Sunday, October 31, 2010

halloween eve

i couldn't imagine a better place to spend
this halloween eve than the cemetery. 
there were no costumes
or bustling crowds of children.
only me and the shadows
and the sound of the wind
rustling the crispy leaves.

this lone angel kept watch
while my nikon captured
mother nature's
late fall beauty.

one of the things
i love most
about this particular cemetery
is the vast variety of headstones
from old to new,
from modest to grand,
from big to small,
there's intricate detail
to be admired all around.

this halloween eve
i did not wear a costume
or beg for candy
or dip for apples
but i did stand tall
in the cemetery
paying homage
to all those who
peacefully rest
surrounded by

Friday, October 29, 2010


dear, sweet, nellie, the moment i saw you i knew you were coming home with me. hidden away behind an oversized armoire your essence of small perfection was a siren call of friendship. i saw your beauty shining thru despite the dust and years of misuse. in you, i felt a kindred spirit, a knowing that our journeys had been similar. once smooth and shiny in youth, your scrapes and worn edges revealed character that had developed over time. leaning close, i heard your soft whisperings and yearnings for a home to be at peace, a home to simply be who you were always meant to be. touching the soft patina of your side, i said come, come home with me. i will help restore your beauty and you will encourage me to spread my wings and fly free. free to be joyously creative at my pace and in my own way.

yes, nellie is the old drawers i posted about here. isn't she just lovely? i'm sketching and planning the next step in her renewal (collaged drawer fronts, words of inspiration?!). despite the fact that i bought her for my bedroom she has wandered into my dining room and made herself quite at home, adding a bright spot to the middle of my little cottage home. she and i are settling in quite nicely, thank you very much!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the one place in the world

she slipped on her worn tennis shoes and headed out the door. a brisk breeze ruffled her hair as she stepped onto the sidewalk. this was her first walk late at night since returning "home". heading south she shuffled thru a large pile of crisp maple leaves, swinging her feet high to choreograph a whirling leaf dance of reds and golds. two fenced dogs snuffled their hello and she whispered back "hello, my neighbor doggies. isn't it a lovely night?"

admiring the twinkling pumpkin lights and lit jack-o-lanterns on doorsteps and porches, she slipped from darkness to light and back again. although it was closed, she hopped up the library steps wondering how many times her feet had climbed these very steps in her lifetime -- so many trips, so many books from childhood thru middle age. and now she was back and could enjoy this friendly literary place once again.

chuckling to herself, she slipped a couple of letters into the mail drop box next to the post office. the experience delighted her -- flooded by street light, sliding the letters into the slot, hearing the whoosh and then the soft plop. yes, these were the simple joys she had longed for, the kind of things most people take for granted. the essence of simple living was vibrating in her life like never before.

main street was deserted at this late hour allowing her to leisurely window shop and peek into closed doors. signs of construction work at willie and reds told her the grand opening couldn't be far off. a collection of antique bottles caught her eye at reed's antique store and a sign announced free painting lessons at the art center every saturday afternoon.

a lone pickup truck slid by as she prepared to cross the street. she liked how susan had the windows decorated at the old oak corner shop. she made a mental note to come browse on saturday. beachlers furniture store was now an antique mall. she wondered if she could find an old twin size metal headboard there. she also wondered what she looked like as she stood against the large window pressing her hands and face close for a better view. yes, she thought, i'm still weird my hagerstown neighbors, i'm still weird.

further on, she noticed a storefront for sale. it was small and cute and her mind raced with ideas for what she could do there. perhaps a bakery with home baked pies and cupcakes with art on display (for sale of course). maybe a small design firm (one creative woman strong!). maybe a consignment shop of homemade items from across the country. oh yes, she had dreams, this girl. she had dreams. and she felt in her heart that this was the one place in the world where they were sure to come true. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

the last hurrah

 each gorgeous fall day we've been having lately has me thinking 'oh this could be the last hurrah". we may not see a 70+ degree day for 7 months. that red rose is the last one on the bush, hanging on for dear life. getting to see the sunrise on my way to work (late) one morning this week was so bittersweet.

 so i try to spend some time every day with my nikon in hand, hitting the streets and country roads for some sunshine, fresh air and inspiration.

my nest-building is coming along nicely. i made new curatins for the dining room today and i love them. pics soon . . . maybe tomorrow!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"sweatered yellow bird"
mixed media collage
8 x 8 x 1.5 wood panel
(c) 2010 julie king

i've never really been one to sketch a lot. for me, the fun in creating art has always been about all the color. but a couple of months ago i bought a clearance sketchbook and already it is about 1/3 full of doodles and words and scribbles and art ideas galore. how freeing it is to simply let my mind and hand wander freely with no destination and no pressure to create a finished design. i've noticed one of the patterns in my doodling is accessorizing birds with cute hats, sweaters, scarves and boots. i've also been humanizing a lot of inanimate objects. i can tell that i should have been sketching all along as my creative mind is more free and original when in sketch mode.

maybe my creative burst is at least in part because i'm not watching tv these days. when i first moved into this sweet little cottage my daughter gave me an old hand-me-down tv that fit just perfectly on the $20 goodwill entertainment center i purchased. the first two weeks i watched glee and grey's anatomy and had it on for background noise a few times.  but alas on tuesday night it would not even turn on. thank goodness glee was a re-run. i may buy a tv eventually but for now i am quite content.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

simple abundance = old drawers

 "simple abundance"
8 x 8 x 1.25 wood panel
mixed media
(c) 2010 julie king

in my life, i've had it all.

blessed with loving parents and 4 wonderful siblings, my early life was humble and happy.  

raising 2 children as a single parent was a gift beyond measure.

i've had love, lost love, found love and walked away when love wasn't enough.

less than a globetrotter, i've traveled just enough to be in awe of god's vast creations.

i've had a new car, a new house, new furniture, diamonds, all the latest technology and enough clothes to fill 2 large closets.

yes, i've had it all, and my most profound lesson in life is that all i really need and want is simple abundance and the time to share it with my loving family and friends.

as i start my new journey as a single woman (again) i long for simplicity in all that i do and all that i own.

for example, i want old drawers. yes, you read that correctly. i want old drawers . . .

. . . this kind of old drawers!!! i bought this heavy old solid wood dresser for $20 at the salvation army family store. i love it! i plan to paint it and antique it and collage it and make it a personal work of art. maybe it will be a family heirloom one day. you know THAT piece of furniture that the kids and grandchildren will fight over when i'm gone. hee hee (my daughter megan is groaning right now!!)

simple abundance . . . treasuring old over new, slow and meaningful instead of fast and trite. living fully to be rather than working tirelessly to have. time in the art room to create to my heart's content. the little 8 x 8 wood panel piece is an experiment in a new simple style that i am so enjoying. more to come and an etsy shop update too!

what does simple abundance mean to you?!

Monday, October 11, 2010

october sundays

october sundays
oh how i relish
your vibrancy

your sunshine
fills my heart
with longing

few in number
your glory
fades so quickly

i cling
to your
bittersweet nectar

holding it
close to my heart
and soul

on cold winter days
i will recall
your loveliness

and yearn
for an encore
when october comes again

Monday, October 4, 2010

i am enough

i am strong enough
to carry the world
on my shoulders

i am vulnerable enough
to ask for help
when i stumble

i am proud enough
to demand the respect
i'm due

i am humble enough
to admit the mistakes
i've made

i am confident enough
to laugh at myself
on good days and bad

i am woman enough
to take it all
and give it all

i am enough

Saturday, October 2, 2010

seek rejoice

up at 6:30 this morning determined to get things organized around here. the above is what the sunrise looks like as it streams thru my front living room window. loooove! my art piece reads "seek rejoice" which feels so appropo in my life right now.

after a wonderful cup of coffee i started steaming and scraping the wallpaper off the bathroom walls. bluck on the color, darkness and vertical ugliness of this wallpaper. can't wait to get it done (TODAY!!) so i can paint and hang the pretty shower curtain i made.

time for a second cup of coffee and some more steam heat!

Friday, October 1, 2010

bright spot of the day

"bright spot"
mixed media collage
8" x 8" x 1 1/8" wood panel
(c) 2010 julie king

one of my favorite bright spots each day is that first wonderful cup of morning coffee. i drink mine a little on the weak side with lots of creamer and sugar. since i moved to hagerstown and i'm driving to dayton to work each day i don't have my coffee until i get to work. i'm confident that the hour-long drive paired with a full cup of coffee would not sit well on my old, too-small, overactive bladder. so i endure the caffeine-free drive anticipating that first smooth sip at my desk. heaven!!

"bright spot" is created on the first of several wood painting panels i bought from andrew's reclaimed etsy shop. i love these wood panels made from reclaimed cedar. not only are they smooth, lightweight and easy to work on, they also smell wonderfully aromatic. for this piece i used acrylics and india ink on the background and then used a few small pieces of that grippy, bumpy shelf liner to apply texture. i used a dark gray charcoal pencil to draw the cup and then i used acrylics and pearl ex pigments to add the cup and the tea color. tea is rubberstamped and the butterfly and words "bright spot of the day" are collaged paper.

i'm working on a shop update and this will be one of several originals listed soon!!