Friday, January 09, 2009

My Big Honkin' Retail Adventure

Hello there, lovies!

Okay, yesterday was my baby girl Nia Grace's birthday.

She's 12! I know, right? I can't believe it either. If you know Nia Grace you know how tiny she is. She totally takes after Ken. Same face, only girl version. Same Masai build. Same cocoa brown skin. Same big amazing eyes. I mean, she doesn't look 12 AT ALL! But she is. Happy Birthday, Punky!

Nia Grace is a crafty chica. She knew the finances were pretty much non-existent, but we asked what she wanted just the same. You know what she requested? A chocolate cheese cake, materials to make a plushy, and some Sculpey.

Is she easy, or what? And we so could handle the cheese cake.

I was on my way to Kroger when I got a little wily. Someone gave me two small checks that honestly, I tried to cash at three different banks before Christmas, to no avail. I gave up, and was going to mail them back to the person who gave them to me when I decided to use outrageous hope and try one more time. Of course sweet Jesus was with me! I cashed those checks and had enough to shoot over to Michael's for my baby's stuff!

I get there and the store is going out of business! I just got into art, and now a major source of supplies and inspiration is leaving me! But I had no time to grieve, because everything was 50-90% off! Ken and I, with the little we had, lost our minds.

We got what gracie wanted. We got stuff for Ken, who doesn't just do amazing tattoos, and when we were done we got stuff for mama. I won't get into how much we spent, because y'all will be mad Jesus showed me so much favor, but I'll show you what I ended up with, and rest assured, what I paid for it was rather ridiculous.

I have plenty on hand to start art journaling, painting, stamping, whatever! Of course I had to get started. I've been oogling the work of people like my new best friend Mystele. In fact, it's at her request that I'm sharing what I got from Michaels. I've been building up the courage to try my hand at doing some of the folk art-type work so popular now. Believe me, I have nooooooo experience, but the desire was burning in me. I had to make an effort.

Do you ever wonder about that scripture that says that if we delight in the Lord He'll give us the desires of our heart? I used to think it means He'll give us what we want. Now I think it may have layers of meaning. Perhaps He'll put desires and wants inside of us. How can you ignore a love jones God built into you? I think my art love comes from the Creator Himself. This compels me to work as unto the Lord. Even if I suck.

So, here's my first shot at folk art. It's awful. Lord, have mercy, I'm embarrassed to show you. I used torn paper I had on hand, punched out shapes (only fifty cents for the punches!) watercolor pencils, markers, and paint markers. My personal word for 2009 is "bloom". So, here ya go:
Yeah. We're going to file this with "Bad art I've given myself permission to make," which is a blog entry in and of itself. Maybe tomorrow. But I must tell you. It made me so happy to do this. I can't even explain it.

Okay, for now, I'm back to editing the Exorsistah 2: X Returns, but, sigh, you know where my heart is today.

Much love,


mystele said...

oh my goodness!!! the whole story is awesome! and, girl, you need to quit. that painting is adorable! i would love to see more characters like the one here. she's awesome! so, whachoo talkin' 'bout, willis?

...i am so encouraged and uplifted by this post...jesus is soooo very,very good.

ragamuffin diva said...

I'm encouraged, too. And you inspire me. So thank you for you kind words, tutorials, alla dat.

jenn said...

"Perhaps He'll put desires and wants inside of us. How can you ignore a love jones God built into you?" I love that.

And the painting is really good. Why can't I ever find craft stores going out of business? Haha.

Alison Strobel Morrow said...

Um, Mair? "Bloom" is gorgeous. I mean, honestly. I know you have to do the whole "it sucks," thing because I would have to do it too--but trust me, it does not suck. You could totally do custom 'portraits' like that for people and make a pretty penny. I know I'd pay for them....

ragamuffin diva said...

That's ladies.

Jenn, hang in there. I'm sure there's someting Jesus wishes to delight you with in the works. He's good at surprising us.

Ali, I may *have* to get good enough to sell them. It's always a struggle to take care of my family. I could use a good hustle or two. In any case, I appreciate your confidence in me.

We shall see.

Elysa said...

WHAT?!?!?! BaD aRt?!?!? Are you CrAzY!?!? This is incredible!!!! And I'm not just saying that because you're loved greatly by me. No, I'm serious. This is SERIOUSLY GOOD ART! I love it. It's cute and funky and original and winsome and fun and beautiful and soul-touching and if you DARE, DARE, DARE criticize that darling little girl and her surroundings again I'll have to come up there and give you a good Mama Mac spanking.

So there!

BTW, I would so buy one...or two...or three...or....

Can I commission you right now?

ragamuffin diva said...

Ha! Let me get a little skill, babe. Then commission away. :D


wilsonian said...

Nia Grace is so beautiful. She just gets more beautiful all the time.

Bloom too. I think your means for telling story is going to get wider and wider.

ragamuffin diva said...

Thanks, Erin. I think she's a doll baby.

Thanks for your encouragement about the art, too. That's what my hope is, to be able to marry words and images. It's something I've always dreamed of.

Elysa said...


You have MORE than a little skill. You are AMAZING! If you get any more skilled, I won't be able to afford your work! Dang woman. You are hard headed.

But I wuv u! ;)

Donna said...

I love it! That could be a cover for a book!

Wanza Leftwich, The Gospel Writer said...

He'll give us the desires of our hearts. "Perhaps He'll put desires and wants inside of us."

This is exactly what my sis in law says all the time. It does have a deeper meaning. Thanks for posting this.

Bonafyde said...

Bad art? This? No way! I have to say I love it and this is your first one? Look at the soulful eyes...reminds me of your beautiful daughter eyes oh my and that's all she wanted? Could she please send that message out to my eldest (7) who wants the world?
There is a wonderful book called the Artist's Way by Julie Cameron that talks a lot about the correlation between creativity and the divine god. That by Creating we are tapping into that source and working through Him, etc.. I sometimes feel as though it's almost an act of prayer when get into that zone.
I'll end with this;
keep on playing because it only gets better and better! Bless.

ragamuffin diva said...

I'll do that, Bonafyde. And Jenn, thanks so much for your comment. I've gotten a little behind. I didn't comment on comments (lol) before. It takes a little getting used to.

ragamuffin diva said...

Whoops. Thanks, Donna. I've been fortunate that some of my covers are amazing. One of them, for Zora and Nicky, won an award. It be great to work so well I'd make a cover. Something to shoot for.

ragamuffin diva said...

Hey, Wanza! LOL. I keep missing people. Hello EVERYBODY!

Paula Clare said...

I LOVE the woman art's SO not fair your finding all those goodies and ON SALE! I have accumulated quite a bit of the art supplies...but rarely at a bargain. I'm "jonesin" for your courage in art, sistuh!