Love Notes Feed

Permission to Do Less


Sometimes, I do myself in; there's just no two ways about it. I create work where there doesn't need to be work.

It's all in the name of being creative, and in some ways, people's expectations. For the last several years, I've participated in Jennifer Belthoff's Love Notes. I do it because I love snail mail, and because I love creating snail mail. I love sending it, and I love receiving it.

In Love Notes, we send 3 postcards over the course of 3 weeks to a partner. Each week comes with a prompt, and for 3 weeks, my mailbox and I smile in delight.

Here's where I make work for myself: I decided my post cards needed to be hand made. No store bought post cards for me, no sir. It began easily enough, 3 postcards, tiny little 4" X 6" works of art. Sometimes, I opted to create note cards, not post cards, but still, easy enough.

And, along the way, it snow balled. Not only did I send my little works of art off to the current partner, but I sent them to past partners as well, as well as some newly made online friends. And, then to my sister, Denise. And then...

Well, I'm up to 20 pieces of art each week. Yikes!

Really, I love it...well, when I'm home to create, I do. This past week found me in Vermont for 6 days. I came home on Tuesday, did my laundry on Wednesday, and packed yesterday and today for a 4 day art retreat.

The stress levels began to climb, climb some more, and well, I may have been on top of Hogback Mountain with my stress. My art room looks like Hurricane Matthew has come and gone, plus which, I needed to be packing the supplies I'd be using.

Even if I worked non stop for this last day and a half, 20 handmade post cards would not be happening.

My pride / ego got a bit bruised; no one would be marveling on line at my creations.

Yet, here's the kicker. I didn't need to be creating 20 pieces of art; that's not what Love Notes is about. It's about connecting with people; it's about bringing happiness to someone once a week for three weeks. It is NOT about my art or my ego.

I've packed my ego away for the time being; 20 beautiful Vermont post cards are going out into the world. 20 gorgeous images of Vermont in the fall, with those wonderful bright reds, oranges, and yellows. 20 post cards with messages written to bring delight.

The best part? I'm okay with this letting go of stress I've put on myself. I'm okay with realizing I can't do this all the time.

There will be post cards going out next week, as time is limited there as well. Probably, I'll do something handmade the last week; I do love the creating and the joy my tiny creations bring.

But, if not, that's okay as well because like I said, it's not about me. It's not about my art.

It's about connecting, and Lord knows, that's something we need in our crazy world.

On the Road You Travel


The Love Notes are on their way!

For quite awhile now, I've participated in Jennifer Belthoff's Love Notes Project. To quote Jenny, all you need is:

  • 3 postcards
  • 3 stamps
  • An open heart!

Each Sunday, participants get their prompt and messages can written. By Thursday, the postcards are in the mail, and everyone is watching their mailbox.

So much fun - I love snail mail!

Sunday's prompt? "On the road you travel, you will find..."

Postcards can be bought, can be hand created, or anywhere in between. It's the message that counts.

I enjoy creating mine, using my photography, and my unending stash of supplies. I really am working very hard on buying little and instead, making what I have work.

I found the photo first; it's one taken at Luckett's, a favorite place of mine. There are always odds and ends of all sorts on the grounds, including the poor rusted car you see above. That car is now down to one door, which I, of course, photographed! I do love rusted's the mixed media artist in me.

I sized, printed, and glued my photos to cards. (I enjoy sending notes to previous Love Notes' partners as well.) Then, I looked at the glaring empty space at the bottom. There was always Washi Tape, but I wanted something different, so I started to dig.

Found rather dated "Manual for Drivers and Compendium of the Motor Vehicle and Traffic Laws" as published by Trenton, NJ. (I do pick up the oddest things at flea markets, and how do you like that for a title?)

You can see some of the illustrations above. Cool, right?

And, as I glued them down, and I burnished them well, I got to thinking how perfect they were, as was the photo I shot.

Flat tires...yes, there are going to be some of those in life. You need to be prepared if you're going to get moving again.

Old people should be given special consideration. Yes, yes, yes. Lots of wisdom there, folks, if we just stop to listen. (And, I am not just saying that because I happen to be heading in the direction of "old.")

Signal your intentions. Oh, for sure. How many arguments and misunderstandings occur in life because we "THINK" we know what the other person/driver is going to do?

Keep your parts in working order. We too often take our bodies for granted, right? Nourish them well, and they'll be far more efficient.

Steer into the skid. We all end up in life's skids. In fact, life has dealt me more skids that my car ever has. Steer with the skid...go with what life is dealing at the moment. Eventually things straighten out.

Always stop for certain vehicles (cop car, ambulance, etc.) Yup, sometimes, we are dealt some "stops." Death, illness, or on a far better note, our kids wanting our attention. Quite simply, we have to stop. Our life, our plans get put on hold for the time being.

And, there are more wonderful little clipped illustrations piled next to me. But, you get the idea, I think.

So, thank you Trenton, NJ, and thank you, Jenny Belthoff!


As Good a Day as Any

Day 1

Today is as good a day as any to spend time with a child or with a grandparent...borrow one of either if needed! Both have so much wisdom to share, if we only take the time to listen. It's as good a day as any to begin to understand, and appreciate, another's view.

Today is as good a day as any to slow down and be mindful of life's tiny little ordinary moments that make up the backgrounds of our lives. It's as good a day as any to unplug and to pretend that we've never heard of "multi-tasking." It's as good a day as any to simply do one thing at a time and give our whole attention to that one thing.


Today is as good a day as any to take a look around us and to check to be sure that we are surrounding ourselves with things and people that give us joy.  It's as good a day as any to scatter reminders - a favorite photo, some fresh flowers, a quote we love on a brightly colored post-it note - reminders that create thankfulness and contentment. It's as good a day as any to spend time with those that bring us joy.

Today is as good a day as any to try something new, to read an author whose work we've never read. It's as good a day as any to taste something new, to take a new route on our way home from work, or to chat with someone new as we wait in line.  It's as good a day as any to reach out and grab onto life's possibilities.


Today is as good a day as any to pay attention to the dreams in our lives, to think about how we are spending the moments of our days, and to be sure we are honoring our passions. Today is as good a day as any to remember to be patient with ourselves, and that we are works in progress.

Today is as good a day as any to to stop and count our blessings, to look around us and see how many gifts life has given us.  It's a good a day as any to stop and thank those who have been blessings in our lives, and then to turn around and bless others.


Today is as good a day as any to go ahead and make a huge mess - to bring out the paints, get our hands deep into the dirt, or to have flour and sugar everywhere in our kitchen. It's as good a day as any to not worry about how something should look or should come out. It's as good a day as any to just create what we need to and to realize that the messiness of life is beautiful in its own way.

Today is as good a day as any to stop listening to the crazy monkeys in our minds that keep shouting "You're not good enough!" or "You're crazy to even try that!" Today is as good a day as any to hush those voices and tell them that we are more than enough, and that in fact, we are beautiful beings. It's a day to tell the voices to go take a hike already.


Today is as good a day as any to be alone, to take ourselves out on an artist's date, something just for us. It's as good a day as any to fill our souls with what ever it is that we need. It's a day for creativity or take a long walk.  Maybe, just maybe, it's a day to take a nice long nap!


If I Could Tell You One Thing...


If I could tell you one thing, it would be that "Stuff" does not equate to happiness. I would tell you to spend your money on travel, to enjoy a show, to go wandering, and to explore new places and ideas.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be that there is a lot of magic in this world: a baby's laughter, flowers picked by a child just for you, the sound of spring rain, a fresh summer peach...and so much more! Just open your eyes and your heart; I promise you that you'll find so much magic.


If I could tell you one thing, it would be to make art as much as you can. I would tell you not to worry if that art was good or it was bad...just make it. Lose yourself in the process and just play!


If I could tell you one thing, it's that forgiveness does not mean saying that what happened was okay. Instead, I think that forgiveness means being able to move past what happened and being able to not let it consume you and eat away at your heart. I would tell you that forgiveness is a tough gig indeed, but that that it's worth being able to do.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be to savor life. Use the good china and buy fresh flowers. Rather than saving things for a special "occasion," make every day special in some could be ever so tiny, and that's okay.


If I could tell you one thing, it would be to see the world through the eyes of a child and to enjoy all the gifts life has to offer. Life is so very beautiful!

If I could tell you one thing, it would be to travel - whether to some place far away or somewhere nearby. Drink in new sights and taste new foods. Journal it, sketch it, photograph it, or just etch it into your memories. Most of all, enjoy your explorations.


If I could tell you one thing, it would be to surround yourself with people who add joy to your life, rather than detracting from it. Enjoy people who enjoy life and don't harbor grudges. Life hands us enough drama; we don't need to add more on our own.


If I could tell you one thing, it would be to get out into nature - to drink in the fresh air, to take long walks. I would tell you to listen to the rain and let it soothe your soul and clear your mind. I would tell you to take a deep breath and gulp in all the goodness!

Note: "If I could tell you one thing..." is a prompt from Jennifer Belthoff's Love Notes project. I've participated in this project about 10 times, and I enjoy sending snail mail so much that I send to my past partners as well as my current one. I've spent the last few days creating envelopes from various papers and making cards using my photos and some washi tape. It's been a roller coaster of a week with drama popping up everywhere, so this project was good for my soul!