Art Is Never finished… Only Abandoned — Leonardo da Vinci


 

It’s been a while since I opened up my blog page. I’ve missed writing here and checking in with you guys. Though I have been writing. I kind of got a new spark and have slowly been re-editing my book. I’ve lost count which time this would be. But I feel good about it. And now I am grateful that I didn’t try to publish it with all of the things that I have since changed and continue to rewrite still in it! As for the rest of the time, I’ve been getting ready for shows and restocking a little cozy booth I have at a store in town, called Reminisce. And working 12 hours a day doing it!  NOW that I am seriously attempting to make this what I want to do until I die!

Once upon a time, when someone asked me what I did, I would say that I was an Artist. And I was and always have been. In my heart. If you know my story, I worked as an Artist for over a dozen years and then moved to a small town in Paso Robles and opened up a little gift shop called Rose In The Woods which was supposed to mean “A thing of beauty in an unexpected place.” It was a favorite of the locals and tourists and was doing extremely well for a few years until an earthquake demolished it. (You can find the rest of the story in the ABOUT section of my blog. https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/a-thing-of-beauty-in-an-unexpectd-place/) But that is not what I want to talk about now, I just wanted to explain why for a while my  title was not “Artist” but Event Coordinator. And that was great. I learned a lot and had an amazing boss that has turned into a “forever friend.” But in my heart I always knew that there were more cards and dolls inside of me.

My husband built me a cozy little Art studio in our garage and created displays for me and has driven back and forth following me to Southern Californ to help me set up. And I do an amazing show that is still going strong called Sugarplum Festivals in Buena Park. I started doing that show almost 30 years ago and it is one of the largest family owned Arts & Crafts Show in California. With over 12 cash registers and a few hundred Artists, they have built an empire! The last show, A February show (mind you!) had customers wrapped around the building waiting to get in! They know how to Market their shows! They welcomed me back with open arms when I first approached them about trying a few shows again and each show I am learning new things. I think I could write a book on the dos and don’ts of doing shows.

But for now, I just kind of wanted to share a little of where I’ve been when not blogging!

 

My cozy little booth at Reminise in the heart of downtown in Paso Robles CcA. And when I’m not there, I am traveling to Sugarplum in Southern CA….

When you are traveling to do shows and have to be there by 9AM there are some perks to the challenge of getting up early to drive the four + hours to be there on time. That’s actually my sweet husband ahead of me, loaded up with half of my stuff.

This is what my booth looks like before I set up. I used to do this with no help at all. I’ve gotten so spoiled lately. Though I am trying to start doing it on my own again, just to see if I can since my sweet husband may be busier in the near future!

This was all set up

This was towards the end of the show! Blessed to take a lot less home! Gotta love me some of that Sugarplum!

My new line for 2019… My Antique Dolls and  if you notice my Shower Doll… Funny story, I was stuffing her and the stuffing got stuck in the middle and so I just went with it! So my new pregnant Shower girls are part of my line for this year!

Some of my cards out of my line… with a brand new line being introduced this year!

Thank you for taking the jouney with me. I am excited to see what this year holds for me! I am  definitely not ready to give up. I am praying that this year brings me enough success so that I can say that “I make a living” doing it!

Please visit my Etsy shop at dianeonawhim.etsy.com

and Sugarplumfestivals.com

(My mom creating when I was little)

I just lost my mom almost two years ago. She was a children’s artist during my whole childhood. I’d like to think that I am continuing her legacy!

Thanks for tagging along!

xoxo

Diane

 

Like Blowing Bubbles


big bubble

It’s been a while since I’ve written and even longer since I’ve worked on “my book.”  It’s funny. Once, I couldn’t “not” write. Now, I am not in a major writing block but I don’t want to just write to write. I have fleeting moments when I want to share something but if I don’t move on it right away, it kind of goes away like blowing bubbles… they are there floating around and then POP! Maybe it is because my study is out there with my art studio now. I have to walk outside, unlock a door and turn on a light and warm the place up before I can begin, where once I just walked to my office inside the house. Or… Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and my ideas in my head don’t last as long. Smile.

But in the time I’ve been away from my blog, I have a few things that have happened in life that I would like to share if you would care to pull up a chair for a while and chat with me…

In dreams… I’ve learned that you have to believe in yourself. and you have to become fearless in doing it. Even when you feel you are wasting time, or doubts crowd in so you can’t see the whole picture, you have to realize that dreaming is a form of planning and that nothing worth while ever just happens. Hard work and persistence is the only way you reach your goals. You must run toward your dreams as if you were on fire! And believe that you are never too old to set another goal and another, to reach that ultimate place that you want to be. The trick is… to realize that there is no expiration date on your dream. It is terrifying at times, when reality gets in the way and you have to make the choice to stay stuck in your comfort zone or go for it.

In relationships I’ve learned that love is a funny thing.  It isn’t just about that “all wrapped up in a butterflies in your stomach, over the top Ferris Wheel, falling in love kind of feeling. It is leaning on each other in the good and the bad times. Growing older but still seeing the beauty in staying. It’s still having a few fights but not wanting to pack your bags every time you do. It’s caring about each other with unselfish fortitude and doing things the other wants to do and giving freedom without guilt trips when they want to go do something without you. It is supporting their dreams and getting behind ourselves. And realizing that a supportive spouse is about as HOT as it can gets! And it is wanting to be together while sometimes doing nothing at all. And it is appreciating things in each other that you may have missed along the way. Things that have always been right at the core of why you’ve stayed.

I’ve learned that our kids are small for such a short time. That in the blink of an eye, they will be adults with thoughts and opinions of their own. That we have a tiny window to insert the values that we want them to carry with them. That they learn by not our words, but by our actions. Not by what we tell them, but what we show them. And in the end, it is their choice what to take with them and how well we packed those metaphoric suitcases for them.

I’ve learned that life is short. Time is fleeting. Love is more than a feeling. And only we can choose who we want to be. God has given us all free choice. In believing in HIM and believing in ourselves. I know people in my life who have given up on both. And I have learned through all my choices… never to give up on God or myself or the people I love and that everything is worth it in the end.

Now if you’ll excuse me… I’ve gotta get back to work!

my-studio

(My new art studio/study my hubby made for me!)

abcgarage saws

My garage workshop my husband also set up for me!

abc scarecrows at reminisce

(A start…. My Welcome Folk… Porch Dolls)

Filling That Space


Brooke's engagement ring

Something happened the other day that made me really slow down and remember God is in charge in a much bigger way. My daughter lost her engagement ring. All moms hate those calls when that usually bubbly voice is overcome with sadness. In all of the phone calls like that, since she has walked out of our front door into the world she is creating, we have been blessed that more than not have just been fender bender or parking ticket or friendship blip calls and nothing more. But listening to the pain in my baby’s voice and not being able to fix it is devastating. I’ve said before, that a mother’s happiness depends on the heart of her unhappiest child and so since I heard the news, I have woken up every morning praying that she will find it. Though it didn’t cost thousands of dollars, I know that Chase saved up for it and that because he picked it out especially with Brooke in mind….

Brooke and Chase Engaged

She loved it more than any other ring in the world. When she told him she lost it, of course he was sweet and felt bad for her, but showed his true colors by saying all the right things that reminded me of another story, years earlier…

My sweet little niece Adrienne hadn’t had the best examples of loving relationships while growing up. I remember telling her… “Someday, you can make your own life into all the things you missed out on when you were growing up.” And she did. Going out into the world, she dated a bit, but when she found Vance, it was different. He put her first. I am sure she already was in love by the time the accident happened, but I remember her telling me that when she crashed his brand new car on the freeway and called him crying and all he asked was “Are you okay?!” She said at that moment she knew that he was “the one.”

When my first mother in law (her grandma) died, Brookie and I met them for the funeral. We went out to get coffee before the service and though now, I can’t remember the exact story… it went something like this… Adrienne was so happy with the coffee in all her sadness and Vance smiled and said something about how cute she was. It was a silly little conversation, but Brooke saw something in that exchange that  touched her so much that later she told me that she was going to find “a Vance.”

Later, when she grew up a little more and began dating, no guy ever measured up to the love she remembered witnessing all those years earlier. She almost lost faith that there may only be just one Vance out there, until she met Chase. So many small little stories through-out their six years together have all added up to  Chase earning the space she saved so many years ago while watching her cousin’s sweet relationship. She’d been a flower girl in their wedding and felt their love was magic. So years later, she had her template.

Adrienne at the beach

Today, in all of my pain for her in her loss, I know whether the ring is found or not, Chase already said all the right things, just like Vance did.

brooke and chase1brooke and chase4

He loves my baby with the same respect and devotion that Vance loves my sweet niece. And oh yeah as far as happy endings… My sweet niece has created a wonderful little family with God blessing her with the most beautiful children and sweet life. I am sure they’ve had their ups and downs, but it made me realize God answers the bigger prayers.

Adrienne's Family

I pray that Brookie finds her ring, God found her a perfect love. He found her exactly what she asked for. God is definitely a God of answered prayers and he answers in detail!

(Please pray my baby finds her ring!)

You had the power all along my dear


There are rules in life. There are loyalties that we choose and disregard. There are boundaries that we must set and discipline we must follow. As parents we teach our kids right from wrong. In life we have to give up things to gain others. Professionally, we hire and sometimes have to fire, we have guidelines that make life much easier if we insist on consistency.

Standing by our scruples, may not always earn us popularity but in the end, doing the right thing makes us win. In my life, I’ve wanted everyone to like me. I wanted to be everyone’s best friend. Favorite Aunt, Cousin, Granddaughter, Grandma, whatever the title, I needed to be the favorite. My mom used to tell me, “Not everyone liked Jesus.” Her point was, why should I expect more than He had?

I realized a while ago that I was not being true to who I was if I didn’t stand up for what I believed in. If something was being handled in a way that I didn’t agree with, I’d sit on it and wait it out. Nothing is worse than feeling a lack of validation and manipulated in feeling wrong about being pretty darn right about something.

I learned a powerful lesson in my recent transition, and it has empowered me! I was right. I won’t go into the details but I will never again allow someone to take the power away from me. What did I  gain from this experience? Perhaps to be a voice to those still stuck. Where ever you are, in a job, in a relationship, in a goal… Only you can find your own yellow brick road. As Glenda said to Dorothy…”You had the power all along my dear.”

My dream job would be to just write someday. So I know I am not there yet and may never get to do exactly what I invision as the perfect job. But I do know that I am happy now. I am working hard and really do enjoy what I am doing. I work with amazing people and look forward to everyday. A few years ago, I was diagnosed as being clinically depressed. I just needed to get my butt out of the hole I’d dug for myself. Was I depressed? Heck yeah! I was depressed with the situation. Nothing Organic about being in a situation with dumb people running the show! There are amazing people and there are toxic people. Who do you surround yourself with? People who value you or people who cause you to be in a state of constant depression? Think about it. Only you can change things!

And you my dear have the power to do it! There is no yellow brick road, nor an Oz that is a wizard that can give you courage.  But there is something much more powerful… YOU! And God! And me and God “GOT” this one now!

man behind the curtain

Who have you given the power to?

Oh little man behind the curtain I have discovered you

You no longer have the control of what I say and do

I am not sure why it took so long to see I had a choice

Perhaps I couldn’t see  behind your magnifed little voice

But slowly I began to see it was nothing but an act

As I began to gather some pretty clarifying facts

I took the power back now and I can clearly see

the power that I believe in now is through God in me!

by

Diane Reed 2015

Black Velvet Saddle Shoes


 

There must be something about the date; December 4th. It is a day of new beginnings for me. Twenty-one years ago today, my life began again the day that I married for a second time. I’d left a fourteen year marriage a few years earlier, devastated. When I stood up there with my childhood Pastor and my brand new beautiful husband, I’d had high hopes. And when I repeated those vows about… for better or worse and in sickness and in health, well… I reeeeally meant them! I think in a way, the last part of that little girl in me who believed in magic died on the day I walked out the door with my two young kids in tow.

Even though I wanted to believe, and said I did when I took those vows for the second time, I think I kind of felt like a fraud. I know that I didn’t believe that I was married with the same kind of childlike faith I’d had that first time around. The walls were tall and my heart was broken. And I came with a ready-made family. I really am not sure what my poor husband was even thinking! Or… what he saw in me. Even after almost two years of getting to really know us as a package deal before we got married, he said “I DO” and so did I. That day, though skeptical of the whole “Forever” thing. I had more hope, than I’d had in a long time.

Since then, we’ve had quite a journey. Together, we’ve been successful and way UP on top and then slammed to the bottom financially. We’ve dealt with deaths and births, illnesses and healings and some pretty catastrophic, life shaking times but we’ve stayed strong. Mostly because my husband is a man of faith and not loving me as he says is… “NOT an option.” And though sometimes in the fit of a fight, that is rather annoying. In the end… it is all I ever wanted. Someone who loves me unconditionally, flaws, walls and all.

It is all rather ironic because today is pretty metaphoric for me. As I close an old door on an old job that consumed a full decade of my life, I open a new door to a new job on the very same day in which I opened a new door to a new life twenty-one years ago. And though I know that I already wrote my “Anniversary” post. I woke up early today and couldn’t go back to sleep and so I got up and discovered a blog full of sweet congrats and well wishes from my consistently wonderful and supportive readers! (Thank you!) And I also remembered that this is the first day of my new job. Something that I haven’t said for over a decade! And I must say that I kind of feel like a kid on her first day of school!

For the first time in a long time, I have hope again. I remember when I was a little girl, maybe first grade, it was my first day of school. My friends and I walked to school in our brand new black velvet saddle shoes. (The kind that you had to brush off if someone stepped on them.) Funny, how I have to go sooo far back in my memory to feel that new feeling of hope again, but I’ve begun to understand that sometimes, you have to go as far back as you need to, in order to find the pieces of yourself that you left along the way, so that you can scale the walls and  truly begin to find a way to believe again, just like that young girl once did all those years ago, as she walked to school in her black velvet saddle shoes.

2edd18ca37acadc7e0d754d8a10c86c5.jpg (234×320)

My “Thing”


Ever since I was seven years old, about a year or so after I learned to read, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I was one of the lucky ones. I really knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.

And then I forgot.

Life happened and slowly, my passion was pushed away. I remember wanting to be a stewardess for a while, and then going to school to be a Dental Assistant and actually being one for a year or so. And of course, I went through the wanting to be a model phase. (hence the portfolio pics you will find scattered through my blogs at times)  Then, going to college and thinking maybe I would be a Speech Therapist and taking classes that centered around becoming one, but then I met a boy, we got married, began a family and somehow life just happens and those dreams you had in the beginning just seem silly.

There was this one teacher, Mrs. Reed. (Funny that is my name now. But no relation.)  She was my English teacher, an older woman (ahhh probably about as old as I am now or maybe a teeensie bit older, argh!)   in my freshman year of High School and then every year after that till I graduated. I will never forget her. She saw something in me. She encouraged me and placed me in Independent Writing. I never took another real English class in High School after that first year, I just wrote for Mrs. Reed. Mainly poems. She critiqued them and taught me cadence and many other things I give her credit for. I can’t tell you much about adjectives and pronouns and I KNOW my punctuation is still horrible to this day, But… It was an amazing class.

Over the years, I have had a few people who stand out as encouragers when it came to my writing. My daughter and I were looking at a dog earred, yellowed letter that my dad wrote to me when I was sixteen that mentions my writing. She remarked about it and I was touched to remember. When I was a teenager, writing was my soft place to fall. My journals were tear stained places for me to escape. I am not sure how people go through those years without being able to write.

I find it puzzling and a little funny how people seem to get so defensive when they do not have the passion to write and I suggest that they try it. I have had so many comebacks from an innocent sentence made. Some have replied almost in anger that writing is not their “thing.” Hmmm now HOW am I supposed to take that? As an insult? Hmmm? 😉

I guess if someone loves to jump out of airplanes and you hate heights, no matter how much coaxing they do, you probably will never learn to love it or even try it. But hey, I am giving their position way too much leverage. Writing is not dangerous. Or is it?? But really, I guess I get it. If your “thing” is math, I promise you, that you will never talk me into majoring in it. But I feel that everyone has a story to tell. I love to go find the about button on each blog. It is like being invited into their living room as they share a part of their life with you.

People who know me, laugh at me because I am the inspiration for that little quip people say when you ask too many questions; “Are you writing a book?!” As to that I reply….   “Well, yes I am. Thank you for asking.”

I am a writer and writing is my thing. And you know what? I don’t find it silly at all.