Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Vulnerability - My Scary Spot

June First changed my life as I knew it.  It was the day that husband informed me of his indiscretions (yes, plural).  Drop to your knees heartbreak kind of news.  A shot to the ego, heart, mind, and being.  I knew something was up but what he told me was not exactly what I expected. I'm not going to get into the details of the situation, as those are for us. I will say this, I immediately hired a lawyer (an AMAZING woman who leads with all her heart). I filed for divorce, surrounded myself with my tribe, hired a therapist, and read every blog about infidelity I could get my hands on.  Through the months, I had to break down barriers that I was comfortable with, my armor - so to speak. I had to face shame head on, and learn that forgiveness does not equate to erasing what happened, but it can lead to reconciliation. I'm writing as a part of my therapy and to give others hope.  My learning curve includes the following:

1)  Facing pain can help you grow; however, it hurts real bad at the time.

2)  That particular pain depletes, but can come back when  you least expect it.

3)  Other hearts break along with yours: children, parents, friends, family.

4)  Hiring a therapist that "keeps it real" can be a gut punch you least expect - but may include a life        lesson that you need.

5)  A strong trust tribe is imperative in order to release, keep in mind they may also provide feedback
     that may be hard to hear. Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy.

6)  Communication is key - everything must be laid out there in order for rebuilding to occur, this is
     something I struggle with but am working on.

7)  Both partners must contribute 100% in order for things to move forward - work in progress
     always and in all ways.

8)  A weekend marriage retreat does work if you both are in it to win it. Include some hikes, red              wine, and a kooky hippy therapist if you can.

9)  A marriage behind closed doors is not the one that the world sees.  It is best to refrain from

10)  My faith is growing in this process, I need to continue to turn toward it versus run away.

11)  I have not always been the best wife, but that is NOT an excuse for my partner's poor choices.            That being said, I need to work on being a better half and giving it all within my soul.  A daily            work.

12)  My man has to work on himself as well.  I will support that work and be open to his learning.

13)  Listening and comprehending all that is put in front of me with an open heart, learning to take it           in without trying to solve or resolve.

14)  Living without my best friend would be a heck of a lot harder than running head on to a painful          situation and growing from it.

15)  Some are going to judge me for staying, my skin needs to become thick and I need to speak the           truth of my heart.

16)  Truth can be spoken softly without those harsh edges of sarcasm (my hiding place).

17)  I have my man's back.

18)  I just finished an amazing book that taught me that "Happy Middles" are a way better way than              "Happily Ever Afters"  - In the middle we learn from past mistakes and always have that future            to grow in.

19)  Forgiveness is the path to letting go.

I believe there is so much more I have learned, but this is a great starting place.  My hope is that some of the lessons that have been learned will help another that is feeling some pain and shame.  Running toward those feelings help in re-birth.  Running away creates barriers and resentment that hardens the heart.

Flowers not weeds.   XoXo ~  Steph
Photo Credit - Jennie Davis Photography

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Whose Your Martin???

It is always interesting when and where I might find inspiration for a piece.  This particular little table has humble beginnings but an incredibly meaningful end.  I did not even buy this table at the auction that I found a million gold nuggets.   It was going to the "no one will bid on it" pile and the auctioneer, knowing what I do for a living, said, "Steph, this is yours, you can find a way to make it fun."  I do like a challenge so I took it.  It was a laminate, I mean top to bottom laminate triangle table, quite hideous to be frank.  It has been sitting in my studio  (garage, but I always call it a studio, sounds more important) for quite sometime.  The other day my neighbor stopped by and noticed it, she casually suggested it looked like a guitar pick.  BINGO!  That was all I needed to run with. 

Guitar Pick = Great Guitar Song = Martin by Zac Brown Band.  The lyrics are as follows:

He was born in the woods
Torn from his home.
Well, he was naked,
And destined
To be out on his own.
And he waited in darkness,
Hoping someone might see,
From something so rough,
What a treasure he'd be.
Stronger than steel and wood.
Seen me through the bad and good.
And when I'm hanging by a string,
Every little thing
Is understood
Between Martin and me.
Well he's hollow in the middle
From the shape that he's in.
He's either filled up with music
Or locked in his shell again.
And it takes some fine tuning
To make him come around,
But he's a huge piece of me
And I'll never put him down.
Stronger than steel and wood.
Seen me through the bad and good.
And when I'm hanging by a string,
Every little thing
Is understood
Between Martin and me.
He is a good friend,
And he has his own voice.
And you get what you give;
Sometimes it's just noise.
But if you treat him well
He will last your life long.
And if you're honest and open
Well, he will write you a song.
(Write you a song, write you a song)
Stronger than steel and wood.
Seen me through the bad and good.
And when I'm hanging by a string,
Every little thing
Is understood
And when I'm hanging by a string,
Every little thing
Is understood
Between Martin and me.

Why this song when there are so many great songs about guitars... because it is my best friend's favorite song by Zach.   When I dissect the song, I find that it plays to my heart about who she is to me. Through the bad and good, and when I am hanging by a string, she understands. Miss Jenni is that Martin in my life.   We all have or long to have a Martin, a constant in our world.  They are that person that remains stronger than steel and wood when you are at your weakest, withholding judgment.  I tend to put on a very strong fa├žade to the outside world but there are times when I cry tears just like the rest of you all, Martin is there to wipe them for me.  When I have a hollow interior, I may just need some words or noise to fill me up, Jen is that girl, captain cheerleader to my one man team.  I am not always overt in my emotion or gratitude, it does trickle out through my art at times.  This chintzy little table that was going file 13, I needed that neighbor to say guitar pick and boom .... a piece for my Martin.  I chose my favorite lyric to paint on top and I dedicate it to her.  Love ya girl!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A re-purpose artist's pre-sale thoughts

This is my nervous time... I have the trailer loaded down with double + stuff to sell. I am slowly going through my pre-sale "to do" checklist. My stomach is in knots. I wait for my Junk Hunk to get home from his day's work only to turn around and work for me -  trailer driver, unloader, cheerleader, a few of the hats he wears. It is a very emotional time. I told my kids "say a little prayer that all goes well this weekend at my sale." My son's response was, "do you just want to make a lot of money mom?"  My thought provoked response was something like this....  I am extraordinarily lucky to do what I love day in and day out; however people loving and purchasing my work is the validation that what I do is a job and not a hobby.  An artist's work is emotional, we may see a completed piece and think it is priceless, and have to wrap our heads around the fact that someone else may see it as worthless. Thick skin is imperative in this!!!! My goal is to add more shows to my resume, time becomes the battle! Oh, and having to round up transportation for each show.   So far, I have had great people that have "loaned" me trailers. Payment comes in all forms...a steak dinner, a bottle of Captain, or a Benjamin. I am going to take these next few days in and enjoy the ride, I love the heat and this is an outdoor show, I love people watching, and the eclectic shoppers have never let me down!! Fingers crossed my stock goes way down, I can contribute to my family's financial well being, and I come home to an empty garage and get to start with a fresh palette.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Out of Touch!

My apologies! I have been out of touch with my blog! I read so many and always find inspiration! It is time to get my blog on again!

Do you have a happy spot in your world?  Those spots come in many forms, mine just happens to be a filthy garage floor. What the???? Yes, a filthy garage floor. This makes more sense if you know that is the place that I get to let my creativity free flow.  It is where brush, hands, paint, canvas (furniture, rusty buckets, old doors, etc.) & soul come together! I put on my bibs and add flavor with some tunes. At times I am so involved with my creation, that I about come out of my skin if someone pops by. It is "my" time to let my brain either relax or solve the world's problems. To be present and help mold what one deemed as trash worthy into a piece I can sell at a show fills my cup up!

The point of my rant is to show you that the term "trash to treasure" is truly in the eye of the beholder.  A filthy garage is my treasure, my happy spot. Those spots vary for everyone and the rest of us need to withhold judgement. Many of those "spots" may seem perplexing to an outsider, but it is a cup filler for the one engaged. A 13.6 mile run could potentially remove the stressors of work, marriage, parenting, etc. for one, but create anxiety in another. Remember to open your mind, you may be lead to a path you never would have considered and it just may bring on a calm that dulls a storm.

hakuna matata