Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another One…

…has come and gone. 

Another year, that is.

It’s New Year’s Eve, we’ve been to the “new” house to make plans for what is going where, where to have the satellite cables run, and to plan for painting (which begins tomorrow).  The hubby is sitting beside me, playing one of the PS3 games I got him for Christmas, youngest daughter and her hubby are in the basement playing on the internet, the oldest daughter and grandson are at home in Arkansas, so that means we’re all safe and sound.

That is a good thing…all my babies, safe and sound.

It’s hard not to do the whole “reflecting on the year that’s past” thing but I’m going to limit it to saying that 2009 was a year full of learning, healing (physically and mentally), mending fences with family, self examination, lots of laughter, a few tears here and there…but most of all, it has been a year full of love.  Love shared with the man I feel I was born to love, love of my children and grandson, my family and many friends…a few old ones and many, many new ones.

I’m not sad to say goodbye to the year and as I do, let go of the baggage that is this house that caused us so much despair…let go of old news and old grudges that I had harbored in my heart…let go of all those things that weighed me down over the year and clear out space in my head and my heart, not to mention my life, for all the wonderful and exciting things that 2010 has waiting for me.

I hope you find it possible to clear out some similar space for all that is waiting for you in the year to come.

Thank you for sticking with me, being my friends, and sharing my journey…in art and in life.

See you next year!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gilded Angels & Lack of Sleep

I know that it seems I was very hard on the gift that my daughter gave me and many of you were worried that she would see what I had written, now that I have released it to the world on the internet.  Well, if you knew my daughter, you’d know that she doesn’t have internet and if she does manage to get online somewhere, her main focus is Facebook and chatting with her friends. Yes, she’s almost 23 but in many ways she’s still a teenager…so the last place she’d be looking for is dear old Mom’s blog. She couldn’t care less.

Also, many of you asked to see “the gift,” so here it is in all its glory, cardboard corners still intact:IMG_0414

Yeah, not my kinda thing, sorry.  But now you can see what it is that I’m talking about…and I still don’t know what I’m going to do with it, either.  Be honest, what do YOU think of it?

In other news, the hubby and I finally got a chance to spend some hours talking, planning, debating and trying to work out where we’re headed, do we want to transfer, is changing jobs a good idea, etc. in light of our recent foreclosure.  We have come to the decision that staying put in our little Alabama town is the wisest decision for now.

Our dream is to wind up somewhere between Springhill and Bradenton, Florida, but our company doesn’t have stores in that area, yet. With the growth pattern of the company, it won’t be long before they do move into the area and we both just think it best to be safe…especially with the economic times being what they are at the moment. (Changing jobs/companies would not be a wise move, we both fear…and besides, we like our company.)

It was like a weight off our shoulders to have a solid plan; to KNOW what we’re doing in the coming days and to be able to plan for it. It’s been a while since we’ve had that feeling and had forgotten how comforting stability really can be for a soul. 

And wouldn’t ya know it, I called a friend that owns rental houses and he had one coming open on Jan. 1st…with 4 bedrooms (that means I get to keep a studio for me!!!) and 2 bathrooms. WOOT!  It’s an older house, 12 ft. ceilings, hardwood floors, BIG rooms, giant front porch, outdoor utility building, garden spot, pecan trees in the yard but the kitchen is pretty sucky, though, but I think I can do something to make it more to my liking.  The main thing is that it fits our needs and the price is 1/3 of what the house payment here was, making it very affordable! YAY!!!

Talk about feeling better! Whew!

Guess that means today will be a full one, trying to get the deposit paid, arrange to have utilities moved, starting to pack, selling things we need to get rid of instead of move…you know, that general kind of thing.

It sure feels good to have a plan. I’ve been so excited with ideas and plans swirling through my head that I haven’t been able to sleep so I’ve been up all night working in my art studio on journal pages, a couple of paintings, and reading my new copy of “Cloth Paper Scissors” that came in the mail yesterday. 

Isn’t the cover gorgeous? Diana Trout is the cover artist and I so love her artwork and use of color. Just a really yummy issue, all the way around.

And now I’m rambling, aren’t I?  Yeah, lack of sleep will do that to a girl.  Seriously, I’m still up from yesterday and feel wide awake. I bet when I crash, I will crash hard! LOL

Hope you’re all doing great, creating lots of art, looking forward to the new year to come and just enjoying life, every single moment of it.

I am!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gifts and a Great Workshop

Y’all cracked me up, thinking that my oldest daughter was giving me a new grandbaby for Christmas. NOT!!

She gave me was a gift but….well, you know how sometimes someone gives you a gift that they are just positive you will L.O.V.E but the truth of the matter is you HATE it?  That’s what happened here.

I just don’t think you buy someone an art piece unless you know it’s from an artist they love or it is very much their colors and style.  This gift from my daughter, *sigh*, it is totally NOT me…at all.  It’s a 3 dimensional piece that was mass manufactured and is meant to resemble the two angels that seem to be everywhere.  Its done in gilded gold with a HUGE mirrored and floral accented frame in gold. Not my style in the least.

Seriously, it is gag-worthy.

But hey, I faked it. I smiled and fawned over it, just as any good mother would do but OMG, it’s horrid. I just can’t see where she got the idea that I would like this monstrosity. I guess the one good point is that it is not a new grandbaby. lol

Anyway, I have to say that I’m glad the holidays are over for the most part…I don’t count New Years as part of the holidays since we tend to spend it quietly at home…and life is slowly getting back to normal.

IMG_0412I’ve been doing lots of healing work in my journal. I love that I am finding such healing and this amazing steadying power through art journaling. I wish I had known years ago how much I could grow and learn and heal through this wonderful art practice.

IMG_0411

I gave myself a Christmas present, too.  I’m taking the wonderful Kelly Kilmer’s A Life Made by Hand workshop. Kelly is an amazing artist (and an amazing woman, I might add) and I’ve never been able to take a workshop from her in person, so this is the next best thing. YAY! 

I can’t wait to get started.  Class runs from January 1st through June 30, 2010 for $50 (that’s about $8 a month! $ 0.28 a day!)  If you are interested, and you really should be!, click the link above and join us…it’s going to be fantasmagoric! 

IMG_0413As for my pages here, I was just doing some soul spilling on that last one. Pfft, who am I kidding?  Most every journal page/spread I do is really just me spilling my soul onto the page(s). It’s what makes me feel better and lifts the weight of worry, pain, and thoughts off my shoulders. 

Now, to figure out what to do with this gaudy picture the oldest daughter bestowed on me. Ugh! lol

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Just a quick note to wish each of you Happy Holidays, whatever holiday you might celebrate. Our families celebrate Christmas (although the hubby and I just call it “the holidays”) and everyone converged on our house yesterday evening for a meal that I spent all.friggin.day cooking.

Whew!

But, admittedly, I did rock that meal out!

I don’t even like turkey cause it’s so dry that it really has no flavor but this year I brined the turkey and OMG, it was so juicy and flavorful. Then there was a spiral sliced ham, homemade mashed taters, candied yams, green bean casserole (which I will never make again, tyvm), a delicious fried corn, chicken & dressing that my MIL brought (she makes the very best!), homemade macaroni & cheese, fruit salad, yeast rolls, chocolate pie, key lime pie, caramel cake, chocolate shortcake….yeah, a full-on schmorgasboard! WOOT!

We exchanged gifts and I got some goodies…my Pogo printer (it is so cool) and film from the hubby, a copy of “Spilling Open” by Sabrina Ward Harrison (also from the hubby), a digital picture frame and 2 GB memory card from my nephew, Aaron, in our extended family name drawing gift exchange, a beautiful new jacket from my in-laws…oh, I also received a gift from my oldest daughter…I’m just not prepared to comment on it right now. *sigh*

I’ve been so sick through the entire holiday and now I’ve just used my Neti Pot (that I forgot I had until just a few minutes ago) and I can breath better than in days. I think I will take a little nap.

I’m thinking I want to make a quilt soon and these fabrics are so gorgeous, they are what I want to make my quilt from. What do you think? YUM, huh?

Okay, nap time for me. Happy Holidays, y’all!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Imagining Sandy Toes

I feel like I really bared my soul in my last blog post, telling all my bidness like that but in an amazing show of love and support, so many of you reached out and gave me such a boost. I can’t thank each of you enough.

I am sure I should be sad about the loss of our house but the truth is, I’m not. The mortgage company that we had our loan through has done nothing but be hard to deal with ever since we bought the house. And, in a crazy kind of way, it feels as if a $1350.00 a month BURDEN has been lifted from our shoulders. It’s as if we are free to go where the road leads us now that we’re no longer under the weight of that huge mortgage and this big ol’ house.

We’re thinking Florida…we’ve already talked to our District and Regional Managers at work about transferring to Jacksonville or, our dream destination, Clearwater/Tampa and there are definite possibilities for us there. We should know more in the next couple of weeks. I go to bed at night with the sound of the waves crashing in my ears and the faint feeling of sand between my toes. BeachAhhhh!  Glorious dreams.

In other news, with Christmas just a couple of days away, I am finishing up artful gifts (yes, I am the Queen of Procrastination!) and finally put up the tree today. LOL  We almost didn’t do a tree but with the precious grandboy here, how could we not? Now that it’s done, I am really glad we put it up, too…no matter how much trouble taking it down will be in a few days.

IMG_0410Every ornament on this tree was put there by Noah and his Nana…I will cherish this memory. Just me and my Punkin’ Boy, doin’ the Christmas thang. lol 

Now, just a couple more presents to finish up, tons of gift wrapping to be done, some pies to make, a spiral sliced ham to pick up and a turkey to put in the brine in the morning to get ready for the invasion of the relatives on Christmas Eve.

Oh yea, it’s going to be a good Christmas…I’ll be damned if I’ll allow it to be any other way. Not in MY house…at least, while it’s still my house.

I hope your holidays are coming along wonderfully and that you are getting in the spirit. I’m doing lots of journaling to spill my thoughts, aches, pains, dreams and wishes and I will share some of that in the coming days but for now, I just thank you all for your love and support as I aired my dirty laundry. I wish you all peace. Peace in your heart and peace in each of your lives.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Overwhelmed & Confused

I had committed myself to doing December Views every single day for the month of December, but as so often happens, life has raised a ruckus and left me quivering in it’s wake.

I didn’t share tons of personal things on here for the longest time but after my hiatus and “rebirth” here, I made a vow to just be myself here, in my space….to let it all hang out, good and bad.

Like millions of other Americans, we’ve lost our home.

Our house was foreclosed on and officially sold at auction on the courthouse steps a few days ago. No one bid on it (more is owed than it’s worth in today’s housing market) so it was officially bought by Fannie Mae. Now we are on notice that we have VERY limited time before we have to vacate the property. We are hoping to make it through the holidays before we’re forced to move but, truth of it is, there are no houses for rent in our town. It’s a small town and rentals are always at a premium but with 10+ foreclosures per month around here, you can imagine just how non-existent rental houses really are now.

We have no real clue what we’re going to do. We have the option to transfer with our company to Florida (Jacksonville area) which would give us a fresh start but how do you rent an apartment when you’ve just gone through a foreclosure?

Just so many things to think about right now.

On top of all that, the hubby hurt his back at work yesterday and can barely move today…my oldest daughter and grandboy arrived this evening for Christmas (yes, they’ve come VERY early), my youngest daughter is unbelievably pissed at me right now (very long story there) and I just feel unbelievably overwhelmed with it all. Justifiably so, I think.

The one bright light in all of it is this:  IMG_0406This precious boy, my little Noah, that loves me like nobody’s business and is so glad to be at his Nana’s house is the bright spot among all the darkness that seems to be enveloping me right now. Man, I love this kid.

So, that’s a little bit of a rundown on where I’ve been for a few days. I’m trying to get it all together but it make take a while…in fact, I’m sure it will but I’m hangin’ in there. Thankfully I have my art journal to help keep me sane.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Views-Day 1

My Cute Tobbogan

Peace & Love,
Barb

December Views

Thanks to some wonderful friends on Twitter and through blogging, I have happened across Hippy Urban Girl and her “December Views” project and have decided to join in.

For the month of December…that crazy, busy, too full of everything month…I, along with lots of other wonderful bloggers, will be blogging in images rather than words.

For this one little month out of 2009, I intend to blog images, not words, everyday and not to miss a day.  It is truly to explore the visual aspect of my creativity and, in the words of Hippy Urban Girl, “to allow myself to enjoy the quiet, to allow myself a month of no stress creativity and to allow myself to share a bit of my world with you in a completely different way than I usually do.”

Come along with me, won’t you?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Aftermath

For those of us in the U.S., the Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone as well as has the infamous Black Friday. Thankfully I didn’t brave the masses this year, instead we had our family Thanksgiving ON Black Friday. A much better way to spend the day, in my opinion. *smile*

Like so many others, I have much to be thankful for this year (and every year) but I do my best to not just celebrate my thankfulness on only one day a year…I try very hard to do it every single day. Life works better that way, if you ask me. But hey, the holiday is good for bringing family together and eating some good foods. OMG at the food…talk about heavenly!

scan0016For the first time since our Mom died in 1991, we were going to have all of the siblings together in one place…everyone was so excited…until my brother Mick (Michael) punked out and left us one sibling shy. Grrrr! (He’s getting crotchety in his old age is my guess. lol)

That’s us, oldest to youngest (I’m the “baby”) in ‘91 in front of Momma’s house right before leaving for the funeral. No, the smiles aren’t fake but trust me, they were all that was holding back some serious tears…and the tears weren’t held back for long. Mick-the-punk is the brother standing in front of me.

Sibs Tgiving 09 And here we are, youngest to oldest this time, 18 1/2 years older and maybe a little worse for the wear. There’s more gray hair for all of us, less hair in general for some of us (lol), pounds packed round the middle for many of us, one punk brother who backs out at the last moment, a few troubled times having been between many of us…but hey, we’re still kickin’ and we’re still family.

That’s what I am thankful for today…and every day.

Sibs Tgiving 09 w Mick photoshopped inBut hey, we’re not a family to leave well enough alone and we all love a good joke…so we had my nephew act as a “stand in” brother for Mick (the brother who punks out!) so I could photoshop him in.  I thought it would be funny to send him a copy ragging on him a bit…so here we ALL (sorta) are.

Too fun! I’m still laughing about this one.

Hope you all had great a great holiday…good food, good friends and family, and some great laughs.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Love in a Box

IMG_0349I have so many art supplies that I love, it’s hard to narrow it down to my very favorites. But these babies came in the mail today and I am in art supply heaven once again!

Copic Sketch Markers, ahhh! They write over most any other kind of media, are refillable, true colored, feel good in your hand, don’t skip. Hey, what more can you ask from a marker?

I tried Prismacolor Markers but I just didn’t like them. I love Prismacolor pencils (the best colored pencils there are, in my opinion) but their markers leave much to be desired. Copics are the way to go, definitely.

And now I have my own little set (not to mention another four individual markers that I bought separately when I was testing to see if I would like them) and that makes Barb one happy girl. Wheeee….

Just a quick drop in to share my new goodies. Y’all take care and keep creating!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What’s in a Name?

I have been forced to work out of town the past two weeks, staying in hotels and working long hours at stores that are hours from home. Being away from home just exhausts me. Luckily no going out of town or even any work at all for me this coming week, with the Thanksgiving holiday and all. YAY!! It feels like it takes days to get back to feeling normal once I get back to the ol’ homestead, and this time was no exception.  But I feel like I’ve been oh so productive today after sleeping my life away on Friday and Saturday.

paper macheI’ve had these paper mache` letters (like the one’s here) spelling our last name floating around my studio for ages but hadn’t made up my mind what to do with them. I love letters and numbers and when Hobby Lobby had them on sale a year or so ago, I just grabbed them (for a buck each, so what the heck) and since then they’ve just sat around. Every once and a while I’d shuffle them from one shelf to another but I just never got around to doing anything with them.

Do you ever do that?  Buy something that you like but with no clue how or when you’ll ever do something with it?  I do it all the time.  LOL  Especially at thrift stores or in the clearance section wherever I’m shopping. Guess I’m a girl that can’t stand to let a bargain get away. *grin*

Anyway, I decided this morning, after moving those damn letters for the fifty-eleventh time, that it was time to do something with them…and I did.

With a super thick chipboard sign I scavenged from work (saving it from the dumpster, tyvm), some paint, some coordinating scrapbook papers, Claudine Hellmuth’s Multi Media (OMG, I love that stuff!), and a little time, I made this sign for our living room (or maybe the dining room…I haven’t decided):

Smith2

The flash from my camera washed out the “S” but all the letters are a light olive green with shapes/graphics in a burnt red, a darker olive green and a lighter burnt red.  Our living room sofa and loveseat are a deep olive green so that was my color inspiration and, luckily, I had scrapbook papers to match my color scheme.

Smith1Here’s another view, although the colors are much more true in the picture above.

Now to decide how I’m going to hang it but I think that will have to wait until morning. I’m a bit worn out this evening and I need to think on it a bit. I don’t know if I want the hanging wire to show or not…and do I want a border on the piece or not.  Yea, I need to think on it a bit to decide.

I just think it’s great to be creating things and hanging my own art in my home.  I don’t know why I’ve failed to do this in the past…I think it might be because I didn’t feel like my creations were worthy. HA! If I don’t affirm my own artistic ability and appreciate my own work, how could I ever expect any one else to appreciate it?

While I worked on my little project, I listened to 7 (yes seven) episodes of Ricë Freeman-Zachary’s podcast and absolutely loved every one of them. If you don’t know Ricë (rhymes with Lisa, btw), you should get to know her…she is an awesome soul in every way! She has this way of just sparking my creative energy with her words in her books or on her blog, with her views and, now, with the sound of her voice. Check her out at her blog, Notes from the Voodoo Cafe, and her podcast can be found on iTunes or on her blog.

What creative things have you accomplished lately? Do share, won’t ya?

Now, time to play in my journal for a while before I hit the hay.

Peace & Love,
Barb

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