detailed and I found the colors she uses in many of the designs she creates to be very soothing.  Her process is painstaking.  The pieces she was exhibiting at the show were mostly made from silk fibers, but she also works in linen and wool.  She hand dyes all her threads, mostly with natural dyes that she creates with organic items like onion skins, and plants from her yard.  The threads are either dyed uniformly, or dyed multiple colors, in multiple stages.  The multiple colored strands, when added to the loom, gives the piece a variegated or polychromatic look.  Simply gorgeous!  It is hard for me to fathom the patience it must take to add each strand to the loom one piece at a time.  It can take months for her to complete a piece depending on the complexity.

Chie won an “Award of Excellence” at the American Craft Council Show in San Francisco (August 2017) for the piece she is standing with below, and was awarded “Best In Show” at CraftBoston Holiday (December 2017.)  The pattern in this piece reminded me a little bit of a quilt pattern, but this is far different, and much more time consuming than quilting.   The detail honestly must be seen in person.   It is impossible to appreciate the intricacies of this design from a photograph.   When the fabric is lifted you can see each tiny strand that was added to create the design on the front.  This is not embroidery by the way – this is all done on a loom.  Chie uses a  “technique called nuki-tori, a form of weave lacing where she manually inserts extra weft threads in the weave to create a design or image.  Its’ effect is often similar to that of embroidery, but the image is created during the original weaving process.” I believe she said it took her more than 3 months to create this piece!  When you get up close you can actually see designs within the design that are not visible from far away, or in this photo.

From her website: “Chie’s work is a modern reinterpretation of Japanese weaving and dyeing techniques that are hundreds of years old.  Many of her pieces use Japanese ikat weaving techniques including tate-kasuri, in which the warp (vertical) threads have been dyed more than one color prior to looming; weft kasuri, in which the multi-dyed weft threads are placed into the fabric with each pass of the shuttle; and zurashi-kasuri, in which these multi-dyed threads are intentionally offset from one another to create a dreamy effect or a specific design.”

UPDATE:  Chie Hitchner was one of two artists at the ACC Atlanta show awarded the “Rare Craft Award of Excellence,” which was sponsored by The Balvenie US.

You can follow her latest posts on instagram @chiehitchner.textileart or check out her website by clicking this link https://chiehitchner.weebly.com

KEN and JULIE GIRARDINI:

The second artist I want to highlight is actually a husband and wife team – Ken and Julie Girardini of Girardini Design.   I primarily had the opportunity to speak with Ken, as Julie was out of the booth when we stopped by.  However,  I met her briefly on our way out and I think it’s safe to say she has a great sense of humor and was clearly just as engaging at Ken.  I wished I’d had more time to stay and chat.  The couple have been married for 30 years.  That in itself is a beautiful thing;)

Above is a photo of Ken with the pieces that first caught my attention – to his left on the wall.  They are made of aluminum and the designs are created on the aluminum with acrylic that has been added in layers. Images are sometimes added between the layers and then more layers of acrylic are applied.  The result is modern, light, even ethereal.  Each piece is unique and can be purchased and hung separately, or they can be purchased in multiples and hung together to create a gallery wall as seen to his left.  I enjoyed the colors, complexity and organization that goes into this work.

Below is a photo I took from Ken and Julie’s website of one of Ken’s “Moving Series” image sculptures.  He did not have this piece at the show, but has several pieces online that I thought were incredibly unique.  They incorporate art and sculpture.  I  really enjoy color, design, organization in modern pieces.   The piece below has a little bit of all the things I like.

Wind Message

My friend noticed a bike wheel hanging on the opposite wall of their booth at the show.  Ken told us it was actually a modern bike rack he designed and sells on his site. I’ve taken a picture of the business card he gave me (below)  so I could share it here.  You can get a sense of the minimalist design – a modern and artistic piece that is both unique and useful!  What a great item to add to a small city apartment!  I think every apartment dweller in the city needs to consider one of these!  Based on some of the designs he had at the show, including the bike rack and a hanging rack, I asked Ken if he was by any chance an engineer.  He smiled and said, “Kind of.  I worked at NASA”.  It’s interesting how often art and science complement each other.

 

From their website: “Julie and Ken Girardini are the principal designers at their small studio in rural Maryland. They specialize in designing metal objects for the home: furniture, lighting, clocks, candleholders, as well as sculpture and fine art.  We are self-taught and pride ourselves on creating each and every piece by hand. We have deliberately chosen to make a living with our hands and minds and have done so for the past 28 years. Our primary medium is cold rolled steel, but we add curiosities like glass, brass, copper, paper and wood to keep it interesting.”

You can find more information about Ken and Julie and their designs on their website Girardinidesign.com

JEFF PENDER:

The last artist I’m highlighting from the show is Jeff Pender.  As we approached Jeff’s booth, but were still at a distance,  I could see white blocks, with a pop of color, stacked upon each other.  To be honest the Mom in me thought,  “I’m glad I don’t have small kids with me, they might knock them over!”  As we got closer it became clear they were a singular pieces of art – ceramic totems – incorporating multiple ceramic blocks that could each be turned 360 degrees, mounted on sturdy wooden bases.  Very cool!

As an art-lover, and and a mom involved in education, I thought these totems are not only interesting pieces for adults, but they would make an incredible interactive art exhibit for younger people.  How many times have you told your child, “don’t touch”?  I can hear my kids asking me to please buy one of these for our house.   I liked the minimalism and simplicity of the white ceramic blocks, along with the clean lines Jeff etches in black onto each of the blocks, and the pop of color the glass he embeds provides on other sides.

Jeff explained that some of his pieces are created almost like a puzzle.  As you turn the blocks there are points at which the lines of the designs, on the individual blocks, connect into a single design.  I  shared with him that I thought these would be great in a modern hotel…or even better…a display of them at Disney World! ( Kids LOVE interactive art).  He said  he was actually recently commissioned to create a custom piece for a hotel in the southeast region.  I think they are very lucky.  It’s going to be very popular!

Below is another picture of one of Jeff Pender’s “ceramic totems” taken from his website which I have included a link to below.    He also creates unique wall hangings and sculptures that can be seen on his site.

Interactive life-size Totem in motion. Made of clay, wood, steel, glass.

 

For more information about Jeff Pender here is a link to more of Jeff’s website and interactive totems.

There were many more artists whose work I enjoyed at this show.   I took cards from the booths of others I enjoyed but did not speak with and will be checking out their art online.  My friend found several folk artists at this show that she loved and purchased a beautiful piece for her home.   Everything at the show is cash and carry.   Cash, credit cards and checks are accepted.

I’ll definitely be at this show again next year!  Hope to see you there!

XO

Kate

The BEST Way To Get Rid Of Ants…and pictures to prove it!

So you want to know the BEST way to get rid of ants and you want proof?  Well you’ve come to the right blog my friends!

I currently live in the south, where there are more bugs than you can shake a stick at.  Unlike New England, where we freeze the crap out of bugs to make sure and kill a few million every winter, the south stays balmy enough to keep them all alive.  Lovely.

Can you see the little critters crawling up the side of the window moulding below?  (This was last week when the spring rain started driving them indoors.)  So, I’ve been in Atlanta a while now, and I clearly understand that the term is not “extermination” it is “management“.

Every three to four years or so a band of “Argentinian” ants finds there way into my house, and into my neighbor’s houses, (cuz Lord knows we don’t want anyone to feel left out).  These guys are teeny tiny.  I have tried every way to fix this problem over the years, from expensive professional bug treatments to home made Borax solutions I found on Pinterest.  I am finally an expert😉 and I have the photos to prove it.  Are you ready?  Above you see them?  Below you don’t! (Well, you can see a few dead ones on the paper if you look closely.)

I finally found something at Home Depot a few years ago called Terro Liquid Ant Baits.  Yes, the packaging says the active ingredient in these is from “Borax.”  But… buying a box of Borax, making a solution and soaking cotton balls, etc. was never this effective.  I promise. I’ve done it.  HOWEVER… you have to know how to use this stuff properly…so keep reading…because these directions are not on the package. This is a Managed By Mom (from experience) exclusive.

 

DO THE FOLLOWING AND ANTS DISAPPEAR!

#1.  When you see ants…don’t kill them!  I know.  This seems counterintuitive, but it’s important. Watch them.  Follow the trail to determine where they are entering the room.  This might take a minute or 10 minutes.  I promise it’s worth your time.

#2. Once you’ve figured out where they are entering (probably through a wall, a crack, a door jam) put down something you can throw away – I like wax paper.  Cut open one of these baits, and if it’s possible, dribble a little of the Terro liquid at the beginning of the trail right where they are entering.  You don’t want these suckers walking 20 feet cuz they leave pheromone trails which is how they follow each other…and probably how they keep finding their way to my house every few years.  In the photo above I put some on the tiles next to the window moulding which is why you see so many congregating there.

#3. As close to the entry point as possible put one or two of these bates with a little bit of the bait sprinkled leading up to it.  I don’t take any chances people.  Lead them to the poison.  Then wash your hands very well with soapy water, whether or not you think you got any on your hands.  (Sorry…Mom here…can’t shut it off.)

#4.  Now, spray a paper towel well with Windex and wipe all around the perimeter of the area with the bait – if it’s a wipeable surface. Think – you are creating an invisible fence.  Windex is one of the few things that can literally wipe out the ant pheromones they follow.   I’ve been told it’s the ammonia.  This way the ants only smell the bait and the pheromones left by other ants leading up to it.  Very few will wander past it.

#5. Now the hard part…walk away.  Yes.  Just leave it, because watching this will give only you the willies.  No lie – I get goosebumps watching this little suckers multiply as they make their way to the bait.  It’s like they send out a freakin’ SOS.  So walk away and let them eat.  They won’t die while their eating it.  They take it back inside their bodies to all their friends in the nest and wipe them out where they live. (Thank God, cuz I would not want to clean that up.)

#6 Within 24 hours you should see the number of ants dissipate and/or stop.   This year it took about 36 hours till I didn’t see a single ant.  A day and a half of goose pimples…wondering if they were gone..but they are!  Yippee!!

#7.  You’re not done yet.  Now you need to plug or seal that tiny hole, crack, door jam, or however they got in.   This year at my house it was literally a pin sized hole in the caulk between the tile and the window moulding.  So I sealed it.  Also throw away your wax paper and carefully wash off any residue that’s left with soap and water with paper towels and throw them away.  (You don’t want this stuff on a sponge you’re going to wash the dishes with.)  And wash those hands again. Then wipe over the area with Windex to erase any pheromones.

The problem should be over…at least for another few years.  But if (or when) it happens again – you’re ready!

Let me know how it works for you!

 

XO

Kate

5 Fun And Easy Ways To Use Decorative Paper from Paper Source

5 Fun And Easy Ways To Use Decorative Paper!

I’ve been looking for a piece of decorative paper to add to the black and white gallery wall I’m putting together.  I found this great printed piece at The Paper Source for $4.95 on Friday.  It is a pressed handmade paper, with a cotton-like consistency.  The piece was very large- 20X30 inches.  I really only needed an 8X10 piece and I was thinking, gosh, I hate to waste it.  What else can I use if for?  So, I challenged myself over the weekend to find other ways to put it to good use  and I easily came up with five fun and easy ways.

First, I cut the 8X10 piece that I needed and put it into the white frame you see here at the very left.  I took a wider shot so you can get the idea of where I’m going with this.  I’m using a combination of printed paper, fabric, and watercolor that I’m doing in black and white.  It’s definitely a work in progress.

I had a gift to wrap this weekend, and I thought, why not?  I only needed a small piece.  I wrapped it up, added a gold bow, and viola!  My second use is as a super high quality gift wrap!

When I cut the paper to wrap the gift I ended up cutting off some smaller pieces.  So, I decided for my third project to play around with slicing some additional thin pieces and burying them in some layers of encaustic medium for a 3 dimensional effect.  This piece isn’t finished yet.  I only put it in this frame to get an idea of what the finished product will look like and I definitely think it needs some additional interest.  I put it aside to work on when I have more time.  Art is definitely an iterative process.

The fourth project required me to break out my stamps.  I made a 5X7 decorative placard with some watercolor paper as the background and the decorative paper.  I used a stamp (I already had) and embossed it with gold embossing powder which you can read more about here.  (I am totally addicted!)  I added some metallic gold around the edge of the stamped paper with a Gelly Roll pen, let it dry, and put it in an inexpensive frame (Home Goods $7.99)  I think this would look cute in a dorm room, don’t you?

For my fifth project, I thought I’d try the paper on some greeting cards.  Again this is just water color paper and decorative paper, stamps, ink…and of course…the glasses are embossed;) I like the yellow borders on the first card, and although it doesn’t translate quite as well here, it really pulls out the gold in the decorative paper and makes the card look “happy”.  I was going to make the outer edges of the second card in black, but I liked the way the gray looked -just a little softer.  After trying to make some valentine cards for the guys a few weeks ago, I though this could be a good card to send to a fella’!

 

Here is a bonus project. (I bet we can easily come up with five more ideas!) I used a small piece behind a photograph I had in a modern picture frame.   I like it the way it gives the photo a more defined framed look.  I still love the pattern, but it might be a little busy for my family room.   Oh, no…it might be time to go back to Paper Source to find another piece of decorative paper.  Hmmm….I’d better put that on the calendar for next month…or I might never stop this challenge.

 

This was so much fun!  What projects have you done with decorative paper that you enjoyed?  Please share:)

XO

Kate

 

 

Valentine’s Day 2018

I can’t believe it’s already February!  Valentine’s Day is just around the corner…

I know there are two camps of people when it comes to this holiday, but I honestly love Valentine’s Day.  I always have.  I don’t believe February 14th is just about romantic love.  While it can be about romantic love, for us it’s also about the love we have for our family and our children.  It can also be about celebrating the love you feel for your best friends, and don’t we usually do something special for our child’s teacher on Valentine’s Day? I think it’s so much fun to have a day to celebrate the love we feel for all the special people in our lives.

Our family has always celebrated Valentines Day at dinner with our favorite little valentine’s – who are now definitely not so little anymore.  They are pretty much adults, and this year they are both very far away at college.   So, another first this year – my first valentine’s day in 22 years without any kids at home:(   Yeah.  I know what you’re thinking…stop that.

Our tradition has been to make a “fun” dinner that everyone agrees on and try to shape some part of it into a heart.  Heart shaped pizza became our staple.  Maybe it is at your house too?   And dinner has always, always,  been followed by a decadent chocolate dessert.  Because I also fall into that camp – Valentine’s Day must include chocolate.  This year I already know dessert will be a chocolate mousse pie by yours truly.  I’ll share the recipe and some photos in a future post.

 

So, without any kids at home I’m planning a little further ahead this year.  Since our kiddos will be enjoying their day at school, I’m putting together some Valentine care packages to mail so we can be with them in some small way.   I hope they’ll enjoy their treats from home and share with friends.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed,  I’ve scattered some simple card ideas throughout this post.  If you like one of them I hope you’ll find some time to make your own version – and please share if you do:)  I just used card stock, scrapbooking paper, stamps, a punch and a glue stick and got creative for an hour.  These are my favorites so far.  I had so much fun I’m definitely going to be making a few more!    I think I need to work on a few more “guy” cards, don’t you?

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!  And I hope it includes chocolate;)

XO

Kate

This little guy has been our whole family’s valentine for the last 13 years:)

Time for Change…

 

A quote was dogging me for months last spring.  I know you’ve heard it,  “The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates”  Over and over it appeared.  I felt like it was everywhere.

At the time I’d been volunteering for years with parents and teachers, trying to improve our large urban school district.  Unfortunately, anyone involved with public education today knows that means spending a lot of time in a “negative space”,  often speaking at school board meetings, and to politicians, who look at their computers while you’re talking, and pay more attention to parliamentary procedure than to the students and parents they represent.  It can be aggravating and disheartening – but students are important to me.  So I kept working.   And the quote kept appearing.  By October of last year it really had my attention.  I  committed it to memory.

I started to wonder if it was some kind of sign.  Maybe it was encouraging me to build something new in education? But what?  We had tried so many things in the past six years.   It was always one step forward, two steps back.  Ugh!  I call it the dance of educational frustration.

Then, a few chance meetings.  The first last summer with an artist on a trip to New England, and another, the following month, with a freelance writer while discussing an article. The positivity and excitement I felt during those discussions were so refreshing!  I started to wonder if it really might be time for me to make a change.  Maybe I needed to stop working in education?  But I had put in so much time and effort.  Part of me didn’t want to stop while another part was eager to work with such optimistic people in an encouraging space.

I can only imagine what I was feeling at this point was something akin to what it feels like to be in an abusive relationship.  I wasn’t happy.  I was tired of banging my head against a wall,  and yet I didn’t know how to quit.  I wanted it to work out.  In my case to make a positive difference in public schools in Georgia.  In my mind I think I knew it was time for change, and yet I kept showing up, hoping things would improve, knowing full well they wouldn’t.  I’m sure I’m not the first person to have felt that way.

Leaving started making sense to me, but I didn’t want to let people down.  I spoke to a few close friends about how I was feeling.  All the while that silly quote was bouncing around in my head.  How could I possibly focus on building something new and positive and when I was spending all my time trying to get school board members, who refused to listen?  I think at one point I actually said out loud, “OK. Talk universe. I’m listening.”

In my personal life my mother has been living with Parkinson’s Disease for the last 19 years. It has been a difficult and emotional journey.  Those of you who are helping to take care of parents who are ill while bringing up your own children (the sandwich generation)  know it can be stressful, especially when you don’t have siblings around to help share the burden. (I have to say here my husband and my kids have been amazing and patient and helpful.  I am very blessed.)

I have sadly, and sometimes angrily, watched my mother’s health deteriorate in more recent years.  Due to this, living a positive and creative life has taken on more importance for me.  I know life is short and precious. My mother, who is now  in a wheel chair,  often says I rush around too much. “You’re so busy! Just slow down!”  But, because of my experience with her disease I feel a sense of urgency about life.  I need to do things now, because someday, hopefully a long time from now, I may not be able to.

So during this time of raising my children, volunteering in education and helping take care of my mother I’ve spent any free time  I had working on creative projects.  Being creative has always been the way I recharge my batteries and renew my spirit.  It somehow allows me to think through even complex problems and come up with new solutions.  Maybe it’s just getting away from the actual dilemma and turning my analytical brain off for a bit.   I had always loved the ability to think outside the box and create something new.  And then it hit me… like a lightening bolt.  “The secret to change is to spend all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”  I had been building something new every time I had a spare moment.  In those moments I always felt positive and uplifted and I often wished I had more time to spend on it.  Ok, universe I hear you.  But, what was I supposed to DO with this knowledge?  Was this a path I was supposed to take?  And if so, how?

So I started by connecting with other creative women and asking questions and I’ve discovered that women are truly born creators.  For goodness sake we have the ability to bring human life into the world;)   Whether it’s having children, creating a home or pursuing a career -making something new is a part of who we are.  It’s in our DNA.  I think we all have it whether we believe it or not.  And there are countless ways to express it.  The creative moms I’ve met are filled with an energy and positivity that is catching and encouraging.  I never felt that dealing with school systems and governmental bureaucracy.

As I embrace this new path I’ve realized that being creative somehow feels like breathing to me.  I’ve found that some creative endeavors have been easy while others have absolutely taxed me.  I think the feelings we have are a kind of emotional roadmap.  Maybe it’s our soul, or some kind of divine spark,  trying to lead us in the right direction.  I know others feel the same way.  While I’ve moved on from some things I’ve tried,  I’ve become even more passionate about others, and I feel encouraged to dive deeper.  At the center of everything I have felt drawn to over the years has been the  manipulation of color and texture and making something new that didn’t exist before.

Being creative is a passion for me.   Even if I go a few days or a week without putting a brush to paper or wax to a board,  I find myself thinking about an idea, making a sketch, or noting some colors or patterns I’d like to try together.  These days I’m spending a lot more time on it.   I primarily work in encaustic and watercolor right now, although I still like to play with acrylic on canvas from time to time, and I’ve committed to making at least one quilt a year;) I’m sure there are other mediums I haven’t yet discovered that I will try at some future point.  (Ceramics maybe?)  I just know that somehow I’m on the right path.  I no longer feel negative and frustrated.  I look forward to getting up early in the morning, even on the weekends, making coffee and seeing what my day holds!  What I am spending my time on feels right. It makes me happy and I hope I will remain healthy enough to do it for a long time.

So, this year I not only hear Socrates words, I am embracing them.  I will “spend my energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” and see where it takes me.   It’s a totally new venture for me, and I’m equally nervous and excited to explore it.  I’m committed to being creative every day  – whether that means creating a piece of encaustic art, or watercolor, making greeting cards for my mother to sign to keep in touch with friends,  creating a new cookie recipe, building a headboard, or blogging about this creative life.  I’m going to focus positive energy on building it.   I hope this will allow me to connect with more women who are finding themselves on a new path.  Maybe we can encourage each other to build something new.

Below is a photograph of an encaustic piece I’m currently experimenting on with several types of ink.  I’ll let you know how it comes out in a future post;)

I wish you good health and creative thoughts!

XO

Kate

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