Lisbeth's Blog

Cottage Caboodle 
by Lisbeth Stull
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Lisbeth's Blog

Kindness...little things make a big difference!

by Lisbeth Stull on 09/23/17

In my Monday through Friday life, I am an Instructional Coach. My job is to make teachers lives easier and help to implement district and building initiatives to make instruction effective and fun! In our school we are currently holding a kindness challenge. The challenge was posed to the school to complete 5,000 acts of kindness in 15 days. It got me thinking about kindness in a little bit different way.
There are not a lot of things I can do to improve the world. I am one person. I can make a promise to myself that I will choose kindness and make small steps to spread smiles when I can. Something as simple as smiling at a stranger, saying hello to someone on the street, hold a door open, or offer a compliment that makes a person feel good, if only for a moment, is important. Those small acts are contagious and those people impacted often share the love by extending a smile to someone else. Imagine a world where people were a little more kind, and considered the feelings of others...that is where big change has the potential to occur. It costs nothing, takes little time, and minimal effort...why would we not choose kindness? Pose a kindness challenge to yourself to extend kindness in purposeful ways just five times a day. It will make a difference to others and to you!
Our art has an impact on others and spreads happiness in countless ways. Whether you are fortunate enough to meet with a group to paint on a weekly basis or regularly paint with a chapter, chances are you have special friendships that run deep. Cherish those moments and the people who spend time there. Find opportunities to extend kindness there and to the people who share your love for this art that brings us all together. Compliment an effort to make meetings run smoothly, to organize painting events, or on a treat that was shared that was especially yummy! We all share a love for this art, I hope we find ways to support each other and grow groups of painters that remain "plugged in" to painting communities...a fellowship of talented friends. Accept my challenge and share the love! You could be the difference!

Choices We Make

by Lisbeth Stull on 12/23/16

Hello My Friends!
Recently I have had a few conversations, in different contexts, where people commented on how happy or positive I am, despite hard times or challenges. One said, "I admire you for being so happy and positive all of the time. How do you do that?" My answer was simple and was one of those thoughts that escapes your mouth before you get the chance to think about it...which has the equal potential to be both good and bad! My response was "Why would I not?"
Let's not be crazy, I get sad or frustrated, but whenever possible I make a choice to be happy or see things in a positive light. That deep seated commitment to choose happy, be grateful, stay positive, brings light. Making time for the good stuff and releasing the bind of the shoulds and have tos I have placed upon myself is freeing.
Demonstrating painting many years ago at the State Fair people would walk by and often say "I wish I had time for that...". It happened so often it started to make me think. My response became something to the effect of I make time because I am worth it. When I hold a brush in my hand every single day, if only for a few minutes, I am a better version of myself.
Life is short. We have heard it, said it, and questioned it, yet as I age there are few things that I know for sure and that is one of them. Time passes and before you know it a year, or decade, can evaporate. How you choose to spend that precious time better count. Make time for those you love and for what you love in your life. For me, painting is something I love.  
Painting has taught me volumes. There are painters that teach you either by their actions or attitudes, experiences or example, or simply by their unconditional love that has the faith that people are good when they do what they love. Sure there are folks that show a cranky shell, or rarely smile, but in my heart I have to believe in the good. Why would I not?
So as we navigate the season think about the choices you make. Make room for the good, for what you love and who you love. Choose to feed yourself with your creativity and be thankful for all that you have. Smile more and think of all of the things you can be grateful for today.
Be well,
Lisbeth
12/23/16

Happiness is a perfect palette...

by Lisbeth Stull on 08/07/12

Tis the season for color, flowers, long days, car trips, garage sales, camping, grilling, fruit stands, and nice weather! Well in the beautiful Pacific Northwest the sunshine shows up after July 4th...so it feels as if we just have gotten started!

As I was contemplating the summertime it occurred to me that color was a huge part of the season. Gardens are filled with color, some mixed others monochromatic, yet they are beautiful. Each combination evoking a different feel. Like all art the color palette is what creates the tone and in this industry there are many styles....primitive, country chic, realistic, strokework, floral. Those styles communticate through color. So it is critical that the colors we choose convey the message we seek to deliver.

Taking chances with color can be risky, but it can also reap huge rewards! Who first dared to introduce purple into Halloween color schemes? But it works well and sparks up a tired tradition. Challenge yourself to take chances with new combinations, and you may find something you like better than the original!

In a few days I will make my first trip to the HOOT Convention, it is a trip I have looked forward to making for years! The six of us from Washington State that are travelling together painted aprons with my design. We named ourselves "The Puget Sound Paint Flingers"! Each of the aprons are different...all wonderful! That is what happens when artists share ideas and spend time together...magical things happen. Conventions create an incubator for creativity and the classes teach the communication skills to transfer ideas into art. With the loss of private shops and studios we have found that the community of painters has become faceless on the internet. Conventions serve as our perfect environment to grow and flourish in this industry...like a greenhouse of sorts!

So take risks with color, seek a community of artists that feeds your creativity, and enjoy what you do. A perfect palette is held by an artist that is willing to grow, stretch, and learn.

Happy Painting My Friends!

12/23/16

Happy Mother's Day!

by Lisbeth Stull on 05/12/12

As I prepare to celebrate my 47th Mother's Day and the first one without my Mom, I am reflecting on all of the women I have celebrated on this day; past, present, and future. They represent my team of support. The people in my life who love me most, and my world becomes tighter and more comforting just enjoying the thoughts of them!

My Mom and I usually celebrated this day sharing a meal, either breakfast or dinner, and shopped for bedding plants at favorite nurseries. She was a tomboy in some ways and loved a good hardware store and could easily spend hours there. So finding plants, birdhouses, and gizmos for outside was fitting. She loved the time together shopping.

Women in my family have always been a huge support as well. They taught me to appreciate the arts of the home, and to build skills to pass along. Knitting, crochet, embroidery, cooking, gardening, antiquing, camping, painting, and appreciation for where I come from; heritage and history. These gifted, strong women gave me gifts I am grateful that I embraced...not knowing how important they were at the time.

My friends...the family I chose to surround myself with is also among who I celebrate on Mother's Day. The dear friend, and gifted mom to her kids, who invites me to celebrate with her this first holiday without my Mom. My friends who adopted me when I struggled with the realization that I am without my own parents now. These women are there for me through it all and I KNOW they will remain at the ready! My teaching comrads...loving, caring, and thoughtful women who give all they have each day and have some left for friends at the end of the day.

All of these women I celebrate. Mother's Day is more than a celebration for the one Mother in your life, it is a time to appreciate all of the women who have shaped and guided you into the person you have become. So celebrate them and the woman you have become because of them.

5/12/12

Memories...

by Lisbeth Stull on 04/02/12

I love how Facebook has brought me together and in better touch with people from my past. Many may argue that it is a lazy excuse for communication, insulting even. However, in today's busy world a quick check in is time well spent to see a friend's grandchild and how they are growing, see that another's child was victorious in a sport, or, in the painting world, see a new idea shared by an artist. I could never be able to keep current on so many lives, as that format allows. Today I read posts from two childhood friends and it prompted me to blog.

One had lost his father today, they other was remembering a great father whose passing was nine years ago. As I read both posts I cried for them, understanding the depth of that loss. I left a short message for both, and then remembered how much those little messages meant when my parents left this world, and when I grieved milestones with those losses. They were/are powerful and available to read and re-read. I suppose in that show of support I felt love, a cyber-hug!  That is valuble and appreciated. My Dad passed 3 years ago, and my Mom was just last month, for both I will always feel a sense of loss.

My challenge to all of you has evolved from this. Be active in your facebooking. "Like" things, make a quick comment, or write a private message. It may be just what that person needs. As artists, it is sometimes lonely and isolated as we create. This forum is powerful to share what we are doing and support one another. So be a part of the positive force of social media...you can make a difference and be a part of the lives you have touched.

Have a lovely day!

Lisbeth

4/2/12