Generations

Over spring break we took our Traveling Circus to see my grandma. 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer)

This lady is so special. She gets me. She’s the one in my family who understands my artsy fartsy nature and how that means sometimes we color outside the lines because she’s one of us. 

She’s an artist as well. She was a writer and creator of newsletters, newspapers and hand-written letters from back in the day when you used typewriters and correction white out. She didn’t have fancy computer programs to whip up her small town paper–she and a friend produced it themselves and copied it on a thing called a mimeograph. She showed me copies and it was purple ink, people!

She discovered she was also an artist when she was about the age you start drawing social security, and since she had to make up for lost time, she painted probably close to a thousand paintings since then. Several hang proudly in my home, and there are a couple scattered in fairly prestigious places.

Grandma Ginger is funny, smart, witty, and understands that an artist needs a little mess around her to function. She’s not afraid of making mistakes–when I would go paint with her and her girlfriends occasionally at her Tuesday morning Pal-ettes club she would tell me, “Don’t worry, if you don’t like it we’ll just paint over it and start again.”

She taught me about relationships, about telling the truth kindly. She showed me that holding your hands with your spouse after sixty years of marriage was still cool, that it’s never too late to do what you love. She taught me that being artsy and passionate and different was ok. 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

I love this lady to pieces and I am so grateful that even my kids–two generations down the line–will know her and recieve the benefits of her knowledge. She has seen large parts of two centuries and the changes within, from horse and buggy to the Great Depression to a world war. 

I so want to be like Grandma Ginger when I grow up–

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2016. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

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Gifts and Blessings

I’m always amazed when people take time out of their days to bless me. Whether it’s a friend sending a text at exactly the right time or an email checking on me, lunch or meeting for coffee, it always seems to come at the right time. 

 (photo cred the WoW style)

Giving these gifts–big or small–requires a sacrifice of some sort. Maybe time or effort or just looking beyond one’s self to see who needs to be blessed. In a world of selfish behavior and looking out for #1, I find this gift-giving so refreshing. To be on either the giving or recieving end is a blessing.

Every time someone reaches out and does something spectacularly selfless, I not only fill up with squishy gooeyness on the inside, but it spurs me on to do the same. To pass it on and pay it forward. This week I recieved a very personal gift, and it required a sacrifice of time and lots of talent. My friend Linda gave me a portrait of my family that she drew. 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

This wasn’t just something she whipped up. It took time away from her busy schedule as a teacher, mama and grandma. She had to study the original, outline us, color us in. Every detail was tended to, from eye color to the cover of my book– 

 (original-photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

So I ask: who can you bless today? Who needs your time or talents or kind words or smile? Who needs some encouragement? I dare say there are several people in your world that could use some of that stuff. Encouragement and hope are powerful seeds to plant inside someone–take a moment today to look around and see who you can bless. 

And if your are in need yourself, see what happens when you encourage someone else. It’s amazing how it will come back to you–

 (photo cred brown-eyed-whimsy.tumblr.com)

Now go, be blessed and be a blessing!

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Caffeinating

The struggle is real….  (Photo cred Sweatpants & Coffee)
  (Photo cred popsugar.com)
You’re welcome­čśŐ Hope your day is as caffeinated as mine, blessings friends!

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Art Therapy

Lately I’ve been procrastinating. I know, you’re like, this again? But yeah. I can’t help it. I have a book deadline I’m racing towards and it seems I avoid writing by fulfilling a deep need to organize.

Everything.

I told my Mr. Wonderful I was nesting. He said, and I quote, “You better not be, we fixed that!” Probably because the last time I was nesting I was expecting a baby and since hubs has retired all the soldiers (ie, got a vasectomy), in his mind, there shouldn’t be a reason to nest.

But there is.

Creativity for me is therapy. Making things beautiful, repurposing them, breathing new life into old spaces or places is soul-strengthening for me. And for too long I have had to be in survival mode just to make sure my family was functioning.

But now we are in more stable territory. Now we are laughing and finding joy in the everyday. Now we seem to have a handle on some things–notice I didn’t say all things–and it feels like I have some room to breathe. To create. To do life in full color.

This last week a new friend of ours was put in the ICU. His wife trains our service dog, he is former military with PTSD as well. We just went to their wedding about three weeks ago so it was shocking that he got so sick so fast.

And to see someone with tubes and plugs and liquids draining in and out is about more than anyone can take. I feel the pain of the family–he’s much, much too young. It’s the holidays. They just want this husband-son-father-friend to be ok. That’s what we’ve all been on our knees about.  

 (Photo credit lifehack.com)

Every time I come home from the hospital I paint something. Or organize something. I can’t seem to sit still very long because my house is calling me to make it a home. Finally. After a year and a half I guess it’s about time.

And every project big or small that I complete brings me such joy. I am amazed that the one who made the most beautiful sunrises and rainbows and red birds and starry nights created me to create. I am in awe when I think about this even just a little bit.

He knew that to combat the hurt and pain and hard days and sleepless night I would need to be an artist. I would need to be a musician and a writer and a photographer so that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed by all the ugliness this world has to offer. 

 (photo credit roadtrippers.com)

What a gift.

What beauty are you putting in this world today? Don’t let your inner censor or critic convince you not to do it. The world needs more beautiful, and it’s up to you to do your part. 

 (photo credit leeanngtaylor.com)

Even if you don’t have training. Or think you know what you’re doing. Or don’t think you’re very good. Contribute whatever gorgeousness you feel compelled to create–we will all be better for it.

┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 19 (I’m super late lol)

  Thankful for creativity in any form, for the artists and musicians and the dreamers and the writers–life without creativity would be so blah…

(photo credit Pinterest) ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

#art #artist #writer #amwriting #writersofinstagram #music #musician #photographer #photos #create #creativity #dreambig

Artsy Fartsy

My mom would hate the title of this post-she thinks fart is the F word. As I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read my blog (in her defense she read my book and is also one busy lady who doesn’t do technology-she’s currently teaching French at the college level and taking German and taking Russian. All in the same semester.) I’m probably safe with the title.

I have always been Arsty Fartsy. Interested in any genre that involved creativity or making something from nothing or disciplines involving glitter, I am at home in the arts. This is where I live. It’s where I feel alive.

The arts bring me joy. And when Mama’s happy, everyone’s happy. My Mr. Wonderful has realized this and being the smart man he is, he has decided to give me (drumroll please) MY OWN SPACE! 

Now with four kids and a dog this is a fairly tall order. So he is carving out a spot that will be all my own under the stairs-yes, I’m going to have a Harry Potter closet!!!

 Yikes!

I’m so excited to have a tiny space that I can decorate with girly things and then shut the door to all the noise and children and write or dream or think or just be.

We’ve started cleaning it out (you were scared by the picture above, weren’t you?) and Mr. Wonderful already built me a platform for laying about. He’s also building me a drop down desk for writing. I’m going to cover the mini-platform bed with frilly pillows and lovely trinkets and then ban my children from ever entering. Not because I don’t love them. But because I do.

I am a better Mama when I have a tiny bit of time to myself. And if I’m going to continue the writing part of being Artsy Fartsy, I need a space at home to do that in. A place untouched by the chaos and clutter of the rest of my house. 

 

Oh, this is happening! Since this is one of my Mother’s Day gifts (I sure hope Mr. Wonderful is reading this so he knows I’m expecting something to open and brunch on Mother’s Day. If you talk to him, let him know for me, would ya?) it’ll be finished very soon.

Can’t wait to show you my little grownup playhouse under the stairs. I’m thinking I should name it. Any suggestions?

(1st Photo credit http://www.tonykriz.com)

Other photo credits Meredith Shafer, ┬ęCopyright Meredith Shafer 2015