Wednesday, November 30, 2011

RAAK's .. random act of art kindness

I learned about RAAK's from Milliande Art Community for Women

you may rememeber an earlier post of my first RAAK's received in the mail... I was sooo excited by them.

now.. it's my turn... this is just one sgraffiti patterned one... that I took several fun pics of.. so I could keep a copy ... sometimes its hard to part with something you've made and quite like the look of. haha

I heard on a podcast recently ...
"We're here to Love the World Awake" 

 It is a little bit strange to share what is meant for someone else... but you know that idea of giving the gift you wish to receive yourself... well this way.. i get to post it digitally to myself to re-visit in a place where it's easy to find... :0)  and if by chance you're visiting here... you can receive this as a little 'random act of art kindness' for you too.

if you feel to . . .

this can be done out in public... secretly, as well.

bye for now,

love Denise xo

Friday, October 7, 2011

Gifts of ordinary days

I am thrilled to share about a lovely book I'm almost finished reading, it's called "The gift on an ordinary day" ~ A Mother's Memoir by Katrina Kenison

Anyone who knows me will automatically see a kindred spirit right there on the front cover, I LOVE tea, teacups and all things tea related. Not that this book features tea in a huge way but I've been enjoying reading it with my many cups.. either with toast in the morning or later in the days.

And... I also wanted to share the magic that is 2011 .... I read a piece in this book that moved me so much it brought tears to my eyes speaking of the love that can be shared when caring for a friend who is unwell. 
So, I wrote a little email note to Katrina last week telling her so, and this morning I received a response, how DELIGHTFUL is that, to reach out to an author who has touched my life... from the other side of the world... and to have her respond... is no ordinary thing to me... it's a beautiful blessing that's gifted me a smile and joy.

I'm doing some self care things today like giving myself a pedicure and painting my nails red... and I'm off to a music festival ... where on Sunday the band 'Icehouse' will be playing... my sister Min who died in 1997 was the one who introduced their music to me... so I'm thinking she'll be with me in spirit.

I've had a couple of not so easy years these last two gone by... so I'm so happy to sense a shift ... an arrival of what feels a whole lot like 'Spring' .... not only in the seasons here in Australia, but in my step and spirit as well.

I hope you have a little Spring in your day too no matter where in the world you happen to be.  If not.... have a cup of tea. 

Denise xo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I received my first Random Acts of Art Kindness!!

Ohhh, the joy of it... I squeezed out every drop of excitement I could.

RAAK = Random Act of Art Kindness... 
I know this, only because of the fantastic Milliande Art Community for women  

On Thursday morning last week (11 Aug 11) I was on my way to the beach for a morning walk, (which is my favourite and best way of starting the day) and thought I might just check the new PO Box.

I was surprised and delighted to find two envelopes addressed to me!!!

I placed them lovingly on the passenger seat next to me... and proceeded to the beach with a feeling of such glee I felt like a little kid at Christmas time, they were like unwrapped presents with a secret waiting for me inside.

Even the beach was picture perfect

I left them til Sunday afternoon to open!!!  I was busy on Friday and Saturday and simply did not want to squeeze them into a 5 minute window.

Inside I was delighted to find 

from Ruth ...  a gorgeous zen-gami crane and an explanation of the 'Thousand Crane Legend' to go with it, and a delighful delicately decorated design on Ruth's note card.

and from Emily a gorgeous hand made card with magical words in it and wishing me a Happy Birthday for later this month!!!  how special... and my very first received and seen Artist Trading Cards, Em said  to 'celebrate YOU!'  How extraordinary!!!!   

and LOOK AT that poem by Mary Oliver so lovingly and perfectly placed on the outside of this beautiful envelope, I wonder how many people in the postal service were blessed with the carriage of this letter, if they had a quick moment to read this verse.

Gratitude bubbles over with the receiving of these heart art gifts from two wonderful women across the other side of the world from me.



p.s.  I got so much joy from this... I even went so far as to create my very first 'vlog' and raved on in front of my web cam as I opened the envelopes... haha

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Survival Kit for Artists

I'm a bit lost at the moment, it's a boring story... so I'll focus on something really cool I just found via a bookmark I made last year sometime during the Flying Lesson's e-course . . .

This is by a very clever lady named Keri Smith she has fabulously and bodaciously created an 'Artist's Survival Kit'

You know that saying ... you had me at 'hello' ... well she had me at "when you feel like everything you do is shit"

This is a snippet from the intro to her fabulous kit...

"For the really bad days, for the days when you want to quit, when you feel like everything you do is shit, when you feel your self-esteem plummet, when you decide that you would rather wait tables for a living, when you start to think you will never make a living making art, when you are working on something and feel like you hate it more than you’ve ever hated anything in your life, when someone makes an offhand remark about your work and afterwards you feel dejected, when you wish you had gone to school for accounting, when you start to believe that maybe your family was right, when you want to lie in bed for a month and eat chips.
It pays to have a sense of humor.

The artist’s survival kit offers some help .

I'm printing it out for myself now!

so now, at least I can feel like I did one useful thing today... I shared a cool thing xx

love Denise xo

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Simply Sunday

 My day began slowly... I woke with a pounding headache in the back of my head, so I just lazed in bed hoping it would just go away... my dear partner brought me breakfast in bed, including a magic pot of tea that always cheers me up no matter what.  And also our little dog, wrapped in a blanket was placed lovingly on my bed... because she's not really meant to beee on my bed ... but how can I resist those eyes?


Slowly does it... and a visit to the beach with my banana lounge to sit and listen to the waves and finish reading a wonderful book that is now overdue back to the library.

"Don't keep searching for the truth,
Just let go of your opinions"

Man: Doc, my brother's crazy. He thinks he's a chicken.
Psychologist: Well, why don't you turn him in?
Man: I would, but I need the eggs.
~ Woody Allen.

Elizabeth Lesser in "Broken Open - How difficult Times Can Help Us Grow" was referring to the point that we know or feel that something isn't quite right in our life but for some reason we hold on to the perceived reward, instead of letting it go and fully embracing the next chapter or learning that is meant to be for us. 
I wonder... Maybe we slow down our process but then that negates the fact that everything is perfect just as it is... and in perfect timing.  But... if i didn't read things like this in the first place I may not question the very thing I am shifting and moving away from...  

enjoying a simple Sunday?

mmm, maybe not simple enough, haha!!

love Denise xo

Monday, June 20, 2011

A little bit of Cypress Sun in my day

I was delighted to receive my little parcel in the mail today....

I have been looking over at for months now...

ever since I saw some of Amy's beautiful work and got to know her a little via an online course we both took... 'Flying Lessons' with Kelly Rae Roberts .. 

my self gift... is a pair of Forest Green drop earrings... not very well shown here,
but I wanted to remember the delightful packaging and sentiment that came all the way from San Marcos today.

Thank you Amy

love Denise xo

ps. you'll love her blog... the photo's are delicious, and the temptation to spoil yourself with one of her gorgeous creations is very likely too.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday...changing things about

Sometimes I've heard it's better to 'leave well enough alone' ... well I didn't take that advice, and have gone ahead and changed my header on the blog...

I wanted to make a distinction between the new blog I've made as part of my new website... it can be more about the artwork and things... but I wanted a place to just be quiet... or say whatevertheheck I like.

fragmented human being that I am... compartmentalising things sometimes helps... being someone who lives far too much in her head... over thinking ... is it any wonder I have 'header trouble' ... and being a perfectionist is annoys me greatly that the darn header is narrower than the body of this blog.

Yep... BIG deal ... it's not I know....I'm just blurting... because I've given myself permission to do that!

I used to move all the furniture around in my rental house years ago... to make it feel better... I wonder if it works for blogs too.

love Denise xo

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Free Spirits re-visited...

I have begun a new blog over on my newly created website... but for those of you who prefer to be here... I'm repeating the post... and may do so for coming ones.. xo

Yesterday I made my first little video... I had a bunch of photo's from my second solo show back in 2008, that were waiting for me to get to them.  As I worked my way through it's creation I was moved by the smiles on the faces of my family and friends and visitors to the opening, it was an incredibly celebratory day for me, and the gallery in which my work is represented shines beautifully thoughout the pictures.  

On a more personal note... I felt like I was making a movie about someone else... someone I actually love and admire, but have not been so in tune with for the last 18 months or more, with the global financial crisis in late 2009 came a bit of a jolt and a personal artist/life crisis as well.  Various things have contributed to bouts of depression and the fact I had allowed myself to become anemic once again, have brought me to a big check point where I am taking a long hard look at my life and health and wanting very much to clear out the rubbish and embrace my true self once again... with renewed strength and clarity.  
I’m not quite there... I’m somewhat confused about my work... but more ok about that lately than I have been these last months... after all, beating up on myself for not doing enough, not being enough, and not having enough is really the most unhelpful I can be for any kind of progress to come out of that same scenario.
This little video actually made me feel genuinely happy, the music by Frou Frou is such a gorgeous accompaniment to the feeling I had for the artwork.  It is my pleasure to bring something joyful into the world.
Love Denise xo

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

.... no reading... listening...

can i just say... it's not working.... don't know if I can ever do such a thing...

but... I am much more aware of this need to read!

I am being selective, and I couldn't help it that my local library emailed me the very day after I began this 'challenge' to tell me my reservation of "This Is Not The Book You Think It Is" by Laura Munson was there waiting for me!

I read that book immediately, because I felt an instant connection to the writer and there is nothing like meeting a kindred spirit along the creative path, one with whom you feel connected simply by the sharing of your story... I am so grateful for people who share from their hearts... if you want to find out more ... visit Laura's website

I'm actually very busy creating a new website... from scratch.... I'm still not sure if I'm extremely clever or stupid to undertake such a task... but oh well.... I might also have to dive back into my Flying Lessons by Kelly Rae.... for some help on this.

bye for now fellow creative traveller,

Denise xo

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 1 of 30 - without reading/listening to books or articles

I thought it might be interesting, to keep a little bit of a note about how this process goes for me.

I am a bit of a junkie when it comes to self help/psychology, uplifting, inspiring... kinds of books and podcasts... so much so that I think I may over do it... so on the weekend when I was having a day where my head felt it might explode with the sheer volume of thoughts running amock in my head... my partner challenged me to go without reading and listening to 'my stuff' for a month!  I was slightly resistant... well a lot resistant at first, but knowing how I had avoided the week of 'reading deprivation' in the Artist Way course I am taking myself through (a bit slowly I might add) I thought there really might be something in this... for me, that I am missing by not doing it.

So... apart from keeping up with email, and a little bit of facebook * but not reading the long articles on there... I have been only listening to music today...

it felt strangely 'peaceful' in my head... I pondered... perhaps that is because every wonderful speaker I listen to... although I am inspired by what they are saying/teaching, I am constantly checking and judging whether I measure up!  Underlying all this is the constant question am I good enough?

So.... that's only day 1 mind you...... many days to go yet... and I even started a little painting... 

bye for now,
love Denise

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday... hi..

Hi there creative souls and friends,

Well... I listened in live to SARK's call today... and I am consistently amazed by her.  For example, when she speaks about inner critics... she suggests using creative and fun ways of working with them... or 'without them' actually... like... she sent a bunch of her inner critics to Japan because there is a lot of work to do there... and just before her call today... some were popping up to say things that were not all that helpful.. like... will she be good enough for such a large call ... etc... and so she sent those ones... "down to the back overgrown garden, there is plenty of work for them to do there, and they're still down there" she said with a giggle..... i LOVE that!!!  

She's the funnest most colourful bodaciously creative inspiring soul I know of!!

I've jokingly thought of putting 'SARK' as my *religion... on facebook... because whenever I read her books or listen to her speak her words inspire me, make me feel loved, accepted and ok....just as I am... and quite frankly my experience of regular religion never did that!

*i changed it haha!

I spent a little bit of time with my chicken 'Lucy' today... she's looking very old and has gone all quiet and maybe has a little cough... I'm wondering if she might cross over to chicken heaven quite soon... so I took some photo's of her...being a Sussex, she is one of the most pretty breeds of chickens I've seen.  Not however a very good layer... so we may not buy any more like her.  I have featured her in several of my paintings, because her little black lacey collar is just special.... and I love her.

She's got her little eyes closed...
she looked like she was meditating.

"Setting off for a picnic" (c) Denise Daffara

Goodnight lovelies

Denise xo

I am extremely happy to be an affiliate of SARK... and she has a new session of Dream Boogie starting soon if you are interested  I did Dream Boogie last year and LOVED it very much!!  Especially wonderful if you are a bit lonely and in need of some colour filled inspiration and a new wonderful group of creative friends, which you'll meet online, from all over the world.  - i blogged about Dream Boogie in a previous blog. x

note.... Tuesday 19 April 2011

My lovely Lucy Lou died last night, I found her this morning

... and then the most bazaar thing happened a couple of hours later... our little dog Aura who occasionally visits the chooks; whimpered at the screen door and when I opened it... she went straight outside across the wet deck and lawn to the chook pen...(she absolutely hates getting her feet wet so I was quite puzzled) ... I took some photo's.

Who knows.... curious animal behaviour...


Friday, March 25, 2011

Week 5, Recovering a Sense of Possibility

Hello there,

I'm slowing making my way through the Artist's Way.... I think some of my weeks are lasting as long as 10-15 days? hence... I'm only starting the Chapter marked Week 5...

I decided at the start it was going to take as long as it took.. so long as I stick with it til the end.  I am happy to say it's made all the difference to have a check-in buddy, my friend  Xanthe who's joined me for this adventure she's into the Dramatic Arts and a prolific writer of reviews and articles and attending performances and acting, directing and teaching... and a Mum to a dear little girl... she has her own blog Xanthe has her creative plate very very full, and I admire her tanacity and courage to follow her dreams.

So.... how am I doing with this 12 week course?  I'm enjoying it... and well... failing a little bit too... eg. last week was meant to be 'reading deprivation' no reading... of anything!!  And while I can see that could actually be very helpful for my creative self... it seems I'm a bit too insecure in myself at this moment to rise to such a challenge, I'm addicted to my self help books and astrology newletter info, not to mention email and friends on facebook and affirmations by Louise Hay.. or any number of the various books I have surrounded myself with... and the Color Wisdom Cards... the list .. goes... on....  mmm, I may have to try it a day at a time... the thought of no reading for a week just freaked me out.

and the Artist Dates? I'm not really having much of a go at those either!  It's interesting to be telling 'the world' this... as I reread my words I am reminded to not be ripping myself off so much!  I'm doing this course for my own benefit... not to prove anything to anyone else... so when am I going to show up for myself?  

... with that... I think I'll sign off,

here is a few pic's of our new little family memeber, "Aura" a 2.5 year old Chihuahua x Foxy.  

Aura and her best friend

 she's very well behaved in the car

sitting on the towel after a big run around at the beach.

 bye for now creative ones,

Denise xo

Sunday, March 6, 2011

... Puppy Love...

We've got puppies... well dogs on our minds at our place, we're looking into fostering a little one which will then become part of our family when we adopt it.

This is a new painting I've been working on all last week ... and I actually took some snaps of it with my iphone along the way... and you can see how much it changed... I could have painted two paintings.. but instead there are half a dozen underneath the one!  

I quite liked this chair, but it looks too much like one of those 
egg shaped ones.. in which case her head would not be 
in that position... I did't quite figure that out early enough....


It'll go into the gallery soon... once it's completely finished and varnished.

bye for now,

love Denise xo


Thursday, March 3, 2011

sadness.... and inner critic...and sea gulls

Today I felt plain old sad... a bunch of things happened in the morning to throw my time into a bit of chaos... so after I had done the things I needed to do for others, I took myself off to sit by the seashore to write my 'later in the morning' pages.

I felt agitated and knew that if I didn't stop and write it out first I would just continue to bring my agitation throughout the day and into my painting... which I really didn't want to do.  So while having a deep chat with myself, and hearing the sound of the crashing waves and the fresh salt air.. i had a bit of a funny thought... 

"Darling Denise... how about you take those awful inner critic comments, the ones that beat you up and make you feel like a hopeless artist and write them all down.. and put them on a little raft or boat of their own and send them out to sea where the sea gulls can shit on them!"

the visual idea of this gave me a smile on my face as I thought about what that would look like, having bird sh*t all over my pieces of paper with negative self talk on them... if that's not creative then what is I thought!! 

The day actually turned out much better than how it started... I have made progress on a painting, a friend called and I met her for a chai and one of my dear daugters is cooking dinner for us tonight.

Life is good really.

Denise xo
Woodford Folk Festival street friends, Dec 2010