Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Into the Groove Workshop Giveaway

The response for my upcoming Micro-Workshop, Into the Groove, has been fabulous! Thank you all so much for your excitement, your encouragement, and to those of you that have signed up already. You are such wonderful friends and followers; I just couldn’t ask for better.

Now, if you don’t already know about Into the Groove, go HERE to read all about it before you read further (just so you’ll have all the details of what it is that you’re registering for in the giveaway.)

Anyway, I know that the workshop doesn’t open until October 18th but I’m so excited about it, that I want to do a giveaway (just like I told y’all I was going to do.)  Now, even if you’ve already registered, don’t worry…this giveaway is still for you so never fear.

Here are the details of this awesome giveaway (if I do say so myself)…if you win the giveaway you win FREE entry into the “Into The Groove” Micro-Workshop (if you’ve already paid, I will refund your pre-payment) AND you win another entry into the workshop to giveaway on your own blog! Yes, not one entry but TWO Entries go to the winner!

How fabulous is that?

Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.

So, here’s how to get your name in the running….

  • First, you have to leave a comment on this blog post and tell me what appeals to you most about the idea of the Micro-Workshop. Be sure to leave your email address in your comment. You can format it name (at) wherever (dot) com to keep the spambots from picking up on it.)

To earn additional entries in the drawing, do any or each of the following (be sure to link each of these back to the original workshop blog post, http://craft-therapy.blogspot.com/2010/09/into-groove-micro-workshop.html) and leave a comment for each one of these that you do…

  1. Tweet about the workshop.
  2. Post to Facebook about the workshop.
  3. Write a blog post about the workshop (and be sure to leave a link to your blog so I can come see what you have to say.)
  4. Put the icon for the workshop on your blog’s sidebar.

It’s as simple as that.  Just spread the word about Into the Groove and leave comments (with your email address on each comment so I can contact you if you win) on this post for each of the ways you spread it and each one of the things you do gives you an entry into the giveaway, giving each of you a possibility of 5 entries!  I will draw a winner for both of the Workshop entries on Friday, October 8th at 8am (I’m an early riser, what can I say?)

So, what are you waiting for…spread the word, y’all.

Thanks so much ahead of time. It’s going to be a great time and I can’t wait to get started.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Into the Groove – A Micro-Workshop

I have taken a number of online workshops and classes in the past few years and have loved most every one of them. Each instructor/teacher has a different way of doing things because, let’s face it, we’re all individuals so we’re going to put our stuff out there in different ways. Some have instructed or led mainly by video and others more through writing/pdf’s and each way is great because it fits the subject and the teacher.

One thing that most have in common is the price, usually in the $50-$75 range…not extremely expensive but a little more on the high side when so many of us are hurting financially. Sometimes it can be hard to scrape up that kind of extra money all at once…I know this feeling too well. There are a couple of classes starting soon that I would really love to take but I just don’t have an extra $60 or $70 bucks right now.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have a bit of an answer to the dilemma…I am going to offer Micro-Workshops.

What in the heck is a Micro-Workshop? 

Instead of being 6, 8 or 12 weeks long and consisting of just as many videos and tons of downloads and pdf documents, my Micro-Workshops will be priced at a very reasonable $10-$15 each and will consist of 1-2 videos and a workbook.handout in pdf format.  Each micro-workshop will offer you the opportunity to  focus on one area intensely without requiring weeks of time to devote to it.

Think of it as taking steps in the direction you want to head…just one step at a time.

I still have workshop videos and workbooks from previous classes I’ve taken that I’ve never finished. Doesn’t mean they weren’t good, not by any means, just that they were long enough that I lost interest.  With a Micro-Workshop, that won’t be a problem…small and focused so there is no chance of losing interest when it’s short and sweet but intense. No long term commitments, no weeks or months invested, no big financial investment, either, but lots of new ideas, information and tons to learn, none the less.

The first Micro-Workshop I’m offering is Into the Groove, open beginning October 18th, 2010. 

If you want to begin your own art journal, learn what it takes to create great art journal pages, and begin creating them in your own unique style…this is definitely the workshop for you. No information overload, just the basics…and it’s affordable, too. Just $15.00 gets you in the class…and everyone of every skill level is welcome and will take away new knowledge and ideas.

What do you get?

  • A 60 minute video taking you from the intimidation of the blank page through the stages that create a great journal page…not meant to tell you just how to do it but to inspire & encourage you to find your own, individual style and to create journal pages from your soul. I will give you the tools and the encouragement to find your true journaling spirit.
  • A workbook in downloadable, printable pdf format to read, refer back to, and to inspire you along the way. It contains nudges to get you moving, creative ideas, a few techniques, a bucket load of prompts and lots of motivation and encouragement as you find your journaling groove.
  • A members-only private blog (and Flickr group) where you can ask questions, post your accomplishments (and there will be many, I promise), and make friends with like minded art journalists like you…newbies and old hands, alike.  The blog will remain active for 6 months, giving you plenty of time to explore and play and make friends to enjoy the journey with.
  • Me. I will be available to you most days through email, Twitter and on the workshop blog. I will be available to answer your questions, give critiques or offer ideas or encouragement (or maybe a little nudge here and there to push your journaling  just a little further).

For $15.00, you just can’t beat this great deal.  So, if you’re someone who has wanted to start art journaling but you don’t know where to begin, if you’re looking for a creative outlet, maybe you want to find a way to tell your story or express yourself and nothing has “fit” yet, or maybe you just want to some fresh ideas to make pages with a newfound joy, make the decision to join me on the journey Into the Groove, won’t you?

Into the Groove – Micro-Workshop
Open beginning October 18th, 2010

Be sure that your paypal email address is the address is where you want your workbook emailed to you…I will send them out on opening day (October 18th) along with the address of the workshop blog and the password to get into the blog. That is where you will find the video along with all the support and art journaling goodness that is going to get you Into the Groove!

Be sure to grab a button for your blog, too.Icon

I am so looking forward to sharing this journey with you…it’s going to be a blast.

If you have any questions, leave me a comment (be sure to leave your email address, too) or drop me an email at: craft4therapy (at) gmail (dot) com…I’d love to hear from you.

Oh, and I’ll be doing a giveaway entry into the workshop of not one but TWO entries (one to the winner and one for the winner to give away on their blog) in the next week so be sure to keep checking back!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, September 20, 2010

You May Say I’m a Dreamer…

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life dreaming. Time spent imagining and visualizing the perfect life for us, house, and circumstances. I think we’ve all done this but many of us, as we get older, slowly stop doing this kind of dreaming and fall into the trap of just accepting our lives as they are and fail to keep the dreamer and visionary in us alive. We let this childlike wonder and hunger for something better just die away. We become too busy being responsible adults.

I have realized that is just not an option for me. I can’t let my soul and my spirit shrivel up and die…that’s what I believe happens to those who give up on dreaming.

I may be in constant pain and whine about it all to often here but inside, in my mind, I am constantly dreaming of the life that gives me peace and inspiration…the place that feeds and nurtures my soul and my creative self. One thing I do know is that place is not here in this small Alabama town. I have felt nothing but drained and ill since moving here, as though this place is just sucking the life right out of me.

What am I (ever so slowly) getting around to saying?

Well, for a few weeks there has been a plan in the works…a life plan for the hubby and I…one that we’ve only let a very, very few in on since we do not want to hear any of the negatives that others so often seem to throw at dreamers like us. But I’ve decided that it’s time to speak here about it because so much of what I’m doing these days is directly or indirectly related to the dream…

Coming up on or about May 1st, a mere 223 days or 7 months & 11 days, we are packing our scaled down belongings into a Uhaul, hooking our car up behind it and heading for the Florida coast to live our dream. A place where I can paint and create all day and Richie can pursue the job of his dreams, too.

Our dream of living on a sandy beach, playing in the waters edge (and watching our little Chloe play in it, too), hearing the waves lapping at the shore from our porch and through the curtains as we drift off to sleep. Our dream of living peacefully with the blue-green waters as our neighbor, seashells and sand beneath our toes as our evening respite, seagulls and sand crabs as our little wildlife friends, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets to start and end our days.

There is nothing stopping us. I firmly believe that the biggest obstacle that keeps each of us from our dreams is our own fear and we, together, have let go of any fear of beginning a new life, one of our own choosing.

We have chosen our place we want to go, we’re starting to slowly downsize our belongings, we are working on a new job that is the answer to what the hubby dreams of doing for a living, we’re working on the financial aspect of moving and starting a new life, and we’re doing all the other things needed to prepare for this wonderful adventure. No fear, just excitement.

My grown children live with us right now but we’ve told them they have to move out by November 1st…this will give them time to settle into being grown-ups and to learn to deal with their own responsibilities before we are too far away to help them if they absolutely need it. I want them to be happy and healthy and on their own and there is no better time to start their lives, away from Mom & Richie, than now, while we’re still nearby because soon we won’t be.

I’m sure there are some of you that are thinking we are crazy and that’s okay. Nothing great was ever achieved without great risk and we are willing to risk it all in order to have it all.  What is “it all?” Finding peace, loving the surroundings we live in and that we can thrive in, doing what we love (which is art for me, you all know that) and creating the life we want to live.

It’s not a dream anymore, it is a reality…a reality that we are working ever so hard toward and that we have a plan to obtain…and we will. We are. It’s on the horizon and I absolutely can’t wait.

So, if you wonder why I keep ridding myself of art supplies on my Etsy or selling artwork that I had previously thought I’d keep forever, why I am doing all this selling on eBay or any of those sorts of thing…it’s all for the dream. To finance the dream and to downsize our stuff since the dream is to have a little cottage right on the Gulf of Mexico so we don’t need all this stuff. We need to really streamline our belongings…from clothes to books and I know I have to really got to streamline my art supplies.

So, be sure to check out my Etsy shops for goodies at great prices (if you see something you like, email me an offer…I won’t be offended.)

That’s what is new with me. Kind of a biggie, huh?

What’s new with you guys?

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eating My Words

Here I am, and it’s been six days since my last post which said how I was going to be better about posting on my blog. Yeah, I’m doing real well, aren’t I? 

But seriously, I do have a few good reasons why I’ve not held up to my end of this blogging bargain…most of it is health related and I know y’all get sick of hearing how bad I feel, how much I hurt or any of the other reasons that I moan about so often. But it’s true plus I had a tooth pulled and it’s giving me fits, added to my horribly aching legs. They are seriously killing me, big time…but I’m here.

IMG_0528Even dressed my little precious one, Chloe, up in her Halloween outfit for a minute today.  I adore this pup…she is my constant companion, staying with me every moment of the day. She naps with me, paints with me, watches me read books, and even likes to watch Youtube videos with me. I guess she is our baby since we can’t (and don’t want to) have any human babies.

It wasn’t until I saw this pic that my daughter took of Chloe and I that I realized that my recent weight loss is showing, finally. I still have the extra chins (gah!) but not near as bad as they once were. YAY!  Oh, and yeah, I’ve cut all my hair off (it’s about 3/4” long all over) and I’m liking it but it needs to be blonded up a bit or, at least, some color on there besides this ashy-funky-brown…and I’ve pierced my nose. Something I’ve always wanted to do and since I have a hubby who loves me just like I am, craziness and all, I just went and did it.

I think it’s a second teenage-hood, I guess. Whatever it is, I like just doing whatever I like and not being fearful that I’ll be scolded or laughed at like I was with either of my first husbands (yes, I’ve had two previous husbands.)  Richie just laughs, like he did when he saw my nose-ring or today with Chloe’s fairy outfit, and loves me even more.

Man, that feels good.

So very, very good.

Anyway, lots going on in the artsy department, even with my feeling like bear crap this week.

IMG_0532 I pushed myself to finish up a couple of pieces (this is one of them) that were bought on commission and really need to be in the mail tomorrow. Well, treth is, they really needed to be in the mail earlier this week but, well, family “stuff” and my messed up health and trying to finish up my paperwork for my disability and going to the dentist have all trumped getting the pieces out and on their way.

I hate it when that happens but life does happen so we just have to do the best we can do, right?  That’s what I’m doing…the best I know how to do.

I don’t do much of the “Pretty Girls” kind of art anymore since they seem to be very overdone after Suzi Blu’s classes have flooded the market with TONS of them. I mean, the whole art scene doing their own version of them but I had these two and a relative wanted to buy them so…

Hey, I’m trying to make a living here….don’t look at me that way!

Sheesh! LOL

I have started, after reading Kelly Rae Roberts blog, putting those things I need to accomplish in a planner and marking them off as I finish each one. It’s good to see what I need to do and to also see those things marked off as I achieve each goal. My days are feeling more productive with this way of keeping up with things.

One of the biggies on my calendar is an Art Journaling Micro-Workshop I am going to be offering.  Keep that little idea in your head and I’ll tell you more about it in the next week or so…right now I’m working on the video and pdf for it…so, more details coming soon.

Right now, it’s late and I’m hoping the pain pills kick in soon so I’m out of here for now.  Lots of painting on tap for this weekend and a Dr.’s appointment tomorrow but I will check in with you all in a few days.

Until later….

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Inspiration of Frida

I had every intention of filming a video to share with y’all today but I wound up with so much to do yesterday that I never got around to filming it…you know what they say about the road to hell being paved with good intentions, right? I have got a couple of things I want to do some videos on so I really am going to put serious effort into getting those filmed, edited and ready over the weekend.

What I did manage to do yesterday was to finally get out of the house after being stuck in the house hurting for the past week.  I never realized how much I took for granted in life until I wasn’t able to do many of the everyday things as easily anymore. Simple things like grocery shopping, standing long enough to cook a good meal for my family, just simple things that are now so painful that I have a hard time doing them at all.  Sometimes you just have to push through the pain and go do the things you need or want to do, regardless…so I did. Just going to the grocery store, picking up prescriptions, going to the bank and paying a couple of bills absolutely wore me out!

I guess it’s just part of this whole fibro thing but it sure seems to be getting worse.

frida_ver3 The good thing about needing to rest was finding the movie “Frida” just starting on Starz! How have I missed watching this fabulous film? I have never been a huge Selma Hayak fan but that changed after watching her compelling portrayal of Frida Kahlo. I have loved Frida’s work for quite some time and I suppose it was mainly because of it’s Mexican influence and just because SHE always seemed so real in her self-portraits but now, after seeing what her life was really like…oh my, I am loving her ten times as much as before.

If you haven’t seen the movie, you need to watch it. Whether you’re an artsy person or not, “Frida” is still a movie well worth watching.

I have tons of stuff to list on ebay, more supplies to go through and list some of them on my supply Etsy, some art to photograph (and some to finish) to list on my art Etsy, and tons of decluttering and cleaning that needs to be done. Unfortunately I got NONE of any of those things done today. 

What did I do instead? 

Well, other than an hour early this morning, an hour around lunchtime and the past 2 hours (it’s almost 8pm as I write this), I have slept. Yes, I have literally slept all day. Talk about a wasted day! I know that I needed the rest (or I wouldn’t have been able to sleep) but it just feels like I’ve missed out on a whole day of doing things I want or need to do when this happens.  Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Heck, with all the sleep I’ve gotten today, I will probably be up all night painting & journaling.  That wouldn’t be such a bad thing since the middle of the night is when this house is at it quietest and I love that time.

Until next time….

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Balancing Act

I often wonder how so many other blogging artist/wife/mother’s do everything they have to do in a day. I can’t seem to fit everything in that needs to be done…and my blog is usually what suffers. I wish some of you that do manage to cover it all would give me some tips or pointers.

One thing that I have promised myself is that I will be more regular about updating my blog (YAY!), get more of my “need to do” things done early in the day, and I’ll stop watching so much TV (it is such a time killer and a very non-productive way to kill off time.)  As for the blogging part, my updates may not be huge but I am going to make every effort to be way better with my regularity…I’m even shooting for 5 times a week. Yeah, I’m ambitious, what can I say? *chuckle-snort*

Crayolas Question, since I think you all are so smart and all knowing…where is the least expensive place to get posters printed?  I’ve got some cool ideas (like this pic taken by my incredibly talented daughter) that I’d like to get printed to poster size but I’m having a hard time finding a place to get them printed that is priced reasonably. So, any ideas?

Before I head out to the grocery store (my first real outing in over a week, thanks to the fibro pain, ugh!), I wanted to give a quick thanks to my wonderful friend, Sharon (I’m going to work on my glasses, honey, I swear…so many projects, so little time GAH!), and thanks & Hi to all my new followers. I will try and make it worth your while to come and visit.  I am thinking that it’s time that I do another video so I am going to work on that today and, hopefully, have it ready for y’all tomorrow.

Until then…

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Finding Peace

I have so much on my mind and when I get like this, I become totally overwhelmed.

My sister is having some health problems and they are a big enough deal that I’m really concerned. Big enough that she’s hospitalized (for the 2nd time in the past few days) and is being sedated. This pains me terribly and makes me extremely afraid.  I have four brothers and three sisters, all but one are older than me, and with this scare we have going on with my sister right now, the mortality of my siblings (and myself) has really hit me.

It scares me.  Terribly.

There are some big changes coming up in the next few months for the hubby and me. Even though these changes are so exciting and are things we are very much looking forward to, change is always stressful and for a woman like me, overwhelming. Maybe that doesn’t make sense but I just know that is just how it is for me.

I’m working on simplifying and decluttering our life, our house, my art studio…everything. I’ll be honest, I don’t really even know where to begin so I’m bouncing from one area to another and don’t really feel like I’m making much headway right now. If anyone has any good tips for an organized way to shed the excess baggage of “stuff” that we accumulate, please clue me in…I’m at a loss. Of course, this also has me feeling stressed and, yep-you guessed it, overwhelmed.

Tree on Fire All of these things have me searching for peaceful moments and spaces so that I can get a little relief from all this mental weight. I have been creating things that have a very Zen-like, meditative process to their creation.

I have all these saved/rescued pieces of wood, etc. that it has been my intention to use as a base to paint/collage on and this piece, The Burning Tree, is one of those Zen pieces that used a piece of found wood as my base…killing two birds with one stone.  Creating the tiny branches was such a calming process that I’ve decided I need to do another similar one for some more quality destressing time.

My art journals have suffered a little but as long as I’m creating, I don’t feel so bad. I just have to find some creative outlet so that that feeling of being overwhelmed doesn’t get the best of me.

I want to throw a big thank you out to Connie over at Dirty Footprints Studio for her open heart and sharing with me. She is just that kind of wonderful woman and I can’t say how much I appreciate her and her wisdom.  So, thank you, Connie…you are loved.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for this evening. I hope you’re all doing great, creating wildly, and enjoying life.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finding Inspiration

I’ve been having a little problem with my muse…s/he seems to be flitting around my head like an annoying fly but never landing long enough for me to get my hands on the little bugger! GAH! It’s killing me.  I lay my head on the pillow at night (usually very late at night since I am having a hard time falling asleep these days, too) and all these fabulous ideas come flooding into my head but if I turn on the light and grab a journal to write stuff down, the ideas just disappear as fast as they came in the first place.

It’s driving me insane!

So, as I do with so many other things, I have just stepped back and am letting my brain and my NEED to create have a little rest while I look for inspiring reads and pictures and ideas.  I thought I’d share some of what I’ve found with y’all…just in case anyone else is having a little creative block like me. (Each line is a link so click away and grab some inspiration for yourself.)

There are a few of the places that I’ve been finding inspiration lately…there and through emails with a friend that have been inspiring me and cheering me toward that place I want/need to be. Nothing beats the wise words of a friend.

I hope you’re all doing well and finding your creative spirit.

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

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