Friday, December 30, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Yes, I’m saying goodbye…to 2011. I am so happy to welcome the New Year because the old one was far from being on my list of good years in my life. Blech!! So yeah, I am happy to be getting a fresh start; a whole brand new year to work on myself and my life.

I gave up those delusions of grandeur that so many of us have when we start looking toward a New Year…all those totally unrealistic goals (i.e.. resolutions) that we set each January 1st. No, not what I’m doing at all. My goals are not resolutions since we all have those broken within the first 10 days of January. So you won’t hear me resolving to lose 80 lbs. by summer, running a marathon by my birthday, or quitting smoking.

What I do want to do is to improve. Just improve. No unrealistic goals but, instead, something I can actually attain…to improve.

Health-wise, 2011 was a horrible year but I feel certain that 2012 is going to be a much better year for me. I’m not expecting miracles but I really do feel that I will be better and healthier for me.

I hope that 2012 is a great year for you, too.

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still Alive

I am such a bad, bad blogger, I know.

No excuses or anything like that, I just haven’t felt like blogging and, to be honest, there hasn’t been much worthy of blogging about, either.

I have been spending plenty of time painting and experimenting. I’ve been trying very hard to find my authentic artistic voice. I guess you could call it my style or my creative fingerprint.  I think I have finally found it.

From the great beyond2

I had more fun creating this piece. I am aware this is not a style that is for everyone but I can’t worry about that kind of thing. I have to just be true to myself and go with the flow.

This is the result of avoiding my normal scouring of the internet, reading blogs, scouting Flickr for journal pages to post on my Tumblr, etc, etc. I knew I had to step away from the distractions and influence of other art in order to find my own creative voice.

This is the result.

It is the most fun I have ever had painting…it felt so exhilarating as I created it and, I think, that is how I know this is truly me.

Now, to start a new one. I’m so excited.

I will try to keep in better touch but I’m not making any promises. Quite a few major things coming up, including some very major dental work in a couple of days. Dental work that I am dreading beyond belief but I know that I’ll get through it.

I’m not in the holiday mood in the least. I won’t be decorating for Christmas and, unless we go to my sister’s house for Christmas, we really won’t be celebrating it much either. When finances take such a huge nose-dive like ours have, this past year, you don’t really worry too much about decorations and presents. None of it holds its joy or its magic anymore.

Not whining, just being honest. *shrug*

Enough of that stuff, I think I hear my easel calling me….Art on, my friends!

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Life

My daughter and grandboy came down week before last and stayed for four days…and it was good. Being with family is always a good thing…sometimes it’s stressful, too, but I still crave that time with them. This visit was a good one and we needed that time together.

My punkin boy

When Noah comes to Nana & Richie’s he always sleeps on a thick pallet of blankets beside our bed. He has to be near us so we can talk as we go to sleep.…and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

This is the stuff memories are made of, right?

Then, Richie and I headed back to Alabama last Thursday to visit with his parents, Chad (Richie’s son), and Shelby & Toad (my daughter & son-in-law.)  We haven’t been able to go back (due to lack of finances) and see them even once since we moved to Florida…in the entire 6 months!

We had a great visit with everyone. Got there late Thursday night, had dinner at his parents house (we took Chad) on Friday night and got to see Richie’s two brothers then, too. When we got back to Shelby & Toads, we played Phase 10 (a card game) with them & the couple that is their roommates. We went to Chad’s mother’s Birthday Party Saturday evening for a while then brought Chad back with us for Pizza with Shelby & Toad then we played guitar hero for a while. Sunday we vegged with Chad for a while, visited with Shelby & Toad, stopped by his parents house then we hit the road for home, for Florida.

The leaving was tough, though. Richie and I both broke down crying each time we said goodbye to another set of family members…first Shelby & Toad, then Chad, then Harold & Rhemel (Richie’s parents.) Y’all wouldn’t believe how devastated we both felt leaving everyone again.

Pitiful, huh?

I have to admit, though…it feels really good to be home. Really, really good.

Now, back to reality.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, October 28, 2011

Finding Myself

I don’t feel in touch with much these days. I don’t know what’s wrong with me…I am just so disinterested in life, in my art, in everything! I just know that I can’t keep on sleeping almost all day. Seriously, I can sleep about 20 hours a day and still be tired.

Ugh!

Every day that passes that I don’t post, it gets easier and easier to keep not posting. Such a vicious cycle…a vicious, endless, ugly cycle..

Time to buck up, get my head off the pillow and rejoin life. As my sister once told me, fake it ‘til you make it. So that’s what I’m doing…trying to fake it until I really do feel happy again.

Not doing a real good job at faking it right now, though.

I really think it’s some sort of midlife crisis or something. I have this feeling that I need to find myself. I know, sounds corny but I really do feel it, deep down in my gut. I’m working on finding my true voice in my art…cause I’m just not sure. Nothing I have created in a long while feels right, just feels so forced and so contrived…not true and authentic…not ME.

*shrug*

I think I hate Facebook…but it’s like a train wreck, I just can’t help myself from staring.

Am I the only one that wonders why we care what some acquaintance from high school, twenty-five years ago, is doing at their 11 y/o kid’s soccer game? What is the magnetic pull that keeps us going back there? For that matter, what is it that makes us “friend” these people? I mean, they and us, both, didn’t give a crap about staying in touch so what changed just because of Facebook?

I dunno, just some of my thoughts right now.

Okay, I’ve made it back again. I just gotta hang on. do the writing, and make this whole blogging thing a pleasure again.

Cause it is, you know. A pleasure, I mean. It’s just that sometimes we get so caught up in “life” that we forget what it is to LIVE, we forget what it is that gives our lives pleasure. We can’t keep doing that. What is life without these little pleasures?

I know it certainly isn’t truly LIVING.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I’ve figured it out…

I know now what I’m going to do, blog-wise..

This has been my blog home for years now and I don’t want to give it up. So I’m not going to give it up, I’m just going to change my focus here…my focus and probably the blog name. Still thinking on that part.

But I do want somewhere that is 100% art journal related…since that is my passion and that’s what I’ve created. A whole brand new blog/class/workshop…yeah, it’s all of those things rolled up into one.

It’s called, quite appropriately, Art Journaling IIbasically an extension of my Art Journaling tumblr, where I post photos of awesome art journal pages and journals from all over the net. It’s a way to share something I love in an ongoing class/workshop type format so I can bring art journaling to anyone who has an interest without making them wade through my other “stuff.”

If you are an art journalist or just want to be one, I hope to see you over there. If you don’t know if you might be interested in learning to art journal, why not subscribe to Art Journaling II and see if it might just be something you’d like to try.

What am I going to do here? I plan on keeping here about everything else…my life, my other art, my cooking and baking successes and failures. Two blogs, two different focuses.

So, what do you think?

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Shifting

“At some point I believe one has to stop holding back for fear of alienating some imaginary reader or real relative or friend, and come out with personal truth.”
     ~Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton

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When I came across the quote above. it caused me to do some thinking and this kind of deep thinking usually brings about change for me.

I don’t think I have really held back here in my space but I do believe that it being titled Craft Therapy, this blog of mine comes with certain expectations and I have always tried to live up to them. Bits and pieces of my family life, health, home, etc. have always come in but for the most part Craft Therapy has been centered around my creative exploits.

It’s just that it doesn’t seem to be fulfilling me anymore. I don’t look forward to coming here and sharing things anymore. Not that I believe my artistic self is dying back but more that my needs in the online realm are shifting. I love to blog, I’m just not loving to blog here right now. I want to share but I feel an intense need to do it in a different way and in a fresh space.

It’s kinda scary to think about venturing into a new place and starting over but, let’s be honest here, I don’t really have much of a readership here anymore anyway. I know that’s my fault because I’ve not been regular at posting and I’m not offering much new content. No one’s fault but my own.

Anyway, I’m not going to completely abandon Craft Therapy but I am going on an extended hiatus…at least a month or two…and see where the road takes me. Maybe I’ll be back with renewed interest and energy but even if I’m not, I will keep this space open because I believe there is a whole lot of good content here and I hope that it can still serve to encourage and inspire others that might come across it down the line.

Thank you all for reading, those of you that still do, and for keeping me sane when I felt sanity so far away at times. I do hope to keep in touch and that I’ll see you around the art circles now and again.

I can still be found on my Facebook page, my Art Journaling Tumblr and through email, too.

Until next time….

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy August 23rd!!!

I know, I know…it’s been 17 days since I’ve been around. That’s a long time, even in blog time.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks…shipping out lots of goodies that you all ordered (thank you so much for buying…I thank you and my pocketbook thanks you! lol), working on a new Art Journaling Micro-Workshop, spending the weekend with the Grandboy, Noah, as well as my oldest daughter and her boyfriend…just life, you know what I mean.

noah at the beach

Noah had never been to the beach, played in “ocean” water or made sand castles…what a joy it was to enjoy this with him.

Noah and richie at the beach

He was really amazed at the waves in the beginning but he really warmed up and waded right in with the rest of us. What a ball we all had at the beach together.

Savannah and Ricky at the beach2Savannah and Noah at the beach

My daughter brought her boyfriend, Ricky, with them and we really like him. He seems like a good guy…funny as heck! He’s good to Noah, too, and that means so, so much!

As for me, I’m really working lots in my art journals, searching to find my own, true style…my path, if you will. It’s crazy, I’ve looked around at the things I’ve created and they seem to jump around all willy-nilly, style-wise. It makes me question who I am, artistically speaking.

I guess that’s what I’m working through right now in my “art life.”

While I’ve been busy with all my “stuff”, not to mention the health stuff that I seem to continually deal with (doctors appointments, test, etc.), I haven’t been reading a single blog. I know that if I read one or two, I will feel guilty if I don’t read every single blog in my blog list…so I’ve just had to give up reading blogs for a while.

I am going to get back to reading this week, though. I’ve missed all the inspiration and knowing what’s going on in the lives of so many of you, my bloggie friends.

So, tell me…what kind of things are going on in your life? Do tell, I’ve missed you all so much!

Peace & Love,
Barb

P.S. Still lots of goodies in my Artfire shop so be sure to stop in and see if there is something you might need or want! ;-) Thanks bunches!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

WHEW!!!

It’s taken me a few days but I think I have all the art supplies that I’m weeding out right now listed in my Artfire shop…including Caran d’Ache Neocolor II’s and PanPastels!

Be sure to use the coupon code only for my blog readers to get 20% off your total order…use coupon code: BLOG-FRIEND! You can get to my shop by clicking >>HERE<<.

Thanks for any purchase that you make, original art or some of these great supplies…you have no idea how much you guys are helping me out by shopping with me.

Back with some artsy stuff in a day or two, I promise…I’ve been busy, busy in my art journals and want to share some of those with ya.

See you soon!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What I Decided…

Since I know that my readers are from lots of different time zones and that makes it tough for everyone to have an equal chance to grab things that I’m going to be selling, I made an executive decision. lol

I am listing all of my stuff in my Artfire shop and anyone can purchase from there, but…BUT (yeah, that’s a big but!) only the readers of my blog will know about this little extra something…it’s my way of saying thank you for being loyal, being my friend and for sticking with me.

Want to save 20% across the board for your entire purchase from my Artfire shop?

Sure you do!!!

Just use coupon code BLOG-FRIEND (be sure to include the dash) at checkout and get 20% off your entire purchase, supplies and art, excluding shipping.

How does that sound? Great, I hope.

Now, I’m busy listing things today and will probably take me on into the day tomorrow (Thursday) so give me until then if you want to be able to peruse everything I’m sifting out of my supply and art book hoard. lol (I probably won’t get to the books until tomorrow, btw.)

Just so ya know, the coupon code is good for 7 days and can be used as many times as you want during that time.

So, there you have it…now, back to loading up goodies into the shop!

Visit LilyGrace's Studio
SAVE 20.00 % On Order Total
Use Coupon Code:
BLOG-FRIEND
during checkout.
Lonely Tree Studio

Peace & Love,
Barb

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blogger is my Nemesis!!

Hopefully this will post…Blogger is not being cooperative, at all.

Unable to post yesterday (Saturday) as promised because Blogger kept giving me error messages and refused to post my “BIG SALE” post.

*sigh*

Since I wasn’t able to post at 5pm Saturday like I had planned, y’all tell me when you would like for me to post my sale. I want to make sure that as many of you that want to be available at that time can be there.

Give me your day & time request and we’ll try this whole GIGANTIC SALE thing all over again…and maybe it will work.

Peace & Love,
~Barb~

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bargains Galore!

Welcome dear friends, fellow art journalists, fellow artists, family…welcome everyone! I am so glad you’re here!

Mind has been spinning non-stop with creative ideas and with creating some of those sparks lately. Not to mention, I had a birthday last weekend and I’ve been having more and more tests done…so it has been a very full couple of weeks around these parts.

I’ve also been doing some Ebay selling and it’s going decently…not great but not totally pitiful, either.

I’m doing my best to raise funds since I have tons of deductibles to meet with all these tests, not to mention the new meds I’m being prescribed (I’m on insulin now…joy, joy!)

I decided that there are things in my studio that are just taking up much needed space and I need to sell them and I thought I’d do it here, instead of on my Artfire shop. This would give dibs to my blog readers, ever so faithful through my ups and downs. I have some original art, a few artsy books, a couple of sets of Sharpie Poster Paint pens, pastels and oil pastels, a heat bookbinder with extra binding glue, some jewelry supplies, a BIG box of beautiful glitters…just all kinds of stuff. I will work on the post tonight and will go live with the items for sale tomorrow, Saturday, at 5pm CST. 

I promise GREAT prices and super reasonable shipping, too.

Tell your friends and I will see you all here tomorrow evening!

Thanks so much!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back from the Darkside

I’ve gone and done it again…neglected my blog and all of you, my wonderful bloggie friends.

I’m sorry.

So sorry.

Life and inspiration just pops up at these crazy times and just takes over my entire life. I get off in my own little world and just forget to blog.

So, what have I been up to? Here, let me show you…

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These are all listed in my Artfire shop, if you’re interested, and I’ve got so many more in the works, too. If you have a word, name, quote or something you’d like to see me do, let me know.

I’m also working in my art journals more these days. I’ll try and post pics from my journals in the next few days, (Makes mental note to take pics from journals. lol)

It’s crazy how the creative spurt hits and we just have to ride the wave and go with it cause there is no telling how long it will last or when it will end.

I’m also doing my very best to earn money by selling stuff on Ebay. I have been inspired by Kelly at My Dear Trash who makes a nice living by selling thrift store and garage sale finds on Ebay. But, until now, I have been too overwhelmed or maybe just to lazy to try my hand at it.  But this week I got off my butt and listed my first few things….

AE sz4-1

  These American Eagle jeans, size 4, were $3.00 at the thrift store and they are still listed on Ebay but I feel certain they will sell…if not this week, then next week. AE is a good seller from what my research says.

Lucky sz12-4

These Lucky Brand jeans, size 12, were $3.00 at thrift and sold for $14.75.

YB-3

These Yellow Box flip flops were mine but never fit me quite right so they were basically free (since they would have just sat in my closet if I hadn’t sold them) and sold for $11.00.

AE sz8-1

Then there are these American Eagle size 8 jeans that I bought for $3.00 at thrift and sold for $8.25. I think they should have sold for more but that’s okay…just gotta pack ‘em up, move ‘em out and move on to the next one. lol

I used to think that these small amounts weren’t much but when you have lots of things listed, it all begins to add up. I don’t have a ton of listings but I’m getting there, working at it a bit each morning before I do anything else (well, except for my coffee.) Tomorrow I’m hitting a couple of thrift stores and hopefully a few garage sales, too. That should get my inventory up there so I can get my listings up there.

Thank you for inspiring me, Kelly. I’m finally getting it. *smile*

I’ll be back soon, you guys. Thanks for hanging with me.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How I Spent My Holiday

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So, that’s how I spend my holiday. I hope your July 4th, if you’re from the US, was a great one. Mine was…any time I get to spend time with my sister, it’s always great.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, July 1, 2011

Off Kilter

I know what you’re all thinking…”What’s the deal…she promised us some videos and then she goes and disappears for over a week,” right?

I’m sorry. Really I am. Truth of it is that I have been having medical tests out the wazoo for the past couple of weeks…thyroid ultrasound, battery of blood & urine tests, an overnight sleep study…and I still have more to come. So many health issues to deal with and I am dealing with each and every one of them, but it is tiring.

I have also adopted a pup…we named him Kirby…and he is my precious little shadow.

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Tell me, how can you resist that face? When I went to the shelter it was just to look. I have been missing Chloe so much and we haven’t heard a single peep that gives me hope we might find her. And, to be honest, I am so lonely during the days when Richie is gone to work. I am trying to make friends here but it is harder to make friends when we get older.

When I saw this little guy, all matted and dirty and oh so timid, my heart just ached for him…then I picked him up and looked into those beautiful amber/brown eyes and I was hooked. I knew he had to come home with me…and he did.

Kirby is wonderful. He is 100% housetrained (not one accident!), walks on a leash like he’s been doing for life, is not a yappy dog at all and hardly ever barks unless we’re playing hard, comes when we call his name and we just named him a little over a week ago (isn’t that awesome?)…I could go on for days about what a wonderful, loving and smart pup he is but the eyes say it all for me. :)

Anyway, I know those are some pretty lame excuses but they are the truth.

I have began working on my videos…my journal flip through will have to be last since I’m still finishing up the last two pages in my current journal. I have found an editing software that I can work with and I’ve done a trial run through of doing a journal page from start to finish…but whew, is it long!

I think I just take a lonf time in any creative endeavor I undertake, painting, collage, art journaling, mixed media, jewelry, all of them. I know there are people out there that can slap down a journal spread in 30 minutes…I am not one of them. A journal spread can easily take me 6-10 hours to complete. I think it shows, too.

So, stick with me, y’all….I am working on it and on me.

Headed out later this afternoon to have an endoscopy and, possibly, an upper GI for some acid reflux problems I’m having. Such fun, huh?  lol

I’ll be back in the next few days.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Quick Question

I have been wanting to do a video and I know that I am going to do a journal flip through (version 2.0) but I’d like to also do one that YOU would like to see.

So, tell me…what would you like me to do a video of to post later this week? A technique, a tutorial, art journaling how-to, just a vlog of me blabbing (lol), it can be anything…you name it! So leave a little comment and tell me and I will do it.

Now, back to what you were doing.

Peace, Love & Thanks!
Barb

Friday, June 17, 2011

Define Yourself

Hola, my beautiful, kind and loving friends.  I hope this finds each of you with a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart.

As for me, I’m doing pretty good. Still struggling with health issues but I suppose I will probably do that for the rest of my life.

Good news is that I did find a new doctor here in Pensacola and I LOVE him! I just don’t think I could have found a better doc…he got his MD at Harvard and has been voted in the top 200 physicians in the country every year since 2006. Pretty impressive on paper and even more impressive in person…he spent 30-40 minutes with me on my first visit. That alone blows me away but he also really wants to get to the bottom of all my issues. YAY!

In other news, lots of paint flinging and art journaling going on in the studio these days and that makes this chickadee feel wonderful. I adore it when the creative spirit that is in each of us just jumps up and goes crazy in me.

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And, I have been pouring things out in my art journal, too. I’m so glad that it’s fun again cause I have missed my journal time each day. It has always brought me such peace and I need that relief. I finished up my “Chloe” spread (you saw the “before” shot in my last post, right?):
Chloe - finished

Finished another spread:One day at a time

And now it’s time to finish the last 2 page spread and the one final page of this journal so I can start fresh with a new journal. I just love that fresh, crisp white brandnewness (yeah, I made that one up) of a new journal, all perfect just waiting to be lovingly smeared and smudged with paint and etched upon with pens and pencils and markers.

Maybe things are on an upswing…one can hope.

So tell me, what’s new with you?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Losing Myself

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I love getting my hands dirty…well, dirty in a paint kind of way. It makes my heart feel good and my soul just soars when my fingers start spreading the paint around on the canvas. As my friend Heither (yes, that’s how she spells it) put it, it is my form of meditation. I never realized it but she’s exactly right. Creating is my meditation.

I’ve been working in my journals again, finally. For quite some time it has been a real struggle for me to really get into journaling the way I used to get into it…but it has come back. That’s what happens with most things that we love…they wax and they wane.

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I started this one a while back and when the urge to journal came back, I started here and it was actually fun again.

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This one is still in progress…more writing and doodling to be done but it’s getting there.

I only have a couple more spreads in this journal before I’m done and will move on to my next art journal, my next experimental journey into my creativeness, trying techniques and in quieting my overactive brain. My next bit of meditating with paint on my fingers.

Art journaling is a love affair.

But every bit of creating that I do is a love affair for me…each piece I create is a little piece of my soul that I put out there.

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This is another piece that I’m working on right now. She is definitely a work in progress with a ways to go but she’s getting there..

I’ve also got some jewelry that I’m making for the shop, some smaller pieces of mixed media,, and even some journals in progress, too. Before I can work on any of them much, though, I have a custom order for a quilted book/bible cover that I am working on for a customer. I love doing those…they let me just lose myself in the fabric and the sewing.

It’s all about the creative process, I suppose.

I wonder, what do people do that don’t have creativity to lose themselves in?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, June 6, 2011

You are What You Like

I was thinking this morning, thinking so hard that it damn near hurt.

I came to a realization that I have limited myself in so many things, especially my art, because of what others might think about me. I know that can be a hard admission but it is an admission I NEED to make out loud and not just in my head. I think by doing it that way, I might actually be able to get past it.

I hope you will all bear (or is it bare?) with me while I do a little verbal vomit…

I like sweet little flowers. Really, I do.

I also like pink and yellow and girly colors; I like birds and butterflies and dragonflies and even mermaids; I like quilts and lace, ruffles and frilly things; I don’t like crochet as a general rule but I am growing to like doilies to use in my art sometimes. I even realized that I actually do like to wear dresses (even though I swore after my mother’s funeral that I’d never wear another dress in my life because we are, indeed, entitled to change our minds!)


(Remember this page from back in 2009? Very pink & girliefied. lol)

In juxtaposition, I like rusty bits and old keys and gritty, grungy things; I like voodoo dolls and Jolly Roger flags; I like tattoos and piercings and shaving my head (not because of any reason other than it is cooler and less maintenance than having hair); I like messy, layered  and collaged pieces of art just as much as I like gradient transitions of color that change from one color to another without your ever knowing it; I like overalls covered in paint and going barefoot.

(then there is this page from last year that is much darker and edgy, right?)

I guess I am just a contradiction in terms…I like the grunge and I like the girly. And that is perfectly okay.

I’m learning that it is perfectly okay to like what I like and I shouldn’t allow myself to be limited and boxed in by what others might think of me for tastes and preferences and for creating the kind of art that I like to create.

If we don’t give in to our own likes and dislikes, create those things from the whispers of our soul and those things that make our heart sing, then what in this world are we doing any of this for?

Tell me, are you holding back because of what other people might think? Are you shying away from the art or colors or clothing you really like because of the opinions from the outside?  What would you create (or wear or do) if no one else on earth mattered but you?

Tell me…I really, really, REALLY want to know.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, June 3, 2011

Something New

We all have dreams, right? Well, it’s been said that goals are just dreams with deadlines and I’m tired of having dreams but never quite reaching them so it’s time to turn those dreams into goals.

Through my friend, Trece, I found a button on her blog for something called 3in30 and by following the link I came across this most awesome idea that I have decided become a part. Thanks, Trece!

What the 3in30 Challenge amounts to is a group that have come together to encourage each other and challenge ourselves to accomplish our goals, three at a time each 30 days.

You can get more info and join in by clicking the button above or in my sidebar (it will stay there.) I need all the help I can get in attaining my dreams and goals. Seriously, can’t we all? Do you have goals you’d like to reach and really need some encouragement and gentle pushes and prods to help you get there? Come join…I’d love to have friends in the group!

Now, I’m late in joining this month so my 3 will be in a little less than 30 but no matter, I’m in! Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

My 3in30 for June:

  1. List 20 items on Ebay each week in an effort to increase our income. In the style of Trash to Treasure (fabulous blog, btw!), I will buy good stuff at thrift/garage sales and list them for sale on Ebay each week. If an item doesn’t sell, it will be relisted the next week and that relisting DOES count toward my 20 for the week. So, over the course of 30 days that means I need to have listed 80 items (including relists.)
  2. Complete and list no less than 3 new pieces of art/jewelry in my Artfire shop each week. Listing of supplies do not count, only pieces I’ve created, painted, sewn, etc. This means over 30 days no less than 12 new pieces listed in my Artfire.
  3. Start exercising. I realize that I’m out of shape so I’m going to start slow…three days a week I will workout in the exercise room here at the apartments. Doesn’t matter if I do it am or pm but no less than 30 minutes of exercise and 30 minutes of walking treadmill/riding bike done three times a week. I can do more but I can NOT do less.

I think those are all very doable goals and each one is something I want to do, I just need to be held accountable to make sure I actually do them and don’t weasel my way out.

Hold me to these, won’t you?

Happy Friday everyone…have a great weekend!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

These are a few…

…………………….of my favorite things.

I’ve always wanted a bird and not just any bird but an Umbrella Cockatoo. I found one at a local pet store and we fell in love from the get go. We snuggled and kissed and I so wanted to bring him home with me. *shrug*

Maybe if/when my disability comes through I can get him. I just get so lonely now that I don’t have Chloe to keep me company and I can’t imagine getting another pup but a Cockatoo, that would be awesome!
cockatoo-umbrella

I love the beach and especially seeing sunsets at the beach. Walking along the waters edge as day turns to night and the breezes begin to blow. I love everything about the beach but sunrise and sunset are my very favorite times.
Pensacola-Beach -Waterfront_16

With summer temps already hitting in our neck of the woods, I am all about having a salad as a meal and the Wedge Salad at Outback Steakhouse has become my very favorite. I could eat it every single day. Nom-nom-nom!
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I’m working in my art journals more these past few days now that we’ve gotten settled in and I can find all of my stuff. I had forgotten just how much I love writing and doodling with my Sakura Glaze pens, too. I love how easily they lay down ink and how glossy and gorgeous it looks when dry, too. Good stuff.
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What kind of things are on your favorites list these days?

Oh, and one last thing…today is the last day to donate to the Haleyville, Alabama Tornado Victims Fund through my donate button up at the top of my left sidebar. I know there are so many areas that have been hard hit by mother nature this year but Hackleburg, being so close to our home in Hamilton, holds a special place for us. Besides, it’s a tiny little town and has really gotten lost in the shuffle, behind all the big name towns like Tuscaloosa & Joplin, Missouri. I encourage you to give what you can…and thank you.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Sunday, May 29, 2011

At Last…

I finally finished her…and she’s even better than I imagined.

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Now to finish some of the other pieces that I’ve got going.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

So Much to Tell…

Y’all know how I get all overwhelmed with things? Well, that’s how I am this beautiful Wednesday morning. So much I want to tell you about, so much going on and so many goodies to share…so, I think I’ll do some bullet points to make quick work of it (the studio is calling my name loudly this morning!)

  • I’m beginning work on a new online class, this one for beginning art journalers. It will cover creating a journal from scratch (in an easy-peasy way, of course) through the actual journaling process with lots of techniques and prompts to fight the blank page syndrome that so many of us have struggled with in our journaling. I really think this class will be a great one! Videos, handouts, prompt lists, technique handouts, etc…just chock full of art journaling goodness.
  • Had a great Saturday of thrift store shopping. Found a great dresser for a mere $25, not to mention lots of other goodies. I am really getting into wearing sundresses and I found three in my size that are uber cute and comfy, too.I even managed to decorate our 2nd bathroom with a shower curtain and two rugs for under $8!!! I love thrifting…it gives me a real rush to find a great bargain.
  • I am working in the studio every single day. I have lots of canvases beginning to take shape, slowly and bit by bit.I have been working on more than one at a time, that way when I get hung on one, I just move to the next one and work a while. I’ve been trying very hard to forge ahead in creating in my own way and not in the way that I think others create…to make my own path, I guess you could say. It’s working for me so far so I’m just going to keep on truckin’ with it.
  • I swore to myself I wasn’t going to take anymore online classes for a while. I still have materials from other classes I’ve taken that I still need to work through so taking more seems wasteful. But, there is always a but huh?, when I saw that Claudine Helmuth was giving an online class on collage, I couldn’t resist! So yeah, I have another class I’m taking starting next week. YAY!!
  • I finally broke down and retained an attorney to help me with getting my disability. I’ve done as much as I can on my own and if I want the wheels of justice to move at a fairly quick pace, having a lawyer that knows the system and the judges is one sure way to speed things up. I am hopeful that we’ll get a hearing on my appeal before the end of the year. *crossing fingers*

I’ll leave y’all with this…it is the face makes me smile and laugh, takes care of me and makes me unbelievably happy!
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Gosh, I love that man of mine!

Anyway, happy humpday, y’all. Back soon with some progress shots.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Emotional Work

Do y’all remember the sketch that I started while I was dealing with my broken shoulder back in December and January?

This sketch is the one I’m talking about:

I know that a whole lot of people do portraits but I’ve never really done them…and she’s not exactly a portrait anyway, She’s just this idea that came into my head. And she sat on my sketch board at the side of my bed for the past 5 months…staring at me.

Today I woke up and before I could even get a cup of coffee I had an uncontrollable urge, no…make that an uncontrollable need to go straight into my studio and do something, anything with her. I felt like she had sat patiently waiting to become something and today was meant to be her day.

I spent the entire day in there, painting and collaging and shading and changing and doing all those creative things that we do when we’re working on a new piece.

The strange thing is that it was an overwhelmingly emotional day. I cried off and on the entire time I worked on her; I cried off and on, mostly on, for the entire day. Sobbing cries. Gut wrenching, tearful cries that I came from somewhere deep inside me…some place I didn’t know existed.

Pretty Girl

I just don’t know why working on her affected me like that…nothing like this has ever happened to me.

It’s very strange, indeed.

She’s still a work in progress but I really hope that when I return to work on her tomorrow that it’s a little less emotionally charged.

That’s how I spent my Thursday…how was yours?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Dream Come True

Hi y’all.

Well, we have made it to Florida, Pensacola to be exact, and are all moved into a great little two bedroom apartment that totally fits what we were looking for when we got here.

Everyone knows about my depression, my stresses, and my plethora of illnesses…I’ve talked about all of this more times than I probably should have in the past.

We’ve been here for 13 whole days and in that short time, I already feel better. My stresses seem to have mostly floated away sometime around day 4 or 5 (about the time I was getting most of our things unpacked) and my depression also seems to be lifting with each passing day.

The beautiful sunshine, the soft breezes, the unbelievable cheerful attitudes of almost everyone we have met or run into…it all seems to be having an effect on Richie and me, both. We have dreamed of being in a place like this, of being in Florida, and along the way I worried, I paced, I fretted but I never, NEVER gave up the faith that we would get here and that it would be good for us.

We’ve ventured out into the city that is now our home and enjoyed the farmers market on Saturday morning, a visit to the Naval Aviation Museum (we are the home of the Blue Angels, ya know), lots of walking on the beach, some awesome meals of fresh Gulf seafood at great local restaurants and so much more. We really are falling in love with Pensacola and it feels more and more like home every day.

I know that being gone almost two weeks from my blog is quite a long time but it’s been so busy moving and getting settled in that I do hope you’ll all forgive me. I hope to make the time away worth your while, too. I’m just about settled into my studio and am going to be recording some new videos about art journaling (technique and journal flip-throughs), crafting, sewing and maybe even some cooking,if I get adventurous. lol

That’s where we are…nesting in our new home town.

Now that I’ve broken my silence, the next posts will come easier. Back soon, y’’all.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Boxes and Hope

Well, I’m quite overwhelmed with all the bad news that surrounds our area of Alabama right now and, being the highly sensitive person that I am, have had to turn the news completely off. It is all that is shown on the news here and it absolutely makes my soul ache each time I see pictures or videos of the devastation and the devastated.

We have personally donated nine large garbage bags and boxes of clean, used clothing, blankets, pillows, personal care items  and household goods. That has made my heart feel good.

Although we are completely surrounded by boxes since our move is only 3 days away, I have so many ideas and dreams that are filling my head. I’m making plans and dreaming HUGE dreams. So much that is good fills my thoughts as I pack our things for this move.

I know that I have wanted to make a real go at making my art and creative based offerings a true business but I’ve only dabbled at it. I’ve wanted the rewards but haven’t put in the work that I should have to see results I’ve wanted to see.

I’ve told you all before how I adore Goddess Leonie and how great she makes me feel. She has just opened a brand new e-course, “How to be a Business Goddess,” and it is really fueling my fire and sparking my passions in ways I’ve not had before. In this course she is sharing how she has gone from working a full-time day job and wishing she could live her dreams to actually doing it…and making a 6 figure income at it, too!

I’m devouring every morsel of this course. If this is something you think you would be interested in, and I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to live the life of their dreams, check it out by clicking the banner below. (If you do click and chose to purchase, I earn affiliate commission from your purchase so you’re helping me out, too.)

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Thanks to all I’m learning from Goddess Leonie in this great course, I am hard at work by taking notes, brainstorming ideas and really just dreaming of what I would like to see in a brand new Art Journaling e-course. I do know I am going to fill it with lots of videos, handouts and techniques to share with everyone.

Once we get settled in Pensacola, I will be able to really focus myself on studying Leonie’s Business Goddess course and to building my own new e-course dream into a wonderful reality. I feel so many great things on the horizon. Good things to learn, to share, to be a part of in the coming months.

I believe I feel better today than I have in months.

And listen, if you have questions about the Business Goddess e-course, ask me…I will give you honest answers. I never put things on my blog that I do not wholeheartedly believe in…ever!

Oh, one last thing. I’m thinking of restarting Supply Saturday posts since I will be in an area where I will have access to a much broader area of art and crafting supplies to share with y’all. Let me know in a comment if this is something you would like to see me start up again. Your input means so much to me. Thanks!

It may be a few days before I blog again since we’ll be loading up the ol’ Uhaul in only 3 days so y’all take care of yourselves and be kind to each other.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Unbelievable Devastation

As most of you know, I live in Alabama…northwest Alabama, to be more precise. If you watch the news, have a Facebook, use Twitter, or, let’s face it, have a pulse then you know about the tremendous catastrophe that occurred to my state (and my area of the state, in particular) as well as many other Southern states.

A very small town just 20 miles north of us, Hackleburg, has been basically wiped off the map. It is so bad there that they have run out of body bags and are having to use blue tarp materials to bag the bodies of those lost in Wednesday's furious storm. One of the main employers in this tiny town was the Wrangler jeans plant…this is what it looks like now:

Tuscaloosa, just 70 miles to the southeast of us, is trying to pull itself from massive destruction. There are still nearly 200 people unaccounted for in Tuscaloosa alone.

My family here as well as my precious sister and nephews in Mississippi all escaped the carnage with our lives and our property in tact. We are so very, very lucky.

This morning is the first time we’ve had electricity since Wednesday afternoon about 4:30pm. Our entire town had no power for 2 1/2 days so everyone here has lost all their refrigerated foods which, in the grand scheme of things is a tiny loss compared to the losses others sustained in this bout of Mother Nature’s rage.

It is times like these that I reflect on what is really important in this life of mine. It really isn’t the ‘stuff’, the things but it is the people that are essential; the rest is just icing on the cake…the extras. It has sure made clearing out and packing so much easier. I started with a closet overflowing with clothes and shoes but with so much need in this area, I had no problem weeding my HUGE amount of clothes, shoes, socks, nighties and purses amassed over years down to barely a sliver of what it began as (48” closet rod that was packed overfull down to about 12-14” of clothes.) The rest has been donated to tornado victim relief.

I will be doing Richie’s closet later today and doing the same with his excess.  Seriously, how much clothing do we really need in life? Or furniture? Or blankets, sheets, etc?

I even realized that electricity, the internet and TV aren’t such big deals to me anymore, at least not like they were just 3 or 4 days ago. I’ve learned in a short time how precious and sacred the quiet and stillness really are for me. I have realized what life would be like without city lights obscuring the stars at night and I actually liked it. It’s the first time in I can’t tell you how long that I have curled up in bed at night, shortly after dark, next to my love, our feet tangled together, hearing nothing but the crickets chirping and his breath as it slows, giving way to sleep.

It has given me time to reflect on things.

I believe this horrible episode of nature’s ferocity has changed me, deeply. I imagine it has changed many people.

For the next month (today through the end of May,) any donations made using that little button at the top left sidebar will be 100% donated to the Hackleburg, Alabama victims fund. Not to the Red Cross, although they are a great source of help, but directly to the victims via the local fund raising sources that will aid the homeless, injured and otherwise damaged folks in this area.

You can donate by clicking here.

I encourage you to reach deep and let’s help out some folks who, in a split second, have been left with nothing, some who now are even without family left (my friend, Leah, lost both of her parents in the storms.)

Many thanks.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

At Breakneck Speed

Hi y’all!

I hope you know how much I have missed being here but some changes have come down the pike and Richie and I are scrambling to get everything sold, donated, trashed or packed. The company has come through with his transfer so we are headed for Pensacola, Florida in 1 1/2 weeks!!! Talk about quick!

Anyway, my days are filled with trying to get things in some semblance of order as I weed through everything at warp speed.

I did want to check in and say Hi and let y’all all know what’s up and why I may be a little absent for the next couple of weeks. But trust me, I will be checking in and sharing all the milestones as we trek through this adventure.

Here’s a little something I wanted to share with everyone today, and I hope you all take it to heart:

You are! I am! *smile*

Take care and I’ll be back soon to share new places and happenings.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Journaling Again

It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long but when I looked in my journal last night, I realized just how long it has been. I had even left this page in progress, as though I just paused to answer the door or grab a drink from the kitchen…it was just put on hold, waiting on me to come back.

And I did.

2-24-11 (2)

I’m okay with it so I guess it’s time to move on.

On the Florida move ordeal, we’re for sure going on May 17th at the latest, possibly sooner. I wake up every day and get more excited about getting there, too. I can’t wait to roam our new hometown and get to know places, finding our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, book stores & definitely my favorite thrift stores.  I’m looking forward to sunsets and fresh seafood, relaxing weekends that we spend all day kicked back in the lawnchairs at the waters edge sifting through shells and drinking beers. lol

It feels like Richie and I will get to be honeymooners for the first time, too. We’ve always had kids living with us since we met but this will be a huge change since it will be just us, finally. (I love our kids with all my heart but I’ve been doing the parenting thing for over 26 years and I’m tired.)

It won't be long now, thankfully!  Thanks for bearing with me while I’ve been totally stressed out and completely absorbed by the whole Florida thing. Not that I’m over the having a one track mind about the move but I’ll try not to let it consume me. Smile

Peace & Love,
Barb

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