Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Treasured Moments

Last week we were all eating dinner together as we do every night. Toward the end of the meal, Paige looked up at us and the conversation went like this:

Paige: "Mommy, how old are you?"
Me: I'm 35
Paige: "Huh. Daddy, how old are you?"
Chris: "38"
Paige: ***pause*** "Wow guys.......those are some big numbers. Those are some biiiiiiiiig numbers!"

Sigh.
(remember when she had a speech delay?)

She's ready to start the day! #meandwee #preschool

Monday, April 7, 2014

Abstract Landscape of Motherhood

Hi friends!

Lately I've been working hard to juggle being an artist with being an at home mom. Boy, do I suck at it! LOL!
Trying to put your full attention on several things at once has been a recipe for disaster in terms of stress, frustration, anxiety and overall dis-ease. SIGH!!!!
Something always falls to the side...the kids, or my art, the household tasks, my relationship with my awesome husband, or my sanity. It's something I pray about all the time and have been experimenting with for the past 2 years.
I've sort of come to the conclusion that there's no easy way to do it all or do it all well. SO, I've made a deal with myself to just set my art career onto the back burner until I can devote more time to it. Once the kids are in school, I will have more time devote the proper attention to my goals. It's not fair for me or on anyone else that I try and push a square peg into a round hole. This means that I am going to paint and create when the mood strikes during free time as a hobby. I will be cooking up ideas on the side when there's room to spare. This will free me from my own personal constraints and pressures and get me back to focusing on what matters most to me...the well-being of my children, our home, and my mental health.
It's hard because I WANT to be able to do it all, but I need to have the strength to admit that I'm not able to do it right now. I have to give myself permission to wait and be ok with it. In that spirit, I did some painting on Saturday and these are what I came out with:

"Early Summer Countryside" 20 x 20 inches, acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas
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"The Storm Lifts" 7x5 inches, acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas
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Both are abstract; a style I am embracing with all its surprises. I love to show the mood of a scene through light and color. The landscape is always changing depending on the sky, the weather, and the time of year. That is the beauty of nature and it's just so fascinating.
I've come to know that I want all of the art I make to bring joy and peace to someone else. It's that simple. Through my prints, my paintings or my cards I have a way to share a thought or image that might lift someone else up in some way and that is a wonderful blessing.
I hope you are well!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Becoming a Catholic

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Have I told you that I've been working on becoming a Catholic? It's true. Chris is a devout Catholic and the kids have been baptized Catholic. I grew up Christian, but without a religion in specific. And that's been fine by me. I've forged my own relationship with God and have found so much peace and comfort through Him on my own. But over the past several years I've found myself wondering about my purpose. What am I here to do? What are my gifts and talents for? What is the plan for my life? These are mysteries we all live with but the questions have been tugging at my soul. I felt such unrest! I kept thinking maybe I needed a new job, or a new house, or a change of scenery. I never felt all the way fulfilled. But after a particularly hard day, I realized that I was missing a stronger relationship with God…the kind that comes through a community of others who share and celebrate the same beliefs. I spent the better part of a year or more researching religions and reading everything I could about different faith groups, their traditions and histories.
I realized, after my research, that your faith is what you make it. And that has made all the difference. So, I decided to join the family in celebrating within the Catholic faith. I've been learning about it for well over a year now and I will be Baptized, take my first Communion, and have my Confirmation at the Easter Vigil Mass this year. I'm so excited about it! I'm looking forward to ways I can share my gifts and talents with others and my children through Ministry. I'm so curious to know how God wants me to help others in the best way. I'm praying about it and know an answer will come in time. I have plenty to do in the meantime!
I must say, I've come to really appreciate and respect people and all their different beliefs. It is fascinating to see so many people looking for ways to make it peacefully and purposefully through the lives they've been given. I even have several atheist friends who have their own ways of finding special meaning in their days here. I'm so happy we have the freedom to believe how we would like to. We can care for one another no matter what our beliefs and that is a special privilege. I'm hoping to share more about how my faith journey has been changing my life for the better.

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Here is Cardinal Sean O'Malley declaring us Elects.

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Here's Chris and Me at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston for the Rite of Election.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Etsy Success

I got interviewed for an article on pricing on Etsy. Today it's on the homepage and I was quoted and everything. I'm thrilled and excited (and grateful!).
Pricing my items has been an ever-evolving process. Creating hand-made means you take on all the overhead for supplies, time, shipping and marketing efforts. It also means you put your level of expertise into the mix. The customer gets something made of quality, love, care and attention. In the end, you hope someone values what you make and sees a little of themselves in it.

And just because, here is a photo of Noah feeling proud of his animal parade.
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Denise Carty Photography

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As I mentioned last week, my brother-in-law's wife Denise Carty took all the awesome photos for my branding for me and my Me & Wee shop. She is a very skilled photographer and is so laid back and easy to work with...we had a lot of fun setting up our shoot! She is very talented particularly in the area of portrait photography for children, families, etc. but she has a particular gift and favor for photographing newborns and pregnant moms to be. She is very skilled with lighting, soft effects, and creating that peaceful sweet shot that only comes once and will last forever. She has two kiddos of her own; so she knows all about baby-wrangling, routines and schedules! And she offers a lot of great photo products like fancy albums, canvases and high-end photo finishes. Her professional retouching is another added value...newborn skin can look very purple and she takes care of it all!  If any of you are in the greater Boston area or particularly the South Shore, I would consider working with her for your special portrait needs!

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You can view her newborn and maternity portfolio right here (so cute!)
Check out Denise Carty Photography right here.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Holiday bonanza!

I can't believe I didn't post favorite pictures from the past holidays we had!
So, here's a crapload of pictures from Halloween 2013, Thanksgiving 2013, and Christmas 2013.
Now, I can rest assured these photos or on the blog for our future perusal. Phew!

Halloween 2013:
Paige wanted to be a "pegasus unicorn." Of course, in true New England style, she had a winter coat on below her costume so she looked like a marshmallow with wings and a horn. A cute marshmallow.
Paige proclaimed she wanted Noah to be her trusty dragon friend, so we agreed (since it would be cute.)
 Halloween 2013

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Thanksgiving 2013:
Speaks for itself! That bow-tie and vest kill me.

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Christmas 2013:
Cute jammies, cute church outfits, anticipation...what's not to love about Christmas fun and kids?

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Winter 2014

More snow! Pfffft.

It looks like this pretty much constantly here in my yard. This winter has been a nightmare here in New England. It's been the usual snow (blah) but that's not a big surprise. It's the temperatures that have brought on the hard times...it's been 8 degrees many days and highs seem to constantly hit 20 degrees at best. What the what??????!!!! I've got cabin fever in a big way and feeling so jealous of the parts of the country that get to enjoy spring. sigh.

See this picture below? It was 5 degrees when that was taken. Winter, you suck! (I said that in my best Maine accent by the way)
Timbah! #newengland #trees

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A studio of one's own

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 I mentioned in yesterday's post that my sister-in-law Denise came and took some branding pictures of me and my studio space. You can see the pictures in the "About Me" link at the top of this blog underneath the photo of me painting. I love my studio space in this new house...I have room to move around, lots of natural light, HEAT (I used to work in the basement at my old house), and atmosphere with all my decor how I want it. My painting desk is actually our old kitchen/dining room table. I need a lot of surface area for my supplies while I paint. We found the table at a local discount furniture store. There's an area not pictured where I have my computer, printer, and all my production stuff (paper cutters, adhesive machine, card scorer, and cutting mat) organized.  I also have a kitchenette where there is a sink and cabinets for storage and cleanup. Having a designated area to be creative and comfortable really makes a difference in my productivity and outlook. If you can find the space, I highly recommend creating a little nook (at least!) that is just yours where you can organize and put all your favorite things together in one spot. It feels good to have a spot of your own!

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again

Hello!
Boy, my head has been spinning since last summer when we decided to move. I feel like the tornado of activity has finally slowed to a stiff breeze! I've spent a lot of the past several months caring for the kiddos (and many many small illnesses they've had), working on developing my art career, and trying to balance everything I want to do. Truthfully, I haven't done a very great job but I have to give myself kudos for 1. trying my best and 2. caring a lot about everything I do.

Water is flooding from the roof onto the floor behind me. Darn you snow!
New England #fashion

My goals for the kids have been to 1. keep them alive 2. help them thrive

I marvel at my little girl sometimes. Well, most times. #meandwee #four

Flour and water and play doh stuff, oh my! #kidcrafts #meandwee #noschool

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It sounds funny to write it out like that; but those are the umbrella goals and so far, so good. I spend a lot of time with them and have been working to pay attention to what they each love to do as well as figure out where they might need extra help in terms of skills or emotional/spiritual development. I then work on a little plan to help them along (without them knowing!) so I feel like I'm mothering with deliberate purpose.  I'll have to share more about it here in this space now that I'm "back in the blogging saddle"  so to speak.

Whoooo is it print Me and Wee

My goal for my career has been to 1. develop my work and explore my interests and my style
2. Develop a brand so that I have cohesive marketing efforts 3. expand my audience 4. sell more work.
It's slow going with this one, but it IS improving! I've shared my new work here and I think it is all coming together quite nicely. I've also been working on getting myself out there in social media. I love using Instagram (you can follow me! @meandwee) and I find it's a fun and easy way to collect inspiration, fun moments with the family, and share my works in progress. I also joined Twitter (you can follow me! @meandwee) but I'm having a harder time with that one. I'm just so visual that I have a hard time staying engaged with it. I mostly just share my instagram posts there. I think I just need more practice. This newfangled technology these days!!!! LOL!
I've also become pretty active on the Me and Wee facebook fan page...it's a mini blog and it's easy to share my works-in-progress and little tidbits about what I'm doing in real time.
With all that said, I'm working on making new friends and contacts in the online world. It's not easy for someone like me who tends toward shyness...but at least I have my quirky sense of humor on my side!

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I've also been working a lot on my branding lately and my brother-in-law's talented wife Denise Carty came by and took business portraits of me and my workspace (she's a wonderful photographer! She does amazing newborn photography...word to the wise if you are anywhere near the South Shore of Boston). I'm thrilled with how the images came out and I plan to show you most of them this week.
My shop sales have improved slightly with the extra efforts I've put in. I'll take it! I hope to one day make a decent income from my art so that I can help support the family in a financial way and even give more abundantly to charities we care about.

So, those are some of the things I've been focusing all of my energy on lately. Have you been working on any major life things? You can share in the comments if you want! I like to hear that I'm not the only one chugging away at something. Does anyone even read this thing anymore? I swear I'm going to be posting with more regularity going forward! I just needed to get through the crapstorm that was moving and getting settled. See you soon!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rustic, edgy, unique art

The Swimmer art print
This is the 8x10 version

The newest art print I have for sale in my Me & Wee etsy shop is quite sentimental to me. I took quite a long time to plan the composition and colors for this painting and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

This is a contemporary mixed-media collage blending my personal love for New England, nature, and nostalgia. (It's specifically gouache paint and pencil) I love studying family history and I often wonder what my own family members were like back in the days gone by. This particular piece is based upon a family "camp" my great-grandfather built at Togus Pond in Augusta, Maine. Generations have gone there to enjoy the cool waters and fun times with their families. The girl in the picture is what I imagine my grandmother to have looked like at age 15 in 1932 at the place I learned to swim as a child and enjoyed many happy times. What was she thinking about? What did she most enjoy? What were her dreams? What was she like as a friend?
My family and I were at this location when she passed away; I was five years old. Perhaps the image is my way of paying tribute to a woman I didn't get to know well enough...my way of inserting myself into her history. It's a curiosity I can't help but explore in my artwork these days.

All that aside, this is a piece of art that just looks darn cool filling a little blank nook in your family room, office, kitchen, hallway, or in a child's nursery making a rustic-chic statement.

The Swimmer art print
This is the 5x7 version

You may inquire about an 11x14 version at megan (at) meandwee.com

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Artwork on Me & Wee

I have a pile of new goodies for sale in my shop. I'm on a roll, people! (*fist pump*)


Owl decor...I love this for the rustic-chic look. Great for an owl/woodland nursery theme too!
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Deer decor...good for that same rustic-chic look. And another winner for a woodland/forest themed nursery!
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My brother said this to his girlfriend on Facebook on her birthday once. I then asked to make a painting for her using the phrase and got permission from him to use it in my shop.
Floral Wreath Painting
This was my attempt at a Valentine's Day card that a man might want to get. Right?
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If you're so inclined, you can find me in all these places. Let's hang out!
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/meandwee
INSTAGRAM: @meandwee
TWITTER: @meandwee
BLOG: http://www.meandwee.com
PINTEREST: http://www.pinterest.com/megancreates/
 

Artwork copyright Megan Cassidy Carty of Me & Wee, 2014.
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