Art to Inspire… Plus a Giveaway!

The Blue Room is undergoing a few changes.

No, not this website—the actual blue room, our dining room-turned-office and craft space for which this website is named. The Blue Room is a symbol for the stuff in our lives that doesn’t work that needs to be reimagined to embrace the way things are, not the way we think they should be. With three young children, we never used our formal dining room. But I did need a study at home. And the kids would benefit from a place where they could play around with glitter, paint, glue and stickers. Preferably a place without carpet…

So during Snowpocalypse of 2010, our Blue Room was transformed from a useless place to a space for life and creativity.

I realized recently that despite the symbolism of the Blue Room, the walls have been adorned with the same artwork I’ve had for a long time. I don’t remember when I got this labyrinth poster (scroll down for the only image I can find online), but it was well before the 1999 gathering being advertised.

And Jane Evershed’s First Supper has been with me for many years. As a former Baptist who grew up with a blond Jesus and very male-centric images of God and Jesus’ closest followers, I love Evershed’s table, with 12 multi-racial and beautifully adorned women raising their glasses into the air. (Which one is the host at the table? Which one is Jesus? None of them. All of them.)

But life moves on. And now I have one of these, a rendering of the cover of Boston Magazine from last spring:


Peace, love, and running.

Here’s poster #2. Brain Pickings is one of my favorite sites, and Maria Popova recently published Seven Life Lessons from her work on the site. The folks Holstee Company came up with a beautiful graphical rendering of it. It arrived last week and is hanging on the nail I used for the Evershed poster. The placement isn’t quite right in the room, but I love it. A closeup from their website:


Which brings me to the giveaway. The Holstee company initially sent me their manifesto poster by mistake. The corrected the order, and asked me to keep the poster. But I want to share the love. So comment here or on my Facebook page with a recent “Blue Room” experience: either something you’ve reconfigured to fit your life as it really is, or something you know you need to reconfigure. (Or a general “hi” is fine too.) Each comment will be entered once. Submissions are due by Friday August 22 at midnight EDT.

Here’s Holstee’s manifesto poster (actual size 18×24″). Good luck to everyone!


11 thoughts on “Art to Inspire… Plus a Giveaway!

  1. Sarah Erickson

    “Expectations only hurt us when they hold us captive. When we can let go, a whole world of possibilities can emerge.”
    This is from Steve H’s CaringBridge post today. Always a good reminder, timely for me today. Getting ready to go to a Presbytery meeting, then vacation. Might be saying goodbye to a senior cat tomorrow. Trying to be a faithful volunteer engaged in things I care about. And frustrated a bit with some technology, although have it straightened out.
    Practicing letting go and making space for what matters and is next.
    Be well, friend.

  2. Erin

    I’ve had to reorganize my whole week, which was working fine, until my body wasn’t. I contracted a staph infection in my ankle that turned serious with alarming speed. Instead of helping with arts camp, meeting my morning running group, and generally doing end-of-summer things with my kids I’ve been seeing the doctor, undergoing painful procedures to stave off the worsening infection, and resting with my feet up. I am usually terrible at the resting part of healing, and I feel stressed and anxious when I am not running, but the doctor had my full attention when she talked about referring me to an orthopedic surgeon and worrying aloud that the infection was going to get to my bones. What I learned (again): People are happy to help, some of those who filled the gap are better at the things I was signed up for than I am, my kids can do more for themselves than they let on, and I am lucky to have access to first world health care.

  3. Julie Jensen

    Needing to reconfigure work/life balance after a super busy spring and summer. Put running/exercising back near the top of priorities rather than as something to fit in if I have time.

  4. Camille

    my whole life feels like a blue room right now.
    my family is moving for my husband’s job. I don’t have new call yet. after 11 years of the same thing, but never really the same, we’re moving on. my call right now is to end this call well, help settle my family in a new place, and figure out what’s next for me. i get to daydream about the house we’re buying and all the space we’ll get to fill with stuff and memories to be made. And I’ll have my very own place with big windows and a view of the backyard for all of my artistic and crafty adventures!

    1. MaryAnn McKibben Dana Post author

      Wow Camille! I remember when your position was open, my last year of seminary. You’ve had a long and fruitful ministry there! Blessings in this next chapter. I love the images you’re working with.

  5. Roy

    I was going to send you a photo of my new outdoor office on the deck since the weather has been so great! My binoculars are here along with books everywhere, music stuff, and the two dog beds. But alas! I couldn’t upload the photo. You’ll just have to come over!

  6. Bob Braxton

    reconfigured my self-image – the zero candle lighted on my birthday (coconut) frosted cake – missing the “7” – with breath enough to take care of it and begin my eighth decade on this continent.

  7. Janewilk

    This manifesto changed my life 4+ years ago when it was the catalyst in our decision to move to a different city and start living closer in community to our “tribe.” We are healthier (living in a place where we walk to stores, restaurants, errands daily) and infinitely happier. Thank you for the reminder.


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