Every Artist was first an Amateur ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Returning to my Spinning

A treasured keepsake I found in Providence, RI
Perfect prop this morning!

It has been years, literally years,
since I have picked up my spinning!
I returned to my wonderful 
spinning wheel just last week
and I am falling in love with it
all over again!

I have had a Schacht Matchless Spinning Wheel
for ten years
and it is brand new!
It had become a piece of furniture
in my living room
that I dusted and polished every now and then!
Oh my ....

Say Hello to Rapunzel

I knew it was time to try and work with her again.
My granddaughter loves to play with the drive band
and spin the wheel around!
I want my wheel to be more than just a toy!
So I decided I was going to sit at the wheel one afternoon,
grab some fleece, oil the machine and
find my rhythm once more!
I sure did!
I truly had forgotten how wonderful
spinning your own yarn was.

A practice bobbin full of yarn

My whole desire to return to spinning
was to create my own unique yarns
for my Tapestry Weaving.

I have the fondest memories of
the Southeastern Spinning Guild
here in the Tidewater Area
(I'm talking about 20 years ago!)
We would rotate homes, bring our wheels,
fill the house with laughter, chatter and the sound
of wheels going round and round.
I had forgotten about that for awhile
and remembered while writing this post!
Oh the friendships that were formed back then.
Now it's all gone ... how we lose touch with others!
Life moves on and we forget!
I did learn a lot during that time,
and I do know that your spinning rhythm
doesn't disappear ... it returns with practice!!

For my birthday I purchased the amazing
My Tapestry teacher Rebecca Mezoff
had demonstrated and shared hers
and I wanted one.
There is quite a waiting list to get one,
but I finally got mine.
I have been playing with her and
the beautiful rainbow dyed fleece that
came along with it.
It was  60% Merino Wool and 40% Bamboo blend
from New Hue Handspuns

I am taking Rebecca's Little Looms class
right now online
and I am spinning these fibers to create
a small tapestry.
I want to see how my yarns weave up!
Can't wait, but first I need to spin up a fiber stash!



I completed my first skein
and am now on to the next!
I ordered more from this company
and got this luscious Periwinkle blend!
How I love this masterpiece of handcrafting!
From the hand carved spindle
to the hand blended fibers.


I have always loved art forms that call to me.
Tapestry Weaving slows me down enough to think,
Spinning teaches me patience and finding my rhythm,
Knitting fills my heart with pure joy
and
Zentangle® teaches me to enjoy the process
more than the final product
through meditation and centering.

Life is so fast paced,
especially at this time of year!
So when I have the chance to do something creative,
I want it to be fulfilling
and relaxing for my spirit.

How about you?
What art forms do you like to do,
and why do you spend time at them?
I would love to hear about it.

May your week be filled with joy,
remember to slow yourself down
whenever you can
and take in all the beauty that surrounds you!

Donna Lee








Monday, November 21, 2016

Being Creative on a Sunday!

Marbling on 300lb watercolor paper

I love Sundays!
What a beautiful day I had yesterday.
Church service then lunch with my sweet family!
Any time I can spend with my kids is special!

We went from 72 degrees on Saturday,
to the 40's today
and last night it dropped to the 30's!
So I was definitely in the mood to stay home,
get creative and nest a little bit.

First thing I did was pull out my spinning wheel.
I have been the lucky owner of a 
Schacht Matchless Spinning Wheel for quite awhile.
I must say it has sat looking pretty
in my living room for years!!!!!
I would walk past it and say "hello spinning wheel"
and never take the time to play with her. (sigh)
I have been wanting to return to my spinning
for quite awhile now.
I want to create my own yarns for 
my Tapestry Weavings.
So today was the perfect day to begin.
I was shocked to see how much it was now worth $$$$$
It had definitely increased in value over the years!
I had a treasure and didn't even appreciate it.
So she got a lot of attention today
and a hand rubbing of Love and some Danish Oil!
What a joy it was to find my spinning rhythm again!

Trying to find my spinning rhythm again

I had been watching some Zentangle® artists
doing some amazing works with marbling the tiles
before drawing on them.
I was intrigued, watched a few You Tube videos
and decided to give it a try!
Here was my absolute favorite video I found.

Shave Cream with food colors

I just poured some shave cream (old fashioned kind!)
into a flat tray,
added some different food color dyes,
swirled the colors with a knife
and laid my papers face down,
I then used a flat cookie spatula to
wipe off the excess
and there was surprise underneath the foam.
What fun!
I created over 14 different tiles and a journal page yesterday!

Not bad for a playful afternoon!


I love the Zendala tiles from Zentangle®

Of course you know there is always
a Mandala nearby ... I created this one Sunday Evening,
by the fire of course!
I couldn't wait for the tile to dry ...
which was quickly by the way!
I wanted to get drawing immediately.

So Yes ...  I would say it was a very creative Sunday.
I always love trying something new,
and also returning to something old
and finding completion at the end of my day!

Always find the time to be creative

Hoping that your Thanksgiving holiday
will be one filled with Joy,
Love time with your family,
Delicious food,
and Blessing after Blessing!
Take the time to recognize 
all the good in your life,
I promise you it is there to find,
if only you will look for it.
take the time to be Thankful for it all!

Donna Lee

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Connections with others

Created for my last Zentangle® class of 2016!

Life is full of connections!
We connect with others in so many ways
on a day to day basis.

I love the word Connect!
I recently created a Mandala and
decided to create a little mandala and word play.
So I found a page from an old book,
colored it with a watercolor wash,
and then found a word to cut out and use.
(You never know when you might need just one word!)

I connect with my Optical patients all day long,
friendships are always nearby,
my family always needs me,
I am connecting with my students
when I teach,
I connect with words through the page of a book,
my art while I am in my studio,
my weavings while sitting at the loom.
I even connect with strangers
along my daily path, and so do you!

This is just a small reminder for your day:
To make those connections in your own life work.
Be loving and gentle, in times of strife.
Be that kind word, when there is none to be found.
Be the smile when someone needs to see one.
Connect with others in a real and sincere way!
It is so important!
Especially in these deeply divided politic times in our nation.

I found this beautiful magazine from the UK
at Barnes and Noble recently.
I saw Zentangle® was featured inside
so I purchased it.
Oh my goodness it was filled with so much
beauty and thought provoking articles.

Always finding time to draw!


Find moments to just Breathe,
in whatever way works for you.
Connect with someone you haven't seen in awhile,
Re-connect with a family member.
It's important and good for your own
heart and soul.
Find those times when you can just be 
good to yourself.
Feed that soul of yours with good stuff!

Donna Lee






Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Unrest and Recovery

A treasure I found this past weekend ... such beauty!

I recently got away to the Outer Banks
to celebrate my Sister's birthday.
Somehow time spent in the OBX
brings my soul back to where it belongs.
The gift of rest, time away, the roar of the ocean,
and the sand between my toes.

This has been such a season of Unrest . . .
 especially where Politics have been involved.
The bickering, slander, unkindness,
television commentaries, judgements and commercials.
I could go on and on.
Everywhere you turn
people are slightly grumpy,
worried, agitated or rude.
They are unsure of the future.
And now this morning after the Election,
we have our results!
The unrest continues.

So we have to grab those moments
when we can unwind, regroup, refocus and recover,
Come back to what makes us comfortable again.
It could be through travel, family time,
creating art, prayer, naps and so much more.

The Ocean is always my calming gift

Now the busy holiday season is fast approaching,
I am practicing moments of self care
as much as I can.
It seems we are moving from one stress (politics)
right into another (holiday shopping)
and if we aren't careful ... it can take our breath away.
I am currently working on a sweet project ...
a linen stitched stocking for my tree!
I started it at the Sanderling Inn
while away with my sister.
With each little stitch I am relaxed.

I have fallen in love with my stitching again

Unrest can be unhealthy
Recovery is vital for our well being.
So grab those moments whenever you can ...
it's not being selfish, I promise you.

For me time spent in my studio is vital.
Painting, drawing my Zentangle or 
Weaving at my Loom is a must.

Created this during Election results

How I love my Mirrix Loom!

How about you?
I would love to hear what calms your soul,
What you do to take care of yourself . . . 
we can all learn from each other.

Take a walk outside, breathe in the fresh air
that is given to us each day.
Visit with a friend, take a long nap (just because),
sleep in one morning,
reach out to a long lost friend, 
Here is a great idea . . .
stay off Social Media for awhile,
and see how you do!

Advice for your day!

On this uncertain Wednesday morning,
I wish you Peace ... all the Peace you can accept!
Walk lightly, be good to yourself!
May your day be filled with beauty
and
all good things.
My wish for you is Rest
in a season of Unrest.

Thank you for stopping by today

Donna Lee






Monday, October 31, 2016

Quiet Words


Creativity

Every day
is an opportunity
to be creative ~
the canvas is
your mind,
the brushes
and colours
are your thoughts
and feelings,
the panorama is
your story,
the complete
picture is a work
of art called
"my life"
Be careful what
you put on the canvas
of your mind today ~
it matters.
(Innerspace)


I shared this at closing yesterday
with my Zentangle@ Class
and thought it was perfect
to share on my blog post
this last day of October.
Blessings to you always

Donna Lee





Thursday, October 20, 2016

Checking in with Myself!

Looking for tiny moments of Joy

It is now the season of Fall . . .
Just a few months left in this amazing year!
I always consider this time of year 
as a time to check in with myself,
re-evaluate and step back just a bit.
I love that there is a crisp feeling in the air,
Leaves are changing colors all around me,
I can open my windows at night and hear
the beautiful sounds of nature.

October is almost over
and here we step quickly into the Holiday Season,
it's right around the corner folks!
I must say I dread the busyness of the next few months,
it's all about what we have to get done,
who we have to buy for,
hurry, hurry and hurry some more.

So I took the time to re-visit
my WORD for the year,
RENEWAL
How appropriate for me this time of year!


The world is such a loud and noisy place,
it is good to be reminded to turn Inward.
Re-evaluate our priorities,
slow down for a bit
and concentrate on what is truly important.
There are just a few months left of this year
and I ask myself how did I do with my 
Word for the year?
I think pretty darn well.

I have learned that in this life,
we are constantly changing.
People come and go in our lives,
we walk in and out of relationships,
we hold on to certain things with a strong grip,
we are learning each and everyday we live.
So I guess we are constantly renewing
our hearts and minds.
We need to look at all the opportunities that come our way 
and actually see that we can grow from each one!
They are all teaching moments.

I was featured recently on the Squam Website with
Elizabeth's Morning on the Dock Podcast Series.
What an honor that was for sure!
She asked thought provoking questions,
and I answered with an open heart.
It was as though we were sitting in her amazing living room
just chatting over a cup of herbal tea!
You can find it here . . .
http://www.squamartworkshops.com/podcast/episode-49-donna-wynn/
I think everyone needs an Elizabeth in their life,
and know her the way I truly know her.
What a gift it is to truly share a friendship with this woman!
I so appreciate her guiding me along my creative life path.
This podcast kinda explains what this blog post is all about today!

So as November fast approaches
and the Holidays draw near,
just take the time to breathe in Nature,
breathe in Stillness,
breathe in Opportunity
and let go of unneeded stuff in your life.
Find regular moments of solitude
to keep yourself in check.

I love watching my little grandchildren growing up,
they are teaching me something new every day.
Especially about love, acceptance and discovery!
They are now 3, 2 and 1
(how precious is that!)

Grayson Blake

Dylan James and Annabelle Lilly

This is the perfect time to check in with yourself,
change the things you can
and
accept the things you can't change.
Allow yourself this freedom.
We can't rely on the "resolutions"
we wrote down in the beginning of the year,
for we are constantly evolving.

May your day be filled with joy today
as you walk your own path.
I'm so glad you stopped by today!

Donna Lee







Wednesday, October 12, 2016

How color affects our artwork . . .



I never stop being amazed at the beautiful sources of color
that is all around me.
I am more focused on color I am sure as an Artist,
whether using my Watercolors to paint,
or weaving with my scrumptious Fibers.
I take so many photos because I don't want 
to miss a creative moment, 
knowing that photo will affect my
artwork somehow and sometime!

I am having fun in Rebecca Mezoff's 
Color Gradation Online Course,
and I am learning more that I ever dreamed!
Color blending, hatching colors, shading,
and taking two colors of threads close to each other
on the color wheel,
separating them and blending them to make new colors.
The possibilities of color are endless.
This course just goes on and on with
insight and inspiration.
Thank you always Rebecca for giving
so much to your students through your courses.
I am a sponge soaking up every morsel!!


As part of the Social Marketing team at Mirrix Looms,
I also wrote a blog post about my course with Rebecca,
using my new Spencer Treadle
and The importance of color in our artwork.
You can find that article right here

Let me tell you one important thing . . . READY?
If you are at all interested in Tapestry Weaving,
explore the beautiful Mirrix Looms,
I purchased my very first 25 years ago,
They are as magnificent now as they were back then.
(I don't say that because I am part of the team,
 I say it because I love mine!)

I have had a dear internet sister purchase a Mirrix recently and
I welcome her into my weaving family!
She also signed up for Rebecca's course,
she is hooked for sure!!!!
Nancy is such a beautiful soul ...
check out her website here
she inspires me through her faithful walk,
and all her creativity!
What a gift it was when we connected
through our blogs one wonderful day!

I have just come out of the effects of Hurricane Michael,
I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia
and we were only going to have a snippet of the storm,
NOT SO!
2 am Sunday morning was a fierce storm passing through!
We lost power for quite a while, and it took days to get our cable back,
we still don't have our landline phone in service.
It did teach me the importance of not depending on television,
political news, Netflix and even my Pandora music!
Quiet is a good thing.
It slows you down, teaches you to listen way down deep, 
to rely on your thoughts
and rest your body.
The sounds of nature outside are so beautiful.
We usually close our windows and shut the world out,
we are missing life's little treasures.

I played Art ... using my new Sennelier Watercolors,
here is a small creation I keep working on.
You can usually find me with a pen and some watercolors nearby!
I am thinking of creating a card from the painting,
what do you think?


So on this quiet Wednesday, I am heading to my studio,
where all my favorite creative things are stored.
I am hoping to get a few hours of uninterrupted weaving time in today!
As I enter my studio, this is what I see first . . .
My precious Felicity Grace ... I've been calling her Gracie
and I think it fits!


Enjoy your midweek,
we are halfway there to the weekend.
Take the time to always observe your surroundings,
look up at the beautiful colors in the sky,
or see the plants still blooming,
certainly you have many shades of mums nearby!
As always, thank you for taking the time
to visit here ... it warms my heart!

Donna Lee

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wisdom



Wisdom comes in all forms . . .
I found this tree recently and had to capture it with my camera.
I remember standing there for quite some time
just marveling at it's beauty.

Each limb carried such history,
it's roots were strong and mighty.
It was still hanging on to the leaves of summer,
yet it was gradually beginning to change
and let go of some leaves.

It stood there as if to say,
"Come Donna Lee and sit with me awhile"
and so I did!
Ask yourself when was the last time you just sat
under a tree, breathed in the fresh air
and heard the sounds of nature singing to you in the background?
I didn't bring my paints, or sketchbook, or Zentangle® with me,
I just sat in the presence of nature,
and it was so calming.
Sometimes I feel like I always have to be doing something.
It makes me wonder what I have been missing.
Even in creating Art, we might not see the beauty
happening around us.
I am grateful for this tree, what a wonderful
lesson I learned that day.

As I re-read my past blog entries,
I am consistently reading a theme of 
quiet, slow down, breathing it all in,
a need for calmness and rest.
I believe we are all searching for that in a small way.

I have entered my sixth year blogging,
I honestly don't know where the time has gone.
It has taught me to share my feelings,
get words onto the "virtual" page
and I now have a wonderful journal
of the past six years.
I have published my posts in book form,
I will always have a record of my thoughts and dreams
written here.

There is Wisdom in our lives,
our past experiences,
our art, our friendships, our families,
just in our day to day life journey.
Each experience is a stepping stone, 
guiding us along our own way.
I am grateful I have recorded mine
through this blog,
for she is a familiar friend to me.
Just like friendships,
sometimes we stray apart, 
time slips away from us
and then we come back together,
just picking up where we left off!
(Usually on a Monday morning)


Where do you find your own wisdom?
Where do you seek your comfort?
I would love to hear about it if you care to share.
Walk lightly as you step into this fall season.
Look at the beautiful changes nature is handing to us 
at this very moment.
Wasn't the Harvest Moon spectacular?
I sat under it for hours the other night,
just soaking in it's beauty!



Donna Lee

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Way We View Life . . .

The view from here

Life is such a beautiful thing!
Filled with love, family, incredible experiences,
hurts and disappointments,
resentments, broken relationships,
lessons learned, wishes granted,
broken promises, goals attained,
beautiful friendships,
blessing after blessing,
meaningful conversations
and so much more!
I've merely touched the surface

I have learned that it truly is
all about how we perceive what is right in front of us,
how we see things,
how we absorb what is happening
and how we react to things.
No two people view life with the same way.
Each of us carries a different perspective or point of view.
How many times have you seen something
so beautifully and someone you know
sees it as a negative or bother?

Standing right in front of me ... my friend chose not to see!

As a Tapestry Weaver,
I am constantly taught to slow myself down,
to think "what if" as I'm at the loom.
I try to see my weaving from a close perspective.
Perhaps that is why I view life the way I do.
I love viewing the world around me,
my eyes are truly WIDE open.
Everything becomes a photographic moment for me!
I love taking image after image,
because I know somewhere or somehow
they will show up again and be used in a blog post
or a card or something!

So I leave you with this thought ...
I would love for you to look at your own life
with a total open heart.
Look at the wonderful possibility,
don't see the negative hinderances.
See the beauty in all things
when if at all possible.
See the beauty of that last little rose bud,
still thriving and blooming;
rather than the empty thorns and dried up leaves
that are present on the same bush!
It's all there I promise you!


Especially with the significance of this day
for our nation, September 11th.
Here we are 15 years later,
each American still healing in there own way.
There are so many lessons we have learned as a nation
after all this time.
Each of us carrying our own perspectives.
May we truly never forget this day in history, NEVER!

May your week be filled with joy,
your days filled with promise and  possibility,
and your heart be free to love!

Donna Lee