Monday, December 3, 2012

December Heart Thoughts . . .

From my Studio to Yours

I recently added some twinkle to my studio
and I love the feeling of happiness they bring to me
every time I enter my art space!
I had them awhile back and took them down,
(not quite sure why I took them away,
but they are back!)

How wonderful it is to have my very own
creative space
where all of my art supplies, books,
yarns, fibers, mixed media stuff,
paints, brushes, journals,
rubber stamps, washi tapes
and so much more
are all together
in one magical room!

December is such a hectic time of year
we have so much to do,
so many gifts to shop for,
creative gifts to make,
cards to send
and so much more.
I am currently enjoying
Hannah Marcotti's
21 days of connecting with gratitude.
What a gift I gave to myself!
 It is teaching me to slow myself down
enjoy the holiday
and find some breathing space
for just me!

So my December
will be filled with quiet moments,
not rushing through this holiday,
time for writing poetry,
good times spent with family and friends,
staying off the computer,
and taking a cyber break!
I want to work on re-designing
my precious little blog for 2013,
so I will enter the new year
refreshed, restored,
ready for new adventures
and coming back with a totally
new blog look!

So I wish you a holiday filled with love,
precious times with your family
and time for you to
rest within yourself.
Take the time to connect
with your thoughts, your faith
and your heart desires.
I wish you sincere peace.

I will see you in 2013!
I am looking forward to taking
Flora Bowley's E course
in January
so I will be off to a 
great creative start!

Blessings and Hugs
to you my creative family
Donna Lee

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful Wishes . . .

Wishing Tree from my niece Emily's wedding day

I recently watched a movie on the Hallmark Channel
entitled "The Wishing Tree"
and it really touched my heart.
Then after seeing one at a family wedding recently,
I realized what a beautiful idea that was!
Instead of putting wishes for a couple at a wedding,
I would create my own creative wishes.

It made me want to put one in my studio
and add my own wishes to the tree.
What inspiration that will be!
So right now I am on the hunt
for the perfect limb from a tree.

You know that got me to thinking
(for everything gets me to thinking these days!)
What am I wishing for right now, here in this moment?
It caused me to pause and reflect,
for I needed to ... life is going way to fast for me lately.
I keep finding myself trying to escape away to quiet
and think about this question
and here is what I finally WISH to share with you:

I wish for:

Peace of Mind
A Quiet Heart
More Writing Time
Happiness at Work

Health and Happiness
for my precious family
More time spent with my kids
(anyway and anyhow)

More time for Yoga
Cuddle time with the hubby
Getaways whenever I can
(lots of them!)

Reduce the chatter in my mind
 Always have time for poetry in my life
To be a beautiful and helpful soul
to others all around me 

I wish for you:

Beauty of Heart
Happiness and Spiritual Well Being
Well spent time with yourself
To always find 
the creative spirit inside you

Love and Laughter
Time to slow yourself down
Creative time to play
Wellness and Beauty
all around you.

Happy Thanksgiving
sending gratitude 
for what is right now
and what will be in the future
You are loved by me!

Donna Lee

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I met Shelly along the way . . .

Shelly Norris of Soul Fire Retreats
writing on Maya Stein's "Type-Rider"

Last year at Serendipity Retreat
in the Outer Banks
October, 2011
I met this sweet and amazing girl
name Shelly Norris!
She was a teacher right where
I lived in Virginia Beach!
She came at the suggestion of her
good friend and author
Susan Pease,
my cottage mate at Squam by the Sea
October 2010
(are you getting all these connections?)
Retreats are always about 
 bringing others together. 

It was her first retreat 
she was on fire! 
She took in the entire retreat experience
with such joy and excitedness
that her attitude
was infectious!

She returned this year to the Outer Banks
for Squam by the Sea
and it was so good to see her once again.
For now she has quit her teaching job,
and begun a journey,
a beautiful journey all her own
Soul Fire Retreats!

She will be holding her very first one
in Sandbridge, Virginia Beach
in February of 2013
and has plans to hold
many more in the future,
each retreat having different
venues to choose from.

I just wanted to encourage you to check out her video
on You Tube here!
I wish much success along the way
for Shelly is a beautiful soul
wide open with expectations!

It was important for me to share Shelly with you,
I am so grateful to have loving and creative friends
in this artistic life of mine.
If you are looking for nourishment, looking for
a new life "shift"
then this is the place to look.
Fall back in "love" with 
your truest self!
Art classes, fellowship and so much more!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Participating in a Card Swap!

"Trust the Process"

This year I participated in the "Inspirational Card Deck Swap" with

I had read about her first swap earlier this year
and when she decided to hold another swap this fall
I knew I wanted to participate this time.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica
at Squam by the Sea this year
in the Outer Banks,
how wonderful it is to connect with
new friends from our social media world
and actually have a conversation
in person!
Jessica inspires me in so many ways,
please check out her link above to
her beautiful blog,
she is doing amazing work over there!

The deadline to have our 52 cards
to Jessica is November 15th,
so I am very proud of myself
for having completed and mailed
them off to Jessica this week!

It all began when Hurricane Sandy
decided to do her number on the East Coast,
and on Monday last week, she pounced
on Virginia Beach!
My office was closed and I found myself with a day off.
 I spent the entire day beginning and working 
on the process!
(Kinda cool hearing wind and rain while creating)

The challenge was to  start with a deck of cards,
all 52 of them
and I started playing away.

First Layer was white gesso

I used Liquitex gesso . . . I love it for many things
(even covering up pages for journaling)

Decided the second layer would be a stencil
Robin's Egg is my favorite color

Starting to come to life

Something starting to happen here ...

Added lots of different dimensions
to the cards that I use in my own
collage pieces
I have learned along the way

More Card Detail
(bubble wrap, smudges, rollers, palette scraping, bottle caps) 

A Little rubber stamping too

Almost there!

Writing down 52
Inspirational Thoughts for my cards
I then decided to type them on the computer
in a favorite font
Print onto Tracing Paper
and use on my cards
(learned about tracing paper on a tutorial)
I wasn't sure if it would work in my printer

Added inspirational quotes with matte gel medium

This is my favorite one!
I used a fun metallic marker around
each quote
Added a heart from ephemera 
to each card
A thin layer of top coat
Then finished with black gesso
along the borders

My hubby would just pass by the kitchen table
day after day to see how they progressed
he didn't get it
but knew it was something I had to do!
Love my hubby!

I packaged them up pretty
and mailed them off at the end
of this week
after thoroughly drying.

Now I wait . . . 
later this year Jessica will mail back to me
with 52 new cards (including one of my own)
and I will have a deck of inspiration
to begin my new Creative Year with!
One for each week to ponder on!

What fun it was, it took a lot of time
but was worth every minute of it.
Thanks Jess for putting it all together for us,
now the work is on you!
This was a great artistic experience
just having returned from the Sea!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Retreats are good for you!

Squam treasures
Gathering special mementos along the way

I am not sure where to begin with my blog post (which is certainly way over due) but to let you know I have returned after five amazing days at Squam by the Sea Retreat at Pine Island, in Corolla, North Carolina. It was a retreat that was full of so many memories and good things, I wanted to share with you.  I was able to re-connect with friends I had met two years ago and gather new friends as well.  There were so many first timers this year, it was fun seeing Squam through their newbie eyes!  I remember that was me just a few years ago.  I got to meet teachers I had never met before, learn new painting techniques, write poetry in my journal during quiet moments, spend time with my roomie Karen D and share fellowship and giggles with my housemates, take in the early morning sunrises, knit socks with the sound of ocean waves in my ears, look for the meteors with my roomies at 1:00 in the morning, capture photos and experience the beautiful sunsets over the sound.

It was an amazing soul searching experience and I came home renewed with my spirit and with my artwork.  Re-entry into normal life was extremely difficult this time around. I still am not ready to let go of all I took in.   I went with the mindset of wanting to experience and receive as much as I could, and I certainly came home overflowed with emotions.  So here are a few memories of mine to share with you, and you can perhaps understand the Squam experience with me. Next time around, perhaps you will be able to join me.

I was so excited to be here!
This was there to greet us as we arrived

My classmates gathered for dinner the night before class
I took three days with Flora Bowley
"Release and Become"

Maya Stein brought her "Type-Rider" for all of us
What a privilege to type from her writing prompt
it was such a thrill for me

A small and precious gift from Flora
we chose before starting class
Trust Your Intuition
I picked just the right one for me!

Opening ceremony with Flora
Letting go of  . . . 

Watching Flora demonstrate for three days
what a beautiful experience it was
I learned so much

My art table ... full of goodness

My painting view
Twinkling lights all over the room

Early morning sunrise
each day got more beautiful than the last

Candlelight closing ceremony
on the beach
My word to Elizabeth

Gallery night and sharing our work with others

"Love on the Beach"
I brought this with me from home
created by Ro Bruhn

Of course there is always treats to bring home
Flora bags, Maya tee shirt and poetry book
Ish (read by Flora during class)
and new Mary Oliver Poetry book
found at the local Island Bookstore

Somehow these pictures just sum up my Squam experience.  Perhaps another post will be all the wonderful pics with friends along the way.  I did post a Squam 2012 photo album on my flicker page if you care to see more! I felt that these favorite moments expressed my retreat for me.  Thank you Elizabeth for your vision to gather women together in a beautiful surrounding and let them let go, create, share, cry, dance and let the experience unfold just the way it is supposed to.  I am grateful . . . so very grateful!

Donna Lee

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Heading to Squam by the Sea

The sunrise view from my room last time

I am so excited to be heading
to Squam by the Sea
this week.

I have been so ready for this
for quite awhile now.
My bags are packed,
the art supplies are
 my camera is packed 
and ready to capture
unforgettable moments.

Squam is a time to rediscover
it is a time to reconnect 
with special friends
and make new
connections along the way.
My heart and my soul
are ready for what lies ahead.

My first Squam experience was
after I had just lost my mother.
I was afraid and unsure of myself
 I didn't know anyone
but one person.
It didn't take long for everyone
to embrace me
and I grew as a person
and as an artist that year.
I still carry memories of that
first Squam experience
and cherish the friendships
today that were made there.

I am grateful to be able to attend
this amazing event
I never want to take it for granted
I will be missing a few friends
who won't be there this year
my heart is already missing you

So off I go . . .
to the Outer Banks
eager and ready
to experience my art, 
to fill my creative self
and to find new things along the way.
I promise to share and have
lots of photos when I return.
Incredible moments are
just waiting for me
to come and receive.

I wish you a week of 
peace and beauty
until I return home.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cerulean Blue

I recently took a Poetry Workshop 
with the Poetry Society of Virginia
with the amazing Daniel Pravda
a Professor from Norfolk State University
on a beautiful Saturday afternoon!

We shared poems and lunch together, 
analyzed and broke down poetry,
shared our interpretations and insights
along the way.

He then gave us a poetry prompt
to write about an object that we can relate to
that will bring the reader in about the object
for me it was a tube of watercolor paint
Cerulean Blue
it just seemed right.

So this artist (slash poet) would like to 
share her words with you today . . . 

Cerulean Blue

This dried up tube of paint
still sits upon her art table
covered in dried up smudges
no more life to squeeze from within
Every ounce of color poured out
from it's crumpled little body
Now only showing the letters
U and E and C
Beautiful paintings of skies and clouds
found it's way from this tube
to the painter's palette
to the empty canvas

Cerulean Blue  . . .
bright and magical
soothing and calming
such a feeling of serene
It's color will exist here
upon the canvas
hanging in beauty for
the eyes to behold
Long after this tube of
Cerulean Blue
has been thrown away into the can

(poem inspired by Daniel Pravda Poetry Workshop)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Life's Yummy Moments

Yummy Red Velvet!

Special times with family

Quiet writing time

Afternoon naps

Walks in the beach


Girlfriend time

Creating my Art

Seasons changing


Riding bikes

Delicious food

Candlelight and Incense

An intimate restaurant



Good Music

Bubble Baths



Long walks



Life is full if yummy moments, 
just look for them and you will see! 
Tell me what's yours?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Artist . . .

Self Portrait on a Sunday Afternoon

I just had a quiet day to myself in the Outer Banks,
as I was shopping I came across this sign in an art store
it read
"Artist at Work"
it was for sale.

I am always playing with my camera
looking for just the right Instagram photo,
and the word Artist
just kept speaking to me
I took out my camera
and focused just on the word Artist.
I also saw my reflection from the glass
staring up at me.

I began to realize and begin to think
YES little girl inside
I truly am an Artist!
I am seeking to live creatively
each and every day.
Art is personal, it is reflective,
it is expressive.
There are no rights and wrongs.

As I saw my own reflection
in the window yesterday
I spoke to myself
"Be proud of yourself Donna Lee"
and the work that you
have accomplished so far.

I have come a long way in my 
artistic life.
I have learned so many things about
myself along the way.
Art truly makes me happy.
Writing expresses the thoughts from within.
Creating gives me peace.
I love painting on the Beach
I do have something to offer others.

I am truly an

Monday, September 17, 2012

Little Red Boots

My Little Red Boots

Well it all started with Pinterest!
I created a Donna Lee's Wishlist Board
there they were
Red boots from the Sundance Catalog
Oh how I wanted them,
drooled over them,
kept returning to the catalog,
looked at others,
but nothing took their place!

One day my hubby said
"Why don't you order them?"
It didn't take me long to call
and they were in within a week.
I am just a happy little girl.

I love them,
I can't believe they are
finally mine.
Isn't it amazing how something
wonderful can make us feel
so alive and new?

Can't wait to pack in my suitcase
and wear at Squam By the Sea!
Now I need a cute jean skirt
to go along with them,
the list is never ending.

I am giddy over them,
happy to get them,
love my hubby for his
generous gift,
Me and my Little Red Boots!
How happy we will be!