Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Art Studio Makeover: Part Two

In my last studio makeover post, I gave you a peek at the studio before and after the new paint was put on the walls. Since then I’ve been moving more items back into the studio. I’m very visual and though I sketched out a very rough layout, I really needed to get my hands on the tables, chairs, and other items in order to rearrange them.

Here is the new layout for my work area. I’m going with a large horseshoe layout. All of my clay and the tools that I use most often are closest to my primary work table. The other tables will hold encaustic supplies and mixed media painting supplies. My small sewing machine might also make an appearance.

Back Wall Work Area

Side Table for Clay Supplies

We spun my desk around so it faces one of the studio windows. That one small change makes the room feel even more open. The other day, as I sat at my computer, I was delighted to see a heron fly over head.

Center of Studio

The blue curtains are temporary. I’m thinking of switching to white curtains and tiebacks. I love how the studio looks in the sunshine. However, I need to close the curtains for an hour or two because the afternoon sun is very intense.

The large bookcase has been moved back to its usual spot on the front facing wall.

Front Facing Wall

I’m going to try out my armchair in this front corner. It feels kind of cozy near the window.

Reading Lounge

This is the sink room, also known as the “slop room.” This room is for baking and finishing clay, and photographing finished artwork.

Oven, sink, cabinets

Finishing Countertop

The completion of this post was delayed by a few days due to my schedule. Since I started writing this Part 2 entry, I’ve returned the storage shelves to the rear window seat, added a couple more items to the sink room, and expanded the “reading lounge.” I’ll share those updates in Part Three of this series.

I’ve also been enjoying reading about Monica Moses’ studio makeover adventures. She won a studio makeover contest. How cool is that? You can follow along here: Part 1 and Part 2


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Monday Reflection: Open Up To Life

WHEN YOU OPEN UP TO LIFE AS IT IS

When you open yourself to the continually changing,
impermanent, dying nature of your own being and of reality,
you increase your capacity to love and care about other people
and your capacity to not be afraid.
You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open.
And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression.
You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds,
from now until the day you die.
And you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities
to start doing things differently.

-Pema Chodron
excerpt from “The Pocket Pema Chodron”


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Monday Reflection: Begin The Journey

It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work,
and when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.

~Wendell Berry


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The End Times

“This is the end, beautiful friend, this is the end.”
-The End by The Doors

So you’ve probably heard about this little “event” that is supposed to take place today; the end times, the beginning of the end, or the rapture. In fact, as I write this, calamity should be coursing its way around the globe, beginning in New Zealand at 6:00pm local time. I didn’t realize that God conducted His business by time zones.

At first I was both amused and annoyed at all the attention this has received. Amused at people’s humorous take on these predictions, such as the CDC’s Zombie Apocalypse blog post (which does include beneficial information on preparing for a natural disaster), the Post Rapture Looting page on Facebook (absurd but not something I condone; looting is looting and not funny), choosing your song for the end of the world, and the Rapture Prank, which advises leaving clothes strewn about on the sidewalk as if someone just went “poof.”

My annoyance came at all the attention this particular group has received. I was concerned that the media and social networking promotion of this alleged event only reinforced this group’s beliefs. Then I thought of other extreme groups like Jim Jones and the Jonestown Massacre and how I would hate to see anyone who supports this prediction of the end times kill themselves. (The Jonestown Massacre was not related to an end times prophecy. However, I do believe one must be concerned about how someone potentially reacts when they realize the prophecy did not manifest itself.)

Maybe, then, all the attention is a good thing in an odd sort of way.

I’m not passing judgement on anyone for their beliefs. That’s supposed to be reserved for the Big Guy/Gal or whatever you choose to believe in (or not.) However, I’ve read that those who believe in this prediction plan to sit in front of their televisions watching the destruction. Another believer asked “Would you continue business as usual?”

Well, I have no desire to watch the destruction of others. My take away from all of this is to live life to the fullest. Express your love and gratitude for all that is around you. To me, that is continuing “business as usual.” I don’t think any ethereal entity wants us sitting around thinking about the end. We’re human BEings. We live, we love, we struggle. When the end comes, it comes.

And if this is the beginning of the end and the end is due to arrive in October, I ask that it wait until after my birthday :-0


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Art Studio Makeover: Before and After Part 1

The studio painting is done! Woo-hoo! I’m loving the color.

Now I’m dealing with the blank canvas equivalent. I call it empty studio syndrome. The new studio color is so nice and fresh that I don’t want to muck it up by hanging things on the wall and filling the studio with clutter.

I’ve been perusing Studio magazines, and the IKEA, Container Store, Home Improvements, and Solutions catalogs. I’m thinking about switching my regular work table for a work bench. My punch list has been written and I know I’ll be adding to it.

For now, I’ll share with you the nearly empty studio before and after pictures.

BEFORE

Rear Wall Studio Before New Paint

Studio Center Before

Studio Front Wall Before

AFTER

Studio Rear Wall After Paint

Studio Center After

Studio Front Wall After

I love how a fresh colorful coat of paint can transform a room. What do you think?

Looking for more art studio inspiration? Check out Libby Mill’s Studio Snapshot series. My studio was featured in this series in June, 2008


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I Don’t Have All The Answers

Life has an uncanny way of tossing challenges at us. Sometimes they show up once in a while. At other times they come at us one right after the other. The challenges I’ve faced in recent months felt like they came one after the other: health problems; a sick kitty, home damage during a long, hard winter, relocating my studio several times, surgery, preparing for repairs and painting, and then delayed repairs due to contractor schedules.

As they say “When it rains, it pours.”

Once the haze of frustration lifts and the pissing and moaning ends, I try to reflect on each challenge and understand why the particular situation happened. To be honest, I don’t always find an answer. I don’t know if there is supposed to be one.  Sometimes I don’t realize why things happened until well after the challenge has passed.

More often than not, the challenge arises from something beyond my control. And that lack of control over the situation makes it even harder.

One of the hardest things to do as a human is to give up control and to put the situation in another person’s hands, whether that be another human, or Spirit, or Universe, or Source.

For me, one of the other difficulties that I face in these situations is acceptance of the unknown. That is, not knowing why the challenge has appeared and being comfortable with that. I’m sure this is related to the control issue and our natural tendency to seek answers to situations that challenge us.

But do we always have to understand the “why?”

Dealing with challenges is a little easier as I get older. The phrase “There are things we can control and things we can’t” has become a familiar mantra.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I’m not sure it would be very good if I did. What would be the point of living if we knew all the answers anyways?

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