Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happiness Project Day 83: I Am Trusting Again

This is a note that is taped to my computer. It's a reminder to stop over thinking. Basically it means: focus on what you want, and trust that it is on its way. This is the Law of Attraction in a nutshell. Ask and you shall receive.

What made me happy today was knowing that I am able to let go more and more these days. Great things have come my way, with more on the horizon. I am trusting again.

Of course, letting go is not always easy. It can be work, but it's worth it. The trick is to put your intention out there, and then get happy. Sounds simplistic, but... give it try. What have you got to lose? The worst thing that could happen is that you'll get happy.

So, these days I try to spend time every day writing about what I want. It's fun to dream, and it's good define what you want in life.

Also, I'm big on affirmations. I used to avoid affirmations because they felt like lies to me. But then I realized that we lie to ourselves every day. And we believe the lies - all the awful negative self-talk that seems to be on a continual loop in our brains. Or the crap we were (or are) told. When we hear things enough we start to believe them. We start to believe that we're not good enough, or that we're stupid, or unattractive or unlovable. And those are all lies.

So I say start saying positive things, even if they feel like lies. Even if it's uncomfortable. Keep saying them until you believe them. That's what I do.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happiness Project Day 82: Morning Pages in My Studio, Pink Trees and John Muir Quote

Studio Window
Yesterday I inadvertently left my Artist's Way book and my Morning Pages notebook at my studio.

If you're not familiar with the Artist's Way, Morning Pages are three pages of long-hand stream of consciousness writing. It's like a brain dump, and it's done every day, preferably in the morning. The Morning Pages are a basic tool in the Artist Way, and I have found them to be a great way to free up my mind for the important things in life. Like creativity.

Anyway, I had plenty of paper at home, but I like to keep my Morning Pages together. So after my acupuncture appointment (which of course left me blissful), And before my weekly dog walk, I got myself to my studio for the sole purpose of writing my pages.

Impossibly Pink Blossoms

It was really nice hanging out in my studio without the intention of working in any way, shape or form. I pulled a chair up to a sunny window, and let my brain pour onto the page.
It was a tiny bit of my day - just a half hour - and it was lovely.

Then I went for a walk with Twiggy the Wonder Boxer in Infinity Park, where I had to stop to take in the beauty of this pink blooming tree. Gorgeous on it's own, and made all the more rich and powerful against the lush green grass.

We walked a little farther, and a plaque caught my eye. I must have walked past it dozens of times and never noticed it, but for some reason I looked at it today. At the bottom of the plaque was a quote that provided food for thought for the rest of the walk:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Happiness Project Day 81: My Art Community

Paint that was leftover after a class.
I'm in the home stretch of this 100-day happiness project, and it's interesting to see how it's evolved. When I first started, things that made me happy were more specific: sunshine, a meal, dogs, coffee, a song... whatever it was, I would look for it during my day, find it, and write about it at night.

Lately, unless something jumps out at me during the day, I just sit down and start to write, and see what comes up. I don't even title the blog post until I'm done, because it can be hard to nail down the specifics.

With that in mind, today was a fairly typical Sunday. My Artist Way class in the morning, Paint Club in the afternoon, dinner with a friend in the evening.

It was a good day, and all of these things made me happy. But when it boils down, I'm really happy to be able to foster and grow an art community right there in my studio. My art partner (pARTner, har-har), Wynne Reynolds and I have a solid foundation with artists who show their work in our studios on First Fridays. Add to this, artists who come to Paint Club to get creative while they hang out, and my Artist Way groups past and present, then sprinkle it with people who come to my classes, and we've got a pretty solid community of artists. For that I am happy and grateful.

I'm honored to be able to support artists and provide a safe space for them to work.

Day 81 Bonus: Lover's Rock by Sade
This song came up on my Pandora mix tonight. I was happy to hear a Sade song that I hadn't heard before.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Happiness Project Day 80: A Note From Beyond - Advice From My Mom

An unexpected note from my mom.
If you read yesterday's post, you know that I spent last night sorting through some of my mom's stuff, and settling more into my apartment, and really, into my new life. (After losing my mom in August of last year.)

In the process I found three important things:

1) My mom's Om ring. Fits my finger perfectly, and I plan on wearing it just like I've been wearing my sister's prayer wheel ring for the last 18 years.

2) A bracelet with my mom's name "Linda" inscribed on the front, and on the back "Danny 12/25/63".
(A year ago she told me how Danny was the love of her life. Danny was not my father, and the bracelet was received three years before I arrived in the world.)
I can't help but think that the bracelet must have meant a lot to her at some point. So, I'm wearing that, too.

3) Most importantly, I found a notebook with journal entries - notes - to me. She wrote it several years ago, and it was clearly to be read after her death. She starts out with:
"Every so often, I start thinking about my mortality... and you." 
She talks about things she wishes she would have done better, and also what she wants for me.
..."Most of all I want you to find happiness, to feel good about yourself, and enjoy every moment of life. I wish you love - in the highest form, always."
And she offered some really great advice:
..."Don't spend too much time looking back. Enjoy the present moment - get into the moment (that is Nirvana, Samadhi - true Cosmic Consciousnesses) and live it. No time for sadness."

My mom's om ring next to my sister's prayer wheel ring.
I actually think I'm doing a pretty good job of living her advice. It makes me feel like I'm on the right track. There are several pages of notes that she wrote over the course of a few days. She offered advice (in the form of "if I had it to do all over again") on health, which I'm taking to heart. But that's another blog entry entirely.

For now, my point is this: I found the jewelry and read my mom's notes right before bed last night. It was highly emotional to read, but I read it with more joy than sadness.
I woke up this morning happy and content; fully rested and ready for my day after 5 hours of sleep. My head was clear and I felt peace of mind. Upon awakening I had - and still have - my mom's jewelry on as a reminder of her, and her wonderful words to me. These are words to live by, and this is my happiness for today.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Happiness Project Day 79: Finding My Mom's Only Pinterst Pin, and Settling In

My mom's only pin, complete with her picture and a description that I hope was written by her. I'm sure the first sentence was "Incredible colors!" was a very Linda phrase.
I've got an email blast waiting to be created, sign-in sheets that need to be entered into my database, and a website that needs overhauled. But instead, I've decided to take the evening off and do something for me: work on my environment.

My apartment has been pretty much a wreck since I moved here in September. It was a really fast move after my mother's passing. I had to get rid of five tons of stuff, and consolidate what I was keeping, which included a lot of my mom's stuff that needed to be sorted through. Mostly papers. Boxes and boxes of papers. And, of course, her online presence needs to be sorted through and dealt with, too. She didn't have a whole lot going on in cyberspace, and I could probably let it go and not close her accounts. But... I like to tie up loose ends, and you never know when you're going to find something interesting.

I just came across her Pinterest login. I had completely forgotten she was even on Pinterest. And, she barely was. She followed two people (including me), and had four followers. And one sole pin. It made me happy to find it, and to think of how much her that pin is. She loved colorful, psychedelic patterns (old hippie that she was!).

So, I'm happy to find something new from my mom, and happy to spend an evening not only clearing things that have been sitting around for ages, but also happy to be making my place nicer. I'm not usually one to use the word "nesting" but, it feels like I'm nesting. I'm finally settling in. Oh - and happy to be ready to deal with my mom's stuff. That's huge!

I'm listening to Alanis Morissette's Under Rug Swept album as I go. It's gotten me through a lot of rough times, and always makes me feel better.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Happiness Project Dy 78: Getting My Soul Fed Through Paint and Sigur Ros

"Headed Towards The Light" (in progress) ©Tabetha Hastings
I'm really trying not to repeat things that make me happy for this 100 day journey, but sometimes it must be done....

I spent this evening painting in my studio, and my soul has been fed. It's strange how sometimes six hours of painting can feel like three, and other times three hours can feel like six. Tonight was the latter, but in a really good way.

I decided to give myself a break from the intricate, detailed painting that I do in my tree bark series, and instead worked on an older piece (big brush strokes is what I was looking for).

If you've been to one of my classes or Paint Club in the past few months you may have seen this painting hanging on a wall, waiting for some love. The truth is that it's been sitting in my back room for YEARS waiting for me to finish it. I finally decided to pull it out and hang it on the wall in hopes of some inspiration.
The picture above was taken after I finished for the evening (and I must say I'm pleased - the picture doesn't do it justice). Conceptually, it was the same before I started painting on it tonight; I just added some more layers and depth and dimension to it.

One of the things that I love about painting is that it is such a great analogy for life. You can drop an issue that you're having trouble with - something you need to work out. Like relationship issues, a friendship, or even a book that you can't seem to bring yourself to finish. Then you go along in life - it could be for a few weeks or a few years. All the while you're gaining life experience and new skills and learning how to deal with things. Then one day you go back to the relationship issue, you call the friend, or you pick up the book, and the same issues are still there. But you are different. With any luck you've gained the skills and life experience to tackle the problem in a whole new way. You're looking at it from a fresh perspective.

It's the same way with painting. I get stuck on something, and the painting waits patiently for me to figure it out. It waits for me to improve my skills, or to purchase the right color or brush. Or it waits for me to see the right sunset, nature documentary, or have the right conversation, to gain the needed inspiration to finish it.
Pretty freaking cool, no?

I listened to several cds tonight, but as I was finishing up, this song from Sigur Ros came on. It felt like my painting, somehow. The name of the the song is Ekki Mukk (Sigur Ros is from Iceland). I just looked it up on youtube to post the video, and in parentheses after the song title it says... Moving Art. Of course it does. lol (And interestingly, AS I was listening to this song, I was imagining my painting animated - and I had no idea the song was called Moving Art!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happiness Project Day 77: Clean Clothes!

Stack o' Laundry
I really must say that although I was hardly unhappy today at all, I find myself having to look back on the day and see where the happy spots were. Some days it's easy to pick out a happy thing to write about - especially if it was a bad day overall - then the happy part really stands out. Then there are other days that have many things that make me happy and it's hard to choose just one to write about.

Today was just a solid day. Neither good nor bad. Hung around the house, did some cleaning and... I did three loads of laundry! Yes, that does make me happy. And this is not just clothes that I did. I also did the stuff that usually waits awhile (especially when one has to leave their residence and pay to do laundry). Things like sheets and towels got washed.

And on the topic of leaving one's residence... The last place I lived, I had to walk down a long hallway, into an elevator, across a lobby, and down another hallway to get to the laundry room. And then sometimes all of the washers would be taken!! Oh I would get so mad! My current apartment? Right next door to the laundry room. So I really can't complain - and it costs about .75 less per load than the last place too. Yes, remembering all of that makes me happy too! 

This was some old-school good-vibe music to do laundry to...

Happiness Project Day 76: My Unimaginable and Authentic Life

Wow, I can't believe I'm 3/4 of the way through this thing -  76 days is a long time for me to stick to anything!

This morning I was walking a dog and enjoying the beautiful spring air, and it struck me how lucky I was to be strolling along at 10am, smelling the blooming trees. Don't get me wrong, dog walking is not always a walk in the park (har-har). I have to pick up after the dog, and I've gotten in the middle of dog fights, and walking isn't so nice in the elements.
But today, it was beautiful.
"Into the Mystic" ©Tabetha Hastings

Then, this afternoon I helped a woman find her soul again through painting. Her youngest kid just left home, and now she's taking painting lessons to get back to herself. And I get to help.
We're working on a version of my "Into the Mystic" painting.

These are my jobs. And yes, there is a bunch of stuff that I complain about - like bookwork and marketing and the perils of being a self-employed artist; but this is the life that I chose. This is my dream. Tomorrow I'll do some computer work, and then I'll be in my studio, painting away. (Anyone want to buy a painting...?)

Ten years ago I couldn't have imagined this life.  It makes me excited to see what the next ten years bring.

Happiness Project Day 75: Acupuncture

Yep, that's me!
Who would have thought that having needles stuck into them could be such a blissful experience? Certainly not me. But that's exactly how I feel when I go to my acupuncture appointments.

I'm not sure if everyone has this experience, or if it's just me. (I've never heard anyone talk about this but it's hard to believe that it's uncommon.) I go into a deep state of relaxation when I'm in that chair. Not necessarily sleep... it's more like a meditation state. And when I'm done I feel incredibly revived and refreshed and blissed out. It's like taking a nice long nap. I leave there happy and ready to face the world. (And the big question: Is it helping the issues that brought me there? Yes, yes it is. I'm seeing results.)

In addition to all this, it's really wonderful doing something for me. Something that is good for me. Caring for my self

Me again. Arm, this time.

If you're in the Denver metro area, I highly recommend Meeting Point Acupuncture: 

They're on Broadway just south of Virginia, and they charge on a sliding scale: $20-$40. Amazing. 

Yep, getting poked with needles made me very happy today. :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happiness Project Day 74: A Day Off

Days off are rare in my world, and having a Sunday off is nearly unheard of - I get (take) maybe two a year. Don't get me wrong - I'm not out there digging ditches for a living. In fact, my Sundays are great: I've got my awesome Artist's Way Group and Paint Club, and I love it.

However... It's nice to take a break. Today I slept in, walked a dog, read, wrote, went home and did exactly an hour and a half of work on my computer, and then took a nice long leisurely nap. Got up, got myself together and headed out to have dinner with a friend and catch up with each other's lives. 

T'was a good day off, indeed. 

Happiness Project Day 73: Unexpected Conversation

On day 30 of this challenge, my happy thing was "interesting conversations" - particularly in my art studio. But today I realized that there is something about art that opens lines of communication. It opens minds.

I teach classes - mini Painting Soirees - through the Fresh City Life program of Denver Public Library. (I highly recommend you check out that program if you're in Denver.) People who attend  my mini Soirees are usually women, and they're usually, oh… I say in their late 40s to late 60s. Today I got in and set up early, and several women filtered in early, and we started chatting about all sorts of things. I'm not sure where, but somewhere the conversation turned to feminism. We didn't label it as such but that's what it was. 

We were talking about body image in the media and it turned to how we've all been screwed by fairy tales. You know the story the woman must wait to be saved by her prince (or whatever man) who rides a white horse. But in reality, of course, we have to save ourselves - which is really fine as long as you're not waiting for that prince. (Which, unfortunately many women do. And by the way, why haven't boys been sold on this idea too?)

Then the conversation turned to the Little Mermaid, and how Ariel gave up so much for her man; her family, her life as she knew it, and even her voice. And then it hit me just how profound that was. She gave up her voice. For a man. How many of is have done THAT? 

Anyway, there was so much more to that amazing and unexpected conversation. And that's where a bunch of my happiness came from today: unexpected conversation. And even more unexpected because I wouldn't have anticipated such strong feminist views from a little group of library ladies. I underestimated them, and perhaps I should have known better, considering the fact that they were, in fact, at the library. They're readers, after all. 

It was pretty fabulous. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happiness Project Day 72: Being a City Girl

I love living in the city. 
Truth is, given enough money, I might move to New York or Chicago. But… Denver is home. I like that it's a small city, and I like how manageable it is.

Last August I moved into the Speer neighborhood. Never heard of Speer, Denver peeps? It's kind of between Washington Park and Baker. I love it here. It's right in the middle of the city without being downtown proper. It's got a city vibe, without overwhelming busy-ness. It does bustle, however. There's just enough energy to make it feel alive.

I love that I can walk to dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops. Not to mention Washington Park, the Cherry Creek bike path, and a library. And, I'm a short bus or cab ride from downtown. (Actually, I could even walk. We're talking 22 blocks to the mall shuttle.)

Plus I'm able to get my dose of nature with big old trees and beautiful gardens. 

I walked through the neighborhood tonight as the sun was setting and could smell the beautiful blooming trees. It was bliss. Then I waked a little farther and smelled the food coming from the restaurants on Broadway. More bliss!  Yes. Happy city girl here. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happiness Project day 71: Dinner For One, A Nice Red, and Andrew Bird

Evening plans cancelled, taxes out of my head, car out of my head. Andrew Bird playing on my modern day boom box (aka iPhone).  Dinner cooking on the stove. (For one? Yes please) And a nice glass of red waiting. Happy as a clam, if indeed clams are happy. 

Happiness Project Day 70: My Car Started

"Embracing the Solitude" ©Tabetha Hastings
I must say, the first part of my day was pretty rough - my car wouldn't start. Yeah, I know, dead batteries happen. But... my mom was my go-to person for car stuff. She would provide rescue, the phone number for roadside assistance, or just a voice of reason in a stressful situation. And she would push me into doing car maintenance - something I'm lousy at. She would remind me to check my oil and if she didn't think I was doing it (which I rarely would), she would go do it for me. I miss her, and I miss having that support.

Added to that is the fact that my car is a bit of a clunker, and I'm always worried about it breaking down. Car repairs are just not in the budget at the moment.

So there I was today - car wouldn't start, lights wouldn't even turn on, it wouldn't turn over, nothing. And the battery is new. I did not have high hopes that it would take a jump - I was certain it was something more serious. So imagine my joy when the roadside assistance guy gave me a jump and my car started! Then, imagine my double joy when I turned it off and it started up again!!

I'll take my happiness where I can find it. Some days I'm just happy to have my car start up.

By the way, I didn't have a picture to put with this post. I thought I'd just post one of my paintings, and since I'm missing my mom so terribly today, I chose the above painting with the ironic title. Seems to fit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Happiness Project Day 69: Tax Day!!

Okay, I know that tax day does not SEEM like something that would normally cause someone joy, but when you're a procrastinator of the first order, tax day is a dream. It's where the rubber meets the road. It separates the girls from the women. (Okay, I'm laying it on a bit thick, but you get the idea.)
I can't tell you the number of times I've been at the one post office in the area that has a late night pickup. It's cold, late, sometimes it's snowing... but there's always a feeling of camaraderie between the last minute filers. My people!!
Today, however, my goal was to skip the drama and get to the post office before it closed. But... I would have had to rush the finalizing of the forms, and that is never a good idea. So instead I did the dreaded online filing. I say dreaded because I've done it in the past and it was a major pain. I vowed never to do it again. I was happy to see that things have improved since my last experience.

So, I was done with my taxes before 7pm, and I've just been maxing and relaxing for the rest of the evening. Oh happy day.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happiness Project Day 68: TARDIS Sighting, Friendly Kitty, and Happy Rock Salt

TARDIS on a Truck

Today as I was doing my weekly dog walk, I happened upon the TARDIS, right here in Denver. Or Glendale, as the case may be. And by TARDIS, I mean a piece of plywood painted to look like the TARDIS, stuck onto the back of a truck. Still pretty cool, though! Nice to know there are fellow Whovians around. (In case you don't know, the TARDIS is that blue police box that Doctor Who uses to travel through space and time. It's bigger on the inside.)

Then, walking in the park, I came across some rock salt perfectly arranged as a smiley face. I'm guessing that some kid did it, and made me smile. Thanks, kid!

Then when I got home, I was greeted at my car by my neighbor's sweet little kitty. So tiny and friendly. I just wanted to scoop her up and take her home.

Happy, friendly kitty.

Happy Rock Salt

Happiness Project Day 67: Slaying Creative Monsters

Creative Monster
My latest Artist's Way class is only in it's second week, and I'm really enjoying it. It's a good strong group and everyone is already gelling. Great to watch happen, even better to be a part of it. I feel really blessed to be able to facilitate and hold space for creative healing. 

Today we did exquisite corpse drawings of our creative monsters. You can read more about exquisite corpse here, if you like. It's a fun exercise that I've adapted for my Artist's Way class.

Here's how it works: Each person folds a piece of paper into three sections and draws a monster head in the top section. Then she or he folds it over to conceal the drawing, and trades with someone else, who then draws a torso and arms, and again folds the paper to conceal the drawing and trades with someone else to draw the bottom third of the creature.

What we end up with is (often) a hilarious mish-mash monster - although the one pictured above looks surprisingly cohesive.

By the way, a creative monster is anyone in your life who has squelched your creative growth; often a teacher, parent or spouse. They may ridicule you for being artistic, or laugh at your art, or they may not even believe that you did it because it was too good. Most everybody has creative monsters, and they are often the reason that people stop creating at a young age.

By making these silly exquisite corpse drawings, we're attempting to exorcise our monsters, and see them for what they are: ridiculous little creatures who don't know jack about art. 

Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the other ones we did today, but here are some from a class from last year:

We collected the 3 sections of drawings that one person did, and put them together to see if there was any similarity. Not too much in this one but....
...this person ended up drawing a whole person (a sketch of her actual creative monster, I believe), on the three different drawings. And interestingly, the all line up together. For the record, he's saying "Blah blah blah, bs" and wearing a name tag that reads "Hi! My name is Jackass." I love it!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happiness Project Day 66: Groceries

Rough day all around. I'm glad that I had to come home and write this blog - it gave me a reason to go looking for something to make me happy. Today it was groceries. It's nice to have groceries in the kitchen.
Living alone, not liking to cook, and not being a fan of the grocery store all add up to me not having a stocked kitchen very often.
So, today's bit of happiness is not cause for me to jump for joy, but... I'll take what I can get! And it's more than a lot of people in the world have.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Happiness Project Day 65: Found Time

So... April 15th is speeding up on me and I've barely started my taxes. I'm generally a last-minute kind of a person - something about the pressure of a deadline causes me to focus, I guess. I've been thinking about taxes for months and thinking I should get to it, but I just couldn't bring myself to look at them until a few days ago.

Once I did, I found part of the reason I was procrastinating: by looking into last year's numbers I was faced with remembering how difficult last year was, all around. This, of course had the potential to catapult me out of any happiness I may have found in the past 60 days, right into the Pit Of Sadness.
What I'm finding though, is that the pit must be faced. Happiness is on the other side of that pit. Luckily, though I've found a ridge that crosses the pit. It takes me down into it, but not all the way down. It's rocky and there is a chance of tumbling back in, but if stay focused, I can make it across.

I saw a quote today that said "Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations" True that.

Anyway, that was a ramble. My happy thing came today when I realized that a class that I thought took place tomorrow, is in fact on the 19th. I actually cheered when I discovered that. Also, I had scheduled a class (stupidly) for the 15th, and I found that no one has signed up yet! So that class can be moved.
Finding time definitely makes me happy!

Also, looking back at last year makes me remember how many people carried me through. The reason that I needed to be carried makes me sad, but the fact that everyone caught me as I was falling makes me SO happy.

Which reminds me of U2's song One: "We're one but we're not the same. We get to carry each other."
Something else that makes me happy is to watch Mary J Blige sing. She's amazing to watch - so passionate. When she sings, I believe her. So, how great is it that I have her singing One (with U2)...

Happiness Project Day 64: Happy Hour at The Keg

Well the title says it all, doesn't it? It's a hour (at least) of happiness. Except the place we went to had a "cocktail hour" instead of a happy hour.  Indeed.

It was great to check out a new place. We went to The Keg in LoDo. Contrary to it's name, it did not have peanut shells on the floor and frat boys guzzling cheap draft beer. It was quite nice, actually.

The food was delicious - we had an assortment of appetizers from the cocktail hour menu: crab cakes, prime rib sliders (amazing), some cheesy garlicky shrimp deliciousness. Also red wine. Oh - and fresh baked bread and housemade potato chips. And then, dessert! I'm not even a dessert person, but... wow. Three little samples of yumminess: a butter tart with vanilla ice cream, a fudge brownie with vanilla ice cream, caramel, hot fudge and whipped cream, and a mango "what-the-hell-is-happening-in-my-mouth" brulee.

I'm sorry that I only thought to take a picture after the the meal was done. It's not the most appetizing picture, but it sure does represent a meal enjoyed.

And speaking of caramel...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happiness Project Day 63: Shifting my Perspective

If you've ever worked with me, you might remember that I rarely take breaks. I may show up for work late, but I'll work through breaks and lunch, and stay until the job is done. Why? Because I'm insane.

Seriously, I don't know why. I guess I figure I need to strike while the iron's hot, while I have the energy, the focus, and the motivation.

I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone why this is a really bad way to operate.

Now I work for myself, and although still not great at taking breaks; I am trying. Today I got so overwhelmed sorting through last year's finances in preparation for taxes (yes, I'm one of those last minute tax people), that I just wanted to go to bed. And I almost did. But a little voice in my head said just get outside.

Far be it from me to argue with a voice in my head, so outside I went. Do you know it's a whole other world out there? Flowers were blooming, birds were singing, and nobody was concerned about spreadsheets.

My perspective shifted, and I went back to work refreshed and happy in the knowledge that I did something good for myself.

I just may be a break-taker after all.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happiness Project Day 62: Blue Skies in My Studio with Ella

Oh, what a gorgeous day it was in Denver today! Nearly seventy degrees and sunshiny.  A lovely day to be outdoors, and also a lovely day in my studio. I opened the windows, turned on some Ella, and squeezed in a bit of painting time.

The perfect song for today: Blue Skies

Speaking of Ella... here is a painting I did of her several years ago. The original has been sold, but prints are available on your choice of paper, canvas or acrylic or metal print.

"Ella" ©Tabetha Hastings

Happiness Project Day 61: Artist's Way Artist Date at The Bookies

Shelf label says "Enduring Books" Glad to see they've endured.
In the Artist Way program, one of the things that we're supposed to do every week is to go on an artist's date. No, this is not a date that with another artist. This is me taking my artist out on a date. The idea is to look at my creative self as a separate person. And this person needs to be wooed. She needs color and fun and imagery in order to be her best creative self. Artist dates shoud be something one wouldn't normally do, and they are to be without a third party involved; just a person and her or his artist.

Having been through The Artist's Way with several groups, I can tell you that the artist date is the one task that people have the most trouble with - myself included. We get busy, and the temptation is to call something that is in our normal routine an artist date. Or to call something that had already been planned with a friend, an artist date. We don't seem to want to go out of our way to do something that is not only good for us, but fun! Crazy, I know.

We are in Week One of The Artist's Way, and I decided to start out right and get the artist date out of the way immediately. And of course it was so nice to carve out some time, and go out of my way to do something new that I wondered why I don't do it all the time.

This week's artist date - and my happy thing for today - was at a little place in Glendale called The Bookies. I've driven past it a thousand times, and have always wanted to go in. I thought it was a used book store, but no, there were no used books. It was more of an independent book store that's got mostly kids books and fun toys and educational toys and stuff for teachers. It was a very good place for an artist date!

Just one of the many book covers that made me smile.

Fish eye mirror selfie.

Who doesn't need Yoda earbuds?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happiness Project Day 60: People Creating in my Space

Focused at Paint Club
Oh, what a great day in the studio! First class of the new Artist's Way session, followed Paint Club.

People come to my studio all of the time to create. I think that I usually take it for granted, but once in awhile I have to stand back and just wonder at the thought of all of the art that has come out of that place.

Normally we're a pretty chatty bunch at Paint Club, but for a few minutes today the only sound was the music playing. I stopped painting and took in the sight of everyone being fully engrossed in their work. It was a really satisfying sight, and a sense of well being came over me.

Many people have said that my space has good energy, and it must be because it's filled with creative energy.  I love my studio, and I love the wonderful creative people who come out to get lost - and find themselves - in art.

I told the Artist's Way group to feel free to doodle as we discuss the book, and this is what happened to yesterday's fresh paper. I love it!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Happiness Project Day 59: A Fresh Start and Diana Krall

Another First Friday has come and gone, and today my studio is mine, once again. I pulled out the work tables and put fresh paper on them. I don't know what it is about having fresh paper on those tables that makes me happy, but it does feel like a fresh start. I suppose it's like a blank canvas: it represents pure potential. I'm excited to think about who will be in my studio this month creating things that haven't even been dreamed up yet. And creating paintings that start out as copies of mine, but end up their own creations.
And of course me. What will I create this month??  I can't wait to see.

 As I was putting my studio back together today, my happy music was Diana Krall...

Happiness Project Day 58: Bed

It was a pretty good first Friday. There were lots of people, and lots of conversation. First Friday can wear me out, and it did. I'm beat.

The thing that makes me the most happy today (or at least the thought of it) is bed. My very unmade and comfortable bed with the wrinkled purple sheets. Now.

I am done with tonight and looking forward to a blissful eight + hours of sleep, and taking back my studio tomorrow.

I will be so happy when my head hits that pillow!

That's all I got, kids.