Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ahhh, Fresh!

Crazy that when I set a goal for myself (the art fair) that all of a sudden all the overflowing creative spirit just flies out of my head and leaves me in a lump, wondering where it went.

Instead of freaking out over it, I decided to paint…our kitchen. lol

Okay, picture this in your mind…a house, built in the mid 1930’s, hardwood floors and 12’ ceilings…and the original cabinets are still in the kitchen. Seriously. And I don’t think they have been painted in the past 15-20 years so they were coated with grime and gook and I believe they were once white but had faded to a gross color that was almost brown. *gag* Not to mention the very vintage handles/pulls that were caked over with grease and grime and were discolored.

Anyway…after a few fresh coats of white and spray painting (after soaking and scrubbing) the vintage pulls/handles, our kitchen feels like new to me. (Please don’t mind the dirty dishes in the sink, I was just about to do them but got carried away admiring my work. lol) It’s so much nicer to cook in a kitchen that feels good when you’re in it, ya know?IMG_0782 So that is about the only painting I’ve done in the past few days…and now I am paying for it. My body, especially my shoulder, is screaming at me in aches and pains but I know it’s good for me so I am so glad that I did it.

Now, whatever inspiration hits next is fine by me. Whether it’s painting a great canvas or painting the other side of the kitchen, I’m just going to go with the flow.

All good things in time, right?

How’s things with you guys? I’m heading to try and read blogs as soon as I hit the ‘post’ button and catch up with everyone. Oh, and Jennifer, I narrowed my blog list down from 125 to about 85 and most only post occasionally so you’re right…it is much easier this way. Thanks!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Drawing…

a blank.

Can anyone tell me why is it when I most want to create, after I’ve made the commitment to really get busy with it, that is when I draw a complete blank in the creative department.

What’s up with that?

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bullets over Broadway

  • My doctors visit today brought the good news that my heart is doing fine and I am in better shape, cardiac-wise, than we had once thought. This is such HUGE weight off my shoulders. I can’t tell y’all how much better this news makes me feel. My doc has even cleared me to start exercising and even encourages me to start an exercise program…something I know I need to do.
  • In addition to joining the gym, the only way I’m going to get any exercise cause I know me, I am a lazy slug…I am going to be cooking much, much more and doing it much healthier than ever before, too. I’m from the south and we eat so many fried foods and potatoes at every meal but I have got to stop all that foolishness. I AM going to stop it, too.
  • I’m making some serious steps in my art life, too. I have pretty much decided that I am going to do my first art fair. What that means is I have to hunker down and really start putting my art together…since the fair is in March. YIKES! lol
  • In order to put all of these good intentions into action, I am going to have to take a little break from my endless, mindless hours on the internet…including reading blogs. I hate mission out on things but I can spend hours, literally HOURS, reading blogs. I have got to stop doing that if I’m ever going to really get anything done.

I’ll be checking in. Wish me luck (I’ll be posting progress here and there, I promise.)

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Art & Healing

So many of my blog posts have been and continue to be about Art & Healing…in my life, especially the past 5 years or so, the two have gone hand in hand. I am certain that my health would be ten times worse if it weren’t for having art as my daily outlet and healing exercise.

I’ve been working small scale lately, a 4x6 ring bound journal that I made from stuff I had around the house. Just something small that I can do a whole page quickly at night before I go to sleep and it is answering my need to ‘let it all out’ for the time being while I have so much else going on.

tumblr_l6go4zz7bs1qayi0mo1_500

Anyway, a few updates:

  • Richie’s Epidural Nerve Block…it has given him tremendous relief from the terrible pain he has been dealing with for weeks. He had a bit of a rough weekend as the steroids injected into the problem area first caused even more swelling before they could begin decreasing the inflammation; thankfully he had pain meds to ease him through the first few days.

Come Monday morning he woke up feeling, in his words, “like a new man,” and says his pain is 80-90% decreased already. Talk about welcomed relief. You can see it in his face. No more grimacing with every movement he makes or grunts as he tries to sit or stand. I feel like this treatment has been quite the miracle already.

  • Speaking of Monday morning, we were up and at it early again yesterday, with cardiac testing appointments for me out the wazoo!

First up was my stress test…apparently, I was already in the midst of the test before even arriving since my stress level was on HIGH and had been for days. Thankfully I had asked (ordered? demanded? pleaded?) that my husband go with me since my fear about this test was completely overwhelming me and I really needed him there with me.

 Because of my still healing broken shoulder (does this kind of stuff really happen to other people?), my stress test had to be done chemically instead on the treadmill, like I had pictured. UH, WHAT?!?! You’re going to inject me with some drug that will cause my already ailing heart to engorge with blood and then add a radioactive dye to it and keep me like this for 3 1/2 hours???? Cue my stress level quadrupling, throw in three buckets of tears and you’ll have an idea of what a blubbering, inconsolable mess I was during this crazy test. My poor doc (whose hand I crushed so severely when I was being injected that he will certainly never perform even the simplest of surgeries again) and the stress tech guy are probably scarred for life after my freak out but they’ll live.stress

It was nothing. Easy peasy. I breezed through it. Seriously, I did. The worst part was waiting around 45 minutes between scans and having to raise my left arm over my head (broken shoulder, remember?)

I freak out like this occasionally, what can I say.

Next up was the Echo-cardiogram. I had no clue what this test was going to be and, having a medical background, I really should have known but I didn’t. Needless to say, fear and stress levels had now shot back to levels in the red (can you hear the screaming WAH-UH, WAH-UH, WAH-UH alarm going off like on a movie about a submarine under attack? Yeah, that’s how I felt.)

Know what the Echo is?

Basically a sonogram of your heart. Yeah, they use a little scanning wand with a gel on the tip and use sound waves to pick up information about the heart. Want to know the worst part of this one? The gel was cold on my skin. Another freak out, although not as bad as the first by any means, to once again find out it was for no reason.

And then it was all done…except the waiting. I won’t have results from either test until tomorrow. I do hate the waiting game. It stresses me and, as you can tell, I don’t deal with stress very well at all.  I just hope that the results come back and much of my worry has been for nothing…my heart will be in much better shape than we suspect.

That is what we’ve been up to since Friday. Sorry for my absence but, as you can see, it’s been a little eventful time around here. lol

I know I’ve ranted about health stuff but I do want to share something a little arty with you all today, too.  I don’t know if you know Julie Fei-Fan Balzer but I have spent much time over the weekend losing myself in her blog and videos.  I love learning from others and I am learning tons from her (and her name up there links to her blog, btw.)

Since so many of us are Art Journalers, I thought I’d share this video of hers with you since it’s about a subject that I get questions all the time and that I love learning more about, too…lettering in your journal.

Enjoy!


Lettering for Your Art Journal from Julie Balzer on Vimeo.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, January 14, 2011

What Tomorrow Brings

It’s 12:15am and I really need to be asleep but I just wanted to check in before I turn in for the night.

Richie & I have to be up at 5am and on the road by 6am on our way to Birmingham where he is having a steroid epidural thing done to his back. He has 3 bulging and 1 torn vertebral disks that are causing him tremendous pain and this treatment is supposed to give him some great relief.

We really hope it does.

This is only a stop-gap measure to help him make it until we find out better what is wrong with my heart and what I’m going to have to have done (balloon angioplasty? stints? who knows?)  Once we get me in better shape then we can focus on getting his surgery so that he can be well, too.

It’s just one thing after another. I hate to whine, I absolutely hate it! Yet, here I am doing it…again. Just like I whined and cried to my sister tonight. This health stuff is so serious and overwhelming that it just takes over your mind completely. At least, that’s what it has done to me lately.

Well, thanks for letting me just spill a little.

Anyway, by the time most of you read this, we’ll be on our way to Birmingham and I just wanted to ask that y’all keep Richie in your thoughts today…he could really use some relief from all the pain he’s enduring daily right now.

I’ll be back with y’all in a day or two.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dreams Postponed?

I have been creative lately (making journals, playing with fabric, collaging bits and pieces here and there) but working (or is it playing?) in my art journal has eluded me the past few weeks. I’m not sure why. I am not one of those people that can just force myself to work on something…if I’m not into it or not feeling it then it just ain’t gonna happen, no matter how hard I try.

But, with all of the health problems that Richie & I are dealing with right now, it seems as though all of our dreams that we’ve been planning and working toward are on hold, indefinitely.
It makes me so sad.Dreaming 1-10-11

Those thoughts of losing our dream of moving and living on the beach made this page just flow out of me and onto the page.

I like it when my creating happens that way…
organic and intuitive.

Where does your journaling originate from?
Is it ever just not there or do you have an endless supply of inspiration?

For those of you that have recently ordered items from my shop, we’ve been blanketed under 6-8” of snow and ice this past week (and Alabama is completely unprepared for this kind of weather!) so I just got out of the house for the first time so your goodies are now on their way.
I’m so sorry for the delay.

Now, back to working on something special for a dear friend.
I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Love is Like Paint…

That is my thought for the day.
It’s so true, too.
So go…go and give some love today!
Make your world beautiful;
give extra love to those you already love,
show some love to those less fortunate,
show love through kindness to all you meet.
Whatever you do, wherever you go,
be sure to spread your love and don’t let it dry up.

Peace & LOVE,
Barb

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

All Over the Place

There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day right now. I have so many projects going in my studio and I want to finish them all…today. Add to it the books I’m reading, the baking I would LOVE to do, art journaling that is calling my name, another class I want to work on, plushie dolls I want to design and create, some refashioning to pieces of my wardrobe I have ideas for and that list seems to go on and on.

Oh my at the things I’m going to have to show you guys as things start coming together in the next few days! Whew!!!

In my brain I know that I have just as many hours in my day as everyone else does (more than most by way of the fact that I don’t have a day job) but my days just feel shorter and shorter all the time. Maybe once spring gets here and the daylight hours appear to increase, I won’t feel this way so much.

I wonder how others prioritize their lives and projects? How do you do it?

It’s strange for me to go from having what felt like a creative block and unable to come up with a single creative idea to this feeling of overflowing with ideas and creative energy and not have enough time or be able to work fast enough to get them all done.

So strange.

One thing I have done to give myself back some of those once wasted hours is to seriously limit my hours online and my hours watching TV. Instead of spending hours in the morning trying to catch up on reading blogs and watching mindless TV, I allow myself an hour of blogs while I drink my coffee then it’s time to shower and get into the studio! No morning TV eating up my time…and that is helping.

I’ve also cut back on my napping. My meds make naps a necessity most days but I’ve limited myself to less than 2 hrs which should be more than enough to keep me going and not feeling run down or hurting.

And here I am, blogging before bed, having been in the studio most all day. I really love spending my days so full of ideas and getting my hands covered in paint. It feels really good.

I hope the New Year has brought your muse out in full force, too.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wyanne, Winning & Goals!

If you don’t know Wyanne or her art, you have really been missing out on a visual treat.  Wyanne has a wonderfully unique style and when you watch her YouTube videos, you can see how effortless she makes her art seem as though it just flows through her and onto the canvas. She’s truly amazing and her artwork is beautiful.

The piece I have pictured here is one of my favorites of hers (you can find prints of it and many more of her pieces in her Etsy shop,) it’s called “she can see clearly now…” I love it!

Anyway, the reason I’m talking about Wyanne is that I have wanted to take a class from her for ages, it’s just not been something I could do…until now! She recently had a giveaway on her blog and I commented but didn’t figure anything would come from it cause I don’t tend to win things very often. But I did!!! I found out today that I won a place in her Art Play online class!!!

I am beyond excited!

Learning more, expanding my art knowledge and abilities is one part of my goals for the new year. I never want to stop learning and this is such an awesome opportunity to learn from one of my artistic idols.

Yes, 2011 has started out wonderfully for me…and I hope it continues this way. *crossing fingers*

Speaking of goals, I’m not a big fan of New Years Resolutions. Every one of them I’ve ever made, I’ve always wound up breaking and that just leads me to feeling like a failure. I don’t need any more negativity in my life so I’ve been busy making goals for my life in this, the new year. I admire my husband so much and he told me just today that goals without plans are nothing more than dreams…and he’s right. So, for each goal I’ve made, I also have a plan to reach each of those goals.

Mind you, my goals for this year are not those monumental kinds of things that we so often do at the beginning of a new year like lose 60 lbs or workout 5 days a week but attainable, real goals…things like clean for at least 15 minutes each day, list 3 items on Ebay 3 times a week, work in my journal every day (this one should be very easy for me!), be more gentle with myself and general things like these; see?, attainable goals.

One thing that I’m using to help me reach my goals is a website that helps you track your goals quickly and easily. If you need a way to help track your goals check out Joe’s Goals…I think it’s going to really be helpful for me.

  So, lots of good things going on in my 2011 already…and it’s just the first day. I can only hope that things continue this way. I could use a good year for a change…things have been rough for a while so I think it’s our turn for a good one.

I hope you all had a great New Years Eve and that 2011 brings wonderful things, exciting experiences, chances to learn and is just an overall great year full of joy and bliss for us all!

Peace & Love,
Barb

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