Monday, April 21, 2008

"The Big Give" a day at the Beloved Pecos Gallery

Yesterday at the gallery, I was the gallery host - the duties of this volunteer position include opening and closing the gallery, greeting the folks who stop by and providing them with info about - well, just about anything they ask that I can answer, selling the artwork, making a fire to warm the old adobe building up, and anything else that needs doing - I always tell people about the events coming up and to please sign the book by the door if they want notices of what's happening by e-mail or snail mail.

Currently, there is a showing of student art at the gallery. The Gallery was cleaned out ( the usual art stored upstairs) of everything to make room for art from the Pecos Elementary School and The Indian School in Santa Fe. It is called "The All Student's Art Show" and runs from the 19th through the end of April. (forgot to take pics - will grab the camera and visit again )

Yesterday, I was not alone - there were two of us - two gallery hosts. This was such a treat, for an artist from out of town wanted to learn how to host so that she may do so in the future. Of course we always need volunteers but the reasons the day was so enjoyable were because this woman is just full of enthusiasm, shares ideas of how we can increase participation in the events planned, she also comes up with great suggestions for events to schedule, and took on the role of organizer of a monthly event.

She is so into the Artist Bingo Gallery Fundraiser she has accomplished alot already even though the first bingo afternoon will be May 18. She brought with her yesterday 4 fun baskets of great items to which we will add something original and handmade for prizes, has involved her sister and friends into the "game" donating their time, bingo equipment, and food to sell. They are willing to drive about 45 mins using all that gas (we all know what that costs) to help out a local gallery in Pecos.

A number of the artists represented at the gallery are donating a themed basket or piece of artwork for prizes as well. This is a great thing about this gallery "community" I reflect on often - everyone connected gives and gives of themselves.
Most of us have not even played bingo since childhood, so it is such a great opportunity to have this woman and her friends etc. take charge of running the games. As she and I were talking with great enthusiasm about the baskets which are all theme based (the "Glamor", the Summer-Time" , the "Laundry", the "Bean Pot", etc. baskets), I looked out across these donated prizes and thought about all the creativity, time, and personal expense that went into what I saw and once again was filled with appreciation of people who generiously give. I even suggested that as money came in during the first bingo event that maybe some money could be used for the future prizes. Her response was perfectly in character - that no, we can use that money better for the gallery events and we will find enough people to help us through donations for the following monthly bingo fundraisers - and besides, that is the fun part.
In my opinion, she fits the description of a "Big Giver" (to use a phrase from Oprah) and I beleive you can guess why whether or not you have seen the TV show.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Are There Really Any Coincidences in Life or is it ...

The Beloved Gallery seems to be my current arena where I ponder life ... so to consider the phrase popular - there just aren't happenstance coincidences for their own sake, those moments of recognition that there is a connection throughout the Universe calling for those meetings, etc. which give insight or bring messages are actually what they seem - events, connections, meetings just filled with purpose.

A few people sitting in the Gallery, enthusiastically sharing ideas about drawing more people into the Gallery, using the Gallery, seeing it as a community center of sorts - and on and on, building upon the mounting feelings of connection - we noticed people just happening to come in at the perfect moment to help expand the ideas.

Two men, later to find out, local father and visiting son, were driving by and felt the need to come in. I imagine the two of them looking at each other and wondering what was calling to them. Turns out, the father is, among other things, a caterer of Texas bar-b-cue. We were talking about having a Farmers Market every Sat outside through the summer and who would want to become involved. Yes, we will have a member cooking delicious foods for the Market.

OK, I can see that it would be easy to explain this as just a mere coincidence ... except the experience happened a few more times, - people walking in at the right moment to add something - it was easy to recognize this as it was a slow day and those folks were the only people to come through the doors.

As we were closing up, a woman drove up and started in ... I said, maybe I should stick around to see what message she has for us, but didn't as it was 20 min or so after closing time. As I walked in the door at home, my partner told me she had received two messages from the Gallery that a woman walked in, looked at my jewelry and purchased an item, walked out and turned around, walked back in and bought another piece of my work, (I saw her at the door as I drove by and thought it interesting she was going back in).

OK, ok, what's the big deal? Want some more? I had been moaning that I hadn't sold anything in a long time, it seemed, - then we started talking about how wonderful it was we were so happy for all the artists involved in the Gallery when art was sold, didn't have to be ours sold to feel good - happy for the other artists ... then jumping into the all afternoon conversation about how to make the Gallery even more fun, etc... so I am choosing to interpret the turn of events as a very clear indication, once again, that feeling good, thinking about the good tidings for others and the expression of creativity through group dynamics acts like radio signals saying, "come on in and have a good time - there is a party going on - you are up for it and you have an opportunity to add something here, so join in".

How often have you heard something like that or a similar radio-like signal calling you? Did you answer? I am keeping my antenna aloft because I sure don't want to miss a good time.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Magic of "Gifting" = Energy = Creativity = Gifting, etc

The past week has brought an awareness to me - maybe it is a re-awareness for I remember experiencing this in small doses in the past ... what I am so blessedly aware of is the connection of "gifting" to others, without expecting, hoping or even looking for anything in return - to gift freely just for the fun of it ...

It may seem that there is something you do receive (the feeling of having fun for example) and therefore the gifting is not entirely "free". I think that the kind of giving freely without expectation requires spontaneity - meaning no premeditation as well as no expectation.
I can’t say to myself "I will give of myself and then I will have fun or feel good" and then create the action. I can know intellectually that this is what creates the experience of fun or well being, as a result by looking back. It cannot be the purpose which would be an intellectual decision - it has to be spontaneous and it has to come from the heart, the soul or whatever you call that place of feeling the indescribable connection with ALL - that stream of consciousness.

My example of "gifting", repeated again and again, starts with my involvement with the Beloved Pecos Gallery (yes, again). I made a flier listing in brief, the events that will occur, free of charge, at the Gallery from April through September - some specific and most sketchy plans. I gave the copy to a gallery participant of that meeting I described last week, who was eager to have color copies made through a relative - while we talked, his enthusiasm increased his ideas which increased my feelings of excitement, which then fed his enthusiasm
... then I "happened" to meet another participant from that great meeting - her enthusiasm for the Bingo fund-raisers added to my over all level of enthusiasm creating more energy, feeding her energy

... then I received a call from another participant who had experienced the enthusiasm of a performance she took her daughter to, creating fantastic ideas, etc.

... everyone sharing with others, the energy increasing until I felt so good I felt "high" then a project I had been looking for of how to create something with materials which had been gifted to me, that had been gifted to the woman I received from , finally appeared in my consciousness with a great pop and completeness. I became so in touch with my creativity I put it all into action, experiencing indescribable joy. I felt at one with the Universe!

... and it started with "gifting" - the giving of oneself with no premeditation to feel this or expectation of receiving anything in return

... I know from the feeling connection to everyone involved, this was a pure experience of gifting

.... I then met up with different folks at a group activity who had their own expanded hearts open and we expanded this experience out through our discussion much like a series of radio circular frequencies - on and on it goes, doubling back to reconnect, creating those seemingly magical "coincidences", on and on

.... in addition to feeling complete and happy, wonderful connections "drop" into my life giving me more of what I want, experiencing abundance in physical ways because I am connect to the ALL - and haven't "tried" through action to get this myself - and so it goes and goes

...and it’s a wonderful place to live life ... it occurs when consistantly "played" for when I have those thoughts of 'what - is - in - it - for - me', I feel the collapse of this joyful energy and have dropped out of the connection until I can get back to "gifting".

Just a personal description of my experience "playing" with others in joy and creating something wonderful together, much larger than any one of us alone. This is the information which has been given everyone through a huge variety of "teachings".

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Playing Nice - Another Day at the Beloved Pecos Gallery

Going along with my interest in getting more involved with artists and others in my community, I attended a business meeting at the local gallery this morning.

The meeting was exciting - even inspiring - here are a number of artists and other community people who are working together to help make the gallery a destination site (people coming here to little, beautiful, historical Pecos, NM from Santa Fe, etc.) and more so a community gathering place for art events, activities, workshops, - even a bingo afternoon once a month as a fun fundraiser. I am impressed and thrilled to be a part of this group. It's like getting together with giving, loving, kind people to play with and in the process add to the development of something important and fine.

I guess to simplify, the recipe for success and the way positive actions lead to positive results is to:

  • gather together

  • play nice

  • have fun

  • value each other and make sure to appreciate a wide view of perspectives

  • honor differences

  • and remember we are really all connected and equal.

Oh yeah, work together on a common goal.

That is also what I appreciate about as a community of artists, buyers and sellers - everyone seems ready to help each other. Microcosms as examples of how I choose to live.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Beloved Pecos Gallery "What a Doll" show

Great doll show at the Beloved Pecos Gallery this weekend and next. I went to the opening Friday night and took some pictures. This sign was created by Toni Truesdale
(More about work later)

At least 10 artists were represented, showing their art dolls - some were for sale and others available through commission. I was impressed at the array of medium displayed and the variety of expression.

I have been involved marginally with the Gallery - I have some of my beading creations there, I volunteer - actually only once keeping the place open on a Sunday and the biggest connection is through my partner (The Dolly Llama) who teaches workshops and shows some of her incredible dolls there. Oh, I did design a poster for the "What a Doll " doll show.

There are many other artists envolved with and shown at the Gallery as you can see from the photos. More on the history of the building, the guiding force (Robin) who envisioned a place for art serving the Pecos community, especially a place for children to be involved and the artists themselves. I am going to be more involved starting now.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Musings on Women Helping Women - NMWF Members

A couple of days after the NMWF's Rag Rug Festival in Las Cruces, NM. I am checking all the links - making sure they go where they are suppose to go ... it's a good idea, for one letter forgotten in EVFAC's took me to and emergency readiness site. The only emergency I ever experience with Espanola Valley Fiber Art Center is trying to get to their sale days by the time they open ... those special days are wonderful, well attended and just fine for adding to your fiber stash. As a not for profit organization of weavers, spinners, natural dyers, knitters - gees, I could go on and on - these folks support EVFAC by donating left-over yarns, fabric etc. for those sales. Of course the shop itself sells wonderful goodies for fiberists and there are classes and a boutique of members creations for sale as well ... Check it out - Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center . It is a great way to meet folks of like interests, take classes , rent equipment, buy yarns, etc. and buy and sell your creations - oh, yes, - participate in those great sales.
Weaving - What it Means to one Tres Manos Woman

Back to tracing links - I discovered this on the Tres Manos site. It speaks to me so I included it here:

Johnna Hartsog was a former Tres Manos weaver
After battling with cancer, she now finds comfort in her work as a weaver � LM Images

The Loom Tale
by Johnna Hartsog

I feel the loom shuttle
leave my hands,
but it's weaving more than
cloth. It tells the
tale of days gone by and
passions yet

My body feels the rhythm
of the shuttle as it flies and
my doubts begin to fade
away as my spirit tries to

I feel myself become one
with the loom and all it's
parts. I am finally in a
place that's safe, that I
have longed for all my life

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Women Helping Women, a Tribute to New Mexico Women's Foundation

My feelings of gratitude fly high today and most days when I consider the women who give so generously, from love to grab the hands of women who need a boost, suggesting, in essence, here, take my hand and come on over and see what you can do.

There have been many stories of this kind of love and caring in my life and in the lives of women around me.

Today, I am feeling blessed to have just such a connection with an incredible organization - New Mexico Women's Foundation (NMWF). I have much to say about all of the people involved with this group. They continue to find spectacular ways to lend a hand, by:

- supporting girl and women artists through providing opportunities to increase the sales of their art

- developing and expanding economic opportunities for women in rural areas

- teaching fiber crafts to girls and women so they may develop skills to enjoy a more abundant life through the establishment of cottage industries in rural areas of New Mexico

- and much more

You know what? These folks say it much better than I - so check out their website ... plus much more info - grants - great pics. Go there now, then come bach, ok?

I am honored to have participated for the last 3 years in the Rag Rug Festivals produced by NMWF. (More on these festivals to follow on another day.)

I am thankful to the many supporters and volunteers of this foundation and know that it takes a Village (to borrow Hilary's book title). Yet there is one woman who has touched me deeply with her generosity, caring and concern. In addition, I am impressed with the talents and skills she has, especially in the creativity of ideas and the production of the festivals.

Ok, enough thrilling buildup, this mysterious woman is the current president of the NMWF board of directors, Frieda Arth.

This woman is incredible, the foundation and all its volunteers are wonderful ...and I tend to emote ... so check this site out and see for yourself, am I emoting or simply stating the truth?

The NMWF's web site is extremely well done ... oh, my ... here I go again, can't help it, I love the New Mexico Womens' Foundation - you will too!

Always more to say ... one of the Rag Rug Festivals is happing right now in Las Cruces NM -next time I will focus on the artist participants of the foundation.