Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Random Donna Lee thoughts . . .

My Beaded Cuff Project

I promised myself in 2017
that I was going to create
only the things that spoke to my heart
whether in painting, weaving, drawing or writing.
It seems that Tapestry Weaving
has been taking most of my time lately.

Time seems to be such a precious commodity,
so I am trying to manage it wisely,
create beautiful projects that speak to my heart
and slow myself down a bit!
Here it is mid February
and it just feels like things are going at such a fast pace.
I've been caring for family needs; they always come first.
So if there is ever time leftover to play it is a gift for sure.

I haven't taught any Zentangle® classes yet this year,
I needed to take a small hiatus after the holidays!
I feel as though teachers need to fill their personal well,
in order to give to students what they need
don't you agree?

I know I am a day late, but here is
a small heart creation for you to enjoy!
I have just had a micron pen in hand
and creating and drawing for the love of it.

Happy Valentines 2017!

My Beaded Tapestry Cuff is coming along,
I can't wait to put it all together,
promise to show you at another date!
I am in love with weaving with beads!
I wrote a blog post for Mirrix Looms
about this project ...
you can find right here!

This weekend I went to the hardware store
and I bought a lot of galvanized piping
to create a new loom,
I found the link here . . .
and so wanted to try it,
one can always use an extra loom right?
I plan to blog about it later,
when it's all put together!
Tapestry weavers are amazing
and willing to share with each other.

I wanted to share this Mandala painting
I was able to create for my co-worker Janel
for her new home ... for her Harp Room.
It came together beautifully,
the entire time I painted it I listened
to Harp Concertos!
I really love the way it turned out!
I am always grateful for taking Louise Gale's
Mandala Painting Course years ago,
I learned so much and still use all of her techniques.

Spending any time creating Art is a gift!
Don't waste a minute ... time is precious.
You have a lot to say . . . so SAY IT!
You are Unique
there is NO ONE exactly like you.

Thanks for dropping by
Donna Lee

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Poetry ... Words in Motion

Woven Meanings . . .

There are threads of many colors
woven to a certain beat ...
over, under, over, under.
They are gently combing in the woven fiber,
to create a beautiful and intricate design.
Simple rhythms become life's gentle beating

I am a Tapestry Weaver
taking the time to weave
each and everyday;
coming full circle after many years away.
Inching slowly up the warp of the loom
A beautiful fabric is forming before me

Tapestry weaving is teaching me daily,
guiding me to a slower pace of life.
My fingers guide the weft fibers
along their woven way.
I have returned home here . . .
here just sitting at my loom.

This loom in my studio is a hundred years old.
 I often wonder where she has been,
and who wove here before me.
It might be something I will never know.
So for now I will channel it's weavers before me,
cherishing each and every woven row.

Woven Meanings
applied to my daily life journey ...
The sturdy Warp I weave upon
is the foundation I walk with each day.
The Threads of many colors and textures
are the experiences and people along my life's way

Donna Lee
always searching for creative wonder!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Good Morning February!

A recent watercolor play of mine

Today we woke up to a new day,
a new month,
the second month of our new year!

I love beginnings don't you?
This is a great time to stop and re-group, again!
Your January is gone,
you made all kinds of promises and goals for yourself,
how did that go for you?
One month gone . . . ask yourself if you are still on track???
If you were honest with yourself, 
you would probably say NO you are not,
like me!

My January was filled with creativity,
caring for family,
emotions about our nation's future,
a bronchitis slow down for days,
reconnection with friends
and so much more.

So here are a few thoughts running through my head . . .

Election years create turmoil...
I'm exhausted from it all

Creating Art is healing for the soul ...
spending time in the studio is a gift

Spending time in quiet is much needed ...
I just need to hear myself think

Leaving the television off is a good thing ...
The news is so biased and negative

Staying away from social media is an even better thing ...
I'm tired of Facebook ranting for sure

My Grand babies love is the best gift ever ...
their smiles and hugs are just what I need

Not always expressing my thoughts out loud is good for me ...
it is definitely a form of discipline

Watercolor painting is soothing and gentle ... 
It grants a certain kind of peace within

I am a bit overwhelmed with what is happening around me ...
I feel like I'm losing my grounding a bit

I know I need to surround myself with positive souls ...
 Stay away from emotional vampires

There is so much beauty in our world ...
You just have to look for it to see

So happy beginning of a new month today!
May you step a little lighter
Smile at a few more people along the way
Find time to love others
be good to yourself as well.
Take the time to give yourself what you need right now!

 Watercolor version #2

I'll be here next week for sure!

Donna Lee 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Finding time to just play

Just a small vignette 

Sometimes we just need to find the time to PLAY!
The holiday rush is over, 
thank goodness the Election is over,
the voting, the elections, the inauguration, the news comments.
WHEW ... it sickens me to absorb and watch it all.
Never have I been more disappointed in the political system.
Facebook became a political place to throw up
our opinions on each other ... it just isn't the same anymore!
I don't enjoy visiting FB as when I began so many years ago,
I am torn to stay or leave,
 because I love keeping in touch with my creative friends,
and my family members all over the country.
So for now I have to pick and choose the parts of FB I can accept.

I also believe that creating art is a most beautiful thing,
I am renewed every time I am able to create something!
I also know we don't always have the energy to create elaborate works
all of the time . . .
sometimes we just need to get our hands dirty,
pick up a paintbrush and just play . . .
to calm the soul
and soothe the nerves.
Art heals every time!

I took an e-course with the amazing and fun Jane Davenport years ago,
through 21 Secrets ... (an online course with 21 different teachers!)
She was fun, vibrant and so full of creative exuberance!
If you don't know yet, she has an entire line of art supplies
in Michaels now.
So I purchased one of her watercolor sets, and two of her 
water brushes,
I wanted to try them out.
The colors are vibrant and fun!

My new palette of colors to play with

So I began creating some fun little watercolor flower pots,
added some ink with my Micron Pens, size 02
and created some fun mini 5 x 7" vingettes.
I am always seeing fun things on Instagram
and on Pinterest,
so these little watercolors were inspired by what I saw,
and embellished my way!
I think watercolor and ink is such a fun medium.

Flowers are so fun and easy!

While I was creating these fun little works,
I decided that they would be
"Pay it Forward" gifts.
I plan to write a small message on the front
and leave them in fun areas
for someone to receive.
So watch out Hampton Roads ... a fun artwork is headed your way!
I love to do that with my Zentangle® works,
this time it will be with Watercolor cards!
Here are a few I have created . . .

Each one is a little different

The very first one I created,
I sent to a friend ...
I created a card and sent to her
while she was resting after surgery.

Soooooooooo ...
my message to you is 
find the time to just play,
with crayons and coloring books,
(they are certainly a hot craze these days),
sketch in your sketchbook,
(don't be perfect, just draw what you see!),
play with your set of watercolors
(I know you have some stashed somewhere),
pull out your beads and make a bracelet 
(We all have a little container of beads)
Just play for the fun of it,
don't overthink it,
relax and just enjoy the play.

We need to escape 
from the noises we are filling our vessels with.
They can certainly take over if we let them.
So tomorrow morning,
I plan to leave my first little painting,
right where the sugars are ...
at my local Starbucks
with a message saying . . .
Just Breathe.

So as January of 2017 quickly comes to an end,
I faithfully wrote a blog post every Wednesday,
I enjoyed NOT teaching any art classes after the holidays,
and I am totally loving my year long e-course
with Elizabeth from Squam,
It was a gift I gave to myself and it is off to an amazing start!
I promised to be good to myself this new year,
and that is exactly what I'm doing!

Be well, be happy, be creative
and please find time just to play just for the fun of it,
you won't be disappointed!
I promise!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Celebrating Life

Breakfast in the Cabin

This past weekend I celebrated my 40th Anniversary!
January 15, 1977 I married my surfer boy
and we have been together ever since!
Yes there are always bumps along the way,
but ours have been pretty easy bumps!

We traveled to the Blue Ridge Mountains,
I wanted to stay in a cabin near the mountains,
and my hubby made all the plans.
We stayed at Steele's Tavern Manor
and it was everything we wanted and more!
Our cabin was situated on a beautiful pond,
with cows in the background,
beautiful blue herons
and a peaceful path to walk.

 Our beautiful home for three days

 It's just about the simple things that thrill me!

 Our cottage by the Pond

 Josie enjoyed our Anniversary trip too!

 Hearing the sounds of MOO in the mornings across the pond

We traveled into the town of Lexington,
with its quaint shops and rich history!
We ate delicious food
and visited nearby attractions for the day!
What a charming town!
You know I had to hit every gallery
and art shop there was!

 The buildings were so charming!

We entered the Blue Ridge Parkway,
but it was such a cloudy day we couldn't see anything,
it was a bit disappointing but we made the best of it!
We even decided to turn around,
(mountains, fog and me aren't a good combination)
It was a bit scary to say the least!

 Here we go!

There was so much inspiration around us,
we made the best of a rainy misty day!
I was totally intrigued by this stone wall,
it will become a tapestry for sure!

 Tapestry and Color Inspiration

 Geese by the waterfall

 Jimmy and Josie (my two J & J's)

I carried my Hokett Loom with me for
some tapestry weaving,
and the surroundings outside were so peaceful
and relaxing, I enjoyed having my loom with me
early mornings.
Tapestry weaving is such a quiet art,
I fall more in love with it each and every day!

Weaving by the pond

I believe we must celebrate life in every way 
that we can.
Celebrate the monumental steps in your journey,
celebrate even the small daily wins!
Make the most of the time you are given,
each and every day.
There is so much goodness out there,
if only you will see!

I am truly grateful that I have a
passionate heart.
I have been through some tough stuff during
this lifetime,
but each time I came out on the other side,
stronger, wiser and willing to lead others,
from my own experiences.
Life is all about what you make of it.

Early morning coffee and quiet

So make the best of where you are in your life
at this very moment, 
enjoy the simplicities
that this life can also give to you
and please . . .
don't waste a minute of it. 

I challenge you to celebrate your life,
with all it's complexities
and joys that come with it.
We can learn so much about ourselves
when we get away,
slow down and listen.
I think that is going to be my theme for this new year.

I had a beautiful getaway
and now we are back home and digging into routine once more.
It was truly awesome to get away,
alone and together!

May your week be full of good stuff!
Donna Lee

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Grateful for Snow Storms

I baked a Homemade Applesauce Raisin Cake 

Virginia Beach had its first snow storm for 2017
They called it Blizzard Helena
We got about 8 - 10" of snow
and for Virginia Beach
that is pretty amazing!

I was in the house for four days,
didn't drive or go anywhere . . .
I must say it was like heaven.
How blessed I was to slow myself down,
and have more time than I knew what to do with!
So thank you Miss Snowstorm
for giving me the gift of rest.

You always think you have more time than you think,
and oh the many projects you will get done while house bound.
I did a lot at first;
then just gave into the easy feeling of doing whatever I wanted!
It was pretty magical for sure.
I cleaned closets and cabinets,
re-organized my make up,
baked yummy foods,
took lots of naps (yes I did!)
threw away unwanted "stuff"
and so much more.

I even started a new stitching project,
A needlework case by Beth Twist,
I love her work a lot!
She is coming to Tidewater in April 2017,
to teach her first stitching retreat for
Dyeing to Stitch
(my favorite needlework store here in VB)
and I want to complete this before her workshop!

My newest project

I began a new Tapestry on my
Hokett Loom I got for Christmas.
Twining was my first layer,
it takes some patience to get it right!
Tapestry Weaving is definitely not an art
to dive into if you don't have the patience
to slow your little self down!

The warping process is so important

I was inspired from a watercolor card
I purchased in the Outer Banks
by the amazing Chris Haltigan,
I love her work!
I had the privilege years ago to have
a private painting lesson with her,
she is amazingly gifted.

My tapestry inspiration

Anything can be inspiration for a Tapestry Weaving,
I had found mine!
I am taking the Little Looms class 
so this would be my class project.
I matched my wools using
18/2 wool from Weavers Bazaar,
made my warp sett at 12 pi
and began the process.
I am excited to see the outcome of this piece.

Just beginning to weave

I decided that I wanted to challenge myself and
 weave a mini tapestry,
one a month for the year of 2017,
(my own version of a Weaving Diary)
I would like to create small tapestries,
each the same size . . .
that was inspired by something I saw
on my daily journey.
I would like to journal about each project, or write a poem 
and at the end of the year,
have some pretty sweet little tapestries to keep!
Let's see if I can do it!
It will be a true discipline for sure!
I was inspired by my own Tapestry teacher Rebecca
who wove a tapestry "a day"
while she was an Artist in Residence
this past year,
WOW her work was amazing.
You can catch it here if you would like to see her work ...

I had an idea many years ago that I would
write 100 poems, one a day for a 100 days,
and use my own photography to go along with the poem,
I did it, published the book for myself
and created a blog while doing so,
you can still find it here!

So my friends, I can definitely
create a small work of tapestry art each month,

My word for the new year is DEEPEN,
so I decided to remind myself of that
while playing in the snow . . .
that is a totally serious word to live up to this year!

Playing in the snow

I found this sweet twig in my front yard,
slowing being tossed about by the snow and wind,
but not getting buried by the snow.
It was a sweet reminder for me ...
There is beauty everywhere, if only you will look for it.
It wasn't getting buried by circumstances, only standing strong!

My photo moment during storm

So here is to the rest of your week!
May it be filled with moments of rest,
love, discovery and happiness.
Me and My girl Josie wish you all the best!

Just us Wynn girls playing after the storm

Until next time,
Donna Lee

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What's a resolution?

My Mandala Work

It is a new year and the freshness of a new beginning
is exciting for me . . . how about you?

I have to be honest,  Resolutions kinda scare me!
I know they force us to look at the way we are doing things,
they help us to look at what we want to change, what we like,
and certainly what we want to keep . . .
but keeping those resolutions throughout the year
is a totally different thing!
We kinda set ourselves up for a fall.

For me this year I chose the word DEEPEN
it really does express where I am in my life at this very moment.
I want to slow the pace of life down just a bit
and deepen my relationships,
my artistic adventures
and go deeper within myself.
I was ready to leave the hustle of 2016 behind
and I eagerly anticipate a very good year.

So for me I want to grow as an artist,
pursue the arts that matter to me most,
and of course,
continue writing more regularly here
in my little corner of the world.

So I thought I would share a few of my favorite
artistic photos today,
each one representing the art I want to pursue,
in a deeper and more personal way!

 Teaching Zentangle® to others

Stitching on my Samplers

 Mixed Media Art

 Definitely Tapestry Weaving

 Enhance my spinning skills

Finding time to just Breathe it all in

Watercolor and Sketching

So this first Wednesday of 2017
I wish you a beautiful New Year,
filled with love, joy and creativity.
Reach out to others,
Try something totally new,
let go of what is not needed in your life,
and explore your opportunities

As for me ... you will find me
still working as an Optician a few days a week,
and taking the time to Breathe life in,
and of course ...
snuggling with my Grandbabies.
(By the way ... our number four will be coming in June!)
My life is full beyond measure!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Happiest of Holidays to You!

Our holiday tree this year

My holiday season has been a busy one,
and so has yours I am sure of it!

I was determined to step into December lightly,
I told myself I would not let stress get the best of me,
I would enjoy the decorating, the wrapping, the baking,
all the beautiful holiday moments . . .
so far so good!
(I admit as the holiday draws nearer,
it is getting harder to keep that promise to myself!)

I must say I have been doing a lot of 
internet shopping and home delivery this year,
that Prime from Amazon gets me every time!
The malls are so crowded, 
traffic in Virginia Beach is crazy
and time is running out!

In between all the holiday demands,
I do find time to create a little art for myself,
it centers me, helps me keep focused.
Since my blog is all about my creative life,
I have done a few things I would love to share:

 Setting up a warp on my wonderful Mirrix Loom

 Working on a painting for someone special

 Not done yet ... still needs finishing touches!

Playing around with my own handspun yarns

Stitched this beautiful ornament for our tree

So as you can see I have had
time to create my artwork.
I truly mean it when I share that
it keeps me grounded,
keeps me happy
and I feel centered when I can
spend even a few moments
working on something.
Art is a discipline, at least it is for me.
I make the time for it,
and I never regret it!

So I leave you here in 2016
wishing you the most joyous
holiday season you can have!
May it be filled with love and celebration,
may you find time to be good to yourself as well!
I thank you for visiting here faithfully this year
and listening to what I have to say.

I look forward to the New Year,
until then I have gifted myself the rest of 2016
to stay unplugged . . .
no Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,
or Internet!
(I may post a pic of my precious grand babies during the holiday!)
Oh my goodness, whatever will I do
with all that time that just came my way!!!!!

From our Wynn Household to yours,
May it be a Merry Merry Christmas for you
unlike any other!
I leave you with a pic of our
sweet Josie Grace
(Last year we couldn't let her near the tree!)

Josie Grace

Love always,
Donna Lee
(aka an old creative soul)

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
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