Wednesday, December 28, 2011

52 Photos Project / Week Thirty Six

I can hardly believe that it is week 36 already
and that this is the last post
of 2011!

I have enjoyed participating in this project since it began.
I have grown as a photographer and have
gained courage in posting my work.
It is a scary thing to put your stuff out there!
There are some pretty amazing photographers in this group,
each one encourages the other.
Bella Cirovic has done an awesome job creating
this photography adventure!
Thanks Bella, I know it takes an amazing
amount of energy to pull this off each week for us.
I am inspired by what my eyes take in 
week after week!

This week's challenge is entitled:

"What will you welcome in 2012"
"What will you leave behind in 2011"


I took my time with both of these and this
is what I came up with.
I have been playing with a photo app
for my new Iphone called Word Foto, 
so I used my own
pictures from 2011 and added my own text!
Hope you will like what you see!

Photo One:
I carry with me . . . 
openess  quiet  growth  new  writing  calm

Photo Two:
I will leave behind . . . 
negativity  doubt  fear  restlessness
(qualities I don't like to see in myself)

That's it!
My words explain exactly where I am
at the ending of 2011.
This new year is going to be filled with possibility!
I am anxious to get it started!

Thank you for your supporting words on my blog
this past year,
your friendship has meant the world to me!
I wish you blessings and peace.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sharing my spotlight!

DECEMBER 27, 2011

Artist Interview: Donna Wynn

Name:  Donna Wynn
Name of Business:  Yogiknitgirl Designs
Creative Influences:  Watercolor, Collage, Mixed Media and Knitting, Photography
Creative Artist Influences:  Definitely YOU!, Misty Mawn, Mondo Beyondo, Jen Lee,  Kelly Barton, Mindy Lacefield, Lisa Gonzalez, Cathy Bueti, Juliette Crane, Pixie Campbell, Danielle Daniel, Marisa of Creative Thursday,  Alisa Burke . . . so many along my creative way!
Preferred Medium of Creativity: Mixed Media (that way so much is included!) and Photography

Bio:  I try to live creatively everyday. I work full time as an Optician and Optical Manager for a high end optical practice and I say I get to play with creative eyewear everyday! I have to fit my time in my studio very selectively, It is my release from the demands of a busy "day Job" and I love it when I can spend time painting and creating whatever comes to mind and heart at the time! You will always find me behind a camera, trying to capture life moments and I practice hot yoga faithfully, love to knit . . . especially socks, that is why the name Yogiknitgirl came into being, and even though I am 54, I still consider myself a little girl!  I have been blessed with a 35 year marriage to a husband who supports me in every way, I have two adorable sons, 31 and 28, and they are each married and I have been blessed with two precious daughter n laws.  I believe in a powerful and loving God, who has blessed my life beyond words! I am truly living, right here and right now, the best time of my life.  I have discovered me and I like her!  


1- What is one of your earliest creative memories?

 Learning to knit with two very special little old ladies when I was seven years old!  Loving art classes in elementary school and all the way through high school.
2 - How did you find your creative voice? 
I think first by creating my personal blog, Gentle Threads.  I had always loved writing and wanted to get the nerve to put my words out there.  I (along with many) watched Julie and Julia about a woman creating a blog about cooking her way through Julia Child's cookbook.  It truly gave me the inspiration to get out there and learn my way through the blog world.  My first entry was in March 26, 2010, and I have been going ever since!  I have grown in knowledge, words and in confidence. I have learned to navigate a blog on my own, write about my innermost creative feelings and adventures, and share my latest activities and artwork with others.   I look forward to writing each week and it has become a strong part of who I am now! 
3- Did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life?  What did the evolution look like?  
Well, I think we tend to put our creative passions aside when we are building a life, for me marriage and raising two little boys, going to Opticianry school and working full time.  I always knitted, that was a given, then I purchased a weaving loom when my boys were little and piddled with it. I was a weaver, for a long time, but found for me, it just wasn't enough!  I was always fascinated with watercolor painting, but again, life just kept getting in the way to pursue anything.  It wasn't until my guys were in college and I was home without them, that I began to truly pursue artistic outlets.  I signed up for a watercolor painting class, took some workshops here and there, read anything I could get my hands on.    With the internet exploding, I was able to sign up for some amazing e-courses and learn in the comfort of my own home (and stay in my jammies!) I have attended Squam by the Sea, Serendipity Art Retreat and Art and Soul in the past few years and I found that through those experiences, my artistic life has exploded!  My children are married now and I have a beautiful studio to create in, more time to pursue my creative dreams.
4- If you had a creative hiatus, what event/circumstances brought you back to your creative lifestyle?  
This is an easy one for me to answer, I lost my father to Lung Cancer just four short years ago, and two years ago I lost my mom to the devastating disease of Dementia, I was a care-taker for quite awhile, fitting in some art whenever I could, but hardly ever. I felt as though my inner artist was drying up inside.  It is a time in my life I would do all over again, but yearned to find my creative little girl inside.  Just a month after losing my mom, I attended Squam by the Sea in the Outer Banks and my life was changed forever!  I met amazing women, took incredible art classes and mixed media opened up to me.  I came home full of creative ideas, new friendships and I have been going strong ever since.  I seek out creative time for myself and I even created my own Etsy shop for my creations.
 5-How has GOD been a part of your creative process/lifestyle?  
I have been a Christian for most of my life and am married to an incredibly strong and faithful man, I am very blessed.   I feel that I have learned to set priorities in my life, always doing what is right and what I must, before I can do what I want to.  That takes an enormous amount of energy.  I am balanced in my life, and I know that having a relationship with God, centers me.  It centers the way I live my daily life, my heart thoughts and my words and actions.  Because I am a truly centered and faithful person, God has blessed me with my talent and my strengths.

Harmony said...
love love love donna! thank you for featuring her. she is a deeply creative and inspiring soul.
Donna is beautiful! And her art reflects that so well! Thank you for your interview...loved it!
thisgirl said...
what i love about donna the most is her generous creative spirit. she embraces each of us with gentle enthusiasm and i am so thankful to call her my dear friend. thank you for sharing her shine.
Bonita Rose said...
Loved seeing this about my dear friend Donna.. love her and her art! xo
Karen D said...
Beautiful Donna, I am so happy our paths have crossed online and in person, may they continue to cross again and again. xo Karen
Lisa said...
Simple and beautiful. Thank you for all of this Donna...thank you for you.

Thank you Robin for giving me this opportunity!  I so enjoyed the thought provoking questions that you asked me and it opened my creative eyes to many things!  Your support of my art life means the world to me and i thank you for being there!

Please make sure you visit Robin's website . . . you will be blessed beyond measure by her words and artwork!

Donna Lee
(always reaching higher and higher)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Holiday Dream . . .

My Studio for the Holiday
(I have used this photo before but I love it!)

I can't believe that the holiday
is almost here!
I haven't written on my blog
in a few weeks.
Somehow the words just wouldn't come.

This morning I entered my studio
in the early morning hour
and there was my message
peeking through my holiday lights!

Dream . . .

Dreams are so beautiful,
they teach us to reach for higher ground.
Dreams are found in our imaginations,
in our sleep and in our hearts.
They are found in our goals, our wishes
 and in our life purpose.

This holiday has been so very rushed,
all the while my heart has been yearning
for a quieter time.
To soak in all the beauty of the holiday
and precious times with family.
We are getting so commercialized, that
it isn't even fun to shop anymore!

This holiday I dream of
quiet days
beautiful music resounding everywhere
creative moments in my beautiful space
time well spent with those I love
time to rest and be restored
for faith to be renewed and strong
for friendships to always be treasured
for health and well being
and quietness of the heart.

wish you a beautiful holiday
for you and your loved ones!
May your dreams come true.
May your heart be light and free.
 May you always stay creative
in whatever way that is for you!
Love always,
Donna Lee

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


"Whimsy"  My latest painting

This past weekend I spent a lot of time in the studio!
I have been working on my e-course from Alisa Burke
"Sketchbook Delight".
I have been playing with my watercolors, crayons and ink pens.
I really love Alisa and she has taught me
so much with my watercolors.
I took her "Watercolor Bliss" class as well,
she has a style all her own and teaches
you to get excited about your painting,
but also to enjoy it and not take it so seriously.

I titled this piece "Whimsy" I think it fits perfectly.
I painted it without thinking about it and making it perfect!
I got bold with colors and just kept playing.
Trees are my passion, I truly love to paint them.
Trees are wise, they have seen a lot,
they are long lasted and carry such beauty.
As I look back at all of my photos,
usually a tree is present somewhere!

Whimsical . . . the art of being light and fanciful
sometimes I know I take my art way too seriously!
I worry about whether or not my work is good enough,
why is my Etsy shop so slow,
my work doesn't compare to  . . .
it has to be perfect.

This picture represents me . . .
I knew while I was creating it that it would be a good piece!
Art should be fun, it should be about enjoying
the process not the outcome.
I want my work to have a happy flair to it
and I think this piece shows that!

By the way . . . I have it for sale in my Etsy shop!
Come and check out other pieces of my work,
you won't be disappointed!

Next time you are in your studio,
don't think about what you have to get done,
just slow down and enjoy just creating,
relax with your art, see where it takes you.
Your work won't disappoint you!
Have a lovely day!
Donna Lee

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Week 32 / 52 Photos Project / Twinkling Lights

Studio is decorated!

This week's photo prompt got me to getting my studio ready
for the holiday a little early this year!
After attending Serendipity Art Retreat this fall,
I was inspired to add colored lights to my studio.
In each of the cottages during the retreat,
there were colored lights everywhere!

After reading Bella's prompt, I thought about
driving around and trying to capture some
incredibly decorated house for the holiday,
but then remembered I wanted to
 add some sparkle
to my own creative space,
and so I did!

Twinkling lights, in all colors,
are happiness in a box!
String them where you want them
and you instantly have
something to inspire you,
something to make you happy,
something to boost your creative momentum,
something to giggle by while painting,
something to smile at,
just for me, myself and I!

Have a happy day.
Go buy yourself some twinkling lights
for your own creative space.
I have no intention of taking them down
even after the holiday is over!
So everyday can be a twinkling moment!
Donna Lee

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

Seeing the beauty in the little things!

Gratitude . . .

 Thankful for my beautiful life.
Growing older with my hubby.
Being with my family is a blessing.
Watching my children grow into incredible men
The joy of having two loving and beautiful daughter (n-laws)
The time I had with two wonderful parents.
Having a sister and a brother
and an incredible extended family.
Being healthy and 
loving my life at 54!

I love this so much!  Built by my father-n-law.

Friendships that are a gift in my life,
no amount of words can even express.

Growing, learning and seeing with wide open eyes. 
Having a strong faith in God,
the messages given to me through His word.

Life experiences . . .  both good and heart aching.
A happy attitude.
A creative spirit that lives inside me.
The joy of candlelight.
The lessons my yoga practice has taught me.

Still growing at my age!
Being artistic and playing with paints.
Thinking outside of the box,
(how can I do it differently?)

Being an Optician after all these years.

Find a"new leaf" in life

Today on this Thanksgiving Morning
I took the time to slow my self down,
to think of all the things
I am truly grateful for.

It shouldn't be on one particular day
it should be every day we wake up
and are given a brand new day!

Life is truly a gift
and I want to make the most of it along the way.
My journey is simple.
I am grateful for so many things.
Gratitude is a spirit of the heart.
I promise to keep that attitude daily,
always looking, always growing
and always being happy.
Won't you join me?
Love and Blessings to you!

Donna Lee
(oh how I love that name!)

Where is your path leading you?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Love in my Heart

This piece was inspired by so many wonderful teachers!

This piece was created for my HeART exchange with Louise Gale!

I recently purchased a new size
canvas board
8 x 16
from my local Jerry's Artarama
and wanted to create a piece
that was inspired by so many teachers.
I wanted to use techniques that
I had learned in workshops,
through books, Somerset Studio, blogs and e-courses.
I had a blast with this one!
I started by collaging papers onto the board,
I stamped, stenciled and added "stuff"
all over the papers.
I scraped paint colors of
titanium white and cobalt turquoise
thank you Mindy Lacefield
for inspiring me at Serendipity!
I then cut out a heart of antique ledger paper
in the shape of a heart,
punched hearts and gave it wings,
I then added some words that
I wanted to say . . .
"Remember to listen to your heart and dance gently"
I am so happy with the results!
I then took a photo with my Instagram
using my new Iphone and added a few effects with the photo
and I love what you see here!
So I wanted to share it with you!

To my readers . . .
you have my heart,
you have my love,
I thank you for your support,
your wonderful words of encouragement
and for giving me the motivation to keep sharing.

Love YOU!
donna lee

Monday, November 14, 2011

Being creative with my pomegranates!

It begins in early spring
with the most beautiful blossoms all over the tree!
During the summer, the fruit slowly begins to grow
and the blossoms fade away
 The fruits become a beautiful red
and keep growing and growing
When they are finally ready in the fall to eat
There are the most beautiful seeds inside. 
They are full of antioxidants and delicious
in so many things!
Lots of yumminess for me to snack on!
My favorite is mixed in with vanilla greek yogurt!
The juice stains everything and can make quite a mess.
Then it hit me . . . wouldn't it make a nice watercolor?
So I tried it . . . .
I loved the beautiful color it produced on 
the watercolor paper.  
So I decided to create a mixed media little piece!
The mountain sky is pomegranate pink.
I then started adding my collage papers and stuff
I had seen this demo in the recent
Cloth Paper and Scissors issue this month
and of course, made it my own!
Here is my finished piece!

And to think it all began this spring,
with my little pomegranate tree!
I love to look at everything as a creative experience,
a time to explore something new
and see what I can come up with!
I would love for you to share with me
what you have been working on lately!

Have a blessed and most creative week!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Having Creative Courage

Courageous:  bold, bravery, daring, fearless, spirit, unafraid and valor

I have been working on an e-course that I wanted to share with you,
It has changed my entire perspective on Creativity
and Stephanie is such a love!

I entitled my blog entry today "HAVING CREATIVE COURAGE"
because I truly believe that we all are creative in so many ways,
but it does take courage to live creatively and artistically.
Sometimes it is not understood or appreciated by others.
Courage is an interesting word and that was why I related to this course so well.
I have considered myself an "Artist" for quite some time now,
but having the courage to actually call myself that to others,
was a whole nother thing!

I had been following Stephanie's blog and her Etsy shop for quite sometime, 
there was something so gentle and caring about her.
Her illustrations and artwork are amazing,
her written word was speaking right to my heart even more.
When she introduced her E-course, I was really excited about it,
and it was coming at a perfect time for me!

I try to enroll in different e-courses, to learn from so many
wonderful creatives as I can.  
I am like a sponge, just soaking up all the creative ideas and energy!
 The Internet makes learning and sharing so easy nowadays!
We don't always have the resources or the time to travel all over
attending wonderful art retreats.
The invention or creation (excuse the pun)
of e-courses was brilliant.  They are popping up all over, 
it is hard to pick and choose which one to take.
I love attending class with coffee in one hand,
and staying in the comfort of my jammies,
 all in the privacy of my own home,
 on my own schedule and with no make up!
All the while I am part of a community with my fellow class members,
sharing ideas, encouraging one another and developing new friendships!
It is truly an awesome way to learn.

Stephanie has taught us in so many ways with videos on Monday mornings,
everyday a post that inspires a way to live more creatively,
there has been exercises to work on,
interviews with fellow creatives,
I received a postcard from Stephanie (sent all the way from Venice),
smiles, ideas, creative projects, inspiring thoughts and conversations,
 our own private facebook group,
what a wonderful learning experience it has been!
I don't look forward to it ending soon.
It has been my early morning ritual for the past
seven weeks.
Thank you Stephanie, for leading by example.
For inspiring and sharing so much of your knowledge with us,
for encouraging the inner artist (the fellow creative inside all of us)
to come out and play, 
to have confidence in ourselves and in the artwork we are producing.
You truly did inspire courage for me to step forward even more.
I recommend this course over and over again,
and can't shout it's praises enough!
She is starting another one in the new year, don't miss it.

I leave you with one of my favorite exercises from the course!
Stephanie gave us a list of questions to ponder on
 and gave us the freedom to add any more that came to us   . . . here is my list :

I believe that I can . . .
I have the courage to . . .
I welcome . . .
I celebrate  . . .
I listen to . . .
I am grateful for . . .
I wish that . . .
I know without a doubt . . .
I love myself because . . .
I create because . . .
I hear deep within . . .
I am happy because . . .

Creatively and Courageously Yours!
Donna Lee

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Serendipity Experience

What I am feeling this week!

r e n d i p i t y

 I don't even know how to begin to describe the magic that happened this past week at Serendipity Art Retreats
 in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  
It has taken me days to even be able to write about it!

I decided that the best way for me to describe it
is with word descriptions that keep popping in my head,

and are remaining in my heart 
so here it goes:

Friendships, so many smiles and hugs, giggles, art, 

creativity, walks on the beautiful beach, 
watching the strong waves,
delicious food, laughter and dancing, magic,
 quiet time, self reflection, bonfire on the beach,
beautiful sunrises,
opening ceremony and setting intentions,
Michelle sharing those intentions,

my heart skipping a beat,
meeting new friends, reuniting with old friends,
happiness and more happiness,
watching Elizabeth knit in her pigtails,
twinkle lights everywhere,
late night painting and laughter, 

reaching out to someone new
story telling, always sharing, 

opening up our innermost feelings,
beautiful oceanside room,
homemade granola,
lots of photography, 

teaching a friend to knit 
and watching her get it,
incredible teachers, 

class time and more creativity,
talking and laughing,
smudging with Pixie,
  savoring gratitude with Michelle,
yoga and massage,
intuitive painting with Mindy,
yummy food and fellowship time,
Michelle's homemade cobbler for dessert, 

reading a friend's heartfelt poetry,
stolen moments with special friends! 

That special wave goodbye at the end of the driveway
 when it was time to head back home, 
I will never forget!

I realize what an opportunity it was to attend
this beautiful experience.  It is one I will never forget!
How rare it is when a group of 30 or more women
can come together and retreat together.
Going home more centered and with new friendships formed.
Struggling with re-entry and missing what was.

Women need girlie times together.
Women need to get away.
It makes us stronger, it makes us happier,
and it pulls together all the inner feelings
that are rumbling about in the head and heart.
Life is busy and I know for my own self
I am calmer and more at peace
 for taking the time to get away
 to create and learn new things,
What a gift it was to bond with
my Serendipity Sisters.
What an awesome experience it was,
my heart is over filled!

I am truly not the same.

Please stop by and visit my flicker site,
you will find lots of my fun photos of Serendipity!
Hope to see you there!

With love and gratitude,