Thursday, June 3, 2010

They didn't know it was impossible... they did it anyway.

Attributed to Mark Twain

I told you I had a secret to tell you. A couple of you already know because I've whacked you over the head with it hinted about it. But I'm still shy about saying it. Seeing I'm hiding away for two weeks (I'll tell you why and where when I get back - hehehe - just for some more suspense), I thought it was safe to tell you now. 

See that plank up above?

Well, I look at it every day and motivate myself - making myself believe what's written on it. And as such ... I've actually managed to convince myself that what I have in mind might work. Are you ready? I'm taking a big, deep breath in ... and out ...ANNNNND IIIIIIN ... here goes:

I've been working on a series of 10 'positive planks' like this one (but in different colours and with different motivational texts) to start up a fair trade project with refugee Tibetan artists in India. It's taken me a while to get the design for the prototypes perfect - even though the 'O' in 'Possible' has slipped over to the side a bit and we'll have to rectify that ;-)

What I'm still working on, are the colours. You would not believe how much I am influenced by the lovely pale and muted tones they love so much in France. To the extent that it's really hard for me to hit the bright, bold colours I think these planks need - especially if they are destined for children's rooms. Amanda at Small Acorns has inspired me with her passion for chartreuse and framboise! What about you? What colours would you put on your wall - in a bathroom? A hallway? A kitchen? Your kids' rooms?


I have no idea if any of these Tibetan artists are going to want to work on this project with me. I won't find out till I get to Dharamsala later this year. And maybe the planks will undergo a transformation because we rarely end up with exactly what we envisage in the begining. That's the beauty of collaboration and the whole process of art itself, eh Jackie ;-).

Do I know how and where I'm going to sell/distribute them once they're made? NOPE! Not yet anyway. First things first. For some reason I'm just driven to having them made, getting some positive out there and working with women's and girls' groups again like I did at UNESCO. It's sort of like a culmination of my life at this point...  Women's education, Art, Empowerment, Positive ... 

Do I panic sometimes and think THIS'LL NEVER WORK? 

Never! Nearly every day. I try desperately not to listen to that little inner voice that says, 'Who do you think you are? Anita Roddick? There are REAL designers out there who could do this better than YOU! Every one else is already trying to save the world - what do you think you're going to achieve?!'  In fact - I literally knock that voice out of existence with a flurry of paint and a whirl of the paintbrush full of positive intentions. Persistent little bugger - it keeps coming back. Yup - really have to arm myself with these planks to keep afloat ;-)

Well - there you have the secret. Please don't tell me you think I'm crazy. I know that already! Too long in France being 'not normal' does that to you. Any advice on making it work - I'm listening!  Didn't you hear me say I was planning on homeschooling my kids? Until I am lucky enough to move back to a different school system - YES! Life is likely to be busy so I'm arming myself with a big sense of humour right now!

Speaking of busy - I have a flight to catch!!!

Raspberries and yoghurt in turquoise bowl ready for the kids' Bircher muesli tomorrow morning - CHECK,

Notes on everyone's pillows saying I love them - CHECK

Special whipped cream in a can that I never buy because I'm to ecological sitting in the fridge with an 'I miss you!' note on it? CHECK!

Selection of French cheeses and saucissons in suitcase ready for friends across the ditch - CHECK!

Blog post written - CHECK


Flying out the door. See you in two weeks ... I'm going to miss you all enormously!




  1. Ange!! what a fabulous idea, love it, they are truly inspiring & motivational.
    you are wonderful, don't allow that little inner voice to sway you, keep on creating & making beautiful things that make people smile.
    goodluck with it all!
    ..and what a beautiful thing to leave on the pillows

  2. Oh congratulations! How exciting! This is a fantastic idea, you keep knocking those doubts right out of your head ;)

  3. Have a lovely time! How about recreating the colours of your children's raspberries and yogurt in turquoise bowl, vividly, for a plank. And I love your "didn't know it was impossible" plank - in fact, I'd be inclined to drop the exclamation mark from the end, as it seems to me that the fact that they did it anyway isn't an exclamatory one, it's just them doing what they do, just as you are doing what you do so naturally and well.

  4. Oh you're not crazy're inspired! And inspiring. Have a wonderful trip x

  5. Wow! There's thems that do and thems that don't and we know where you fall! Of course you can do this and should do this. Who do you think you are? Well, someone pretty special who gives back what she takes out!

  6. not nearly as much as I shall miss you~
    bisous mon amie,

  7. You are AMAZING !!! Go for it girl! This really is an adventure, I so look forward to hearing all about it. Bon voyage ma chère amie!

  8. Well, I miss you already. And you aren't crazy to want to change the world for the better, because I know YOU can.

    Have a fun and safe trip. Love and hugs!

  9. These are lovely! What a fabulous idea, I really like the look. I had a thought to paint my friend's child's name on an old, distressed oar to hang over the crib in the nursery, but that was as far as I've gotten, these are just amazing! Have a wonderful trip, I'm proud to be your newest follower, stop by and say hello upon your return! XO!

  10. I smiled through this whole post!!! I am so happy for you and your heart just blows me away!!! There is a documentary named "Who Does She Think She Is" about women who followed their hearts with art.....

    I am so thrilled for you. I wish I could give you a huge hug!

  11. Love this Ange! Godspeed and waiting for more when you return. India Ink would be my choice just because it sounds exotic and I am doing my own happy dance for you because it's so awesome that you're headed right straight into a wonderful new adventure! ~Lili

  12. You go girl....keep your eye on your goal and I have no doubt you will get there. Don't listen to that logical Virgo side of me it can be so so boring. If anyone can do it Ange, you can..I am so exicited for you. There is nothing better than that feeling when you know you can do it!

    Have a wonderful trip....we will miss you :)

    Jeanne x

  13. Raspberry (berries)-cream (yogurt)-turquoise (bowl)...Sounds like a great colour combo there!
    I suggest finding a box of crayons, dumping them out and just grabbing the first that catch your eye...Or closing your eyes and grabbing...
    You can do this. You SO can do all of this!

  14. oh Ange! YOU are a REAL designer!!! bravo to you and your brilliant ideas! I say go forward and have FUN!! ciao bella!!

  15. looking forward to seeing you over here Ange, and those texts will find a way, you'll see.

  16. Wow I love your idea.

    Colours are hard and I love the bluey colours you have used. I would use any thing which is an intense colour and will work. My personal colour guide for children is that if it is a colour which would appear on a T shirt in Target ( you know that pink colour) then it is not an okay colour.

    Have a lovely time (in the UK? )


  17. Ange - you are AMAZING! I adore these positive plaques and the colours too. I can also picture them in the vivid colours you're imagining. Don't put a limit on your imagination or your dreams of how wonderful this project can become...everything worth doing well starts out small and with a measure of doubt. That only proves that you'll do it properly and with thoughtfulness. Where are you going??? I'm intrigued. Are you on a special assignment for a member of the royal family who needs some Signed by Ange art? Are you competing in the Amazing Race? Inquiring minds want to know! Hope you're having fun wherever you are:) Meredy xo.

  18. Sometimes you do not need a plan Ange, it all just works out - you just need the belief that it will work which you my dear friend do have :-)

    Have a fabulous break, play hard!

    Leeann x

  19. You are an inspiration to all of us, dear Ange...this is truly an example of ART SAVES...
    Loving your work, your ideas and always your beautiful spirit!
    Take care my friend,

  20. i love crazy anyway. raspberry, hot pink and, some mustard.
    you are an inspiration. rock on
    ~laura x

  21. Of course this idea will work dear Ange, it dare not!! Are you heading to the World Cup in South Africa as the French Soccer team's Tactician & Psychotherapist?
    Millie ^_^

  22. I am so very very happy for you...

    It's good to have intentions... and be open to surprises.

    best of luck with everything
    love to you

    PS... I've just become a graffiti knitter ;)

  23. girly girl
    sweet lady
    lovely Ange
    be gone two weeks or more, I will be here to gobble up your wonderful posts when you return. I have faith in you! follow your dreams your heart your vision, i add my heart to yours. You are going to Dharamsala! Awesome.
    safe journey, I love all your notes you left behind....

  24. My dear Ange, How exciting! This is a fantastic. have FUN!

  25. what a notable and noble cause- to make these wonderful planks and share them-- I love the sayings-- and the colors

  26. Oh Ange,
    How exciting, rewarding, positive and just bloody wonderful for you !!!!
    I think that, colourwise, you will be inspired by everything around you, wherever it is that you are going !! Your insight and intuitive feelings will help you, and it will all be part of the journey.
    Have a great time, Ange and enjoy and use the moment. XXXX

  27. hope you have a great time away Ange. Also hope our paths can cross when I get to France..... I'll try to ring you and arrange a meet..

  28. how extraordinary!
    of course it will work - and in ways
    you can't anticipate.

    i look at my "leap and the net will appear"
    plank each day (having already leapt) and it still inspires.

    can't wait to see what's next in your journey!

  29. I'm missing you already Ange. And I think your idea is so inspiring, it can't possibly miss. Feel the fear and do it anyway. I'm still feeling it, how ever many years later! So you, Miss Positive, have nothing to worry about. I think I need a screen-saver version of your planks. Have a lovely time away. Amanda xx (And I'm flattered that you feel inspired by some of my colour therapy!)

  30. Ange,

    I am so honored that you found my blog and took a minute to leave a comment. You are a woman of innovation and inspiration. This project is one cool way of bringing diverse ends of the world together.

    Hope your trip is great and your ideas come to fruition. I look forward to hearing more about your homeschooling debut in Toulouse!


  31. Dang...Ange, they are FAbby!
    Love how you do the lettering, so good.
    I hope you have a wonderful time.

  32. Fantastique!!!! I cannot wait to hear more, you Go Girl!
    I applaud you,

  33. Dear Ange,

    Well a week has passed and the next one will pass just as quickly. I wish we had not lost touch but then I have had to focus on my cardiac rehab.

    Of course I wish you luck and I wish I had spoken with you before your departure, so I will have to send you positive energies this evening.

    Warmest regards my dear friend,

  34. Ange, I LOVE reading your blog because in addition to being a fabulous artist, you write in a way that makes me think. Hope that your trip is successful and looking forward to hearing more when you return! xx Suzanne

  35. Ange, I think that is such a wonderful idea!!! I also love your focus in life - keep at it!

    As for colors, how about being inspired by a little something Tibetan - the colors of the prayer flags wafting in the mountain breezes.

  36. This is so exciting and the planks are really cool. Go for it and it will workout some how!!!!!!!!

  37. follow your heart and not the’ll do brilliantly!


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!