Sunday, February 12, 2017

Heart Art Challenge, Week 2

Day 7: I'm writing blackout poetry from an old proof copy of Dealing with Blue. I was about to shred it, but why toss it when I could upcycle the pages into a new way to look at words? It's like those adult coloring books...totally relaxing.

You stored feelings in a teapot,
but there was not room for me.

Day 8: make my heart feel good, I went shopping with my best gal pal, who wanted to stop in at a specialty chocolate shop. Who am I to say no? Hearts galore!

"Alas! there is no instinct like the heart..." ~Lord Byron

You won't find this in a survival handbook. Lol.

Alas! Chocolates filled with booze.

Day 9: Our diets have changed at my house, so I've been looking for new heart healthy recipes, like how to turn quinoa from bland to amazing. Found one! Try this quinoa salad. Wow! So easy: throw in some spinach, avocado, walnuts, cherry tomatoes and what-have-you, then drizzle with some honey, mustard, olive oil, and white wine vinegar. Flexible and de-lish, even for the quinoa curious.

Show the Love!

Day 10: While writing book #3, I perused my workspace for a heart sign and found on my favorite pencil (yes, I have one) the words "I [heart] Australia," a gift from a friend. Then, it was back to blackout poetry time, scouting out the right word...

I Heart Hearts

Day 11: A found object! When I was in high school, I made this with my dad's jigsaw. Let's just say that was a l-o-n-g time ago and leave it at that. I've always kept it but it ends up tucked in strange why was it in the medicine cabinet? Who knows? But now it's on my desk as a  nice reminder.

I Heart U

Day 12: I was collecting fortunes from cookies as "research" for my current writing project and this one seemed apropos. A good message for starting another week:

Have no doubt.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Fabulous Five: Another Round of Blackout Poems

A little bird,
Black, precious, and quiet
Hatched where a hole was.

Fly in the rainbows.
Explore, hug yourself, and laugh,
Unless you want time to put you away.

The dark tree looked back
and her heart buzzed.
I live in a thicket
of salmonberries.

What you say? What?
There seem to be
holes in this conversation.

The real answer was
She was right.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Fabulous Five: Heart Art Challenge, A Reading List

It's the start of week two of the Heart Art Challenge, and I'm on a roll. Ready for a reading list? I went on a scavenger hunt for books on my shelf that either said "heart" in the title or had hearts on the cover. Here's what I found:

February's TBR Pile
A Short Stack

1. One Pink Line by Dina Silver (already read and loved it!)

2.) The Trouble with Valentine's Day by Rachel Gibson (already read: a cute, small town romance!)

3.) The Heartbreak Messenger by Alexander Vance (Currently reading: Middle Grade)

Tango and Tilly Bean
Anticipating a Good Read

4.) InkHeart by Cornelia Funke (On my TBR: Middle Grade)

5.) The Husband List by Janet Evanovich (Romance) to add to my TBR pile for February.

6.) Bonus! Riding with the Hides of Hell is an adventurous YA story about grief, survival, and love. It has a heart on the cover, too.


"A book is a magical thing that lets you travel to far-away places without ever leaving your chair." ~ Katrina Mayer

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Fabulous Five: Heart Art Challenge, Week 1

The #HeartArtChallenge has begun. Here's me #PuttingLoveOutThere for #ValentinesMonth.

1.) I decorated the art wall at school with a heart art project, which inspired this month's challenge.

2.) It made me think of 28 ways to fill 28 days, so I made a list and started a board on Pinterest to get the creative juices flowing.

3.) How about a haiku, blackout poem with hearts? Boom! Done.


Like a beating heart,
Of course, you're a part of me.
This door is open.

4.) Then, like kismet, a young friend posted a link where she is jumping rope to raise funds for the American Heart Association, a great cause, and one that hits pretty close to home. It gave me the idea to make a donation based on how many hoops were made at a girls basketball game yesterday. The team is a community league, and they call themselves the Jawbreakers, "Sweet but can hurt you." Nine baskets! Great game.

$90 to Hoops for Hearts

5.) Finally, I'll sign off with a cute picture of Tilly Bean disrespecting the heart pillow:

Hospital Heart Pillow

Hospital Heart Pillow with a 9-pounder,
Not the "elephant on the chest" feeling.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

February's Heart Art Challenge

This is DAY TWO of my 28-day challenge...the one I'm calling the Heart Art Challenge where I dedicate some time to seeing or finding or showing love.

"You don't need the love, you are the love."

Since I've been thinking about hearts lately: organs, shapes, love, Valentine's Day, and Pop Art and seeing them around me, I've decided to explore things a little further with a list of ideas:

1.) Read a love story or a book with a heart on the cover
2.) Eat a donut with heart sprinkles
3.) Donate to a cause, like the American Heart Association
4.) Photograph hearts in nature
5.) Find a heart in your workspace
6.) Draw one
7.) Paint one
8.) Make a paper collage heart
9.) Make a list about the things you love
10.) Blackout heart poetry
11.) Bake heart-shaped cookies
12.) Wear a heart
13.) Do something that makes your heart feel really good!
14.) Exercise your heart
15.) Make someone else's heart feel really good!
16.) Give a heart away
17.) Make a Valentine's Day card
18.) Sculpt a heart
19.) Make a heart healthy meal and share the recipe

Okay...this list is getting hard. Let's see...

20.) Call your Mom or your dad or someone who needs to hear the words, "I love you."
21.) Write a haiku poem about hearts.
22.) Listen to a song about hearts.
23.) Read articles like: 13 Things That Are Good for Your Heart

The pressure!

24.) Make an origami heart 
25.) Share a love-inspired quote
26.) Make a Valentine's Day craft with kids
27.) Sew a heart pillow
28.) Make your own heart-shaped bath bombs

Yeah! I also made a Heart Art Challenge board on Pinterest for more ideas.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

From the Art Docent: Pop Art Hearts

Hearts have been on my mind lately. A family member had open heart surgery a couple weeks ago, so I've bought heart-shaped, get-well balloons, seen heart shaped hospital pillows, and now, being the start of February, Valentine's month, I'm seeing hearts everywhere! Even on a walk. In one day, I saw three:

Tree Trunk Heart

Road Kill Heart

Mossy Rock Heart

So for art class, I was inspired by Pop Art artist, Jim Dine for his heart series. The lesson was "motion" but instead of creating a project with moving parts or a discussion on line movement, I decided the artists themselves should be in motion.

Artists in Motion

I created five work stations: oil pastel, watercolor (with masking tape), paper collage (with gel medium, hole punches, stickers and textured paper), markers, and colored pencils. The kids broke into groups, drew a 2 x 6 grid on their paper, and spent ten minutes exploring the materials at their assigned table. When the time was up, they moved onto the next station, either standing or sitting, while creating a simple heart illustration. At the end, the groups repeated a station to fill in the sixth square.

Heart Inspired Wall

Students' Work

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” ~ Andy Warhol

Friday, January 06, 2017

Fabulous Five: Blackout Poems

Just a little blackout poetry, spinning time into gold. Yes, my resolution was to write 1000 words per day so I can finish book #3 this year. But in the front of my mind, I'm blacking out words, and in the back of my mind, I'm wondering if I should skip my current project and go for the idea of book#4. Am I a quitter? Or is it the smart thing to do...write what I want, when I want?'s what the kids and I have been up to: upcycling Dealing with Blue proof pages into blackout poems.

by Stacia Leigh

I want more time for you and me.
I...can't do this anymore. The End.
The sacrifices were nothing.

by Ooba

Up to Badger Court.
The badger's TV choices were "Put My Foot Down."

by Stacia Leigh

The Boss blew in his face.
"I need a home," he said,
 showing his neighbor the open door.
"And you live here."

by Stacia Leigh

Stella faked her pain
though it was his teeth in the sink
with her spoon.
He missed the round veins.

by Beezer

I need mac and cheese and nothing else
I thought it was on sale
so I cleared the shelves
It'll get eaten eventually
For now, mac and cheese.

Just mac and cheese if you need it.
Off the top. Cobbled together a meal of boxed pasta,
mayonnaise, and powdered milk
Laugh and declare, "Amazing."

"People are prettiest when they talk about something they really love
with passion in their eyes." ~ K.V.H.