Bee Aware 

I just recently learned that the U.S. has officially put the rusty patched bumblebee on the endangered species list. There are 46 different species of bumblebee in the United States. It would be most beneficial to prevent that number from decreasing! There are various ways to help our buzzing friends…

  • Plant specific flowers that bumblebees love
  • Offer areas of overgrowth in your garden for suitable nesting grounds
  • Do not use pesticides or insecticides

That is a very small list but there is so much to learn. Take time to do some “beesearch” and find more ways to make a difference!

My latest ZIA was inspired by the bumblebee. I’m fascinated with how the tangles so easily flow with the natural world. At first glance, you see the bee. Then, upon looking closer, you realize the patterns within. I see patterns in everything now. Everytime I turn my head, I see a new hidden tangle and I want to draw everything I see! I am enjoying zentangle more and more. It gives me time to clear my head and concentrate on my work. It keeps me focused. It has become my therapy. It keeps me motivated.

I hope your having a great start to spring! Remember not to squash the bumblebees if you see them! Consider yourself lucky that you’re in the presence of one. Thanks for reading! If you have any thoughts of your own on how to help the bumblebees thrive, leave a comment below!
Until next time,

“The busy bee has no time for sorrow.”

Totem Animal: Blue Jay

I feel as though when the universe has a message for us the animals bring it to our attention. They are messengers of the spirit realm while also being great teachers of life’s lessons. I have been relying heavily on them to guide me when I am feeling overwhelmed or aimless.

Since the house fire, we have been staying at various places whether it be hotels or family member’s homes. A temporary home will be available soon for us to stay until we can get back on our feet and find a more permanent place again. I have moved so many times these past two months it is down right rediculous. And that’s just the past two months! Call me a nomad but I have moved more than ten times in my life so far not including this experience and whether I like it or not I am still not done!

For one reason or another, we have needed to go to the house to take care of various things. Some days I could spend all day there going through the rubble. Other days I can not even stand five minutes. Though I noticed, everytime I went there I saw a blue jay cross my path. He would perch on a branch or fence in front of me and then quickly take off again. After the third or fourth time, I knew it was time to do some research. When I looked up blue jay, I could not believe how spot on the symbolism was for my current situation.

“A blue jay is a decidedly resourceful creature that strives to create the best environment for itself and its family with what it has access to. It will make its home anywhere that it can, making the best out of every situation.” –Sunsigns.org

Blue jays have the intelligence to quickly learn new skills and can adapt to any situation. They are observant and persevering. They will overcome any hurdle and stand their ground confidently. Blue jays can easliy come up with new ideas and concepts and will not be held down by anything.

I am thankful the blue jay has crossed my path to teach me this lesson. I will do my very best to adapt and make a suitable home wherever life leads us. Making the best of a situation is a good practice to always keep in mind. To show respect for this marvelous avian, I have completed a zentangle inspired art piece. I enjoy this style incorporated with my totem animals. I have decided this will be my new “thing”. Be prepared for many more totem animal pieces!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Do you have a story that involves a blue jay? Share your story in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“I never realize how much I like being home unless I’ve been somewhere really different for a while.”

Is the blue jay your spirit animal? You can find prints of this image and other products at my shop! Click here!

What Is Megtography?

Megtography is…well…you guessed it! Meg + Photography = Megtography. I’ve decided to share one photo a day that encompasses my life. With my family’s recent house fire, I lost all of my images saved on my harddrive. About 10,000 or more pictures gone forever. Luckily, I do have many shared on social media sites and a small collection on photobucket but nowhere near what I had. Therefore I need to start from scratch. I want to photograph my life and the moments that stand out to me from day to day. Perhaps I did something really special that day and I want to highlight it. Maybe I saw something funny that made me smile. The scenery might have put me at ease from the sight of it. There are so many instances that grab my attention and I want to remember the feelings I experienced. I want to share those moments with everyone. I decided to do all black and white photography. It is all about what is going on in the picture and the feeling it creates. I don’t want color to distract from that.

Doing this daily will help keep me focused. It keeps me positive and motivated. It gives me a chance to go back and look at what I do everyday and everything I have to be thankful for. I have the opportunity to share my free spirit life style with you! I also have a safe collection of my photos if any accidents were to happen again. I know I can always come back here, go through my images, read my blog and feel a sense of accomplishment.

What about YOUtography? It’s a great exercise for anyone to try. It is quite similiar to the 365 day challenge. It takes discipline, patience, and passion. If you have those qualities or need to improve them, give it a try! You just might see what you’ve been missing! Thanks for stopping by this week.

Until next time,

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it.”

It Burns…Burns…Burns.

It is hard to truly imagine the damage a house fire can bring if you haven’t experienced it yourself. I was outside with my dog, Desoto, my husband and my father-in-law. We had no idea what was happening until the fire alarm started to holler. The kids ran out of the house in their pajamas and slippers. The adults ran in and out trying to get everyone to safety, including my mother-in-law who was sleeping upstairs. Within minutes the smoke became too thick to see anything inside. Everyone was trying to get to her as we called out her name until finally she came out of the cloud.

The walls are crying.

Our kitten, Exmoor, and other two dogs, Dali and Mila, were still trapped inside. My brother-in-law managed to get the dogs, running in blindly and carrying them out. Despite trying over and over again, we could not get close to the basement which was where our kitten was trapped. That is also where the fire started and the thick smoke billowed out the stairwell. There was just no way to get to him. I fear he was already gone before we even knew the fire started, yet we still tried.

We looked like coal miners; our faces covered in black. The soot was everywhere and the smell is one that will haunt us for a long while. Trucks and firefighters poured in from our town and surrounding areas. The firefighters tore holes in the roof so the smoke could escape and they could fight the fire properly. It felt like an eternity before the fire was finally out.

This was the Xbox.

My sister-in-law took the kids to her house so they didnt have to witness the chaos. My family and I didn’t know what to do. We wandered around, mostly, staring at the house in disbelief.

Everytime a firefighter came out, I hoped they had Exmoor in their arms. They never did. I felt like a little kid. My “voice of reason” said there was no way he could have made it but the child inside held out for hope. Unfortunately, the moment he was found was the same moment he was lost. He was only four months old and had survived so much in his short life but this was just too much. It is a tragedy what happened to you, Ex. I am truly sorry.

Of course the hydra is intact!

We recieved an immediate and tremendous amount of support from neighbors, friends, family, organizations, and so many more. Our heads were spinning but the community jumped right in to help us. I can never truly express how grateful I am to everyone.

The fire even melted Iron Man!

Eventually we were able to go inside to see what was lost. What wasn’t incinerated was covered with soot and suffered smoke and water damage.

This was my wallet; my handbag it was in is nonexistent.

Much of our things were left unrecognizable. Electronics melted into goop while wood and cloth became char and ash.

This use to be a snowglobe.

The entire ordeal was surreal. I watched it all before my eyes yet I could not believe it was happening. Going through something like this has completely changed my perspective on a lot of things.

Though everything lay in ashes, the smoke has cleared and I can see the light down a new path. It will still take time for certain wounds to heal but the fire brought a violent and radical cleanse. This is the beginning of my next chapter.

Until next time,

“I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down; gonna stand my ground.”

My camera bag and all its contents.

…..one lens melted a bit.

She looks beautiful! Safe inside the bag! Too bad the water got her.

I had over 20 different kinds of cameras, time to start over!

The Saturn Return of a Free Spirit

 

img_2273I’ve been doing research lately on the Saturn return. It takes Saturn about 29.5 years to return to the same place that it was when you were born. Saturn has a powerful impact on our lives and moving into our next stage of life. Once the full rotation draws near, it tends to send one’s life into chaos, or rather a thorough and rapid awakening.

It’s interesting to think about, considering the average person feels like they truly have come into adulthood in their late 20’s/early 30’s. The effects of your Saturn return can last up to three years or so. If you’ve been wandering through life, not really clear as to where it’s heading, your Saturn return whips you into shape like a clarity boot camp. Loose ends that have been left in the dust come to light and demand to be tied so that you can enter the next stage of your life ready to go. It is also a time to reevaluate situations in your life. If your struggling to hang on to something that Saturn is telling you to move on from, perhaps it is time to let go. img_1693

If you haven’t guessed, I am currently experiencing the Saturn return. So many things have been happening this past year, I feel like I can barely catch my breath. In the same hand I don’t want it to slow down either because I am accomplishing so much and tending to things that I’ve left neglected for too long! Changes are rapid, responsibilities are growing and things just keep popping up demanding my instant attention. My life is orderly chaotic right now. I feel like I have grown so much in this img_0936past year. I have had so many epiphanies, my head may explode! Let me tell you, it’s an overwhelmingly fantastic feeling if you haven’t already experienced it yourself.

I have much in my life to sort through and perhaps maybe even a little reevaluation of where I’m going with my art. I feel as though I’ve been thrown every which way in the art realm and it’s because of my own doing. I need to decide what I am doing and stick with it!

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Have you ever heard of the Saturn return? Have you experienced it yourself? Share your story below in the comments! I would love to hear how it worked out for you! Thanks for checking in this week!

Until next time,

“You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

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sources: Astrology.com , Astrostyle.com

 

Free Spirit Anniversary!

ATA3I am excited to say that this week marks my one year anniversary from when I started my blog! I am very proud of my consistency and tenacity to keep up with it! It’s thrilling that I can share my work of all kinds with anyone who cares to take a gander. My drawings, photography, writing, paintings, all of it in one giant collection. It feels like the “Chronicles of Free Spirit Meg”. It keeps me focused and keeps me working even when I’m in a slump. This blog has helped me really see things, to pay attention to details even more so than I already did. There is always more to learn and because of that reason I feel like my blog will live on forever. Or at least until I die or blogging is replaced with the next big best thing!

I won’t lie, it has been a struggle. It takes so much time and effort to edit the photos, write your entry, proof-read, put the pictures together, link it to all your media sites, tags and finally get the thing scheduled to post. That’s just the blog. That doesn’t include actually doing the sketches and fine art and going to the actual events and taking the pictures. Phew!

But in keeping this blog, all my hard work is laid out before me. It’s neatly tucked in a digital filing cabinet for me to share with everyone in the world! That, my friend, is a pretty cool feeling. It’s the proof of my blood, sweat, and tears!

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I would like to do a little recap on this past year and share everything I have accomplished but before I do, I want to say THANK YOU! Thank YOU! The reader, the viewer, the friend, the free spirit, whoever YOU are, thank you! I love all of my readers and your support goes a long way! Thank you for all the views, comments, and followers. It encourages me to keep chugging and pursue the free spirit lifestyle! I hope my blog continues to do the same for you!

Share your opinion below in the comments! What is your favorite part about my blog? What is your least favorite part? Any tips that can help me grow are always welcome!

Until next time,

“Great men are not born great, they grow great.”

Go With the Flow!

I took my son and his friend to the park about a week ago, bringing my trusty camera to occupy myself. The sky was a beautiful cerulean blue and the clouds casually drifted by. They were wispy and delicate. They eventually created a scene that stretched across the atmosphere.

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I instantly saw a women, arms stretched out, as if she were leaping into the air. The cloud beneath looked like water splashing; perhaps she was leaping into the raging water. Taunting the waves to carry her away, not fearing the rapids that may shove and toss her.

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It’s a wild ride but instead of fighting the currents, she jumps in with open arms. A free spirit. The waters, whether rough or calm, do not change who she is. She will always dive in and let them carry her to her next destination.

Sometimes life can be tranquil and easy going. We can drift down the river without effort. There are other times though, when the waters get rough. It tosses and crashes and splashes us all around. Do not fight it, do not fear it. Let it carry you, regardless of how treacherous it looks. No matter how fast it takes you. Keep going with the flow and you will have the power to erode any obstacle in your path. Perhaps this was my spirit guide encouraging me to jump into the rapids and let them carry me to where I am suppose to be.

I loved creating an image from what I saw in the clouds. I have been wanting to do something like this for a long time and I finally decided to do it. The instant tale that popped into my head when I saw these clouds was worth sharing. I hoped you enjoyed it!

What do you see in the clouds? Have you seen any cool formations lately? Share a comment or photo below! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

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It also reminded me of a scene in “The Little Mermaid“. 😛

Inktober Challenge

As some of you may know I have an obsession with instagram! I check my account daily and surf the photos on there of other artists and friends. I had noticed that many of the artists I follow were posting ink drawings with a related hashtag, Inktober. I became curious…What does Inktober mean?

I found out Inktober began in 2009 with Jake Parker. Jake Parker is a cartoonist, animator and illustrator from Utah. As a way to improve his drawing skill, he decided to do an ink drawing everyday through the month of October. Others took notice and soon it became a worldwide practice for artists to share.

Inktober 2016 #6

This year, I joined in and took part in the challenge. I discovered it half way through the month so I only have thirteen sketches for 2016. I will have to wait until next year to attempt the entire month. This challenge was a lot of fun. Besides the fact of practicing my skills, it was also a nice way to mix it up a bit. I was able to draw a lot of things that I have always wanted to and never did. In doing so, I am coming up with more questions on how to achieve better results. This is the next step in becoming a better artist! Also, I studied about many animals I normally wouldn’t have.

Thanks for reading this week and I hope you enjoyed the sketches!

Until next time,

“The train is nothing; the will is everything.”

Oh, To Be King…

I have a strong connection with big cats. Lions, tigers, and cougars are among my favorites. They have a great power and strength behind them. Lions, in my opinion, live one of the toughest lifestyles imaginable. The lionesses are constantly on the hunt for food. Working as a team, so in tune with each other. If they weren’t they would never eat. Taking down prey large enough to feed the pride is hard enough as it is. The males, well, they spend their whole lives fighting to keep their family. And if they fail, their offspring will be slaughtered and the new king will step in and claim his ladies. They are bloodied, bruised, beaten, and broken. Yet they continue on. They keep fighting. They fail, and they fail, and they fail again. Their success rate in hunting is only 30%. Less than 20% for lions hunting alone. little lionIf they miss the kill, they don’t fuss and moan about it. Even if they did get injured they just keeping moving on, to face the next battle. Though they fail often, they still carry themselves with a sense of pride. That’s actually why a group is called a pride. They are regal and confident. They are the king of the beasts! Of course they would carry themselves with such self-confidence. Weakness is not a trait of survivors. That’s what lions do, survive. They care for their families, protect them, teach them. They do not dwell on life’s hardships or worry their children won’t live a cozy life. They know their cubs will face hardships but that is why they teach them everything they know. They prepare them to be strong on their own. Lions are a symbol of emotional control. They do not have time for self-pity. They do what they have to. They take responsibility and act! And though life is taxing, they still make time to play or enjoy the warm sun showering their coats. They fight day in and day out but never lose their compassion towards their pride.

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“Perseverance” 6″x 8″ pencil drawing (accompanied with color pencils, charcoal, and copic markers)

To look into the eyes of such a king is a gift no one can surpass. It’s as if they can see right through you. Those eyes carry so much strength and compassion. Ferocity and confidence. Wisdom and control.

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This latest drawing gave me the opportunity to study the vigilant glare of the king. It was remarkable yet unsettling at the same time. I felt I could relate. Like I was looking at my reflection. My life is nowhere near as tough as a lions, but they still remind me to keep going. Persevere. No matter how bloodied and beaten you are, you just keep going. It’s how you survive. I have so much respect for them. They live through what may seem as unbearable hardships, yet walk away like Kings! This inspired my title for the piece, “Perseverance”.

When you face hardships in life, what encourages you to persevere? Share your story below!

Until next time,

“Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures…”