Monday, September 27, 2010

Justice Center Sidewalk Gallery ~ Free Cards Winner

Thank you to the Love Art! Gallery in Portland Oregon for creating this lovely display within the Justice Center Sidewalk Gallery in downtown Portland ~ artwork on display is from artists represented by Love Art! Gallery.

I am honored that Hand Me Down is featured here, and the entire display looks tremendous. Enjoy!

There is Hand Me Down :)

There she is again :)

The Free Cards Winner for last week is Kathleen L.! Thank you all for playing.
Have a great week!
Love & Sincerely, Katie

Monday, September 20, 2010

What's For Dinner? ~ Free Cards Winner

Now that I have one area of my home in order and under control, with the Great Studio Re-Do, It’s time to work on the next area.

Can we have a conversation about food? Ingredients, inspiration but most importantly: Dinners?

I visualize an epiphany for myself, an answer (or seven) to this difficult daily-recurring moment in my life. The moment when I realize it will soon be dinnertime. I have a huge urge to feed my family well and simply, whole and deliciously. I have a huge urge to feel like I have this part of my life figured out.

I affirm that someday the dinner preparation part of the day will be a joy, a time to connect as the kids help, a time to listen to music and drink tea, to put love and energy into the food I am preparing for the people I love. I affirm and visualize these things, but I’m not there yet!

Currently: I start to sweat and fret at about 4pm each night. I have tried to plan a weekly menu (it has been awhile so it is probably time to give it another whirl) but I have such a tendency to rebel against things like that. Thus, I really dislike this time of the day.

I am contemplating different versions and formats of the weekly menu – like possibly mounting my favorite 10-20 dinner ideas on boards and storing them in a little box in the kitchen, so I can quickly flip through and pick one...

I am a thorough Out-Of-Sight-Out-Of-Mind kind of person. Pair that with my tendency (my undying URGE) to have everything put away, and that makes for a lot of things out of mind, forgotten. At least until 4pm.

I visualize an inspirational Meal-Planning Area on my kitchen counter (it is already beginning to take shape). It is where the fresh peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis have naturally gathered after their receipt from the CSA (Osprey Organic Farm). It is where the recipes and cookbooks will someday sit, staying out, and staying in mind.

It’s funny, I pretend sometimes that I don’t have time to cook because the boys need me and the studio needs me and the laundry and garbage and dishes need me, however, the most important part of that is the boys. And to be honest, my children love to have me in the kitchen, working away. They know I’m available; they play together and run beneath my feet with their toys and homemade things. Or they help prepare. They rarely ask me to do things for them and understand that mama is busy creating dinner. This is a great lesson for them! This is a great way that I can show them the importance of a healthy meal that takes at least a bit of time to make.

And true, part of what keeps me striving for the above reality is the memories of my mom serving good meals at the table. We did TV dinners too, sometimes, which reminds me to cut myself some slack.

I have memories of my own mom happy in the kitchen – creating meals for her (I’m sure) gratitude-lacking family. I don’t remember ever thanking my mom for a meal – but now I expect that my children should thank me. Why not? So, I am contemplating a dinner discussion on gratitude – but what will we be eating that night? Will it even be something that I can feel grateful for?

I strongly value this quote by Hippocrates:
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food"

I am thinking the first ingredient of an evening meal should be sunshine (as I pull open the kitchen blinds) and the final ingredient: gratitude.

I’m affirming that I will get it all under control. I visualize a sunny kitchen where I can produce vibrant meals for a nourished family. I visualize my upcoming inspiration from eyeing brightly colored cookbooks with simple, natural (short) ingredient lists and very do-able task lists. I visualize my family feeling grateful for my efforts, and myself feeling thankful for my healthy family.

I will have this figured out someday – just as I figured out the studio. I know there area lot of moms who do have the dinner hour figured out, and I welcome welcome welcome the feedback, ideas, recipes, weblinks, discontent, questions, frustrations, solutions and friendship of anyone generously taking time out of their day to read this.

I will be honored for this to be a place (and on the Facebook page, too) where we can connect and share ideas.

The Free Cards Winner for last week is: Valerie – thank you ALL for playing along! Let’s do it again next week :)

Above Image: Washing Apples, collection of the artist, prints available upon request.

Have a wonderful day! And thank you!
Love & Sincerely, Katie

Sunday, September 19, 2010

YUM! Trader Joes Harvest Grains Blend

I highly recommend! I constantly struggle with what to make for my family for dinner; something healthy, vegetarian and simple, natural and whole...

Trader Joes isn't paying me, but I LOVED this tonite ~ and all three boys in my family ate it up, too. I cooked it with some veggie bouillon and when it was complete dropped some organic frozen corn in. YUM!

Enjoy! And feel free to share your ideas at accomplishing a healthy, vegetarian, natural, whole, simple meal :)

You still have a chance to win cards by Commenting On Friday's Blog Post for Free Cards Friday!

Love & Sincerely, Katie

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Great Studio Re-Do ~ Before & After... Phew!

BEFORE PHOTOS are first :)

I realize that over the past year I have been so busy working and painting, that I have neglected the aesthetic quality of my studio. Deep inside I ached for new furnishings and a new look, but never seemed to want to put the money down (for fear of making a mistake ~ I'm not a big shopper, nor an interior designer). I shopped at IKEA and browsed online, but could never find the perfect set-up.

When I would walk into my studio, I would feel an overwhelming overwhelm (!) and would just go straight to the painting area ignoring all else. The packaging and shipping process was fairly smooth, but I knew it could be smoother.

The children's area drove me completely crazy ~ and this photo (above was taken half-way through the re-do process, in August 2010) previously the boys had a three-drawer plastic bin holding their Might Come In Handy supplies, and it was transparent (get the picture? MESS). I could hardly stand it. The basket under the kids craft table is now our Might Come In Handy box.

I needed some more shelves for products, in order to keep prints and cards protected from children and dust. I was vacuuming my studio at least once, if not twice a day (and may still) to keep it as clean as possible. The studio is the place where prints are printed, orders are packaged and gratitude and love is shipped off.

In the past month I have purchased another high-end printer in order to create larger archival prints, and also (with the prodding of a good friend, and the urge to "de-post office" my boys) became fully capable of shipping at home.

THREE CHEERS! This is a wonderful development.

These new additions to my business called out for a completion of the studio.

I knew the studio needed help, but couldn't make the time. SO, over the past week, and with a giant push this last weekend, I neglected all of my paintings and my clients (sorry, it had to be done) and put the studio right. Right where it needed to be. I desired my studio to feel as successful as I felt (to put it honestly).


I like to call this The Great Studio Re-Do, and I did it all for well under 100 bucks.

I refinished my desk (above) ~ I considered purchasing a new one, but relish the idea that my stepfather built this one for me 19 years ago.

(now you see the packaging and shipping department :)

This project involved stripping and painting a lovely new (old) drop-leaf tea table I purchased at a second-hand store (see above), and sanding and re-staining the kids' craft table top (see below). Sanding off a year's worth of dried paint blobs really reminded me of my shoulder muscles!

Of course, the painting area is still a mess, but that is required for creativity! At least it is an organized mess.

I share these images because I know a lot of folks are like me :) we love to see before and afters ~ and I LOVE to see progress. So, enjoy and don't mind my embarrassment, as I know the "before" photos are a bit lacking in creativity :) Thank you for sharing in my accomplishment.

Love & Sincerely ~ Katie

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pondering Schedules & Focus ~ Whoops! Free Cards Friday ~ on Saturday!

This weekend is going to be bright ~ my boys completed their first (1/2) week of school, and this weekend we get to hang out as a family. And accomplish great things.
Or not (see image below).

One To One, motherhood painting by Katie m. Berggren, featuring family bed, co-sleepingOne to One
10x10, $120
©2010. KmBerggren

A recent ponderism: Schedules and Focus.
I'm creating a list of Focus Items - items/tasks (such as specific research, communication, organization) I can focus on for a series of days while the kids are at school (I will have 2 hours alone, 3 days a week) - a way to stay on task and get some goals accomplished vs flying around like a multi-tasking freak-a-zoid....

I also have a schedule posted to my desk that reminds me that time is money - so don't waste it - reminding me to get on the computer to respond to folks, then get off and back to creating/packing orders/learning.

I shared this on Facebook and received some great ideas from some other mama's that are clearly focused and organized as well. I shared my schedule on the Etsy (with other sellers) and was SHOCKED to discover how many shop owners responded that they do NOT have a schedule. They flow freely throughout the day and some admit to getting not much done.

What about you? Do you keep a schedule for yourself? Or maybe, you are not prone to getting sucked into the Internet. Do you give yourself time allotments for social media and online research? At the end of the day do you wonder where all of the time went? Do your kids think you are glued to your computer chair? :)

It's Free Cards Friday! (errr, on Saturday) Comment on THIS blog post
(here at the blog or on the Facebook page) throughout the weekend and be in the running to win some cards ~ I'll choose the winner on Monday.

The season is changing here - having trouble deciding whether to be Summer or Fall.

Wishing you a day and weekend full of possibilities

Love & Sincerely ~ Katie