Monday, July 9, 2012

Is Your Commute Killing You or Making You Happy? You Pick.

So I've had such an interesting few days, as per usual. I had my stampy class on Saturday, which I LOVE and look forward to every month. I have the best students!

I had to share my fave card of the class with you before I tell you my stories. It's the first time I used Raspberry Ripple and I have to say - I love it! I'm not a fan of rosy shades of red at all, so I was reluctant to even use it, but boy am I glad I did! It looks especially amazing with Crumb Cake and Not Quite Navy.

We just watercolored the blossoms with an aquapainter and the reinker. It's hard to see in this pic, but there's Dazzling Details on the blooms and Crystal Effects on the birdies. So it's a very delicately mixed-media card.
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Stamps: Serene Silhouettes, Sweet Essentials, Hello Doily, Netting
Ink: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Raspberry Ripple Reinker
Cardstock: Fan Fair, Whisper White
Accessories: Dazzling Details, Aquapainter, Crystal Effects, Sponge, Very Vanilla Seam Binding
Click here to SHOP for these items! 

On Friday I got to meet one of the coolest people I've ever met in my life. She's an artist of course, that definitely contributes to her coolness, but her story is amazing. 

As you know, I don't have a daily commute anymore, thank God, because I work from my home office. This has a zillion benefits, not least of which is having furry co-workers. But I used to commute, and I hated it. I absolutely started and ended every day filled with despair, not moving on Mopac. It was an awful, stressful and unproductive time in my life that just drained me of my spirit and creativity. Reclaiming it has changed everything. And it's not just me. Take a gander at this. 

Killer Commute
Created by:

Yep. It makes you fat, stressed out heart attacky and divorced. How about THEM apples? 

Well the lady I met on Friday changed the world with her commute. She used to commute an hour and forty five minutes each way every day from Cedar Park - one of our suburbs - to UT, where she worked. So nearly four hours every day on the bus. Trapped. When she described this to me, she used the same word I used and felt about commuting - despair. But she fought her way out. With an invention. And with art.

She knew exactly how much space she had on the bus, and she knew she had time, so she invented this absolutely INGENIOUS lap easel so that she could paint for those long stretches in traffic. It's totally self contained, doesn't require any cleaning supplies or anything that can spill - it's pure, unadulterated genius. 

And paint she did. She painted her way into the Bob Bullock Museum, into Sue Patrick's famous longhorn store, and into a career as an incredibly successful commercial artist.    

Here is a little video of her telling her own story, as the "bus painting artist." She has some very moving stories about her interactions with people during these trips, who were naturally interested in what she was doing. I'm sure their commutes were much less stressful with her there as well. 

I took her little lap easel with me up to my parents' house yesterday to experiment. My brother in law was driving, so I had a good 45 minutes to see if I could come up with a painting. I sat in the back seat, and did just what she did - worked from my imagination. It was the first time I've ever wished Round Rock was farther away. It was pure joy. 

Here are my completely amateur paintings for your enjoyment and/or amusement. :)
If you want to see some REAL art, you better peek at Kathleen's blog.

But this whole experience just made me realize how responsible we all are for changing our circumstances. Make the world do what you want it to do, people!

And bring your art with you. Don't make it wait for you at home.



  1. Now I'm depressed. Gee, thanks. :)

    But at least *I* made a change recently, and I cannot tell you how much better I feel with a 20 min commute vs 45-60 min commute. Each way. I did the math and I have reclaimed 21 hours per month. I get home and I'm not dead tired. I can have dinner AND have stampy time.

    However, unfortunately not everyone has the option of losing their commute.I'm just glad I took the option while I could.

    Now if I could just sell one or two cards to help offset the supplies I keep buying, I'll be golden. (heh heh)

  2. yup. those are all good reasons why I want to stay fairly local if we ever buy a new house, not move where things are a bit cheaper and have a longer commute - no thank you!

    and thanks for the ammo. i think i'm going to send hubby your link to show him why we should stay local!

  3. Ok, I wouldn't admit this to just anyone.. but I thought you were saying she commuted from Texas to UTAH! Not being from your area, UT meant Utah time. AND I'm geographically challenged, so it took me a while to say to myself "whoa, that's a long commute - I didn't realize that Utah was so close to Texas". Then I watched the video ... Thanks for the good laugh at myself!

  4. Put a creative person in a box and she will find a way to break out of it! Hmmm, I wonder if artists are more likely to find ways to escape Alcatraz in that new show on TV.... Anyway, very inspiring... And pretty darn good car art there, missy! *smile*

  5. Whoa there! Such a fabby new twist on "car painting"! Clapping big time for your traveling art!!!

    The commute? I had a teaching position that was a 1 hour 15 min. commute to get there, and another 1 hour 15 min. drive to get home. Within 6 months of leaving that school, I had vertebral fusion surgery. And to this day, I am certain that it was at least in part due to that awful to/from routine with countless 18-wheelers. Here's to home offices for sure!


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