Friday, November 30, 2007

You Know You Live in LA When...

This morning, my son B gave a speech about success in front of his whole school! B is in first grade and was one of seven children from the whole school chosen to speak in front of the Friday morning assembly. I dragged my butt in the cold rain, whining baby in stoller, to listen to his speech. B was not nervous at all. He stood right up there, was the last to talk, and boldly spoke loudly into the microphone about his definition of success: "Success means having the opportunity to do good things for others. I feel successful when I achieve my goals. I feel successful when I help my family." One, two, three: "awwwwwwwwwww". Proud mommy I was! Pretty good vocab for a first grader. Must come from his mom.

Then came the rest of the assembly, and they were discussing the new fitness program for the school - and who is putting that together? Billy Blanks of Tae-bo fame. Yah, I have his DVD, and it's pretty good. That's when I realized one of the chicks on the DVD is the lady who is in charge of the school's fitness program. Well, you really know you live in LA when you realize all of this, and THEN, you realize that Nikki Sixx is standing right next to you laughing at the same jokes you are. Yah, well, he's pretty hot in person, even if he is covered in tattoos (which is totally not my thing). And his home phone number is in my class list. Wouldn't YOU like to know!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today is Where Your Book Begins

If you haven't heard Natasha Bedingfield's song "Unwritten", well, you're just missing out on a great song that really moved me. Check out her video here.

Here are some words I hope you will really hear:

I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find...
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten.

I was once at a discussion group for artists, and one woman commented that the scariest thing for her was the blank canvas. She could just stare at it for hours with no ideas, no inspiration, just white emptiness. Well, in my opinion, that might have just been her problem.

What should excite us the most is the blank canvas. Whether you are an artist, a mother (your blank canvas is your child, so to speak), a business person with a new idea, a scientist with a new theory. Your blank canvas is the next hour coming up. Your blank canvas is tomorrow. What will you do with that canvas?

As an artist, I start by slappin' some gesso on that canvas. Then, I might glue some tissue paper for a little texture- boy I love me some tissue paper! Then I'll grab a favorite glaze like Golden's Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide or Irridescent Gold Deep. Next, I will likely search for some kind of focal point by diving through my box of images, faces, hands, pictures, photos, etc. That is how to open that dirty window.

As a business person, my canvas becomes a list. A list of goals. A list of what I need as far as products, a list of where I want to be. Then, I do something absolutely magical. I actually start doing those things. How did I get my first cards sold? I walked my butt right into a store and asked. Yes, it's just that easy. Yes, it was scary. Yes, I've had lots of people tell me no. Oh, I will have a whole blog entry on that whole "no" thing. Soon.

As a mom, I have three little blank canvases, although two are old enough that those canvases are now being embellished by others. There are days when I'd like to loose those little canvases at the mall. (Am I going to get arrested now? Rest assured that it will never happen). But, I know I can open the dirty window on those days by filling up the bathtub with lots of toys and letting them play 'till they're totally prunny, or opening up "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and reading "If the World Was Crazy".

So, today is where YOUR book begins. The rest is still unwritten, but you are holding the pen/paintbrush/keyboard, and you really do have control over what happens next. Feel the rain on your skin.

Get the full lyrics here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Face of God

Just the other week, I accidentally came across a great poem that I had written way back in 1999 (OMG - before I had kids!). When I read it, it moved me so much that I was almost surprised that I had actually written it! I decided to share it with one of my online yahoo groups. To my utmost pleasure, I had a great response, but those guys are really positive and encouraging.

Then my good friend Peggy Gatto posted an amazing painting that she had done, just based on my poem! What an honor! Here it is:

Isn't it beautiful? It glows. That was maybe two weeks ago. Well, here came the mailman this afternoon, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened the package to find this very piece of art in my hands, matted and framed to boot! This lady knows how to please a busy mom. I am absolutely honored and thrilled that my words have resonated out there to create inspiration and beauty on this Earth. Thank you Peggy!

Here's the poem:

The Face of God
by Tally Oliveau

When I smell the pines of the forest,
do I really smell the beauty of God?
What do I see?
more than just a tree.

When I drink the sweet waters of life,
do I really taste the beauty of God?
What do I see?
more than the sea.

When I listen to music that moves me,
do I really hear the beauty of God?
What do I see?
more of what is free.

When I touch my soul down deep,
do I really feel the beauty of God?
What do I see?
more that I can be.

When I look into the mirror,
do I really see the face of God?
What do I see?
more than just me.

Have a good look in the mirror today, because what you see is beautiful. We have only begun our journey together.