Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Photo: A peek into the garden

C R E A T I V E - S P A R K

One corner of a room full of 100 flowers.
The two paintings that started this whole project are on the bottom row: Katelyn on the left wall, Susan is on the right.

My Bambi "flower" from Ducky is at the bottom right. And a really special one to me is on the far left, from one of my dearest friends Ross Weldon upon learning I was leaving Florida to move to work with Discovery Channel. The flower count to date is: 129 flowers. With limited space, there are 100 flowers here on the walls of my dining room. Every single flower I've received has a little story behind it. And in diversity of the flowers, and my knowing you, the creator of this little mark of inspiration, they are ALL are so beautiful and special to me.

To everyone who has sent one in, thank you.

I've matted and framed each of these myself (my first job in high school was at a frame shop in Tucker, Ga). There are ball point pen doodles of flowers, full-on paintings, and hand-done collages of flowers. To each of you, I so greatly appreciate your time and contribution to this really special and crazy project I came up with. I absolutely LOVE it! What a beautiful, crazy garden we all are.

To those working on your flowers now, and for those that I'll receive next year and years from now, thank you. Keep sending 'em in!

And... I think I'll need a bigger place!
Silver Spring, MD


Thursday, November 11, 2010

11/11 Annual flower count

T W E N T Y - S I X - L E T T E R S

sketches, paintings, and collages of your flowers is the official flower count for 11.11.2010. Merci!

I have already framed and matted 100 of them. It is a really impressive thing to see. But to me, personally, it has a really magical quality about it. Thank you. For sending yours in.

This little idea for a Flower Garden was sparked through a painting exchange with two dear friends, Katelyn and Susan, from my year living in France in 2000. Both of their paintings happened to be of flowers. Et voila...

As we all lived in different parts of the country and the world, I was inspired to begin gathering 'flowers' from other friends as well. The garden began in earnest when I moved to Florida. I believe there were about 10 to start. And today's count of 129 illustrates so beautifully to me, that a small idea, a good idea, can blossom if you keep at it. It has wound up being quite an unexpected life lesson. A beautiful one.

The garden has blossomed into a space full of flowers from friends, family, neighbors and people who have inspired me through my life. When I get a bigger space, the other flowers will go up as well, so keep sending in the flowers! I'll be collecting them all my life. And every year on this day, I'll announce how many flowers I've received to date. Of course you know, next year is 11/11/11...

There were also 6 flowers that were really beautiful, but were not hand done, so instead of being the garden they are in the SDR.

To each of you who has taken the time to sketch a little flower for me, for the garden... je dis milles mercis!

©2010 Wendy Hudgins

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Portraits of joy

T W E N T Y - S I X - L E T T E R S
November 9th. Today marks the beginning of the last 30 days in my thirties. And it's also my dad's birthday.

I got him an unconventional gift this year, but one that simply lifted me up when I first learned about it.

I first heard about this beautiful book a few weeks back on my favorite show, CBS Sunday Morning. It was Halloween Sunday, so most of their tie-ins, unsurprisingly, were fairly macabre. But there was one that -- in nearly 700 pages -- focused on life.

"Every man dies, not every man really lives"
— William Wallace

This book and the words inside, instantly made me take a look at my own life. At his life. And all of the potential that is ahead of each of us. My dad has often said "carpe diem." But often until a tragedy or something comes along to shifts our 'norm' we aren't really, truly, compelled to do that. We forget the preciousness of life. But before I wrapped this up and took it to the post office, I skimmed over 150 little portraits
in this book of peoples lives. And in one single phrase, as if the title of a blog entry, their life was sculpted into an image:
"A knack for connecting"
"Always a song"
"Exploring the world"
"Banjos and big dreams"
"25 cats, 55 words"

Snapshots of lives interrupted.

In the forward of this beautiful book, "Portraits of Grief: 9/11," Howell Raines wrote this, "[these stories] remind us of the democracy of death, an event that lies in the future of every person on the planet. Reading these, I'm inspired by the subtle nobility of everyday existence, of the ordered beauty of quotidian life for millions of Americans."

In the intro, Janny Scott wrote, "there was something mysteriously inspiring about the portraits.... the divinity brought to the commonplace, and the preciousness of each life's path."

he divinity brought to the commonplace, and the preciousness of each life's path.


That means your path. That means my dad's path. That means my path.

It made me think about my life so far and my life ahead. Am I forming it into something that is a good, strong, faithful reflection of me? Am I doing the best I can to share my insight, skills? To nourish love and friendships? Am I enjoying living my life? It served as a reminder that each of us IS here. Right now. On this planet. Living. And breathing. Now. And we have an opportunity.
We are present. That is a gift. Our life is not yet complete. The story is still writing itself.

Great song title... This is your life. Are you who you want to be?

A month from today I'll walk confidently into chapter 40 of my own story.

Why am I being so bold and sharing my age? I think age is stupid, actually. Who cares? I know people in their 90's who are younger than people in their 20's. But I'm very happy with life. With my life. Even with the stresses, anxieties, and decisions I'm faced with. I'm in a good place. I'm healthy. I'm in love. And I'm a work in progress.

And besides, the internet has pretty much done away with any sense of privacy and confidentiality, so I just thought I'd beat it to the punch. Plus, if you go back in this blog, "Bonjour y'all" which happily, friendly-ly translates to a greeting, "hey y'all," you will hopefully see a several entries that make up some of my life. Entries, that even with struggles, sadnesses, and struggles of life, still overwhelmingly paint a portrait of joy.

Wherever you are in your life, and while we can still write our story, make it a wonderful read.

I love you, Dad. Happy Birthday.
©2010 Wendy Hudgins

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Two years of blogging

November 7th. I've now been blogging for TWO years. And in looking back, I am proud of the core message in my very first, rather spontaneous, blog post... a hope for us all. To be better.

I still believe that.

But you have to be able to separate who was behind this message and realize that HOPE is not a political party's message, it's a critical human message.

This past year, I have been overwhelmingly blessed with an abundance of freelance creative work. To each of my clients, and to those of you who have referred clients to me, I am beyond grateful. Thank you! We have supported eachother. We have survived.

Recently, I proudly added National Geographic to that client roster. Several creative projects
I've worked on for them recently are tied to tonight's airing of "Great Migrations." Doing research for these projects, I watched early video of this show several months ago. This show is beautiful, though sometimes hard to watch, but a brilliant analogy for where our country is now, spoken through the neutrality of nature.

I live in the DC area and this past year, we've attempted to restore honor and sanity. And I am so thrilled that this is airing now. We need this message. The tag line is "Moving as millions. To survive as one." If we can come together, work together and support eachother. I believe we will survive. When we connect and support eachother, this 'life' thing works. It doesn't mean it will be easy. It means it can work.

To push through things in my life, and to share my inspirations and perspectives, I've hashed out this blog with these simple ingredients (click to view):
creative sparks
twenty-six letters
friday photos


Thank you for reading over this past year. For your support,
your comments, and your encouragement. What a year. Bonjour Y'all!

And, yes, two years later, I still believe no matter (or in spite of) our differences...

...there is hope for us all. To be better.
©2010 Wendy Hudgins

Monday, November 1, 2010

So, what are you saying?

T W E N T Y - S I X - L E T T E R S
This morning there was a psychologist on the Today Show in a segment on civility in America. Or the lack of it.

This weekend here in DC there was a Rally to Restore Sanity.

This morning the psychologist was saying that part of the lack of civility is in part due to having so many ways to express yourself, and specifically the immediacy of that. And with anonymity, comes less concern about the consequences of what you say. He said that eons ago, if the farmer next door did something to upset you, you had to think about what you were going to say, walk over there, and then face that person — in person. And then continue to live next to them. [See blog: Thirty-three Sparks].

This past weekend at the Rally, I noticed a much different sentiment in the crowds compared to the 'other' rally my curiosity had nudged me to attend a few months ago (the, eh-hem, "bi-partisan/non-political" one about Restoring Honor). As a creative, I was loving the self-expression and uniqueness of the messages at the Sanity/Fear rally. Very creative. Very poignant. Or very funny. This rally on Sanity had a variety of signs — like the variety of opinions in this country. This rally had a range of serious and sense of humor — a critical blend for a country in crisis. Am I wrong? But unlike the blinding shades of Caucasian from the Honor Rally, this 10/30 rally appeared to be a more authentic snapshot of the voices that make up this country. A National Mall that seemed to welcome everyone. Even a simple sign that sums it all up: "I respect you as a person, but I respectfully disagree with your point of view."

And I recalled the much more antagonistic tone from the 'other' rally, "how's that hopey-hopey, changey-changey thing goin'?" Well:
a) Change isn't easy, it requires perseverance and cooperation, and
b) When did hope and change become bad things?

I'm of the mindset that if you're gonna complain about a problem, you can and should speak up, but bring solutions to the table.

We all know that immediacy and anonymity can go sliding downhill quickly. But with those very same tools, we also have an amazing opportunity to have an impact. A positive impact through all of these vehicles of communication at our fingertips.

I'm typing in one of those now.
This blog.

On November 2nd, there's another important way you can
express yourself and your views. Through your vote. So change your profile pic! Use your blog! Post your perspective! But be respectful, thoughtful, and OWN that perspective, too.

With all of these opportunities to express yourself, your views, your brilliance or stupidity...

...what are you saying?

And yep. There's an app, bumper sticker, tweet, church sign, profile pic, t-shirt, homemade sign, blog and rally for that.

Use it well.

Go vote.

And, btw, I like my hopey-changey. Image in this blog was from the 10/30 Rally in DC ---- I LOVED this 'hat' I saw with these four letters embroidered on it. I didn't get a pic, but this is a quick sketch I did of it.
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