Friday, March 27, 2009

Figuring it All Out

So, how do y’all like the new layout?  I’m all about change and I love playing around with my blog.  I’m sure it’ll change in a week or two so if ya don’t like it, stick around and it’ll change again soon. LOL

Anyway…you all know how much I love my art. I live for it and really believe that my art is what has really helped me to heal to the point that I feel better and has me actually wanting to go back to work. 

Yet, I’ve had these thoughts about how am I going to fit my art and journaling into life once I am back to doing the 7am-5pm work thing.  I know that many (most?) of you manage to fit everything (work, art, family, cleaning, cooking, and on and on and on…) into life.  I just don’t know how I’m going to do it (and I have to take care of myself with all my illnesses so I have to get plenty of rest.)  I know that I WILL manage…I just haven’t quite figured it out yet and I certainly don’t want my art to suffer. 

I so NEEDS MY ART TIME! lol

So, share with me how YOU manage to do it all?

I actually start the new job next Thursday (still have to get my drug test done and finish up my paperwork) and I’m looking forward to it.

Nurture Your SoulNow, for art stuff….

As I’m doing all my soul searching and all that wonderful inner preparation for the upcoming changes in my life, this is a page that evolved from my thoughts about what I can do (and what I AM doing) to make my life wonderful…what I’m doing to make me feel good and to, as the title implies, nurture my soul.

I just love the girl on this one…she just epitomizes happiness and loving yourself (notice her hugging herself?)

My Highest Aspirations Then there is this one…I found this great quote by Louisa May Alcott and it just inspired me so much.  I had this really ugly background I had just kinda looked at a bazillion times and each time it just repulsed me…until I found this quote (and, of course the arrival of my FABULOUS Caran D’ache watercolor crayons helped, too!)

The quote reads: “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.  I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow them.”  How can you not just feel that deep into your core?  OMG, it just breathes life into your life…it reminds me to NEVER STOP DREAMING, never stop having goals and to always keep reaching for them.

Here’s my question of the day…once I’ve used my Caran D’ache crayons (with or without water) on a page, how do I journal over them?  I’m finding it hard to journal over their waxy finish (but their creamy consistency and vivid colors have me hooked!), no matter what kind of pens I try using…any suggestions?

Just a five days until I draw my first winner in my 29 Days of Giving so if you haven’t registered, be sure to do it NOW. Don’t wait. Go HERE and get in on the goodness.

For those of you that have registered, I will draw each day and post the winner but I can already tell you that my entries will be short and sweet but I will probably only mail once or twice a week. So be patient with me in that respect.

That’s it for today.  The hubby will be home in a few, the weather is beautiful and the tennis courts are calling us…come play…so play we will.  At least for an hour or two. I’m actually getting pretty good, too.  Then maybe out for dinner.  Sounds like a good night to me.

Have a great Friday evening and a fabulous weekend, everyone!

Peace & Love
Barb

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tired is Good!

Whew! It’s been a busy few days. 

I had a wonderful weekend spending time with the hubby, a nice dinner out at a great little Mexican place he found for us (awesome food!), friends over to play Guitar Hero and just have some laughs, a little “alone” time for he and I (lol) and some napping, too.

Yesterday I spent the day doing errands and trying to get some things accomplished before I start the new job next week.  I never realized how much I have taken being at home all the time for granted.  Procrastination hasn’t been a problem for the past year because I could always take care of it (whatever “it” might be) tomorrow

No more.

I have a list of things I want to get done before Monday…and I have a decent start.

HappenstanceI finally managed (after some false starts over the past 10 days, gah!) to get the new screen door painted and hung (YAY!), some bills paid, met with our banker, started pressure washing the deck (it needs it baaaad), organized some of the kitchen cabinets, and even finished up a couple of journal pages (the one at left is a Zentangle doodle I started in my Moleskine and it just grew LOL) and a bunch of backgrounds in my journal(s)…not to mention the 2 1/2 hours of tennis with Richie, Shelby & Toad (the hubby, my youngest daughter & son-in-law, in case you don’t know the names.)

Whew!  See what I mean about busy lately?

Today was a busy one, too.  Had to take Jasper and Juno to the groomers (and they look so gorgeous!!!), which is 55 miles away in Tupelo, and it takes them a few hours to get to both of my precious boys so I ended up spending the day over there doing some shopping that I needed to do (new khakis for the job), a good lunch and lazing at Books-a-Million.

I’ve even started packaging up some of my goodies for my 29 Days of Giving (if you haven’t registered, I hope you will…HERE).  I figure I better get on the ball with that so I don’t fall behind, huh? 

I am still tired, as always, but changing my attitude and my outlook is paying off…big time!  The tired that I feel these days is a good kind of tired.  I’m sleeping better than I have in months and it really is true that energy begets energy…playing tennis is not only fun but is great exercise (and I’m getting much better at it, too.)

Tomorrow looks to be fairly busy, too…to the docs for a quick meeting about some changes in meds (no biggie, just some minor tweaks), an appointment with Shelby & Toad that I promised I’d help them with, grocery shopping & trip to the pharmacy, to the post office to drop off some books for PaperBackSwap (if you’re not registered, check out the link in my right sidebar and join…if you are a reader it’s fabulous!), then HOPEFULLY I can get some full-fledged art time in the afternoon just for ME…especially since I’m hoping that my Caran D’ache watercolor crayons will be here tomorrow.  *quivering with excitement* lol

Oh, and I have this idea for a piece of art that will use some of these:

Hee…you’ll just have to hang around and see what I come up with, huh?  I love to be a tease like that sometimes…she says with a sheepish grin.  I may even do a tutorial using them…woo hoo!

Ah, the busy-ness of life.

But hey, busy is good.

Life is good.

I wish the same for all of you.

And to my girlie, Robin…I didn’t forget you, busy-ness just got the best of me.  Happy 42nd Birthday, honey…I love you.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, March 20, 2009

Living Juicy!

Lots to tell this evening, so let me get to it…

I love the books and artwork by SARK, also known as Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy.  I’ve always been a book hound, devouring books on the subjects that are close to my heart at any given moment in my life, and I’ve been building my library of art related books lately.  Lots of titles on art journaling, my passion, as well as on collage, painting, altered books and art, and books on finding my creative self, etc…then I remembered SARK.

I read her book “Wild Succulent Woman”  back in about 2000…around the time that I finally came to my senses and divorced my first husband (the one that put me through 20 years of emotional abuse and was a severe alcoholic.)  I believe that the words of that book of hers that I read at that time in my life gave me a boost to my self esteem and helped me to feel "real” again which enabled me to walk away from that relationship that was so detrimental to me.

AT this point in my life, as I am once again working toward doing good things for myself, my health and my life, I find myself gravitating toward that familiar encouraging voice of SARK again.719EM0H60YL._SL500_AA240_.gif

I have been using PBS (PaperBackSwap) for many of my books lately (you can sign up using the icon on my sidebar to the right…it’s awesome so you really should!) and a new one came today that I have been anxiously awaiting…

I can’t wait to dig into this wonderful book.  I have another one of her books on the way, too. 

Do any of you read and adore SARK the way I do?

Oh, and I worked a little part-time job today.  Six hours at the drag race track…and I had a blast!  Yea, really…I had fun at w.o.r.k!  LOL  Who have thunk it, huh? lol

I met with my new boss and will fill out paperwork next Friday and begin my new JOB (woot!) the following Monday.  It’s real…the job is mine. YAY for me!  The pay is good and so are the benefits…plus I’ll be working for the same company as my husband (but no, he is not the one that hired me, his big boss is who did) so if hubby moves up in the company and transfers somewhere, then I will automatically get a transfer, too.

And, my final piece of fabulous news for the day is that I have some Caran d'achegoodies on their way to me, via a fabulous friend who loves me and knows how much I adore art supplies and how much I have been fantasizing about these luscious babies.

<-----YUM!

I have been dreaming of having a set of Caran D’ache Neocolor II crayons but just couldn’t find the extra dinero to buy them…but the universe is fabulous with Karma.  I sent a large booty of jewelry supplies I had that I wasn’t using to a friend that is big into jewelry making…and she loves me so much that she is sending me a full set of 40 Caran D’ache Neocolor II’s!

OMG, do you know how HUGE this is?  It’s truly art heaven, I tell ya!  I’m so excited. 

So much good stuff going on for me that I’m just all quivery with joy.

Last thing, I promise…

Guess what I did Tuesday afternoon? 

I played THREE HOURS of tennis with the hubby, my daughters and son-in-law. You have no idea how good it felt to be out in the sunshine, cool breeze blowing, and actually using my muscles by running and serving and just having a ball (no pun intended. lol)  We’ve been trying to play at least once a week the past 3 weeks (at hubby’s insistence to get me out of the house) but this time I really enjoyed and wasn’t just there to placate him.  Loved it, I tell ya…even the muscle aches I still have from the workout I got on the court.

Ahhhh.

Oh man, y’all have no idea how good I feel right now.  But it’s late, 12:33 a.m. to be exact, and I am really beat so it’s time to hit the hay.

I hope that joy is ever present in your life and you, too, are Living Juicy!

Peace & Love,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Visualize a Joyful Life

I’ve been doing a little more soul searching (a constant in my life) and have made up my mind to turn things around.  You know what they say, life is really all about attitude…and mine has sucked the big one lately. 

Soooo…no more pity-party, instead I am going to raise my head up high and begin to live again. No more wallowing in the bed, sleeping my days away the way I’ve been doing. The more sunshine and fresh air (now that the weather is better) that I can get, the better I feel.  My 29 Days of Giving makes me feel so good, too.

In thinking these thoughts, these are the journal pages I’ve made in the past couple of days (click any pic to see it larger):

Visualize

Joyful Life  I really had a blast making these layouts.  I can’t say enough for art journaling as therapy.  After beginning my 29 Days and starting these layouts in my art journal, things around me started changing. Even my body seems to be reacting in a positive way, my aches and pains easing and even my depression seems to be lifting.

Another positive something that has come my way is the offer of a job, tailored to my health needs, and paying really well! It includes INSURANCE (and my diabetes is NOT considered a pre-existing condition), not to mention vacation and sick time, bonuses, and just the fact that it will work with my health “stuff” is a huge thing for me.

I am so excited.

I haven’t been excited in so long. This is really a big deal and I am just quivering with joy.

I hope joy is finding its way into your life today.

Peace & Love,

Sunday, March 15, 2009

29 Days of Giving

No matter what your position in life at the moment, if you are sitting in front of a computer and can read this, you have it better than so many others on earth.  I know that I do.

This is something I have to daily remind myself of in order NOT to feel sorry for myself. I can (and often do) get a case of the pity-party/wah-wah-poor-pitiful-me’s if I allow it. I whine about the pains and exhaustion, the meds and chronic illness stuff, I worry endlessly about finances and have no idea how we’ll afford the new, expensive meds I am supposed to start next week but more than all of that, the truth is that I really DO have a good life.

I need to focus on the good and not let the not-so-good get to me and there is no better time than the present to start!

March is a fabulous time to begin this journey. Why, you might be asking?

Well, my precious grandboy, Noah, came into life in March…I married the love of my life and soulmate, Richie, in March…our much loved son-in-law celebrated his 22nd birthday today….AND, here’s a biggie:

THIS IS MY 100th BLOG POST!

So, to celebrate those wonderful events and to get my focus on giving instead of whining, I’ve decided to take part in 29 Days of Giving.

It is obvious that I am not a rich woman so the gifts I will be giving will not be BIG but they will each be from the heart.  I will start my 29 days of Giving on April 1st but to be a part you have to do a couple of things for me (just to make it easier):

  1. Comment on THIS blog post and tell me that you want to be included in the giveaways.
  2. Send me an email to craft4therapy (at) gmail (dot) com with your nickname your comment is from, your real name and address, and try to include your favorite art/craft forms (so if your name is pulled, I can gear your gift to your likes/wishes.)

That’s all there is to it.  It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if you told your friends and readers about it but that’s certainly not a must.  Truth is, I would really like to see my friends and loyal readers/commenters to be the recipients but I am always happy to make new friends, too.

I do want to take a second to thank you all for being loyal readers and for sticking with me when I have those days I just can’t seem to put on the happy face…for giving me support as my art has changed and grown and making me feel that I’m actually doing okay (even when I think it’s crappy lol)…for encouraging me to pursue my dream of giving an Art Journal class (which is still set to start but will have to wait until April due to availability of the site that I’m giving the workshop at)…and generally just for being my friends. 

Thank you for making me want to stick around for 100 posts so far…and here’s to many more to come.

Peace & Love,
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Lost Day & Family Art

I usually have to take a nap during the day…meds and “stuff” do it to me…but today? OMG, I actually slept the ENTIRE day away…all of it. I was up from 5-8am, slept, up from 2-4pm, slept and just now woke up again and it’s almost 8pm.

WTH?!?!?

Guess my body was still drained from the weekend trip and just needed to recuperate or something. But sheesh, all day?  I feel like such a slug.

Anyway, I did get some pics taken of the art piece I’ve created using a copy of my parents wedding day picture.  Before I do the “show”, let me do a little “tell”…my parents (actually my maternal grandparents who adopted me and raised me so they were in their 50’s when I was born) met one day and it was love at first sight. 

Really. 

The night they met, within hours, my Dad asked Mom to marry him and she said yes, if he got her father’s permission…and he did.  They were married 22 hours after first laying eyes on each other….and were married for 48 years when my Dad died May 11, 1987.  Momma never was quite herself after losing him and she died March 23, 1991, her last words were to my sister and she said that she was “ready to go home…to your Daddy.”

THAT is the epitome of love to me.

THEY are the epitome of love to me…and this picture is truly one of those that says a thousand words.

Mom & Dad

My sister gave me this, the only picture taken of them on the day they married, and this piece is made with a copy of it.  I’m not real happy with the “Memories” down the left side so that will probably get reworked but I’m going to let it sit for a few days and see how I feel about it then.

Here’s a closer look at Mom & Dad and some of the texturing I added to the piece…

Mom & Dad close upAren’t they both gorgeous?  I love it so much, seeing them so young and happy and full of love.love.love!

I can’t say enough about Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio Line of products. Not only do I love the colors of her acrylics (which this piece is painted with) but the text page I used as the “mat” is a super thin 1950’s dictionary page and the photo is printed on just regular printer paper but by using Claudine’s Multi-Medium in matte, there isn’t a wrinkle in either part.

OMG, I love this product! It beats Golden’s, hands down! I need about a 55 gallon drum of it, I swear.

Oh, and the “texture” (which is really the garbage that my Bind-it-All produces when it punches) is also “glued” with Claudine’s Multi-Medium. I have painted and rubbed and squished around on those areas like crazy…and every little particle is still holding strong.

Woot!

I still consider this a work in progress since it doesn’t feel right, yet.  Changes will happen and I’ll be sure to show y’all when it does.

So, there you have what I’ve been up to…well, that and sleeping. lol Tell me, what have you been creating?

Peace & Love,

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Birthday Boy, Family Pics & Art Journaling

I am sorry for my absence but the trip to Arkansas for my precious little Noah’s (the wonderful grandboy) 5th Birthday party really did a number on me.  When we got home I was completely exhausted…but it was so very worth it.

Noah 5th birthday

Here’s the birthday boy, getting ready to dig into that pile of presents!  He was so excited that I couldn’t get him to look at the camera…he just wanted to see what goodies were inside his stack of presents and did he ever get the loot!One of the gifts inside the goodie bag Richie and I gave him was an electric toothbrush and when he came to that he stopped and looked at me saying “AWESOME, Nana!!!”  It was too cute.

Noah

I did manage to get him to look at the camera after the party was over but the sun was in his eyes.

 Noah birthday boy

 

So he grabbed his Aunt Shelby’s sunglasses and then he gave me that beautiful, precious smile that just makes this Nana’s heart melt.

Gawd, I love this kid!  He is such a hoot and he was as glad to see me as I was to see him.

  Unfortunately, Richie had to work so he wasn’t able to go with us so it was just me, Shelby and Toad (my youngest daughter and her husband) on the trip.  Five hours each way and it totally wore me out.  Sitting for too long makes me hurt all over and exhausts me to no end…but just seeing that wonderful smile and getting tons of hugs and kisses from my little Pumpkin Boy (my nickname for him) was worth every achy minute I’ve endured…a thousand times over.

While there, my sister gave me a packet of pictures of my parents (Mom’s been gone since 1991 and Daddy since 1987), of my brothers and sisters, as well as some of me as a kid.  My first husband burned all of my family pictures in a fit of anger when he realized that I really was divorcing him back in 2001 and I’ve not had any pictures of my family since then.  These pictures are such a HUGE thing to me.  I’ve wanted them so much and for so long…since getting home, in between resting and working in my art journal, I’ve been working on projects using some of these beautiful pictures. 

I tried scanning the one collage I have finished made with a copy of the only photo there is of my Mom and Dad the day they married but the scan turned out really crappy so I will have to take a pic of it in the morning.  It’s something I’m really proud of and want to share with y’all.

In the meantime, here’s some of the pages in my Art Journal that I’ve done in the past few days (as always, you can click on the pics to see larger versions)…Dream Goddess3 Colors

  That’s about it for me for tonight…they eyelids are getting heavy so it’s about time for sleep.

Thank you all for your well wishes and kind thoughts.  I have no friends in “real life” so the support and love I get from you all really does mean more than any of you could know. 

So thank each of you, from the bottom of my heart…you really do mean the world to me.

Peace & Love,

Friday, March 6, 2009

Not a Good Week

I really thought I was getting better lately. 

I’ve mentioned my health problems here before but not a ton of detail.  I have lots of stuff “wrong” with me…Panic/Anxiety Disorder, Depression, Diabetes, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), Fibromyalgia, and just recently I learned that my liver is beginning to fail.

To only be 43 years old, that’s a ton of crap to have wrong with you. I feel like an 85 y/o when I have to down a handful of pills a few times a day and never feeling quite right.  Ugh.

This is not the place that I usually talk about these things but sometimes real life is a part of our art life…one affects the other in every way.  It certainly works that way for me…art is my escape and my outlet, my illnesses rear their heads into my art.  It’s a give and take.

VLG_WomenCallinSick_IlloAnyway, my reason for talking about all of that is just to say that I’ve had a bit of a relapse or maybe a little temporary downturn in my health.  It’s pretty well kept me in bed most of the week, feeling sick as a dog, hurting all over, running back and forth to the bathroom (ugh!), and just feeling like a big ol’ fat loser.

I haven’t even had the energy to keep up with all my blog favorites the way I like to do. I hate that! I keep feeling like I’m missing out on things that you all are doing and saying.

Hell, I feel like I’m missing out on LIFE!

But I am willing myself to feel better. I have to feel better.

5th Birthday My grandson Noah turned 5 years old today and, come hell or high water, I will be at his Chuck-e-Cheese birthday party in Arkansas on Saturday. No way I’m missing that party…he’s counting on his Nana being there.  I’m counting on it, too.

So, that’s where I’ve been the past few days.  In bed.  Just me and my journal…occasionally some music or a little TV but always me and my art journal…oh, and the hubby.  We do let him snuggle in with us, too.

I hope you’re all doing well.  I will catch up with each of you, eventually.  Just give me a little time.

Peace & Love,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Out with the Old, In with the New

I finally got a chance to scan the last of my journal pages for my 1st Journal of 2009.  It had been my intention to have one journal a month but I made the first journal with LOTS of pages and I couldn’t bear to leave it half done, so it encompasses January & February…Now I’m beginning March.

So, here’s the ones (some better than others but all of them from the heart) that I’ve completed in that first Journal.

ColorJoy

I began this one in January, not long after my youngest daughter got married but it took me a while to complete it.  Now it’s done and it really epitomizes them and how proud I am of them both and how much I love them, too.Shelby & ToadRichieThe Moon has a Face

This is one of my favorites but I haven’t found just that right something to put at the bottom. 

The way I figure it, no page is ever finished until I feel it is completed and this one will just have to stay this way until I find that just right thing to put at the bottom.

The Warren Zevon lyrics just fit so well and seemed to speak to me.  I often find quotes and lyrics that just cry out to me and fit my life…this was one of them.

I’ll show it again when it’s completed…but who knows when that will be? lol

Anyway, here is the Art Journal I’ve made (from all recycled materials, tyvm!) and am about to get started for March (the cover has just began and will progress as I work in it…more red, I’m thinking):Journal 2

So, there is some of what I’ve been up to these past few days, when I haven’t been working on my workshop lessons and things to get it up and running. I love all the prep work (but I am getting nervous!) but it is very time consuming.  My Art Journal is my saving grace, where I can pour out what I’m thinking about or just what’s taking place in my mind and life.

Happy March 1st, everyone!

Peace, Love & Art,
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