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

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