dancing upon 2012

I came across a poem in October that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind.

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

~ W.B. Yeats

Do you know that one? I found it while watching videos of this brilliant man, and he referred to it in regards to eductation and what we are offering our children.

It makes me think about what children offer to the world, and how we, in the name of responsibility, sense, reason or just plan ignorance, often sweep it underfoot. Or, worse, step on it.  Sometimes twice. It makes me pause to think.

I am still a dreamer. And yet I am responsible for 3 little dreamers. I take that very seriously. Very.

I watched the Muppet Movie over Christmas holiday. I cried. Twice. And not just because I am a Muppet Fan. But because I believe in dreams. The basic good in people. The power of seeing something that doesn’t yet exist, but could. That’s what life is about really. Chasing the things that really matter, but might seem silly in the eyes of an ever changing world.

So this year, I’m resolving to do more than just lose weight, get our little home more organized,  journal our family’s life better, and be healthier (which was last year’s list. And the year before…oh dear.)

This year, I’m resolving to lose the stress and let the harsh world stay away a little bit more.

Laugh more

Dream more

Pay attention to silly ideas

Color my world brighter

Listen to those tiny whispers of an idea

Get on the floor and play more

You’d think that because I’m an artist for children that I spend my days in la-la land with pencils and crayons, creating mermaids and rockets with my kids all day. Ha! I wish.  On the contrary, I’m constantly in a battle between the stresses of motherhood and my own creativity.  It’s a balancing act that I fight for every day. Truly.

Like today, when I had a fantastic idea I wanted to illustrate on even just scrap paper or a napkin even…but we ended up doing dental work on one child, a spontaneous new school visit for another child, a no nap day for the other child….and pretty soon my mind is in a “can we afford this?…My kitchen is a mess!…how can we rearrange our schedule to make this work?…Ack! the library books are due….Ooops…I forgot to call so-and-so….Don’t forget to go sign the kid’s school papers….Turn around…you missed the exit….” and so on and so on.  Not to mention the hours and hours of work I do daily.

The Mommy Brain I call it. And while that is all part of being a parent, it challenges the space I have in my heart for the things that make life beautiful, or are too whimsical to make it to the top of the list. And oooooooh that list gets long. The stress of a parent is my biggest enemy.  I confess that I’ve become a worrier. Something a parent can only really understand.  You know what I mean?

Silly, really.

So this year….2012

I’m waking up more lighthearted. I’m believing in what’s in my gut. I’m listening to my children’s unfinished and messy ideas. I’m offering my heart and not my head. I’m letting go of the worry.

What about you? Are you re-evaluating the way you are seeing this year?

Me too.




Oh! PS:


I almost forgot to tell you! I don’t think that I mentioned that the 2012 Calendar is 50% off now! There’s a limit on these ones…just so you are aware. And I while I made these last year, it sure seems to fit my feelings as of late:)

Available here and here.

  • Share:
  • http://www.teawithpigeon.blogspot.com Pigeon’s Mom

    Oh, it’s good to hear someone with a success story say that the duties of motherhood are often at war with her creativity…Suddenly not so lonely/hopeless. Today I finally got my Pigeon down for a nap (he rarely lets me put him down in the a.m.), ran around cleaning things up/doing laundry/starting dinner, and then finally sat down to open a new set of watercolors I finally managed to buy this week…and he woke up, howling to be picked up again. This or similar happens all the time…like he can sense it. I get frustrated and then have to laugh at myself, because the very thing that inspires my creativity (motherhood, my child) is what is keeping me from creating! Oh, well..people first! But, still inspired to hear that you struggle and have found some way to manage it…with such results!

  • http://www.mirandaearle.com Miranda Earle

    Thanks for this post. It’s beautiful and touches the heart. As an practicing artist/full-time mum I can fully relate. Love the image and the poem. Do you have the image in print anywhere. It reminds me of my daughter. I’d love a copy xx

  • http://www.aprilheatherart.com April Heather Davulcu

    Sarah-what a beautifully written post, straight from the heart. And so timely too–I awoke at 4 this morning thinking of all that needs to get done, and missing my alone time in the studio–ideas for drawings flashing around in my mind. SO good to connect with other artists/ moms and know that while me might feel alone, we are not. Keeping those sweet dreams alive is of the utmost importance. Thank you for putting it out there. Your work is beautiful!

  • http://prematuretheory.blogspot.com/ Preemie

    The Mommy Brain!

    You sound like a fabulous Mommy.

    The calendars look really terrific.

    That Yeats poem is great! I hadn’t seen it before. And the “Tread Softly” girl is adorable, imagining her cute, little orange dolly, dove, pretty mermaid, and unicorn. And her orange and blue socks!

  • betz

    Oh mama…it’s gets easier. And harder. Just different I suppose. They grow and we grow. It’s all good and we are all in it together.

    I would love to see a boy version of the illustration above! :)

  • sarahjanestudios

    So refreshing to hear that so many of us play with that delicate balance too! Mostly, I always find myself refreshed when I go back to seeing the world like children do. Life is always more fun when I do:)

  • http://www.gregandlori.com Indiana Lori

    Oh yes, we are the same, we Community of Mothers. I came home to work on the 32 foot snake I am making for my daughter’s Pre-K class, and the only thing I can hear screaming are the dishes. Shouldn’t my Bernina have a louder voice than my dishwasher?

    Gotta run…feeling the same about 2012.

  • Kari Knell

    Sarah, You ARE wonderful already!!! I love you!!!
    Love, Mom

  • http://skirtastop.wordpress.com kristin

    Beautiful post, Sarah, couldn’t agree more! It definitely takes a conscious effort to slow down and just ‘be’ with kids. Our adult minds are racing so much faster. Thanks for the constant inspiration, and I hope you have a wonderful 2012!

  • Piper

    Beautiful! My children tell me their dreams at the breakfast table. As long as they are rated Sweet-for all ears.

    Just so you know, I almost never get on the floor and play with my children. I find that we are all happier when I let them be children and I get to be an adult but when those two things intersect many times every day we make a beautiful connection that brings everyone joy.

  • Catherine

    Yes…can I second the request for this in a print we can buy? I have been stalking your store, trying to find the perfect print for my little girl’s room…but this one is definitely my favorite!

  • Mamahen

    I love this post. Your beautiful illustration of the peom took my breath away. I see my daughter and her creative dreams right there in front of me in Yates words and your art. Thank you for that. I worked on parking mom brain durning Christmas break. I spent a hand full of days hanging out till late afternoon watching movies and putting together Legos with the kids. It felt good but then the frantic rush feeling would take overstaying “your behind”. This so often takes my joy and sweeps it out the window. I also took the kids to see the Muppets over break ( big fan since I was little) and had the same thoughts about life after seeing it. I also got misty eyes few times durning the movie. I just kept thinking when did it all change? I remember feeling all that hope of dreams coming true, . It also made miss the time of innocence when the world was so less complicated. I wanted to climb in the movie and dance in the streets too. All I can say is Mahna Mahna. That song always makes me smile. Thanks for the great post and reminder we moms are not alone in the grand balancing act we call life. Have a blessed creative day.

  • Juanita

    Very nice post. And would also love a print of the dreamer!

  • Faith

    I also love this poem. Have you heard the song by Z. Randall Stroope written with these words. It’s beautiful. Here is a nice arrangement of it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOsoa17YDko&feature=related

    I enjoy your creativity. Mine comes out in non visual ways. ;)


  • lilcg

    another reader who would love that print–it would be perfect in my little redhead’s room

  • http://www.littlesweetheartsblog.blogspot.com Little Sweethearts

    What a beautiful illustration Sarah! And what a lovely post. One to ponder.
    Funny how organizing the home and journaling family life better seems to appear on my list every year as well.
    This year I am taking one of your illustrations to heart “Don’t follow your dreams, CHASE them”. It makes me feel unbelievably excited and scared at the same time.

  • Pingback: Friday field-trip « October Always()

  • Angie

    Could you be talked into making that gorgeous illustration available as a print? I love that quote (reminded me of a book I read when I was younger, titled “Tread Softly” and contained the quote).

  • http://allroadsleadhome-jenny.blogspot.com/ Jenny

    Dearest Sarah Jane – you are a true inspiration to all of us … fellow mothers, dreamers, artists.

    When I read this post, tears fell and swirled into my coffee cup. It’s as if my heart was whispering in your ear … your words are encouragement to my soul to keep on my path of finding, creating and capturing the wonderment of each day; to let my mind step away from the have-to’s and hassles that can burden a spirit, and take more notice of God’s gifts present in each and every day – – even if just for a fleeting moment here and there.

    Blessings to you & yours …

  • Jessica

    I could have written this myself. I have 3 dreamers myself and dreams of my own yet to be realized. As an artist I want so badly to be creative and instead I get hit with all the “other” things like you mentioned. Meetings, school work, bills to pay, dinner to be made, etc. It brings me down hard sometimes. I have been a long time fan of your work and want so badly to see the success in myself and my work. But I also need to do my best to build up the dreams of my little ones. It’s hard to do when there are times you don’t believe in your own. Thanks for sharing. What a beautiful poem.

  • http://www.bloominworkshop.wordpress.com Anita

    Love this! Is it too late to start dreaming as an adult?

  • Colleen

    Thanks so much for this post- it’s so true, all of it! As a mom, I think I’ve actually gotten into an actual HABIT of stressing about everything and worrying over my son. It’s crazy. It can’t possibly be fun for him either. So I too am going for a lighter year. Lighter in spirit, in weight (ha!), in the sun (play outdoors more), and really putting color into my surroundings. I started with making window stars out of kite paper. It was really nice to hear these sentiments sort of echoed in your post. Maybe lots of people are feeling this, and the harshness of the world might soften a bit?

  • http://lilmisscreations.blogspot.com michelle

    I love this!!
    I think all of us moms stress and some of us are so busy to forget what is really important. THank you!