Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Overjoyed {Day 2}

All I can say is Wow. 

I have been told throughout my life that if you just put yourself out there...your ideas, your truth, your passion, your whole heart...if you do that over and over and over again, that someday all that goodness, all that energy will come back to you ten-fold.

Yesterday I realized there is truth in that statement.

 I am so overcome with joy and happiness. This 31 Day Challenge has become so much more than I ever could have imagined {and it's only Day2!}

From reading your blogs, to seeing your projects to a phone call received last night from a friend taking the Challenge here in town...just seeing and hearing and feeling your excitement is nothing short of amazing to me.

It shows me that when you are passionate about what you do... When you sincerely give your whole heart to something good things do happen. It may seem silly to some people. Maybe even to you. I mean it's not like we're solving World hunger here or finding a cure for cancer. But we are trying to better ourselves. We are a community of women who are filled with passion and love and support for one another. If only we could take all this energy and bring it out into the world. Then, maybe we could, at long last "love one another".

Thank you girls for putting your whole hearts into the first day of the Challenge. Just think of the positive force you will be in your own lives by the end of 31 Days!!!

Speaking of positive force I would like for you to meet Soraya. I was fortunate to find her during Kelly Rae's e-course. She has become a good friend and mentor to me.


Soraya, I was blessed to find your blog via Kelly Rae's Flying Lessons class. I fell in love with your art!! Just beautiful. Tell us what you do and can you share some of your work with us?

Thank you so much Leslie! I paint mixed media art (acrylics, oils, pen, collage). As you can see, my art is very female-centered and speaks of the many aspects of the female SOUL; empowerment, courage, wisdom, grace. Yet I also address the broken parts of ourselves-the fears and vulnerabilities-that make us human. I believe it is when we acknowledge and share all parts of ourselves and our journey ; therein lies the power .  I put my heart and soul into my art-every piece becomes a part of me. Nothing makes me happier than when I have touched another person’s heart with my paintings. I strongly believe in the power of storytelling; an ancient ritual found cross culturally. It is through our stories that we learn, share, grow, celebrate, love…live. Each one of my paintings tells a story of the deepest parts of ourselves. Of what it is to be fragile, vulnerable, joyful, hopeful…of what it is to be human.

How long have you blogged? What has the experience been like for you so far?

Leslie-I have an interesting blogging  story that I would like to share! I actually set up my blog about 2 and a half years ago but I only wrote my first post at the start of this year! Sure I had so much going on in my life-I had just got married and  my husband deployed to Iraq a few months later. Then we had our first baby and moved across the country. But the real reason I didn’t start blogging until recently is because of deep fears and insecurities. What would I have to say? Who would want to read it anyway? and on and on. Also, blogging seemed so…vulnerable and raw. I tend to be a private person and exposing myself in this way was pretty scary But at the start of the year, I decided to push past my fears and let go of those insecurities. So far, blogging has been such an amazing experience. It has encouraged me to be more creative in so many ways. It has also given me the opportunity to hone my writing and photography skills. However, by far, the most important gift that blogging has given me has been the gift of community. I have met so many wonderful, kindred souls that have been so kind, loving and supportive.  And I have been exposed to the most amazing ideas, photos, art, writing…it has been a gift and a blessing! I can spend some serious time reading blogs!

I know from reading your blog daily you have some exciting things planned. Can you share them with us? When can we expect to be able to purchase your work?

  Well, I have wanted to start a website, sell my art on Etsy etc for quite some time and after taking Kelly’s Flying Lessons I decided to just go for it instead of waiting for the “perfect time”. I am setting up my website (myself!!) on Squarespace and planning on selling my art (prints and originals) on Etsy. Hopefully I will have all of this set up for sometime in August. I will post it on my blog. You can take a sneak peek at my website here but please keep in mind that it is not complete yet!

Do you work outside the home? How do you manage your creative life with your day to day activities along with being a Mom?  

Great questions Leslie! How do I balance motherhood and painting? I will let you know when I figure that one outJ
No, I don’t work outside the home but I have 2 full time jobs! Taking care of Tara is priority #1 and then after she goes to sleep, I paint, blog, work on my business stuff! Sometimes I stay up until 2 a.m. and then get up again at 6!! It is very difficult, as we all know and I still have tons of  internal conflict over my decisions. Should I just put off my art business completely until she gets older? Should I stop blogging for now? Should I should I should I…But at the end of the day, I try to work it out. I strongly feel that it’s great for my daughter to see me following my dreams; hopefully one day she will follow hers as well. I go through overwhelm, mommy guilt, “how am I going to do all this?” and on and on…But I try to take small steps and plod on.  Some practical tips though-I don’t watch any T.V. at all , if I get 6 hours of sleep a night I consider myself lucky, I have a  really supportive husband and I really schedule my time ( can we say multi-task!!) . It really comes down to being committed to my art and putting in the time. Most days I am really aware of how lucky I am that I can be there for my daughter as well as paint. Both fill my heart with the most incredible joy.

You are so inspirational to me. So peaceful and a gentle soul. What are your 3 favorite inspirational books?

Thank you so much Leslie! My husband would certainly laugh at the “peaceful and gentle soul”-I have some fire in my belly let me tell you!! I have tons of favorite books but these top the list every time.
1. Women Who Run with the Wolves-by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I was blessed to read this book when I was about 21 and I continually look to it for wisdom, grace, empowerment. It is more than a book to me-it speaks to every part of my soul. It gives me strength, solace, wisdom, power, insight…every word is a prayer. Masterfully written from “one who knows”. It speaks to every aspect of a woman’s life and psyche.
2. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran –another book that is so powerful it cuts across all barriers and …is a soothing balm to the soul. Every word is truth, grace, wisdom. At times in my life when I have been broken wide open by joy or pain, this is the book I most often turn to.
3. Anything by Joseph Campbell…his work on myth and the hero’s journey speak to me deeply, deeply, deeply. I  fully believe that we are all heroes…on this journey of life. I think that life requires that we be courageous… that we have heart, kindness, compassion,  love and strength. His words speak of all these things and so much more.

What else would you like to add?

  I would like to thank you so much for giving me this opportunity Leslie. I really love your interview style-you ask questions that reveal the person as well as their craft. Thank you so much-you have been so gracious and supportive. This interview has been a lot of fun!

**Please stop by Soraya's Blog today!!! Here is the link:) 

Yesterday I spent 30 minutes or so in my art space. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do until I got there and suddenly the inspiration to scrap just hit. First I gathered all my supplies...

A photo album with Em' baby pictures, a cute 6x6 album, brads, papers and letter stickers. Before I start any project I like to take time going through my supplies to get a feel for where I want the project to go.

Here are the pages I created...

Keep in mind whenever I work on mini albums I create very simple pages. The idea for me with these smaller albums is to just get the memory down not so much about design.

I also love using up all the bits and pieces I have laying around!!

I also continued working on this piece I'm creating as part of the "Artistic Mother's" Group.

I painted the background then attached the punched out butterflies to make an "L". I will show you the end result later in the week.

**A reminder**

Be sure and check the Words of Me Facebook Page for today's Creativity Challenge {or look below} and other inspiration.

Challenge #2:Pick out 3 words you love. Throughout the next few days let these words really sink their teeth in you. Take time to think about what they truly mean to you. then I want you to create "Word Art". Choose a canvas, a piece of cardstock, maybe a sheet of notebook paper, even fabric and CREATE a masterpiece us...ing your thoughts and feelings involving your word. Be sure and post in your own blog if you want!!

What are your plans for Day 2? What did you do on Day 1?

Today I am cooking, from scratch spaghetti sauce!! I better get to it!! I will have photos:)


  1. Dear Leslie-thank you SO much for the interview-it was a pleasure. I just popped in to tell you I am going to try to take your 31 day challenge and...I saw the interview! Also-I was wondering if your daughter is going to join you in the challenge-this is such a great parent/child exercise! I can totally see myself doing this with Tara-children are so naturally creative and can teach us so much. Thanks again Leslie for all your kind words and support. Also-I hope you found the current Sommerset mag!

  2. P.S. I love your baby scrapbook pages. They are going to be a treasure that can be passed down through the generations. I also love your 3 word exercise. My fave word (from Flying lessons) is JUJU!! I try to use it at every opportunity:)
    A suggestion: maybe you can consider writing a book (yes YOU!!) incorporating these creativity exercises??!! Something to think about.

  3. Great post, great interview, GREAT LESLIE!!! I can't thank you enough for the inspiration to create every day . . . yesterday I allowed myself to have FUN - and it was AWESOME! Can't wait to see what's in store on the creative front today! Love this whole thing!

  4. Wonderful post and interview! I loved everything about it and really enjoyed your scrap pages. I really love being inspired by your challenge too, Kristin xo

  5. Great interview!! The artwork is gorgeous!! I also LOVE your butterfly "L" ;) I'm still working on my inspiration board- We've been redecorating our game room so all of my scrap stuff is unorganized :( Going to start thinking about what I want my 3 words to be. I'll check back in with you tomorrow! ;)

  6. hey Leslie, I loved the interview and the project is so inspiring. Can't wait for the update on how your sauce goes :)

  7. hi esie...is this 31 day challenge yours???i was hoping if i coud do some of them....i am not quite sure of the story, but would ove to give some a try...can you help me please...????ove your butterfy work so far too,....i love butterfies...xxx

  8. did you notice my "l" doesn;t work all the time...need a new keyboard...lo...xxx

  9. loving hearing more about one of our fellow flyers! Soraya, your work is incredibly inspiring. I am so happy that you have been able to allow your art to fuel motherhood and vice versa. Well done!

  10. Very inspiring interview and i am a huge fan of Soraya's work! She is really amazing and wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this! Have a lvoely merry happy day and love to you!


I appreciate your thoughts and ideas...they inspire me!! I will be visiting you soon. Have a CREATIVE day!!

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