Saturday, April 30, 2011

Red X

By Nita Davis
 Wandering the halls of an amazing art gallery I am drawn to an area where at first I think a painting has been removed.Yet as I get closer I realize that there is a canvas hanging on the wall before me. I am drawn to the canvas with it's stark whiteness. The amazing purity of the white is so astonishing it almost takes my breath away.  Gazing intently at the painting I notice a small red X in the upper corner of the canvas. A need to touch this small spot of color upon the stark whiteness overcomes me. Reaching out I gently caress the red x with the tip of one finger. How strange, It is as if all has gone silent, no hum of the lighting, no hushed whispers by other visitors, not even the click click of shoes upon the polished oak floor. An odd feeling comes over me as I no longer feel the solid floor beneath my feet, I am floating in a colorless sea. Cradled within this sea I am completely cushioned in the brilliant white softness. The purity surrounds me, wrapping me in its folds, comforting me from all the color that is reality! My hand drops to my side, and once again i am standing in the gallery with its vivid colors and muffled sounds. Walking away from the painting i understand that i have been given a gift, the knowledge that purity comes from within and that if we can focus on that purity we can find serenity.

Genealogy Video sample

This isn't today's official blog post. I thought maybe you might like to see the sample video I created to show how Artistix Network helps families create a vivid family legacy for their family's with Genealogy Photo Albums, Scrapbook page prints and Genealogy Video's. For individuals privacy much of the text in the video has been blurred and pages that exists in the original album and video which have text detailing family history and cherished stories have been left out.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Why I do what I do

Have you ever looked at your child and thought "Wow, that expression is the same one so-and-so use to get all the time"? Or wondered what life was like for your grandparents, great grandparents or even more distant relations? I have, of course we have a general idea what life was like for the general populous during certain time periods, but what I am talking about is what it was like personally. Unfortunately my family for whatever reason did not take or preserve photographs to pass from one generation to the next, nor did they make any written record of their lives. For me this is the type of thing that adds to ones sense of belonging which I feel is one of the most important things in life.

My father passed away when my oldest son was only four years old so by the time my youngest son was born my older children were confused when their little brother turned out to be blonde with blue eyes. "Where did that come from Mom?" they would ask me, you see my husband is a red head and I am a brunette and no one else in the family had blue eyes that our children knew of. Now had I still had the photo I once saw of my father as a toddler with his blonde curly hair and bright blue eyes, my children would have known right away that is where it came from. But no all I have are a few pictures of him after his hair had darkened to a light brown and in none of those can you actually see the color of his eyes. We have one or two pictures of my husband and I's grand parents and each of us remembers a story or two told to us by our grandparents but that is where the connections to our ancestors ends. So I decided I want more for my future great grandchildren and maybe even for their great grandchildren.

Of course to accomplish this my first idea was to help my kids put together scrapbooks as they were growing up. I am ashamed to say it but that plan did not turn out well. Sure they put a few things in their books but soon lost interest in them. So my second attempt was to make a scrapbook myself for my granddaughter that covered the first five years of her life. WOW, was I ever shocked at how expensive it was to create that book. Not only was it expensive but I was a bit discouraged because I had so many photographs that captured special memories and of course I could only fit a few on each page without it being too cluttered and no room for descriptions. I looked around at the collages available at the quick labs and by collage artists on line and decided they were so limited and all pretty much looked the same. By this time I had been digitally creating photo collages and doing photographic enhancements and manipulations for a few years so I decided to turn my artistic eye and skills to create photo art collages that would capture not just the photos but the emotions. Soon friends and family were asking me to create collages for them.

By this time my husband had become disabled and I was looking for a way to help support my family and take care of them at the same time. I left the doldrums of the 9-5 office world to work on my new dream of using my talents to help other families capture and preserve their cherished memories, and Artistix Network was born. I love creating memory art prints that I know will be cherished for many generations and helping families learn how to preserve both print and digital photographs so that none of their precious photos are lost because of environmental damage, crashed computers or inkjet printing which fades in just a few years. Doing what I do now ensures me that 200 years from now maybe even longer my descendants and those of the families I create memory photos for will have a much better chance of  knowing precious details of their ancestors.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our Primary Basic Need
I believe the most driving need of all is the need of belonging. For if we can find this niche at least two if not three of the other basic needs will be met as well. When one finds belonging they are generally met by love and fun. Survival and freedom are more than likely to be there as well, which leaves only one basic need to fulfill that of power. If one looks at power as the ability to control ones own destiny then finding belonging will also bring with it this power. Thus to belong is to meet all your basic human needs.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

31 Years and Counting!

Yesterday marked our 31st wedding anniversary. I still remember all the naysayers, sure we were complete opposites, but we had true love on our side. When friends asked 'how do you know', my reply was always 'I can't imagine life without him.' With my vivid wild imagination that had to be a major sign. I mean lets face it, I can imagine just about anything I set my mind to imagine. Of course that doesn't mean we haven't had our ups and downs, nor does it mean we haven't had to work to keep that true love alive. What it does mean is the foundation of our love was strong enough to keep us working at our relationship. There are of course other important factors in the success of any relationship but I do believe this is the glue that holds it all together.

May we all be blessed with true love!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Escape To Dove Mountain

By Nita Davis

Today isn't so very different than any other hectic day in my life. Startled into semi-consciousness at 5am by an unrelenting high shrill alarm clock, I was off to face the world, well almost. Luckily for the alarm clock but unluckily for me, it rests six feet away on the dresser top, so the snooze option was definitely out. Fumbling around in the dark I pulled on my bathrobe and slipped my feet into the slippers haphazardly discarded near the bed as I dropped into bed last night. Thankfully I haven't rearranged furniture in some time so it was a safe journey in the dark to the kitchen.  Having set the coffee pot to auto and left my favorite cup next to the pot, fixing my coffee by the glow of the clock on the stove was no real problem. As you have probably figured out the thought of turning a light on at 5am is not one I relish.

After a half hour sitting in my comfy overstuffed recliner sipping my coffee and listening to tranquil mood music, (you know the kind, nature sounds mixed with harp; flute or piano music) even though I wasn't totally ready, it was time to embrace the day. Off to the kitchen I went to begin preparing a nice hot breakfast for the four zoo creatures that live in my home masquerading as my children. The oldest at eleven exhibits uncanny fox like attributes (cunning, witty & fast). Next comes my nine year old daughter, the lynx of the family (sensitive, secretive & wise). Then there is the five year old Tasmanian Devil, that is right you guessed it wild, loud and he never stops. Last is my youngest daughter at only two years of age she is already showing definite signs of becoming a very mischievous capuchin monkey.

The inspirations for this story

Within minutes my handsome little Devil had joined me, bouncing from one wall to the next. 'I'm hungry mom!' BOUNCE 'is it ready yet?' BOUNCE 'I'm STARVING' BOUNCE ' Mom???'. Honestly I believe it is totally wrong for any human being to have so much energy so early in the morning as that boy has. Out of a desperate need to survive I of course sent him to wake his older siblings. After which the daily chaos began, with shouts of 'Leave me alone' from the Fox and shrieks of ' Mom!, Tas wont stop jumping on my bed.' from the Lynx. Fortunately by that time the food was done and set on the table, and I was off to collect the little Devil and see if the Monkey is awake.
Around our house breakfast tends to set the rhythm for the day, thus I knew early that it was going to be a long day. Each of my little animals definitely showed their individual characteristics well. While I escaped to my room to get dressed for the day, laughter, tears and constant chatter echo'd through the house. By 7:15 it was all I could do not to cheer and jump for joy when I put my three older children on that school bus. Turning to my little monkey I smiled and said 'ok, sweetie you and mommy are going to have a nice quiet day', BOY WAS I WRONG. I had forgotten Capuchin monkeys are well know for their mischievous ways and noisy chatter.

Whoever said working from home with a toddler was easy never raised a monkey. My office is designed to fit both my work needs and the needs of small children. However, I have yet to find a way to keep the little monkey from climbing the bookcase, trying to stick crayons in the pencil sharpener or a myriad  other catastrophic endeavors sought by this one small child. To say the least by lunch time the account ledgers were still unbalanced and I was nearing my breaking point. After bribing the monkey with a banana (yes, she loves them and will do almost anything to get one) I was able to get her to sit quietly and eat so I could do a little work.

Just as we finished lunch I heard the honking of the school bus horn. The little Devil was home. All I can say is his entrance to our home looked something akin to a tornado; clothes, books and shoes flying everywhere as he flew past and into the kitchen to grab a snack out of the cupboard. You know how they say a tornado sounds like a train rumbling on the tracks? Yep, that is what he sounded like. I am certain if I had a meter to measure noise levels it would have been way above the acceptably safe decibels. Yet I was thankful to have him home. With the little Devil to play with the little Monkey I thought maybe I would get the accounts done today after all. What was I thinking! You put two energetic, mischievous wild animals together you do not get harmony.

Some days I am able to play with these two wild children for fifteen or twenty minutes and get them involved in some activity that will keep them entertained for me to work an hour or two, but not today.  It is just past 4pm and the Fox and the Lynx have been home long enough to fill me in on their days', get themselves a snack and head to the play room to harass and play with their younger siblings.


This is the moment that kept me going all day, my moment of escape. I head for the backdoor and the much needed peacefulness I know I will soon enjoy. Stepping off the back porch I am met by the warm afternoon sun. The sun is just slightly over the top of the mountain, yet still lighting the clearing around our home. Heading for the path that will take me to the glade at the top of the mountain, I inhale deeply. The mountain air mixed with the poignant aromas of Ponderosa Pines, Cedar and a hint of oak fills my lungs with an invigorating burst of freshness.  Joy and excitement fill me with anticipation. With each step I am carried away from chaos and toward nirvana. Entering the path the quiet is broken by a soft crunching sound as I walk upon scattered twigs and pine needles. The tension in my shoulders begins to ease as I focus on the whisper of the wind rustling through the trees. Here in the shadow of trees with only occasional streaks of sunlight a deep solitude begins to comfort me. Slowly I move along the path opening my soul to the beauty which surrounds me. Just beyond my reach a Monarch butterfly flits past and into the filtered rays of the sun creating an almost magical scene as if dancing in stardust. Further down the path a squirrel perks his head up.  Suddenly there is another squirrel, the first grabs an acorn near him and the two take off with the second one chasing the first up the closest tree. Oh to have such freedom, to run and play among the trees, I almost envy the two fluffy tailed jesters. The gentle but steady climb has brought me near my destination as I can hear the soft coo - oo, coo - oo of the Morning Doves that like to nest each spring in an oak near the clearing. Their gentle sweet song soothes my not so long ago tattered nerves, taking me ever closer to heaven. Stepping through the trees and into the tall lush grass of the glade, with the warmth of the afternoon sun caressing my face I am transported to the place of my dreams. Spreading my arms as if to fly, I gradually pick up my pace until I am running to the center of the glade. A pure delight overcomes me as I begin to twirl releasing all my pent up restraints. I collapse in a state of shear relief.

    Tucking my arms behind my head I gaze up at the vivid blue sky and allow myself to dream just for a moment what it would be like to spend the whole day here in the glade. Unexpectedly I feel a tug on my arm. 'Mommy'. No it can't be, not yet, I'm not ready to go back. Tug Tug, there it is again. 'Mommy! I'm hungry'. Opening my eyes I wrap my arms around my little monkey pulling her into the recliner and onto my lap. "OK sweetie, mommy will go make dinner now nirvana can wait till another day."

Monday, April 25, 2011

Let the new week begin!

As with most Monday mornings, I am once again spending the first hours of my work week planning the week tasks before me. With coffee in hand and cobwebs in my brain this is often a daunting task. Last week as a new blogger I decided the scope I had originally set for my blog was too narrow. Thus, one of my tasks last week was to widen that scope and include more of my creative offerings. I am having so much fun that I can honestly say I will have to be careful that I don't spend all my time blogging and little time working. This being said, I have decided to give my blog a somewhat flexible schedule which hopefully will go as follows:

  • Inspirational Image quotes three to four days a week
  • Short stories or guided imagery's once or twice a week
  • Genealogy or Art related articles or finds occasionally 
  • Artistix Network updates occasionally
  • Zoo Report occasionally (basically this is just ramblings of the goings on at my home IE: The ZOO)

I am looking forward to all the fun we will have.
<3 Nita

Let The Week Begin!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Come Walk With Me

Image courtesy of
As we leave the path that has taken us past the long grass and reeds of the dunes to the shoreline, we slowly step upon the golden sand. With each step the warm sand gently massages our tired feet, delivering them from the ache brought on by unforgiving shoes. Breathing deeply of the fresh clean air, our spirit is refreshed. The ocean mist lightly touches our skin, bathing us in its salty glory. Walking along the shore the warmth from the mid morning sun wraps itself around us, as if cradling us in its arms protecting us from harsh reality. We continue along not speaking just absorbing all the beauty that nature is offering. Off in the distance we can hear the faint cry of gulls as they glide along the crisp blue skies. We sense the harmony of nature as it pulls us into its fold. Nearing the waters edge the sand begins to cool, soothing our feet even more as the gentle rolling tide of the ocean dampens the ground before us. Soon we are mesmerized by the gentle swoosh, swoosh of the tide as we make our way to my favorite resting spot. Spreading a soft blanket upon the warm sand just beyond the reach of the surf we sit to relax in the mid morning warmth quietly watching the aqua blue waves build upon the ocean, gloriously sprouting white frothy tips on their crest. Lying back upon the blanket we gaze up at the bright blue sky just in time to see a fluffy white cloud slowly drift by, taking with it all our worries. A strong feeling of peace washes over us as we listen to the steady rhythm of the surf. Ever so gently we are lulled into a state of tranquility. Consciousness begins to drift as if upon the current of the sea, gently rocking until we drift into a peaceful rest.
By: Nita Davis

I hope you have enjoyed our walk.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday's Inspiration

Last night as I was getting ready to shut everything down and turn in for the night I saw this quote and was immediately inspired. I knew this just had to be the one to use for today's inspirational quote. It is a bit ironic because just as I was completing the artwork I thought to myself 'why is it I always seem to get my creative ideas after 10pm' immediately followed by awwww yes 'we are all mad . . .' the answer to every question that plagues mankind. It is now just after 1:30am here in the Midwest and so I will wish you all sweet dreams and a very happy Thursday.
I went to show my daughter this and was reminded why I should never post artwork I have 'finished' in the middle of the night. Not only had I forgotten one of the primary elements I wanted in the image there were also a few things that needed fixing. So here is the new improved version.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday's Wise Words

A beautiful young woman I happen to know recommended this bit of wisdom imparted to her by her dad for use on an inspirational tag. So here it is Nicole, I hope you like the tag.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Inspirational Art

 I couldn't decide which image I liked better for this next one so I put the saying on both.

The Beauty of Words & Photographs

One of my favorite hobbies is finding photos to put together with quotes. So, I asked friends to suggest a quote that they would like to see used on an inspirational photo. Here are a few that I have created so far. I hope you enjoy these and please feel free to copy them and use them. If you do use them please leave the credit line in tact.