Altered Art - Journal of Inspiration~

Journal d'Inspiration

A dear friend of mine has been in *reflective mode* lately; partly due to circumstance but primarily due to will. We've known each other for about 25 years now and I've always felt protective of her in a big sister kind of way. Back in the '80s, she picked-up and moved to Dallas, Texas from Louisville, Kentucky by herself at the age of 25. Dallas offered her career opportunities in marketing that she felt was lacking in Louisville. Perhaps that protective gene sparked knowing that moving away from my home town, without a husband or boyfriend, was something that my nature would avoid. Solitude for me has always been about creating; musically, crafting, dreaming, gardening. Work is my solitude; losing myself in process. But to truly be *alone* is not something that I'd choose without unnatural force. To meet a young woman, vulnerable yet brave, who was enthusiastic about career, and played soccer {like me}, in a big city, on her own, just made me want to take her under my wing on occasion. Now, she is traveling through a new phase of her life, as strident as ever!

When we were young, I enjoyed opening our quaint apartment door to our newly found friend, a little spirited bird who had flown the coup and landed close to our nest. I suppose there was some kind of need for me to cook, cheer, entertain, and yes, protect her. I could not fathom being without a boyfriend or husband, personally, yet this did not bother her greatly. Sure, there were talks about dating, men and marriage. But there was never a lack of friendship or fun in her life. And never was finding a man her primary goal, yet, inner success always has been.

We've always shared our checklists of goals, ambitions, desires, and dreams. Reaching the 50 mark for her is only a new beginning vs. a half-way point. And having a wonderfully sassy friend who always exponentially appreciated my quirks and humor, who loves cooking the same way I do, is a small little miracle. I craved family and *home* too, even though I was happily married. I could sense she did too from the way she spoke of family, her sisters, Kentucky and Derby traditions and memories.

*Home* to me is about my mom, dad, sister and brother. Waking up to my dad whistling like a bird and watching the Birch trees leaves dance in the morning sparkling light through my bedroom windows. Knowing my mom was cheerily painting in her art room. Sitting at my bedroom's antique secretary desk and imaging running my own company. Acting like my homework was truly work-work. Making dinner with my mother and sister every night. Savoring the aroma of mom's cooking - the best roast, stir-fry and lasagna. Watching my dad and brother work on cars and motorcycles. Tulsa's changing of seasons. Crisp, delightful Fall weather when the earth's scent lolled from the ground while we raked leaves. Our family rushing to War Eagle Arts and Crafts each year in October. Skipping stones on the mill creek.

Home is work. Work is art. Art is love. Family is a combination of it all!!!

I ventured my independence with Marty by my side, yet my friend was alone -- my beautiful, Frenchy-Italian; firey-passionate friend. She'd light up our apartment with her rolling laughter and jokes. Noone has ever made me laugh like her or laughed at me so much! So, I cook for her to repay her laughter. I used to introduce her to co-workers and Marty's friends in an effort to help her *find the one*. I'd fix her hair and make-up and we'd all hit the town to dance. We'd put our short-shorts on and ride our bikes around the White Rock Lake or become weekend wonder-women and played *competitive soccer*. Now, we often sit outside at night and drink red wine to remember the *good old days*, discuss the latest *trials and tribulations*, and savor the joy life provides.

What I have feared for my own self; she has never minded. She is brave, bold and carefully daring! It's just taken me all these years to figure it out. In her solitude she charts her course, so I created a *Journal d'Inspiration* for her. This is a mini-journal because she will not spend countless hours writing her mind's reflections or life's experiences. She simply takes the sparks around her and creates fires that light her heart up. You can see her eyes sparkling with excitement when she speaks about her *LIST* of goals. She told me that she's *Out of her cocoon now and has become a beautiful butterfly!!!*, tongue in cheek and with hearty laughter. Thus, this version of a journal...

The Equestrian influences of Kentucky with tones of saddle, brown and black. For her, the animal print ribbon is a must! The antiquey-style papers lend themselves to history & family {plus you know I love Basic Grey!}. The stamp of the woman truly resembles an old photograph of her mother in her wedding gown and the little girl in prayer could be an old photo of herself! I've told her that the woman is her *Romance Fairy Godmother* because, as usual, I want her to have full love. The photo of the beautiful horses nuzzling each other, oh, how I love them! I wish they lived in my yard so I could watch them run and frolic!

On the back interior page, is an antique photograph of a vintage-20's, beautiful woman holding pearls and draped in layers of lace - so romantic, beautiful, and independent. This symbolizes success and passion to me. She seems so dreamy. Visualizing our dreams and following our hearts is so important.

I've told her, to pour herself a cup of coffee and reflect on all those dreams and goals she has been working toward. And DEFINITELY NOT to worry about *getting the journal dirty* or *messing it up* -- but to use it to draw on or doodle, jot down her thoughts, reflections or most urgent things to do. Have fun with it! I'd much rather see it used than collecting dust in her armoire!

I wrote a quick poem echoing the Equestrian theme, and, yea, I got a little carried away ... I'm still very protective of her and I still want her to always love and be loved...


Collecting your dreams,
with aspirations afire, he stands.
Hasten the day, holding the reins

upon a horse as wild~

His mane lit ivory as pearls,

through your fingers,
powerfully he strides,

whilst your souls fly with cheer~

Speeding along through dust and dawn,
his hooves pound out your course.

Riding hard, riding lon
g and fearless,
forever love his heart, he's yours~

Isn't getting a little carried away what life is all about???

{xoxo} Juls~



  1. Another beautiful and gorgeous journal! Blue and brown are fabulous together and the ribbons you chose are just perfect!

    Peace and Luv,

  2. Wow, this is an amazing post. It made me teary. How lucky you both are to have such good friends in each other. Its interesting how our lives can be so different yet there is so much in common. This is a beautiful journal and I am sure your friend will love it so. Thanks for such a beautiful post. I really enjoyed reading this. You are such a great writer as well as being so artistic and creative.

  3. OK, I'm never going to stop saying this. . .WRITE THE DAMN BOOK! LOL OMG I once again was transported to your childhood house, visualizing all of the wonderful memories you wrote about in this post. How lucky you were to have such pure childhood memories. Your journal is wonderful, and has so much of you wrapped up in it. She is so fortunate to have a friend like you. Thanks for sharing. Every time I leave your blog, I feel like I just put down a fabulous book. Best, Curt

  4. @My 3 Bestest Blogger Buddies I LUV you guys! Thank you for your wonderful comments and support. You all are AMAZING!

    {xoxoxo} Juls~

  5. Hey girl!!
    I left you an award on my blog!

    Peace and Luv,

  6. This post is so beautiful. Your words flow so beautifully and it's like I am right there able to visualize it all so perfectly. Your friend sounds wonderful and I can tell that she has a wonderful friend in you. The journal you created is gorgeous and I am sure she will treasure it always. Hope all is well with you and that you are having a wonderful week :)


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