Wednesday, April 28, 2010


the best laid plans....
you know what I mean.

I've been regaining a bit of strength the last few days, so I had a little more planned for today.
I was behind, naturally, so I had no Wishcasting post for today, nor did I have my full pink moon dream wheel completed.

Ahh....home alone today; I could easily accomplish those things this morning.

But first came the phone call from an Athens musicians wife, giving me some great ideas for the next step in the Georgia Theatre art quilt project. Of course my mind started racing, expanding on those ideas and planning, planning.

I also had a call scheduled just before noon with the delightful Lisa Rough of Sacred Circle Creative Coaching
No problem.....I knew that the call would leave me refreshed and feeling able, ready for the rest of my busy day.
We had a lovely conversation, which would've allowed me to have the afternoon to myself, with not a shred of guilt....and I fully intended to take it.

And THEN.....
good ol' DB showed up on my doorstep, grinning from ear to ear with our latest project in hand.
How can I possibly turn down an adorable 5 year old who claims that he loves to come to Aunt Jennifer's house just to see what she's creating??

Papa had built a wooden tic tac toe board for him, and DB had very particular ideas about how it was to be finished. Could I help him?
You bet I could! That's just what Aunt Jennifers are for!

He completed his paint job--- yellow on the inside, green on the outside, mauve and gold on the bottom. The game pieces were painted a lavender-ish color.
DB had seen some of these games that I'd painted years ago, so he wasn't going to be content to have mere x's and o's on the pieces....oh no.

His first idea was....I kid you not.... angels vs. devils.....I half expected him to give me a lecture on the age-old battle between good and evil.
Soon he'd changed his mind---- cats and dogs; they go together....dogs chase cats you know.

While paint dried, we made oatmeal cookies, but we included several "extras", again at his insistence, to ensure that no one else in the house would like them. I was thinking that maybe the devils and angels were the better choice.....

Oh dear....the artist in me kicks in.
I just happened to have puppies and kittens that I'd drawn years ago. We dragged them out, scanned them, sized and printed them, cut them all out, then decoupaged them onto the lavendar squares.
Then there was a stern lecture about being sure I used the clear spray finish outside, because it was "fume-y" and therefore bad for my lungs. But of course.

Needless to say, the blog post wasn't done; the dreamboard wasn't finished, but you know what?
I had a great day!
I let go of my "grown-up" plans with no guilt; I had some fun, and hopefully, I created some life-long memories for this little guy.
What could be more important?

So I suppose a wish was granted today after all---
I invested in family, relationships, memories, and love....all in the space of an afternoon.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MUSE-Day.....The Power of the MASK

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person;
Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.

Oscar Wilde

Remember when you were a kid and you couldn't wait for Halloween?

Sure, the candy haul was a lot to look forward to, but trut
hfully, wasn't it the idea of the costume, the mask, of becoming someone else for a few hours, of playing a role, acting out and not being responsible for it because it was someone else?

Certain of my children still does this, at the age of 25 with a real job, and adult responsibilities, and doesn't always wait for Halloween. He revels in the opportunity to allow that other side of his personality, that other persona, loose on an unsuspecting world.

I have often wondered if this is how he stays balanced and in control...
the behaviors of this "dark side" are not considered socially acceptable without the costume and the make-up.

The truth....I myself still delight in opportunities to become someone else for a while, whether through costume and make-up, or a mask. There are parts of my own personality that can only see the light of day when guarded by a mask, whether real or perceived.
Maybe we want to "try on" a different personality; maybe we're just trying to "fake it till we make it", attempting to learn new behavior.

Much of the time, though, our masks are simply a front that we put on for others, either to impress them or to hide what we consider our imperfections or shortcomings, those parts of ourselves that we feel we need to hide from others.

What masks do YOU wear?
Are you wearing them for fun, to attempt a change, or out of fear?
Please share with us! We really want to hear what you think and feel!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Healing Maggie Grace---My Auction Contribution

I've finally chosen my contribution for the Healing Maggie Grace raffle, benefiting my friend and 2-time cancer survivor, Teresa (read her story here)

What would be more appropriate than some Encouraging Words?

I'm donating a set of 10 glass bubbles, including the words courage, pray, hugs, live, yes, heal, rest, hope, stillness, and service.
Also included in this special Moon Mama package-- 5 wooden Words from the Heart ATCs/magnets, including the encouraging words courage, hope, heal, love, and live.

You can bid to win these items or any of the delicious creations that have so lovingly been donated by our fellow artists at

Friday, April 23, 2010

SWEET! Latest Georgia Theatre Art Quilt Submission

Our most recent submission for the Georgia Theatre art quilt is AWESOME!
At least that's the general consensus at my house....everyone who's seen it, loves it.
How cool--- a guitar, cut from a vinyl record album (remember those, kiddies?), labeled with a photo of the Georgia Theatre, the neck of the guitar making the statement "Rise aGAin"!
I love it!

And this masterpiece was created by none other than my pal Teresa Atkinson of MaggieGraceCreates !
Believe it or not, she hurried to finish it before she had her surgery, "just in case", she said.
She dropped it off the day before tripping off to the hospital to have her kidney removed, bless her.
She is doing just fine, by the way.

the "Georgia Theatre" label

the guitar's neck--notice the shiny GA

Please remember folks--- the absolute LAST CALL for submissions is one week from today!
The deadline is FRIDAY APRIL 30!!
Contact me to make arrangements for drop off, pick up or mailing in your quilt squares or band t-shirts.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Double Dog DARE You...!

Jenz Happy Dance when the Canadian's
studio was finished

What do I wish to dare?

That Jamie Ridler really knows how to stir it up, doesn't she?
Every Wednesday with her Wishcasting prompts.... my mind, my spirit... all churned up, going in first this direction, then that, until I finally gain enough clarity to write it out.

Well let me just tell you what I DARE---

I dare to just BE ME.....
to be who I am, no matter what.....
No matter what anyone else has to say, or even think about it.

And I dare to look my enemy FEAR right in the eye, until he blinks....
and slinks right out my door, dragging his sorry tail behind him.

That's it.
That's what I dare.

What do YOU wish to dare today?

I borrowed this video from Lucy at Mixed Media Musings
Gotta love the wolf (wolf = lupus)!!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Moon Mama, self portrait, age 12

The quote at the bottom reads:
What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart!
What jailer so inexorable as one's self!
Nathanial Hawthorne

Look at that face----
SUCH sweetness, such innocence.....
Yet forlorn and frightened...
Part teenager, but still part little girl...

What a beautiful age.
What an awful age.

This was the first actual self portrait in the series I've started, a replica of the original photo.
Some of you may have seen it before, when Christine of BlissChick and I talked about the sad transformation that takes place around the time a girl turns twelve.

Even though there was a bit of the wild child left in me at this time in my life, look more closely and you'll notice a certain hesitancy, a slightly bitten lip, a sadness in the eyes.
I had discovered that who I really was could be frightening to others, unacceptable, uncomfortable at the very least.
This is the time in my life when that door had been slammed shut so many times, it stuck closed.

As Teresa of Maggie Grace World commented a couple of weeks ago, I've got my foot in that door, and now it's time to kick it wide open!


Speaking of Teresa, her kidney was removed on Friday and she is home from the hospital today!
The miracles of modern medicine coupled with a strong, unstoppable woman wrapped in a blanket of prayer from friends and strangers alike......and WOW...amazing things happen.

Teresa's blog friends have started a blog on her
Artists from all over are making donations of their work to be auctioned off, and there is a PayPal link if you'd care to donate funds to assist in Teresa's care.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Because This IS What We Do---

Yes I Can spoon pendant by Teresa of Maggie Grace Creates

Although this has weighed heavily on my mind for the last week, I have, maybe foolishly, refrained from writing about it.
I've needed time to process, I suppose; but now's the time to stop feeling angry and helpless and share with all of you Dear Folk, and ask for your help and support.

My dear friend (who happens to be Sam's girlfriend's mom) and fellow artist, Teresa has kidney cancer. She thought she was struggling with a kidney stone just last week, only to find that there is a huge mass in one kidney, and that she will lose the entire kidney.

I've sat here all week, wondering what I can do for the person who does it all for everyone else.
Fortunately she has other artist/blogger friends who did more than sit---they created this blog to help Teresa and her family out---

I know of your goodness and your generosity, and it's time to call on you to show them.
Please do what you can to help!
MaryAnn and Jen are asking for donations of artwork, gift certificates to your Etsy sites or to other retail establishments, anything appropriate for a raffle which will be held Mother's Day week.There is a link on the blog to a paypal account if you prefer to donate cash.

Teresa has no idea the support she's been to me; she's one of my biggest cheerleaders!
So it's time to return the favor.

original painting by Jennifer Schildknecht, aka Moon Mama

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What Do You Wish to Be Gentle With Today?

Georgia pollen, actual size
No wonder we're all suffering so! ;)

Seriously, I haven't had such a rough spring as far as allergies go....a little bit of a stuffy nose, and crunchy eyes first thing in the morning....not nearly so much as most Georgians are suffering right now.

I've been sick since Monday, thinking it was just another lupus-thing, compounded by allergies, until I started running a fever last night. That's when I knew--- this is a COLD.

Having lupus/fibromyalgia, I have to be extra careful with even little things like colds.
I tend to push myself to keep going, rather than wallowing in my pain or weakness, but I'm learning (after HOW long?!)....I HAVE to take it easy sometimes!

When Jamie asked today "what do you wish to be gentle with", my answer was obvious---
I wish to be gentle with myself!
And I'm betting that "myself" will be the number one answer on the Wishcasting circuit today!
I'm learning that I need to be gentle with myself far more often than I allow, but I especially need it when I am sick, or it can lead to serious complications.

So it's another cup of peppermint tea and back to bed for me.
Go and enjoy this gorgeous spring day for me!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

original photo borrowed from the internet, artist unknown,
and altered by Jennifer

Quote: I feel my body, my mind,
weighted down --- all is heavy---
but my blood, my inner fire,
my passion,
the little unburdened kid in me,
patiently wait to burst free.

Some of us die never having burst.

Drew Sirtors

I can't bear the thought of dying, never having burst!
I'm ready; I'm ready to explode!
There's too much to be and do....

Come on! Let's play!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Georgia Theatre Quilt Project Takes a New Turn

the fabulous Vanda Guthrie

...and all because of a comment on Facebook when I posted the last block submission!

The lovely, lovely Vanda Guthrie (wife of Michael Guthrie and mother of the late Jon Guthrie) has graciously offered to help me out by prodding local bands to submit their band t-shirts for the Georgia Theatre art quilt.

Michael and Vanda Guthrie

I had originally asked her to create a memorial block for her son Jon, and one for the Michael Guthrie Band (a mainstay of the Athens music scene). She, apparently being the total sweetheart I've heard she is, took the idea and ran with it, vowing to "make this happen".

I've been begging for submissions from anyone and everyone--- bands, artists, businesses, school kids....locally and globally.....anybody!
But Vanda tells me that all bands have t-shirts; this is free publicity for the bands (who can't use some free publicity???!!) and, hard is it to hand over a t-shirt??!!
Vanda will even cut your quilt square out of it for you! Come on!

My original plan was to have enough squares for a quilt to auction locally, a quilt to auction on ebay so that we could open the bidding up globally, and of course, one to hang in the re-built theatre.
It's entirely possible that, if we receive enough band t-shirts, that a BAND ART QUILT can be put together just for the theatre!
Come on folks----if you've ever played there, ever wanted to play there, or just want to show your support for the Georgia Theatre, hand it over!

To learn more about this project, and see examples of previous submissions, search my blog;
just enter Georgia Theatre.
You can also read about it at the official theatre site.
Please note that the absolute last call for submissions is APRIL 30!
If you have any questions at all, or to arrange to submit your block, don't hesitate to contact me.

For further reading on the Athens music scene, visit here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm Doing It!

How do I wish to bloom today?
That is the question from the always effervescent Jamie Ridler today.

I realized, after a bit of thought this morning, that I'm already doing it.... I'm blooming!
Day by day, little by little, just like a blossom unfurling from a tightly wound bud.... often seemingly against my will, but I'm becoming more of the flower I was meant to be.

I'm working to better my health through spiritual as well as physical means, strengthening spirit, mind and body.
I'm coaxing myself to create on a more regular basis.
I'm putting myself "out there" more and more, learning to tell fear to step aside--- I'm sharing more, writing more, holding small workshops, spearheading a community project.

The ironic thing is--- I seem to be blooming, and heading in the direction I've always wanted, even though I don't feel ready....even though a part of me is being dragged along for the ride!
The Canadian laughed when he saw my full worm moon dream board; he pointed out that it prominently stated "ready or not, here we come".
He's noticed it too....

By the way, all you Wishcasters--- the Canadian wanted me to mention to those of you who noticed his wish last week and added yours to his----He got his motorcycle that very evening.
Thanks folks!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tuesdays are Now MUSE-Days for Moon Mama!

A while back, I began a series of self-portraits loosely based on an idea proposed by artist Nic Hohn in the March/April 09 edition of Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine.

I chose one of my favorite photos of myself and, using Photoshop, extracted my face. I removed the color and altered the contrast, leaving a pale and washed out version of myself. I made multiple copies in various sizes to play with.

It has been a remarkably enlightening process, this recreating myself --- trying on, not only new hairstyles or clothing, or re-forming features, but trying on new personalities (even a different species once!), wondering how those women would behave.

Today I feel comfortable sharing these portraits with you (I already shared one way back).
Some are playful and silly, but others are quite personal.

From this day forward, Tuesdays will be Moon Mama's MUSE-Days.....
I'll share a portrait and you can find out for yourself just what's inside....
what secrets are hidden behind that smiling Moon Mama...if you dare!

The first page in this journal of self-discovery isn't really an altered portrait, at least not like the others. This is what came to mind when I contemplated what I was about to jump into---
another favorite photo, taken when I was five years old, at my sassiest.
What were YOU like when you were five?


I remember being so full of life as a kid--- energetic, mischievous, creative,
sassy, exuberant, inventive, playful, fanciful, spirited,
but at the same time a dreamer---
deep, sensitive, imaginative, even spiritual.
I had not forgotten who I was.
I guess I was told too many times to stop being that person;
so in order to be accepted,
I forgot...
And the door shut.

Latest Georgia Theatre Art Quilt Submission---Artist Sarah Cook

Boy oh boy, this is a great mixed media piece from Danielsville artist and my friend, Sarah Cook!

There is still time to submit your piece!
I can't wait to see all the exciting contributions, especially after inviting Jamie Ridler and all of her listeners/readers to join us in our quest to rebuild the Georgia Theatre!

The absolute last call deadline is approaching ---APRIL 30
Read more about submission guidelines here or search this blog for Phoenix Rising or Georgia Theatre art quilt.
For more details, contact me, Jennifer (aka Moon Mama) at or at 706-540-2712.
Or just go ahead and send your submission to Jennifer Schildknecht, 1035 Hwy 29 N, Danielsville, GA 30633