true colors in the little things

beadwork in progress, Hali Karla Arts Daily routine has been different around our studio/home so far this year. Whenever life shakes things up for us or someone we are close to, it's an opportunity to know ourselves better and to build a deeper bond with our people. This takes time and presence and a commitment to respectful, loving exchange.

For me, it also takes discipline to be sure I get the me-time I need to keep my creative heart replenished and fresh.

In new rhythms, I find myself working with old triggers at times, and also leaning toward conscious gratitude practices, clarity with time management (major work-in-progress here), and simple tasks of ordering and creating space, objects or experiences that have pattern and clear purpose.

I've noticed that when life feels chaotic or personally charged, I don't always necessarily reach for my intuitive paintbrushes first. There's just another part of my creative spirit that comes forth first and asks me to Ground in my life and surroundings.

Be here now. Swim deep later in calmer waters.

The happenings surrounding us right now are deeply effecting our family, and in this process, I was struck by the undeniable urge to dust off my old box of beads and create a pair of seed bead earrings - in the way I was taught as a girl by my mother and a dear friend of the family. It's been years and years, and I loved this as a child....

There is something about the technical side of figuring out the colors for the pattern, making a brick stitch base by weaving one bead at a time, the meditative process of counting out the beads and stringing them up, and watching it come together quickly at the fringe. It brings me into a quiet place much like knitting or throwing pots... and sometimes even into a more graceful insight than my thinking mind alone can generate.

I also get smarter about my studio space when I'm grounding in the little things as an artist. I de-clutter and purge. I figure out ways to make my supplies more readily available for easy use when I do art journal and paint. Because those processes typically move at a faster pace of awareness for me, having my tools ready and accessible will determine if I use them at all.

Like this...

paper scrap storage plan so I actually USE my paper scraps, Hali Karla Arts

Last year, I bought those cute boxes to color-coordinate my favorite scrap papers for collaging. I separated the colors and then promptly stacked them directly on top of one another on a very cluttered shelf in the corner.

Want to know how often I used those papers in 2014? Less than half a dozen times. It was a pain pulling out the stack of boxes each time, so I just didn't.

So this week, I got a handy shelf system from the craft store, down-sized to four boxes, and put the lid on the bottom of the box so they are open-faced, each on their own shelf, where they easily slide right out. They are also now right on top of the table I use to journal and film.

Easy, simple and accessible makes me feel happy and less overwhelmed by the steps in my process... particularly in busy or challenging times.

washi tape on clothespins, simple and fun for my artbooth wall, Hali Karla Arts

One other little crafty project I finished this week are these clothespins. I wasn't planning on doing this, but I wanted something for my hands that didn't ask much of my mind or heart, except that they enjoy the color in the making. Activities like this can become a sort of ritual to creating space.

Nothing new here - just washi tape on the sides, trimmed with regular old scissors. All in the name of simplifying my art-booth wall in downtown Asheville in the next couple of weeks.

Simplifying presentation frees up time and energy - and it doesn't take much to add a little flair or beauty to the subtler moments, projects or interactions that we are part of, inbetween our bigger ones.

Sometimes, it's those little touches that are exactly what we need.

washi tape on clothespins, simple and fun for my artbooth wall, Hali Karla Arts