A Much Needed Name Change

lidancie-arts-logo

For some time now, I’ve felt the need to change my business name to something that better incorporates not just my creativity, but my daughters’ creativity as well. Moreover, I wouldn’t be who I am without my daughters because they inspire me and motivate me to be the best version of myself. Having more time with my daughters and being there for them more were the main reasons I quit my office job to work from home as a freelance writer and jewelry maker. Everything important in my life involves my girls and I wanted my business name to reflect that.

Changing the name from Corbin Creations by JulieAnn or just Corbin Creations in no way diminishes the role my father and my last name play in my life. My father’s spirit remains in my life and I’m forever proud to have Corbin as my last name. Nonetheless, I’d started to feel like the name sounded more like I was creating Corbins. While I did give birth to two daughters, their last name isn’t Corbin. The other version of a Corbin is a sharp-bladed weapon and I definitely don’t make those. It was time for a change.

It took quite a bit of brainstorming before I arrived at the idea of creating a name that incorporated some part of my name and each of my daughter’s names. I typed all of our names out and combined them in different ways until I came up with Lidancie. It takes “Li” from my name of Julie, “Dan” from Jordan, and “Cie” from Jaycie. I felt making all but the first letter lowercase made more sense than LiDanCie. I changed Creations to Arts because the girls and I dabble in various creative arts including beading, sewing, writing, painting and polymer clay work.

For now, you can find my beaded creations on LidancieArts on Etsy, but keep an eye out for new additions. I hope to start incorporating some of the creations made by my oldest daughter, Jordan, as she’s very talented with polymer clay and with a needle and thread. Jaycie enjoys painting and I’m going to see if she’s interested in painting some wooden inlays for my beaded earrings. We’re all good at different arts and they often overlap and blend in wondrous ways. I’m confident that Lidancie Arts and everything it represents will be around for a very long time!

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The Power of Music

On my drive back from my latest trip to New England, I heard a song played on one of the many radio stations I scanned through when my smartphone didn’t have a strong enough signal to stream Spotify. It was new to me, but probably not new to the radio and I instantly loved it. It reminded me of the late 80’s and early 90’s pop music I grew up with and it was upbeat and perky, just like me!

After listening to the song a few times on different stations, I finally learned that it was Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. I’d never heard of Walk the Moon, but then there’s a lot of current artists I don’t know because I rarely listen to actual radio stations. When I went on YouTube to watch the video for the song I was extremely happy to see that it went along perfectly with the song. So many music videos these days are weird or totally ruin the meaning of the song, but the video for Shut Up and Dance was spot on with a very 80’s look and feel. Having grown up during that era, it’s rather odd to see it all coming back, but odd in a good way.

I finally remembered to get the Walk the Moon album with the song I liked on it yesterday and I’ve been listening to a handful of the songs on repeat ever since. Overall, there’s only 3-4 songs off the album that mesh with my tastes, but the ones I do like, I REALLY like! How can you tell when I really like a new song? Well, it makes me dance in my car, dance around my kitchen while cleaning it and dance while painting.

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I hadn’t painted a new picture in several months but the new music was exactly what I needed to kick my inspiration into gear. It felt so wonderful putting brush to canvas and smearing acrylic colors all over the place! Painting is a very freeing experience for me and I always listen to upbeat music while doing it. As I already said, I dance to the music when I paint and I also have my living room curtains open so anyone driving by can see me if they look in. I don’t particularly care though as I imagine I’m already known as the “peculiar single woman who walks her yellow dog a lot” by most of the people in my neighborhood.

All that matters to me is that the power of music can lift my spirit and my feet and spark my creativity in the best way!

An Artist’s Emotions (re-post)

It’s been a long, busy day and I’m too tired to properly utilize my creative writing abilities, so it’s time for another re-post from my Writer & Artists blog on Corbin Creations. I wasn’t sure which one I was going to re-post so I read through a few until one struck my fancy. It’s about how my emotions affect my creativity or lack thereof. This one seems relevant because in rearranging my living room today, I had to move my huge plastic tote filled with my overflow of artwork.

I recently changed out some artwork that was hanging over my desk because it reminded me of emotions and feelings that no longer serve a purpose in my life. I should know by now not to create paintings based on feelings for another person, but I’m a hopelessly optimistic romantic so I continue to do so. One of the paintings is entitled Morning Path and it’s some of my best work. I was amazed with myself when it was finished. I based it off a photo and for once was able to do justice to the beauty of an amazing post-storm sky. I imagine someday I’ll be able to look at it again, but for now it’s best if I leave it tucked away and move forward with my life.

I haven’t painted anything new in a while and it’s probably past time. I just have to summon the right emotions, find the proper colors, and let my brushstrokes tell the story.

Morning Path Painting

Morning Path painting

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An Artist’s Emotions – 2/4/2012

My work, whether it be painting or writing, has always been driven by my emotions. I have to feel passionately about something, or even someone, in order to find my creative muse. Alas there have been far too many times in my life when my experiences have left me so numb and empty that I couldn’t put brush to canvas or fingers to keyboard. I have done some paintings when I was angry and it was therapeutic because anger is a passionate emotion, full of fire and easy to feed off of. The blah of discontent and depression holds no fire, only cold emptiness and I am not someone who can create anything from that.

My friend has told me that I’m someone who loves too hard, and she knows because she is one too. I believe all my female friends are like this and that’s why we understand each other so well. We put so much of ourselves out there, whether it be through painting, writing, speaking or just living and we think everyone who knows us and cares about us should understand that part of us and not abandon us because of it. It’s hard for us to accept that there really are people out there who don’t need other people, who are content alone and who don’t want to share the deepest parts of themselves, including their hearts, with anyone else. I will never be that kind of person. How I love makes me vulnerable and gets me hurt but it can also create beautiful pieces of artwork and writing that capture the most important essence of myself.

Plum wine and winter painting

A girl and her paint.

A girl and her paints.

I’ve been wanting to do some new paintings for months now but I’ve been too busy or it’s been too cold for me to crawl out from under blankets on the couch to stand at my easel. I could ignore my muse no longer though and had to get creative to shake off the winter chill.

That creativity involved drinking a glass of plum wine to warm me up and loosen my rusty painting skills. Skills might be a stretch but I do enjoy painting and what flows from my brush is usually appealing in some way.

Once the wine had started to make me all tingly, I got out my brushes and paints and set about adding some life to the blank sheets of watercolor paper I’d taped to canvas boards earlier. I had Pandora blasting from my computer speakers and I danced as I painted. It felt really good to express this aspect of my creativity!

Blank watercolor paper in need of life!

Blank watercolor paper in need of life!

Jazz would occasionally bring her lobster for me to throw so I’d pause in my work and play with her. I even picked up her front paws and danced with her a bit. While her tail was wagging, I don’t think she really enjoyed what her crazy mama was subjecting her to.

By the time I’d finished my three snow-inspired paintings, I’d had two glasses of wine and if my body was cold, I couldn’t feel it anymore. My paintings aren’t masterpieces worth millions of dollars but they’re pieces of me and as such, are unique, colorful and beautifully flawed.

My completed paintings.

My completed paintings.

Idle Hands? What are those?

Even when I’m not typing away writing freelance articles or the world’s next best-selling fantasy novel, my hands are busy. Holding my daughters’ hands, making their lunches, folding their clothes, tickling them and fussing with their hair are some of my favorite hands-on activities. Then of course there’s playing with Jazz, rubbing her tummy and holding her leash on our walks. My hands really get a workout when I create abstract artwork. Heck, my whole body gets a workout when I do that because I play dance music while painting and I can’t help but dance! That’s a story for another day though. Maybe someday I’ll video myself painting…sharing it with the world may or may not happen.

Another  favorite way to get my hands and mind working together is by cooking and baking. I was blessed with my father’s natural talent in the kitchen and I think he’d be impressed how I’ve improved upon that inherited gift. I’m a pro at baking desserts and I make irresistible, always soft chocolate chip cookies. I love baking all types of bread from pitas to pepperoni cheese bread and I’m constantly searching for and trying new recipes. I usually modify the written recipe in some way or another to improve it taste and nutrition wise.

When it comes to cooking lunches and dinners, I don’t usually use recipes. I go by what looks, smells and tastes right and things turn out pretty darn yummy. When my store-bought marinara sauce kept going weird even in the fridge I decided to make my own so I’d know exactly what was in it. I found a recipe that sounded relatively easy, modified it a touch and voila! I created the most delicious marinara sauce I’ve ever tasted! My stand mixer and food processor are my favorite appliances now and they’re always sitting on top of my baker’s rack ready to work.

My favorite seasonal ingredients lately are summer squash and peaches. I’ve made summer squash bread just by using the squash in a zucchini bread recipe. I’ve made a peach cobbler, crumble and last time I just baked the peaches in a pie dish with some brown sugar and cinnamon. I add the baked peaches to freshly made oatmeal and have an easy scrumptious breakfast. A hundred times better for me than buying “peaches and cream” pre-made instant oatmeal that contains “peach flavored pieces” and a ton of other unpronounceable ingredients. I really do like to know what exactly I’m putting in my body, I’m odd like that. I also put the peaches over a scoop of ice cream for a little dessert and it’s so good I want to lick the bowl!

Everything I do with my hands stimulates and utilizes my mind in some way and I really like that. There’s a purpose to everything I do and it has value and meaning. Really, I don’t know any other way to be.

Reconnecting and Revisiting

I haven’t created a new painting in quite some time. I’ve been busy juggling so many things at once that I haven’t had time to express that part of my artistic side. I had a little free time yesterday evening so I decided I’d finally get my paints out, reconnect with my creativity and give it a go. I’ve been wanting to paint pictures based on the photos I took of Amesbury and Newburyport during my recent visit in June so that’s exactly what I did.

I pulled up some of the photos I took around town in Amesbury and settled on one of the fountain outside the Amesbury Library. I took it on a rather dreary, drizzling morning but it’s lovely even in that light. I decided to interpret it as a tree because painting realistic things isn’t my strong point. I took the basic shape and style of it and “branched out” as it were. I then decided it needed some different colors so I tied in the colors from the beautiful hydrangea blooms I saw walking around Amesbury.

Amesbury Library fountain

Amesbury Library fountain

Lovely hydrangeas in Amesbury

Lovely hydrangeas in Amesbury

I’m biased of course, but I rather like it. I wanted it to be more vibrant but it turned out rather muted. I can always try again. I’ve never actually done the same type of painting so perhaps it’s time.

Flowing Inspiration - created 8/11/13

Flowing Inspiration – created 8/11/13

I’m going to try to do some more paintings based on my photos from Amesbury and Newburyport because I’ll be visiting there with my daughters and mother during our upcoming trip that starts this Saturday. I enjoyed my stay at the Fairfield Inn in Amesbury but they’re out of my budget for this trip so I’m taking everyone up into New Hampshire to stay. The hotel is just a short way over the border and we’ll be traveling down into Boston one of the days. I’m eager to show my family everything I’ve seen in Boston and we’re all going on our first whale watch! We’re also going to the aquarium because I promised my girls two things. Jordan wanted to see the aquarium and Jaycie wanted to go on a boat. Check and check!

After our Boston visit, the rest of our time will be spent exploring the New Hampshire area near the hotel and of course, Amesbury and Newburyport. I’m glad I’ve been to those two neighboring towns enough to know my way around now. I’m eager to see everywhere I’ve been through my daughters’ eyes and get their impressions on things. What they love might be totally different from what I love. We’re going to venture down to Plum Island beach to play in the sand and waves and travel wherever else our fancy takes us. It will be a grand adventure and only my second non-solo road trip to Massachusetts and points beyond. I can’t wait!

Everyday Adventures in this Extraordinary Life

Snapshot 1 (5-31-2013 6-18 AM)

I often joke with my best friend that I could write a book about my life and sell it as fiction because no one would believe it all happened to one person. I haven’t climbed to the top of Mount Everest or formulated the cure for the common cold, I’ve just lived my life and done my best to roll with what comes. I think we all have an amazing and unique story to tell when we escape the mundane of daily existence and see life for what it really is: an endless adventure!

My beloved English teacher and friend, Derek Hulse told me when I was 16 that I should write my autobiography. I found the idea silly because I was only 16 and felt I hadn’t experienced anything that justified an autobiography. Apparently he saw great things in my past and future that were worthy of being told and I’ve been telling them for the past few years in my blogs. I am certain that numerous people live far more interesting lives than I do and I don’t profess to be an incredibly amazing, crocodile-wrestling, swashbuckling woman of the world. I’m just a girl who wakes up every day grateful for another dawn.

I never know what my day is going to bring. Even the smallest tasks turn into large undertakings sometimes. My quest to find a more fuel efficient-and yet still standard transmission-car involves renting an automatic car for the weekend when the first auto deal falls apart. I set out to dig up thistles and the handle on my garden spade snaps like a twig. I go to mow my lawn and the neighbors chicken decide to hold a parade through my lilac bushes. A weekend trip to Boston leads to a whole new direction and purpose in my life that continues to motivate me onward. These are the adventures I’ve lived and continue to live.

So I created a photo montage set to music and uploaded my video to Vimeo for your viewing pleasure…or to at least take up three minutes of your day. You can watch it by clicking on the photo above or the link at the end of this entry. In it I’ve featured several photos from my blogs and others I’ve taken just to document the mind-boggling little mishaps that occur in my life. Stars include my darling daughters, adorable dog, samples of my baking, creatures from the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory, my mower, the Massachusetts locations of Boston, Newburyport and Amesbury, some of my artwork and everything in between. I believe it tells an interesting story about the everyday adventures in this extraordinary life that belongs to a simple woman just making her way in the world.

Everyday Adventures in this Extraordinary Life