This week I was reminded of childhood memories of paintings taken home from school to be put on the fridge - so proudly displayed and the happiness felt seeing mum's face light up - 'oh, you made this for me, it's beautiful'.
Years roll by, but some things remain the same. The joy of making art that is for a special person is still there. My latest piece was for my mother in law in celebration of her 80th birthday.
So much satisfaction comes from creating, and yet more so when it makes someone else feel loved and brings them joy.
And though the easy path is to rush to the shops and buy an off the shelf gift nothing can compare to handmade. Handmade and made with love.
A lot of people ask me where I buy my glass so it got me thinking....
Take a look at my Resource page on www.theartofglass.com.au and you can see I have been busy adding info on where to source glass, mosaic tools and bits and bobs that are fun to incorporate in your art.
There are loads of options besides these but they are a good starting point for those eager beavers who want to have their own art space at home. Heck take over the garage - I did - but then I have the most wonderfully supportive husband - or then again, maybe it was his plan to keep me occupied and out of his hair. Best I don't think to long about that.
No seriously one of the most rewarding things for me is to be challenged by an idea and see it evolve. Isn't that part of a happy life? Being challenged, growing, learning, achieving and feeling good about who you are, what you do and then sharing what you know with others.
One of the joys of creating is sharing. I have been running mosaic workshops now for 15 years and still I love it.
The statement I most often hear is "I am not very artistic". And I have to say, that is what I thought when I first started this journey. But it isn't really about being artistic, it's about giving yourself permission to discover, to learn, to grow, to experience a part of you which you thought you had left at primary school.
Remember those days? You were fearless, you drew with reckless abandon, you took that flight of fancy without concern for criticism from yourself or others. You were proud of your scribbly drawings, haphazard paintings of dogs and cats, flowers and mum and dad.
And so when you create mosaics - best to approach it with the same mindset. With the freedom to find yourself.
I it's EKKA time which brings to mind a number of things. The evil westerly winds, flu season and it's already the eighth month of the year. And every August I ponder as we all do - 'isn't the year flying fast?
Well if you are thinking that, maybe it's because the year has been filled with so much, the good and the not so good and rather than watching the clock, we have been all out there doing our own thing.
For me the first half of this year has been all about my first solo exhibition. Lots of hard work, a lot of deep breaths and many sleepless nights and long hours in the workshop. BUT the reward was there because I discovered that getting over the line and ready for that exhibition was as simple as deciding to start - not looking at the finish line but steady as she goes, and staying focused.
While I can't say I loved the whole journey I feel I achieved a personal goal, to be brave enough to put myself out there. For surely, when you put your art out there, you are putting a piece of yourself.
Such is the nature of creating art.