Saturday, May 29, 2010

Supply Saturday

I take lots of online workshops and I also read tons of blogs (can’t you tell by all the blogs I subscribe to?) Through those venues I am always learning about new (to me) supplies to use in my art and art journaling. If it is recommended by an artist or workshop teacher that I respect, I will often run out and buy something they tout as being great to use.

This does not always end well. 

Some of the supplies I have invested in at the recommendation of (or sometimes just by the use by) my beloved art friends are not ones I wind up liking or I find they are not worth their cost when there is another supply that is as good at a better price.  Because of this, I thought I would make a list of supplies that I like and find cost affective so y’all can see what I use to create my art as well as what supplies I have found that don’t work so well for me.

Well, a list like this would be HUGE so I’ve decided to start a series I’m calling “Supply Saturday,” where once a week I will rate various art supplies and give you my thoughts on each one I critique.  I’m going to rate each product/supply on a scale of 1 to 10; with 10 being the best and totally worth the money and a 1 being not worth the cost at any price and a poor (in my opinion) choice of products. 

As we all know, opinions differ from person to person so you may love something I’ve not had great luck with but this is just how I see it.  I just hope that some of my experience through trial and error (not to mention wasted money) might help some of y’all out.

Each week I will cover one supply that I really like and one that I think is overrated.  I will tag each of these posts with Supply Saturday so, if you happen to miss a post you can always find it by the tag.  Oh, and if there is a supply that you’d like to see critiqued in a Supply Saturday post, let me know…I would love your suggestions.

Anyway, let’s get this party started (LOL)…

  • Moleskine Journals~I really like these great qp014-l-pocket-classic-moleskine-sketchbookjournals. I have only used the sketchbook and the  watercolor Moleskines so I can’t tell you anything about the lined or grid (although I do have a grid, I just haven’t used it yet).  I tend to use quite a bit of wet media (acrylics, watercolor, gel mediums, glues, etc.) and the sketchbook I am finishing up right now has held up superbly to my extreme abuse…probably just as well as the watercolor Moleskine. If you are buying a journal to work in (as opposed to making your own or buying a handmade journal, the two best options if you ask me), then you can’t go wrong with Moleskine sketchbook or watercolor journals. The biggest downfall to these would be that they can be a bit pricey, depending on where you buy them, and that is the one thing that really keeps me from giving them an higher score.  All in all, I give the Moleskine sketch and watercolor journals a rating of 8.
  • Coccoina Glue Sticks: A wonderful artist and Coccoinadear friend of mine loves these glue sticks and uses them  exclusively in her art journaling. Because of her love for them, I had to give them a try. Contrary to her wonderful outcome when using Coccoina as her adhesive, I haven’t had that same great result in using them. I will admit that the fabulous almond scent to these glue sticks is absolutely mouthwatering but they just don’t seem to adhere papers, ephemera and magazine clippings into my journal as well as many other adhesives I have found will do.  The price is relatively high and, in my opinion, not worth the cost, the stickability (yes, I just made that word up…like it? lol) is even less than Elmer’s School Glue Sticks unless you really use a thick coat of the product but admittedly the smell is yummy…because of these factors I give the Coccoina Glue Sticks a rating of 2. (My suggested alternative glue stick? Uhu brand.)

Well, there are my Supply Saturday critiques for this week. Don’t forget to leave any suggestions for future Supply Saturday posts.

I hope you’re all having a great Memorial Day weekend.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Disclaimer: Take these ratings as you will, these are my opinions only and none of the supplies I rate here have been provided by the manufacturer but have been bought and paid for with my own hard-earned money. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Still Life

Often, as I make my long drives to and from work, I spy things that I want to capture in pictures but so often I’m in such a hurry that I don’t have time to stop.  Do you ever see things and just want to capture them and take them home with you? I think that it is these sights that have made me realize how much I love old things…houses, barns, trees, rusty old cars.

Lately I have been making an effort to leave home earlier and give myself more time on my drives so I can bring some of this old beauty home with me.

There is an old, abandoned house that sits just off the road that has intrigued me since the first time I noticed it. In my mind I can picture this old place back in it’s hayday…bright white and proud, with a huge chimney and a rambling front porch, the site of evening talks on the porch swing.  The more times I passed this deserted home, the more I wondered about it…something about this house really piqued my interest.

Naturally this grand old home of long ago is the subject of my first captured images from those trips…it’s as though the family that lived there just woke up one day and walked away, not taking a thing.

IMG_0062IMG_0063IMG_0064 IMG_0065IMG_0066 IMG_0067

I don’t profess to be a photographer but I enjoyed taking these so much.  It’s as though now I have my own little piece of this place that has occupied my mind on so many of these long road trips.

In other news, I have decided to get back into making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards, in case you’ve never heard of them), so I am back on ATCs For All and doing a little trading of these wonderful little art pieces.  If you’re a member over there, I hope you’ll look for me (I’m CraftJunkie.)

We’re only 21 days from our Vegas vacation and I am so ready to go! Vegas is where we went on our honeymoon back in 2006 and have looked forward to going back and now we are…YAY! I can’t wait!  As of this moment, I am really looking forward to the three day holiday weekend that is just beginning and I plan on getting in some art time, watching some movies, doing a little cooking and just spend time ralaxing with my honey. Ahhhh….

I hope you’re all having creative days and have a good weekend coming up.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The World is Mad

Life gets so busy and, as usual, my blog is always one space that seems to suffer. *sigh* I hate that but I am also a realist and life has to be more important than being online…yet, I hate it when my blog falls behind.

I’m just glad that y’all stick with me…I always come around.

I did get in a little art journal time in the midst of all the chaos:IMG_0120 I hope you’re all doing well and finding time to create something every day.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Whew!

We celebrated my babygirl turning 21 this past weekend with a little trip to the casinos…and had a blast doing IMG_0090 it, too. It was a family affair, all the way around. Me, Richie, Shelby (our birthday girl), her hubby (Toad…and yea, we all call him that all the time) and our oldest daughter, Savannah who turned 23 only nine days prior.  The five of us had so much fun and laughter…it was hard for the dealers and others to believe we were parents and children enjoying our time together so much.

If you couldn’t already tell, I adore my family. I love my girls (and my SIL) with such depth and I really enjoy being with them so much. They are smart and funny and just pure joy to me…and to their step-dad, Richie.

IMG_0098

So now all my babies are grown and I am proud. I still have my little man, Noah (the grandboy) to dote on and to snuggle with but it’s so hard for me to believe that my babies are no longer babies anymore.

Life moves at the speed of sound…you better believe it does.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Matters of the Heart

So much happening in the past few days, all of it keeping me busy as a one-armed paper-hanger (no offense intended to any one-armed paper-hangers there might be reading) and my heart all in a knot.

A trip to Columbus, Mississippi for lunch with my sisters and nephews and to bring my oldest sister back home with us to spend a few days. She was hitching a ride to Arkansas with us on Monday to attend my oldest daughter, Savannah’s, nursing school Pinning Ceremony…which went splendidly.

IMG_0053 Here she is receiving her pin…and she’s really a nurse…my baby girl.  I am so proud of her!

By the time we got home Monday night it was 1am and we were all exhausted so luckily we had taken Tuesday off work to recuperate. Whew! No one ever told me getting older was such hard work.

Unfortunately, my precious furbaby, Tyson, has been getting bouts of aggression that it is believed to be early signs of canine dementia so yesterday, contrary to everything my heart was screaming, I had to have him put down before he really hurt someone. He was never aggressive toward me but it was progressively happening to everyone BUT me and it was only growing worse. Confusion was setting in and he seemed to hurt when having to get up or down.

You just have no idea…I loved this guy so unbelievably much.IMG_0586He always put up with my shenanigans, my dressing him up like the Easter Bunny, my kissing him all over his face…he learned tricks (even at almost 6 years old) just to please me. He was so perceptive to me and my illnesses that he knew when I wasn’t feeling well or when my blood sugar was off kilter and wouldn’t leave my side.

This beautiful boy was truly my best friend…and my heart aches deeply now that he’s gone. I haven’t been able to stop crying for long since letting him go…and I know that I will never stop missing him.

 IMG_0517 I love you, Ty-Ty…you were the best ever and you’ll always be in my heart.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, May 7, 2010

Realizing Growth

I had to take off work yesterday and it looks like I’ll be doing the same thing today. My fibromyalgia is really kicking my butt right now and I can’t seem to make the pain stop without copious amounts of pain meds…making it impossible to drive.

Okay, now that I have that out of the way (sometimes I have to document things on here for myself), on to other things.

the-artists-way_17li I had a copy of Julia Cameron’s “The Artists Way” about 2 years ago.  I picked it up because everyone said it was THE book to have in learning to come into your own as an artist. I just couldn’t ever seem to get into it…so I traded it out on paperbackswap.com.

Then a few weeks ago I realized that I really wanted to broaden my horizons, as a human and as an artist. I began to want to go through those lessons that Julia sets out in her book that I had so quickly traded away back then…so I got another copy. (I should have learned long ago not to get rid of my books but hey, that’s another lesson learned, right?) Now I’m working my way through it with intention, the way I believe she meant for it to be done, and I am enjoying the process.

I have made some amends lately, too. Someone from my very long ago past that I hurt deeply had been really popping into my field of vision and into my mind often which, to me, indicates that I have unfinished business…and I did. I needed to apologize and to do what I could to rectify the damage that my careless actions caused her, no matter how much time had passed. So I did.

After a long talk, she accepted my apologies and we both left the discussion feeling better. I know that my load feels much lighter after having done what I could to right a wrong committed so many years ago.

I feel myself growing and changing and wanting to do the right thing; being ever mindful of my Karma. I believe that all of life is an exercise in growth. learning to be a better person and to listen to your heart (how cliche` is that?) and do those things that speak to you. I guess it all comes down to being true to yourself…and that is what I’m trying to do in my life, just be true to myself.

Just some thoughts that are rambling through my head this morning. I’m sure I’ll be journaling about these thoughts later on today.

Mother’s Day is this weekend and ya know, I have the best husband in the world. I showed him some things a while back that I had on my wish list and he said to me, “Baby, I am not good at gift buying but I want you to have everything you’ve ever wanted so if you want that watch…please buy it. For you to have the things you want is what I want.”  Awww!

The old me would have been so hurt that my husband couldn’t find it in himself to be romantic and shop for me. I would have cried because that kind of attitude HAD to mean that he didn’t really love me.  PFFT!!!

This new me, the one that is striving to grow and change, realizes that we all have limitations and Richie really isn’t a shopping kinda guy…BUT, he really does want to give me those things I desire. He loves me and his inability to shop is NOT any kind of indication of his adoration…so, at his insistence, here are my Mother’s Day gifts:   

IMG_0628Can you tell I am all about color these days?

For years my favorite color changed constantly but for quite a long time orange has been my favorite color and I don’t see that changing. Orange makes me happy! Oh, and we all know I am a total Peace freak so the awesome  orange and silver, peace sign on the face Lucky Brand watch is totally and completely ME! I absolutely LOVE it! *huge grin*

41iaa0gWa6L._AA300_Then there is the fabulous Canon PowerShot digital camera…in a fun “deep red” (although it looks like a bit of a pinky-red to me). I would have gotten an orange camera but I couldn’t find the camera I wanted in orange so hey, at least the one I wanted came in a cool color and not just black or silver!

We have Savannah’s pinning in Arkansas on Monday, then we have Shelby’s 21st birthday celebration at the casino next weekend and then our Vegas vacation coming up June 19th…so we needed a new digital camera to document all these wonderful happenings.

Needless to say, I am one happy chica! My camera should arrive from Amazon.com today. Y’all know what that means…more and better pics on the blog, too, right? YEA!!!

Okay, it’s time to try and do some art (stencil cutting, stamp carving and some art journaling, so nothing to strenuous) to push through the pain and feel creative. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend to follow.

By the way, my 200th blog post is coming up quickly and I am going to do a fantabulous giveaway to celebrate. I hope you’ll stick around and be a part! WOOT!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Multiplicity

Most days that I post, I tend to stick to one subject or another but I have so much to share today.

First things first…tomorrow my baby girl, Savannah, turns 23 years old. *stare* Can someone tell me how that happened? scan0009 Seriously. I mean, it was just a few weeks ago that the child was just learning to walk and climbing all over my Mom (in this picture holding Savannah, and who passed away when Savannah was only 3) and now here she is turning twenty-friggin’-three years old. WOW! Talk about making me feel older than dirt.

Not only is she having her 101_0372 23rd birthday tomorrow but Monday evening we will be in Arkansas at her Pinning Ceremony. She’s graduating nursing school. I couldn’t be any more proud of her, my precious first born baby girl, than I am at this moment.

My beautiful girl really is all grown up, isn’t she?

Wow, that is just really so amazing to me.

At the end of the month, when my precious grandboy, Noah, is out of school, Savannah and him are moving back to Alabama to be close to us again. She is going to get a nursing job here and make their home near us so that we can help her with Noah and so they stay close to her Momma, step-dad & sister.

Shelby-Toad-1 Then, to add on to those momentous occasions, my youngest daughter, Shelby will be celebrating her 21st birthday next Saturday.  TWENTY-ONE, y’all…official adulthood…no longer my baby but a real, full-fledged grown-up.

She’s been married for over a year but they still live with us (they pay rent so it’s not like they’re freeloaders or anything) but I could delude myself into believing she was still my “little girl.”

Nope, not any more…she’s gone and grown up on me, too.

To celebrate her becoming a legal adult, we’re taking them (Shelby and her husband, Toad) to the casino for her birthday next weekend. Neither of them has ever been inside a casino and that’s all she wanted so that’s what we’re doing.

I think it will be fun.

Whew!! The next few weeks are going to be so full but I like that they will be full of good things, events that are good moments in life. My girls and my grandboy are so important to me, so having these times with them is so beautiful.

Focus

I love how my life is unfolding…all of the ups and downs make up this vibrant life of mine. Even with all of the pain and illness I deal with daily, I know what’s important and family is at the top of the list.

Are you focusing on what’s important in your life?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, May 3, 2010

Things Unseen

It was a good weekend…restful, creative and full of love. Well, let me be honest, all my days are full of love. But it most certainly hasn’t always been that way. No, not by any stretch of the imagination.

The Busy-ness of LifeMy first marriage was to an alcoholic who was mentally abusive. Almost 20 years of constant battling, being made to feel like I was unworthy of anything better…I am still working on overcoming all of the harsh effects of that past life.

Somewhere deep inside I knew better and that little place would rear its head and I would run…run far and fast, trying to get away from the ill effects that diseased marriage was having on me…but it took me 20 years to finally be done with it.

I like the fact that all of the running I’ve done for the past 4 1/2 years has been from place to place in the normal busy-ness of life. No more running for me, except to the grocery store.

All a part of life, I suppose.

Peace & Love,
Barb

 

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