Fa La La La Friday: Here's My Card

We interrupt our regular Fashion Friday - just for this week, I promise - to bring you tidings of comfort and joy. xmas20125x7onone

As you all may know I am an artist (or I think I'm an artist, depending on whether you like my art or not). It normally takes me a long time to finish a piece, but a hand injury earlier this year has precluded me doing anything artistic at all. Two weeks ago I decided I would attempt to do a holiday card, figuring I'd never be able to finish in time given my injury and everything else I had to do.

As you can see, I was clearly wrong.  Rendered in Poser Pro 2012, postworked in Photoshop CS5. It was the angel iconography all around me that inspired the image, entitled, "Angelic Message". So here is my card to all of you. The inside reads, "May the joy of the season remain in your heart long after the holidays are over".

Thank you for making my holiday season a happy one!

A Date With Inspiration

Inspiration; a word that gets tossed around a lot. What does it mean to be inspired?

For me, inspiration requires action, otherwise it's just an empty word. So, thanks to my friends Glenda Watson Hyatt and Deb Brown,  I found myself in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to visit The National Czech & Slovak Museum's latest exhibit, "Alphonse Mucha; Inspirations of Art Nouveau".

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

If you've been paying attention to the blog you know that I'm an artist - or, at least, a reasonable facsimile. I have modern technology to thank for my being able to express myself artistically (albeit a hand injury has forced what I'm hoping is a temporary hiatus from artwork). I have Alphonse Mucha to thank for being a huge inspiration in what I do.

‡ Images pictured are as follows: Top Left - Princess Hyacinth, Bottom Left - Bieres de la Meuse ©Alphonse Mucha; Top Right - Princess Hyacinth Redux, Bottom Right - Giselle ©Alicia Searcy @ Gallery Celesta.

To have had the opportunity to experience his life's work in photographs, lithographs, posters, jewelry, interior design elements, and paintings meant the world to me. I spent just under 4 hours marvelling at a body of work that changed the world. What I witnessed was no mere collection of pretty pictures but rather a testament of purpose-driven, nonverbal storytelling. It opened up a whole new level of understanding about the process of translating inspiration to execution. It changed me and the way I approach the creative process forever.

So what does one wear to a life-changing event like this?

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

How about a dark lavender Vivienne Tam dress, my trusty grey ankle boots from Shi, a wide grey belt from Target, and some Art Nouveau inspired jewelry from The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, which is my local museum. The forecast was for rain and it was raining through the early morning. I came prepared with a lightweight black windbreaker and purple hat but as soon as we arrived at the museum the rain stopped altogether, the clouds parted, and the sun shone. It was...perfect.

Are you inspired yet? What are you going to do about it?

World Cerebral Palsy Day

Today, September 4th, is World Cerebral Palsy Day. According to the World CP Day website, "It will change the lives of people with cerebral palsy (CP).  The theme for this unique day is 'Change my world in 1 minute'. There are 17 million people around the world with cerebral palsy.  A further 350 million people are closely connected to a child or adult with CP. This website is a forum for people with cerebral palsy to express what they need to make their life more independent or more rewarding. "The website also gives people with CP the opportunity to make these ideas a reality...People with CP, their family and friends can visit this website and suggest ways to improve the quality of life of people with CP. Each idea is posted on the website as text or video and will only take one minute to read or watch. During September, everyone is encouraged to go online, review the ideas and vote for the concepts that will have the greatest impact on people’s lives.

"At the end of September, the World Cerebral Palsy Day Panel will select the best ideas, solutions and inventions for people with cerebral palsy."

You know, I wish I had an astounding, earth-shattering, life changing minute of an idea that would fit the bill here. But I don't. All I have to offer is the life I live every day and the two blogs I maintain (this one and my digital art showcase Gallery Celesta). I've been a student, a disabled advocate,  a journalist, an editor, an astrologer, a prognosticator, a cook, a musician, a podcaster, a web designer, an artist, a wife, and the patron saint of all lost and neglected dogs. Despite my best efforts I can't do things at anywhere near a "normal" pace, but I strive to accomplish as much as I can. Not for the sake of others, but in my own attempts to be the YOLO (You Only Live Once) queen. I've made countless mistakes, partied way too hard, pushed my luck, had many lapses in judgement, and mishandled many situations - but I've learned from those mistakes and hopefully become a better, wiser person as a result.

During the course of my 50+ years on planet Earth I have seen attitudes about Cerebral Palsy change, mostly for the better. Political Correctness has led to hushed whispers instead of direct questions and ridiculous labels that are designed to be inoffensively banal. I am more offended by averted eyes and hesitant behavior than by questions and sincere offers of assistance. Those of us with CP have to come to terms with the fact that other people can't accept us if we don't first accept ourselves. Far too many of us feel they are defective, ashamed, not good enough to be a part of the world; or bitter, angry, hostile and resentful towards the world. It's neither the world's fault nor yours that you are the way you are. It is your responsibility to handle what you've been dealt as best you can. If you think highly of yourself than others who agree will come into your life and those that don't will fall back. Most importantly, if you love yourself it won't matter; life is just easier and happier.

I suppose that's my World Cerebral Palsy Day idea. Love yourself more, be proud of who you are, and strive to be happier and wiser with each passing day. This is where true, lasting beauty begins - from the inside out.

Oh, I almost forgot, always look fabulous. Try it; you'll like it!

Red, White and Blue

Here's a quick addendum to the "American and Proud" post. Red, White and Blue

Here's what I wore for the Fourth of July. Patriotic without being cheesy. Nothing fussy, just a cool outfit for the oppressively hot summer's day.

Recognize the shoes from the previous post? I'll be talking about shoes soon in a dedicated post. Who am I kidding? It'll be several posts!

Oh yeah, the art over my left shoulder's mine. Yup, I did that. Talk about a lady in red! If you'd like to see more of my artwork (and are old enough to view artistic nudity) visit my art site Gallery Celesta.

Enjoy the holiday everyone!