Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Life is Meant to be Lived

I often wonder how other people live. I mean, I know what it’s like to live in my house, in my life, with my family…I just wonder about other peoples lives.

IMG_0071So many of you have thanked me for being honest and real…for showing that I, like everyone else on earth, has problems and struggles and that nothing is perfect. That made me start thinking as I looked around at the other blogs I read. Way too many folks only show us the perfect, good, shiny parts of their lives, and none of the ick that we all live with from time to time.

All that seems to do is make the rest of us feel like we are less-than, that we are broken and tarnished in comparison but we’re not. We are normal and, contrary to what they show us, they aren’t perfect, their lives aren’t perfect either. No one has a perfect life…not Oprah or Kim Kardashian or your favorite artist. None of us. None of them.

But, and this is a huge BUT, life is beautiful anyway. Even when it’s far from perfect and the days are dreary and the bills are past due and nothing seems to be going right, life is still damn beautiful.

I know I haven’t mentioned #CarveDecember today and it’s been a few days since I posted but this just seemed more important to me today. Also, today is my mother/sister, Donne’s, birthday so I’ve been busy doing for her and I still have to cook her Birthday dinner (fried catfish, hushpuppies, french fries, cole slaw, rolls and key lime pie for dessert.)

I do have stamps to share and I’ll be back with those in a day or two. You know how busy things get with the holidays so it might take a couple but you guys have my word, I’m not disappearing again.

Much Peace & Love to you all,
Barb

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Buddha–Day 20 of #CarveDecember

A few days of little scrappy stamps while IMG_0088I am feeling a bit low and then BAM!, I come back full force with a doozy of a stamp…

I am absolutely in love with this Buddha I carved today.

I know, I know…probably shouldn’t brag but dang! I can’t help but be a little proud cause he’s pretty awesome. lol

Guess I better hush since I really need to get busy doing some Christmas baking.

And thank you all again for your sweet comments, kind thoughts and your ideas to help us make it until my hubs gets back to work. You guys are the best. We are and will continue to be fine.

See y’all tomorrow.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, December 19, 2014

Scraps–Day 19 of #CarveDecember

Just using up some scraps today since my scrap bowl is getting a little full.

Besides, not only do we all need a little joy (I know I do,) but my precious bees all need a little honeycomb, too. lol

IMG_0085

I hope you’ve got a great weekend planned. For me, a little Christmas baking, more stamp carving, gift wrapping, some art journaling, and finishing up a couple of handmade gifts.

I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas!

Noah (the grandboy) has gone to Arkansas for a few days to have some holiday time with his father and his father’s family. We’re not having our Christmas until the Saturday after Christmas so it’s good he can see that part of his family, too. As long as they have him back home on time.

Time for me to go stalk y’all all on Instagram so I can see what great stamps you’ve all done today.

Have a great night!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day 18 of #CarveDecember

Thank you all…for understanding and your kind words and just for being so dang cool.

*muah*

Onward:

Here are today’s little stamps:

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Nothing big or intricate today…but some days, just showing up and putting in a little effort is enough.

Today was one of those days.

Much love to you all…remember to be gentle and kind to yourself, always.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tendrils–Day 17 of #CarveDecember

I despise days when I ache bad all over and have the icky stomach and my head feels like it’s going to explode and the whole days is just YUK!

Yeah, today was one of those days.

But, keeping to my word (to myself), I carved anyway. In fact, that’s probably why my head has felt like a million screaming 4 year olds were playing inside it all day. But I digress…

IMG_0079Day 17 of this wonderful stamp carving adventure brings Tendrils…just a something I drew up and worked all day at carving, a little here and a little there, until it was done.

Don’t go looking too close or you’ll see all the little oopsies of mine. They add character, though, right? lol

I do like doing these repeating stamps, I just wish I was better at lining them up. Does anyone have any tricks they want to share with me on this?

I have no idea what I’ll end up using this baby for but I’m sure I’ll find some use for it. We all know I love my art journals so I bet it pops up here and there in those.

In other news…

Have you finished Christmas shopping? I have 2 more gifts to buy and I’m done. Thankfully.

I haven’t said anything about it but this has been a tough Christmas to get ready for this year. My husband has gone through some job changes the past couple of months and is now going back to his original employer…but won’t start until the end of January.

It’s been 2 1/2 months since he got a regular check and our savings is wiped out…not to mention that we have no insurance and my meds alone are over $500 a month without it. Why does it always come down to money? I hate that!!!

*sigh*

I am the one that keeps everyone UP and I try to be optimistic about everything but this has really pushed me to the edge. I have tried to just stay quiet about things and keep the smile on my face, reminding him (and myself) that everything will be fine.

And it will.

It’s just hard to not let it get to me sometimes.

*shrug*

Sorry ‘bout that. Sometimes ya just have to unload and whine a little. At least I do.

Like I always say, though, tomorrow will be better.

Peace & Love to you all,
Barb

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Feather / Bee–Days 15 & 16 of #CarveDecember

Would someone please send me a new brain…mine is on the fritz big time! I can’t seem to remember anything these days. And don’t even go to thinking it’s because I’m getting old…I refuse to believe that! lol

Anyway, I just plain forgot to post yesterday so, once again, y’all get a two-fer today. Woo hoo!!!, right? Ha!

IMG_0064Moving right along, I love boxes and I’ve had this one for years but the lid was about to fall apart. Duct Tape to the rescue and all is well.IMG_0065

I put together all of my stamp carving gear into my lovely box so now I have it all together for when I get ready to carve.

Pretty dang sweet, wouldn’t ya say?

Anyway, on to the carving…

Day 15 – Today’s stamp is inspired by the stamps created by Alisa Burke. I absolutely love all of her stamp line but her feathers are so awesome that I just IMG_0066had to attempt a similar one myself.

One thing  she does that I love is incorporating circles into her feathers so I did plenty of those here.

I know that I have made it pretty impossible to tell the size of most of my stamps that I’ve carved during #CarveDecember but this one is almost 6 inches tall.

I can’t say that mine is nearly as beautiful as Alisa’s but I’m pretty pleased with it, nonetheless.

I also think I’ll get lots of good use out of it in my art journals, too.

Day 16 – Today’s stamp is all about my latest obsession, bees.

I love bees.

My nickname from my Daddy was B-B-Doll so maybe that’s part of it. But really, bees seem to have been a theme for my life for as long as I can remember, showing up in so many ways…my first car was a Datsun B210 Honeybee; as a kid they’d just land on me for no reason and never stinging me, either; and more.

I don’t know exactly why but I LOVE them.

So, in honor of my love affair with the bees, I present:IMG_0076This may be my very favorite stamp I’ve ever carved.

Hope everyone is doing great and carving your hearts out!

Peace & Love,
~Barb~ 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Numbers & Hamsa–Days 13 & 14 of #CarveDecember

**NOTE: I wrote the first half of this post yesterday and, being the airhead that I can be lately, I thought I posted it but obviously, I didn’t. So I thought I’d just combine Days 13 & 14 into one post.

Day 13: I’ve thought about carving an entire alphabet before but I admit that the idea really intimidated me. Today I thought I’d inch closer to that eventual goal by starting with a set of numbers.

IMG_0061Crazy enough, these turned out to be much easier than I expected…until I decided to throw in a little punctuation to use the bits I had left after carving my numbers. The exclamation point is fine, the question mark is, forgive me, questionable…and that damn ampersand is HIDEOUS!! lol

Oh well, it happens! Who cares, right?!?

I do think I’m going to try to do the whole alphabet thing a little later in the month, after I improve a little more. I mean, practice does make perfect…er, well, practice makes improvement. Yeah, I’ll go with that one.

Day 14: I spend wayyyyyy too much time on the internet. This is no secret to anyone that knows me and I am trying to work on this addiction of mine.

IMG_0063Anyway, in my internet travels I come across things that I just fall in love with…today’s carving is based on a photo I came across on the net.

The Hamsa (also known as Hand of Fatima) is all over the place on the internet these days but, for clarity, it isn’t something that is a religious symbol for me personally. I just love the idea behind it (Hamsa is an icon used by man as a defense, in his struggle against the forces of evil or the evil eye.) Wouldn’t that be cool…that just wearing this beautiful symbol would protect the wearer?

Anyway, just letting you guys know from where today’s stamp idea came.

In other news, weekends are something around my house right now. My husband is between jobs (yeah, right at Christmas! Eek!!) and I haven’t even started any Christmas baking…this week I will, though, I swear! lol

Hope your weekend is going great.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sun (repeating pattern) Day 12 of #carvedecember


Another short but sweet post for today. I’m just not feeling well…at all.

It happens.

IMG_0060Just a sweet little repeating pattern that forms a sun in the center (or at least it would if I felt well enough to take the time to line things up correctly.)

Do you ever have days that everything hurts, physically and emotionally, and you just can’t seem to find any thing or any where or any one that makes any of it feel better for you?

Well, yeah…that’s kinda what I’m dealing with today. Tomorrow will be better, I’m sure, but for tonight I’m going to just lose myself in my art journal while listening to some mind numbing TV for a while.

Happy weekend, y’all!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Brave–Day 11 of #CarveDecember

I got the sweetest note yesterday about how great my stamp carving is coming along. But sweet thang, you know who you are, don’t say that you can’t do it, too…I promise that you can. And no, you wouldn’t “just mess it all up.” Messing up is part of it…it’s part of any creative endeavor.

Proof (I hope you’re ready to laugh)…today I decided to do another word stamp since that’s something I know I am not very good at and practice makes perfect, right? My word is Brave.

Here’s my first stamp…

IMG_0058I was cruising right along and then, BAM!, I realized that I had carved the whole dang thing backwards!!

OMG! *hanging head in shame*

Not really. Accidents and mistakes are just all part of it….it being life.

So, I inked this backward baby up and stamped it directly onto another piece of Speedy-Carve and went about the business of re-carving in reverse the way I should have carved it to begin with. No harm, no foul.

IMG_0057So here is the finished stamp, done correctly (or, at least as correctly as it gets with me)…

So, you see, nothing and no one is perfect in the least. Most especially not me!

So, sweet blog reader, dig down deep and find your bravest self and just go for it! What do you have to lose? A little bit of rubber and a few minutes out of your day is all.

As with all creativity, it’s about the process and how it makes you feel to do these things. It’s about having fun so go for it!

I had fun with this one…mistake and all.

Peace & Love to all,
Barb

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Line work–Day 10 of #CarveDecember

Just a quickie for today…lots going on in life around here, you know how it is, right?

IMG_0055Today’s stamp is just some straight line work…in a repeating triangle pattern.

I imagine I’ll use it in backgrounds, for the most part. Who knows?

It’s fun and it was relatively easy…just what I needed on a busy day like today.

Happy humpday!

Back tomorrow.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Peace/Flower - Day 9 of #CarveDecember

I managed to get my stamp carving done early this morning and even IMG_0053managed to get them posted to Instagram and Twitter but putting up the Christmas tree, which looks pretty awesome, even if I do say so myself, and cleaning the house a little pushed my blog posting until now. Sorry about that.

Better late than never, though, right?

IMG_0050And look at this precious little elf that helped me put the tree up and decorate…

This is my grandboy, Noah, for those of you that didn’t know. He is my heart. I adore this kid so much. He’s lived with us for the past 13 months and it’s been a rollercoaster ride, for sure…but I wouldn’t trade him for all the money in the world. Most days. LOL

Anyway….

I’m still slowly working on my stamp “masterpiece” carving here and there (I am shooting for New Years Eve) but IMG_0049for today I went with two of my favorite things in the world…Peace and flowers. I really do believe I was meant to be a flower child but I was born about 10 years too late to be a true “Flower Child.”

I never realized just how much daily practice carving these stamps would improve my skills…not that I’m some expert by any stretch of the imagination but I can tell that I’m getting better, bit by bit.

I suppose the same is true for any of our artsy endeavors. When I art journal daily, I know that I feel better emotionally and artfully, not to mention that my art journal pages are better, too.

In fact, I’m thinking that January may have to be an #ArtJournalJanuary for me. One page a day, each of the 31 days of January. Just a little something to help my art journaling practice and skills. No pressure but I would love to have any and all of you join me. But hey, we’ll talk more about it when it gets closer to January.

For now, it’s all about stamp carving for me. I hope you’re joining in and carving your little hearts out this month. Let me know where I can check out your awesome stamps! I’d love to see them.

Y’all have a good night. See you tomorrow.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, December 8, 2014

Frame- Day 8 of #CarveDecember

I am really loving carving these stamps. It’s the one part of my day that I can forget the rest of the world and all the “stuff” going on in life and just relax. It’s so good to just go off into myself and just enjoy creating something.

Today I started work on what will probably wind up being the most complex and time consuming stamp I’ve ever done. I do know it’s not going to be one done in a day, that’s for sure.

I stopped work on my masterpiece (HA!) to have a stamp completed for 015a2a147f3d7861a9f0ceac78148c6ade24030b66today.

I decided to do a little something I’ve been wanting for a while...a frame for journaling or whatever.

Instead of using my trusty Speedy-Carve, I used a large eraser I bought ages ago for a dollar at Target. It carves super easy so I had to be super careful...I did make a mistake here and there but hey, it adds to the originality of it, right? lol

I like that I can turn it either way and I can also see using it to frame a key word or even a picture in my art journals.

On another note, I’m wanting start doing some online classes again and would love input from y’all on what kind of classes you’d be interested in. If you have ideas or if there are things you want to learn or know more about, please let me know...I love to share what I know. Just leave your ideas in a comment or feel free to drop me a quick email (craft4therapy@gmail.com) and I will be forever grateful!

OH, I’ve started work on a new video of a journal flip-through of one of my art journals that I’ve finished. It’s been way too long since I posted a video...I really shouldn’t let so much time go by without doing these kind of things. Depression can do some freaky things to your brain and, especially, to your creativity.

Hopefully, that is behind me...at least, for a while.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Days 6 & 7 of #CarveDecember

I ended up having to carve these past two days of our #carvedecember stamps while traveling in the car.

IMG_0036My husband’s father fell in the shower (he’s 83) and broke some ribs and was bruised up pretty bad so we felt like we needed to make the drive back to NW Alabama and check on them. The trip is about 6 hours each way and we only stayed overnight but that 24 hour period has worn me completely out!

Anyway, trying to carve while riding in the car proved to be pretty challenging so I had to go for simple and relatively easy for these two days stamps. I’m still thinking that I might want to cut the circle and lines stamp down to a rectangle or square instead of the sloping sides.

Yea, come to think of it, I think I’d like that better so I’ll do that. Gimme a sec…

IMG_0037Yes, that is much better, don’t you think.

I hope you’ve all had a good weekend.

Back tomorrow with something a little more complex. I’ve got something in mind and, if it works out, it should be awesome. We shall see.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Out of Town

I tried hard to have a post ready for today since I knew we'd be traveling but that just didn't quite work out.

I did manage to carve a stamp as we were speeding down the highway but no ink pad so I'm just going to wait and show y'all tomorrow when we get home.

See y'all then.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Friday, December 5, 2014

Printing Block - Day 5 of #CarveDecember

I have carved stamps for a few years but I never felt very good at it. My lines were never thin enough or straight enough, my circles and curved lines were bumpy and lopsided, and I just never felt like the stamps I carved were “good enough.”

I think I have changed the way I think and feel about my carved stamps. Not because I think I’m any better now than I was before but more because I realize that those bumpy circles and wavy lines are part of what makes each stamp I carve unique…individual.

IMG_0028I have been checking out everyone’s stamps from this little December challenge and I am in awe of so many. I love Julie (Fei-fan Balzer) and her carved printing blocks for repeated patterns always amaze me so today I decided to try my hand at something similar.

I didn’t plan it out from the get go the way I do most stamps I carve. I’d draw a bit and carve those lines, then draw a bit more and carve, and on and on, so it just kinda grew.

I have to say, I’m pretty darn pleased with how this one turned out. I love it. I also love that the look changes depending on which corner is used as the middle of the printed piece. So cool.

I think I’m going to have to do some more of these type of stamps. Way fun to carve (think meditative) and I think they’ll be a blast to use in my art journals and in my art in general.

Keep on carving, y’all!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Partridge - Day 4 of #CarveDecember

It’s been a long day of running my mother all over town so I’m just now getting time to post my stamp for today…

IMG_0026

I saw a wood carved stamp of a cute little partridge this morning and had to carve my own.

I don’t know if I’ll use it a ton but I do think it’s cute as heck…especially that little plume on her head.

Anyway, that’s it for today. I am working on Christmas presents and today’s running around has put me behind for today so I better get back at it.

Hope you’re all doing great and carving some awesome stamps. See you tomorrow!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Borders - Day 3 of #carvedecember

I am an art journaling fanatic. At any given time I have at least 3 and sometimes as many as 5 art journals in various stages of completion. I love my art journals.

Although I don’t always follow it, I believe in the rule that everything looks better when framed…that includes my art journal pages. I like to have borders or frames around my pages and spreads but I don’t like to always fall back on washi tape, magazine images, or various papers.

That is where some IMG_0023great border stamps can really come in handy. I don’t have a ton so today is the day I decided to come up with a few more.

Nothing major as far as complexity but geographic patterns always create interest, in my opinion. And hey, everyone loves the swooped banner kind of border, too. I know I do.

I can tell that these will get some good use in my art journals, for sure.

I didn’t sleep well last night so a nap is in order for this afternoon…after I make a few balls of t-shirt yarn for a Christmas present I’m making. Yes, nothing like waiting until the last minute to start creating homemade presents, is there? LOL Yep, that’s how I roll.

See y’all tomorrow.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Circles: Day 2 #carvedecember

I haven’t made any sort of plan of what I’m going to carve over the next month but I do have some ideas of things I need to practice in my carving. Circles are one of those things that I always seem to mess up so they are what I focused on today.

IMG_0018

Here is my carved stamp for this 2nd day of carving…definitely not perfect but a huge improvement from circles I’ve carved in the past. I do see some spots that I should really go back and clean up but imperfection is really the name of the game in stamp carving so I think I will just leave this one as is.

I like having stamps to use in my art journals so shapes, borders, flowers, and the like tend to be ones that I get the most use out of (instead of animals or words, etc.) and I can see this one being used pretty frequently.

Anyway, my sister/mother (she lives with us) is coming home today from her 10 day Thanksgiving visit with family in Arkansas. Her plane will be here shortly so I’m out the door for the airport.

Y’all have a great Tuesday.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Monday, December 1, 2014

Day 1 of #CarveDecember

Hi y’all.

I know, I know…pick your jaws up off the floor…I told you guys that I would be posting daily to show my #CarveDecember stamps. Didn’t believe me, did you? And 3 new blog posts in 3 days? Serious wow factor, huh?

Well, get used to seeing more of me around these parts…I’m feeling my need to share and blog coming back with a force. YAY!

Anyway, daily posts for #CarveDecember will mostly be short and sweet, just to document my stamps and share them with y’all.

Here’s todays stamps by yours truly:

IMG_0016

A little egg and a small leaf. Nothing big today…I’m just getting my stamp carving skills warmed back up after a pretty long haitus.

I hope that you’re taking part and honing up on your stamp carving skills with the rest of us. Let me know if you are in a comment so I can check out your rubber stamp goodness.

I think I’ll be trying something a little more complex tomorrow. Maybe.

Back soon!

Peace & Love,
Barb

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Best Glue Ever!

I have been searching for years, literally years, for a great glue for paper. One that won’t wrinkle the papers, one that sticks well and long, one that is easy to apply…you know what I mean, the PERFECT glue aka THE MOST AWESOME GLUE EVER.

I’ve tried Mod Podge (always wrinkles the paper, especially magazine cuttings), every glue stick imaginable and some are good (Coccoina, Uhu, even Scotch brand) but none were perfect for me. I like the ease and portability of adhesive runners like Tombow and the like but still not exactly what I’ve been looking for, either. There is always the ever popular Gel Medium but it can cause a wrinkle here and there, depending on the brand and how much of it you apply so you have to be careful.

I am never that careful when creating. Forget that!

But, after all that searching…

By gosh, I think I’ve found it! Well, I’ve made it…and you can, too.

For the longest time I heard rumors around the internet art journaling and mixed media circles I frequent that YES! Paste was a fantastic glue for paper. Problem was, for me, the price! $10.99 + tax for the pint size. I might as well be buying Golden’s gel medium at that price. And who knows if I’d even like it.

Anyway, I was in Michael’s one day a while back and I came across two of the pint size tubs of YES! Paste…on clearance…for a mere $2.99 each! Uh, heck YES!! (Pun intended. lol) But when I got home and opened one up, I was so disappointed. Although the containers were still sealed, the paste was pretty hard and kind of dry-ish. Ugh. Not what I expected…at all.

I tried brushing some onto a piece of paper…I could get it on there but it wasn’t a pleasant experience. I had to scrape and basically force it on the page, which tore as I was struggling to get the paste to adhere.

Not good.

Skip forward a couple of months…a light bulb went on over my head…what if I mixed the YES! Paste with some gel medium to thin it down a bit and make it more spreadable? Well, after plenty of trial and error, I came up with the most awesome glue EVER! After looking around the internet, I’ve found that I’m not the first person to come up with this MOST AWESOME GLUE EVER, either.

IMG_0014Here’s my formula:

  • 2 parts YES! Paste blended completely with
  • 1 part acrylic glazing medium (Can you tell that mine is well used and loved? lol)

Simple as that. Seriously. One warning though, it takes a good bit of mixing to get the two ingredients to fully blend…and you need them to blend to a smooth, creamy consistency. You’ll think that there is no way all those lumps will ever come out but, trust me, keep mixing. Eventually you will have a beautiful, smooth, and creamy glue that doesn’t even buckle tissue paper but sticks your papers forever!

IMG_0013Be sure to store your new mixture of THE MOST AWESOME GLUE EVER in an airtight container so it stays nice and creamy.

I keep mine in a small canning jar on my work desk so it’s always handy. **HINT: I also made sure to coat the mouth of the jar and the threads with a little Vaseline so the lid doesn’t stick.

If you make yourself some, let me know what you think. I bet you’ll fall totally and completely in love.

Back Tomorrow with our first day of #CarveDecember!

Peace & Love
Barb

 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Stamp Carving Challenge #carvedecember

I absolutely love using rubber stamps in my art journal…whether it’s ones I’ve bought, ones I’ve carved, or even my “cheater” stamps that I make with sticky-back fun foam and stick to scrap foam core. Believe me, I am no great stamp carver in the least but you don’t have to be good to have fun with it. I even have entire drawers of stamps I’ve carved over the past 7 or so years…

IMG_0012See…nothing complex but fun to do and great to have, too. Not to mention the fact that I have completely original stamps…ones that no one else on earth has cause I made ‘em.

I came across a stamp carving challenge for the month of December (cause, lets face it, none of us have a thing to do during December, right? HA!) started/led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, one of my alltime artsy idols. All you have to do is to carve one stamp a day for all 31 days of December. That’s it. No joining anything, no pressure, just do it.

Now if you want to share what you carve (or the art you make with it) on any social media (twitter, instagram, facebook, etc.), just make sure to include the hashtag #carvedecember so everyone can check out your mad carving skills.

I am so in. I even have started working on some ideas for stamps that I want to carve. Honestly, it will be nice to have a good artsy rhythm to keep my December from becoming overwhelming.

I even plan on posting my stamps daily…here on the blog (SHOCKER, right?) and on Instagram (barbmccormacksmith) and on Twitter (@barbjsmith).

How about you…gonna join us? If you are, please leave a comment with your Instagram and/or Twitter names so I can be sure to follow you.

Check out Julie’s blog post HERE for more info.

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday (for my US friends) and you’re each doing well. It was a good one for us but also a bit sad, too. My youngest daughter spent the holiday with her husband’s family and, because of my hubby and oldest daughter’s work schedules, we were unable to go to Arkansas to be with my brothers and sisters. So it was just the 4 of us: me, hubby, oldest daughter, and the grandboy.

I grew up in such a big family (4 bothers, 3 sisters) that holidays were always BIG and loud and full…I miss that. I miss it a whole lot. But, I am grateful for all of the goodness and good people in my life…every single day.

But still, it was good. How can anytime you have a smoked turkey breast with homemade cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce not be good, right?

Speaking of which, I hear some leftovers calling my name…

Back soon!

Much Peace & Love,
Barb

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Less than a Month…

I have to admit that I’m kind of proud of myself for even thinking about sitting down to blog. It’s just been so hard these past few months and when I’d think about it, I’d find myself breaking into a sweat, my heart palpitating, my head all kinds of dizzy, too.

Then all I’d want to do was lay down.

So I would…sometimes for days.

Such a vicious cycle.

But like I said in my last post, I’m working on getting better. I even have artsy things to share with y’all this time! (I know, shocker, huh? lol)

First though, my oldest daughter, Savannah, has come to live with us. She got here at the first part of April, joining her son (our grandson, Noah) who came to live with us back at the first of November last year. I don’t know if I said much about it on here but I’m doubting I did…suffice to say, our house is a bit crowded these days with 4 generations plus my hubby all under one roof.

Because of the need for another bedroom for Savannah, I had to give up my art studio. Now our bedroom is also my art room and that makes it extremely FULL…and I don’t know if I like it.

In fact, I know I don’t like it.

In fact, it really sucks.

15429856051_8e8a2c5189_z

But I just don’t know how it can be any other way right now. Everyone needs space so, whatcha gonna do? Damn, that makes me feel like a total doormat. *sigh* (By the way, don’t judge the unmade bed full of my furry babies…it was one of those days.)

I tell y’all what…I have so much to spill; so much to talk about, but I know that I can’t do it all in one post. Hell, I’m figuring that I’ve already lost about 50% of you by now and another 25% are close to dozing off. LOL

15409969896_3c42630a01_zOn the art front, I’m really struggling lately to and I’m hoping that getting back to my blog will help inspire me. One can hope, right?

This is an art journal page I have in progress today. Just getting started so it’s kind of funky right now.

Hey, ya got to start somewhere, right?

I’ve also been doing a few other crafty/artsy things to keep myself busy…and sane.

Things like beading on a small loom. You know, with tiny little seed beads…I’ve got a cute little beaded bracelet almost finished.

I’ve also taken up stitching some special kind of mending on some of my favorite clothes. It’s a bit of a cross between embroidery and a Japanese mending or darning. Whatever it is, it’s very soothing to do as I watch tv or listen to my favorite podcasts.

Speaking of podcasts, do y’all have any favorites that I’m not already addicted to? I love This American Life, The Moth, the new one called Serial, and Garrison Keillor. If you’ve got favs that aren’t on my listening list, drop me a note in the comments and clue me in on the ones you love.

Anyway, I think I’ll call this one done for now and head to the kitchen to work on our dinner…chicken spaghetti, yum!

Ta ta for now…
Barb

 

 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What it’s like...

cause-of-depression

Every single day for the past few months, I have sat down at my laptop and for just a moment I feel like I might actually have something to say...but each day the same thing happens. Nothing. Not one single word comes to mind. I just go blank. Totally and utterly devoid of any coherent thoughts; nothing to share.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to be here, creating and sharing and helping everyone along on their Art Journaling and general creative journey. Unfortunately, I am really having a hard time just helping myself.

Each day that passes that I don’t blog/share, I feel like more and more of a failure here...more of a huge let-down to everyone here and in my real day-to-day life.

Just writing this is taking more effort than I think any of you can really imagine.

Please know that I’m trying...I’m working on myself and I’m working on finding some semblance of normalcy so that I can come back and be myself again, with lots of creating and journaling and actually having fun again.

I know that I’m getting there, getting closer to the old me that loves life, and I know that because I am here today, writing this, and that gives me hope.

I make no promises beyond telling you that I’m trying very, very hard....and that I hope to see you soon.

With much love,
Barb

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Choosing Images – AJ Wednesday

I have been wondering if things are ever going to get better for me and my family. Since the grandboy came to live with us, things have been really rough. Rough financially, health-wise, stress-wise, just rough in every kind of way.

I feel like my hubby and I really need some time away from all the day to day stuff for a just little while; some time to reconnect. Finally we are planning a little something and I am more excited than you can imagine. It’s been probably 3 years since we had any real time away. Not sure what we’re going to do or where we’re going to go but, dang it, we’re going somewhere! lol

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, art journaling....and now it’s time to focus on choosing your images, both primary focal images and secondary images.

Here’s a video showing you how I choose images for my art journals:

Here is the video I mention at the beginning of my video above…this great video is from Teesha Moore:

I love how Teesha explains things...so clear and to the point. She makes it all look so easy...and it is, really. You just have to get your brain and thinking out of the way and trust your intuition, then the art will come.

I believe there are a ton of great art journalers out there to learn from and I try to soak it all in. Teesha is a great one to learn from but remember, her method or my method may not be the way you choose to work in your own art journals. This is the point where I encourage you to trust your gut, follow your urges, experiment on the pages, do something crazy or wild in there. You can do anything you want...it’s your art journal.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before but I want to tell you again, there are NO mistakes in  art journaling.

 “But what if I make a big mess on one/some of my pages?” is something I’ve been asked many times. My answer is very simple...who cares, there will always be more paper. So go and make those messes, then turn the page and make another mess. 

Before I close I want to encourage everyone to ask any questions you might have, anything you might wonder about. I want you to be inquisitive...it can lead to some wonderful experiments.

Now, go and enjoy your evening, play in your journal (a lot!), have fun, make some extraordinary messes, and I’ll be back soon with more of the good stuff.

peace & love,
Barb

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Visitors

We had some unexpected visitors (family) show up yesterday and it was wonderful to see them. But that also means that I haven’t had a moment to catch up with anything for these two days.

I loved getting to visit and catch up with them, not to mention that we played many, many games of dominos while gabbing. All in all, a wonderful visit.

Tomorrow is my catch up on laundry, write blog post(s), dinner in the Crockpot kind of day. Just wanted to drop a quick line.

Back soon!

peace & love,
Barb

P.S. You can now follow Craft Therapy with Bloglovin

Sunday, February 2, 2014

On the Border

Hi y’all! Sorry for my recent absence...no excuses, life just got in the way as it sometimes will. I’m not very good at juggling too many things these days but I’m still here.

Now, back to art journaling...

Images are such a huge part of my art journals that I am constantly on the lookout for new ones to add to my stash (hoard?) of images. I am definitely a magazine image kind of girl. But you might not be and that’s okay. (There will be times I cover things that won’t necessarily be of use to everyone...just take what you need.)

I do encourage you to read through these posts anyway. Something within these “not for me” kind of posts might spark something in you that you’d not come across in any other way. So much of art journaling is intuitive so just let go and trust your imagination and intuition to lead you in your art journaling journey.

Test your boundaries, push the limits, step outside of your comfort zone cause that’s where the magic happens.

Today I want to talk to you about borders.

Something I was told years ago that stuck with me is that every piece of art (and your journals ARE art, don’t forget that) should be framed. Frames = borders so think about how you want to “frame” your pages or spreads.

Some ideas for creating frames for your pages are:

  1. clipped images
  2. Washi or masking tape
  3. Doodles or drawings
  4. Papers (scrapbook papers, photocopies of completed art journal pages, dictionary pages, sheet music, copies of photographs, etc)
  5. Color (paints, markers, pastels, graphite, pens, etc)
  6. Stamping
  7. What other ways can you think of to frame your pages and spreads?

Remember this page I shared with you a while back:

See my framing on it? Two combined borders...darker coloring with my paint AND the lines and dots I drew in that serves to also frames the spread.

Frames and borders serve to make your art look for finished and presentable.

Imagine what this would look like without those two framing aspects....unfinished? boring? lifeless? dull? I’d say it would probably be all of those things in some way.

2013-11-17 19.59.55
On the page above, I’ve mixed my borders...washi tape and stamps across the top, collage bits along with magazine images and words around the other three sides. There are no limits to how you can create your borders and frames.

Now you’ve got even more images to work with and more experimenting to try out. Play with all of the different ways of framing your pages...and maybe think up some others I haven’t even thought of, yet.

Slowly your pages are starting to take shape. You’ve gone from the blank page and now you’ve got all sorts of great things going on in your art journal.

Do you think your page needs more layers? more images? more something but you just aren’t quite sure what?

When I'm feeling that way about a particular page or spread, I just keep playing with the different aspects of the page, trying new things. The only thing that says your page is art-filled enough is YOU.

Or many times I move to another page or spread and work on it. I usually have 4-6 separate pages/spreads going at any given time. This way I can skip from page to page to page, doing whatever things are feeling like what I wanted to do at that time. Almost never do I finish a page or spread in one sitting...my pages kind of grow and evolve over time. However you choose to work in your art journal is right.

Remember, this is play so just keep playing and having fun. Don’t sweat it and just let go!

Oh, and in case you haven’t already, I hope that you will all spread the word about what we’re doing here so even more folks join us. Spread the word, y’all...everyone needs access to art journaling and the how-to of it. I hope that you all agree.

Thanks!

I’m not sure what’s next on the agenda but I do know it won’t be so long this time. I promise.

Back soon with more of a good stuff.

Peace & Love,
Barb

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Ways to Tell You’re an Art Journalist

I was talking to an art journaling friend via Facebook messenger and she asked, in all seriousness, what makes you an art journalist?

Hmmm...I didn’t know how to answer.

I’d say that having an intense passion for art journaling and practicing in my art journals on a regular basis definitely qualifies me as a “art journalist.”

But still...

Then I started thinking, there has to be a million ways to know you’re an art journalist....how about I share a few of those ways....

  • You have a shelf (or more) of blank journals just waiting to be used;

(Photo by Loretta Benedetto Marvel)

  • You’re not afraid of acquiring even more blank journals for that shelf;
  • You have an Art Journaling board on Pinterest...with over 1,000 pins;
  • You love to watch technique videos on YouTube;
  • You realize that you own way more Washi tape than you remember buying;

  • You will buy art supplies only after seeing if you can journal over it;
  • You actually know what weight of paper you like best (I’m a #140 girl);
  • You have stacks of magazines just waiting to be cut up for collage;
  • You have a favorite doodling pen...and no one else can use it;

  • You know how to pronounce Moleskine correctly;
  • And gesso, too;
  • You know what a Gelli plate is and how to use it;

  • You can name ten different adhesives, know which are your favorites, and when & where to use each one;
  • Your sewing machine has gotten more use on paper than it ever has on fabric;
  • You own far more pens, markers, paint pens, etc. than you can ever use...but will NOT get rid of any of them;
  • You know that deli paper has nothing to do with the Deli;
  • You have favorite journaling artists and know their styles on sight;
  • and on and on and on...

As I was working on this list, I kept cracking myself up because these are all things that 100% are ME! lol Do you see yourself in any (or all) of these? Well then, you might just be an art journalist.

I’m working on a post for Art Journaling Wednesdays about borders and shading and I hope to have it ready for y’all early in the week. Unfortunately, the hubs is still very sick and in pain so it’s back to the doctor with him tomorrow...I just hope they can fit him in.

Y’all keep on being kind to one another and to yourselves.

Back soon with more of the good stuff.

peace & love,
Barb

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Rough Start to the New Year

Hi all. Sorry I’ve been so absent these past few days, it’s just been a rough time around the ol’ household.

I don’t know about y’all but when my husband is sick, he turns into a 2 year old that needs to be taken care of...constantly. I’m not saying this to make fun of him (well, kinda but he doesn’t read my blog so...lol) but more to explain why I’ve had absolutely NO time to myself in the past week.

early shinglesHe has Shingles.

If you don’t know what Shingles are, Google ‘em...they are related to the Chickenpox virus.

It started with a little rash on his back. It almost reminded me of ringworm or something but I figured it was just dry skin.

A week later and that little dry patch isn’t so little anymore and shingles a week laterI’ll tell you one thing, he has been in excruciating pain almost non-stop for a week. We ended up at the Emergency Room Monday morning (I was thinking he’s having a heart attack) to find out he has Shingles. This virus includes a rash that itches like mad and what is described as nearly unbearable pain.

Yep, that pretty well describes how he’s felt for a week now.

Thankfully, he’s starting to feel better.

I know, gross pics but hey, ya can’t say I don’t share the good and the bad, huh?

Anyway, I hope you’ve been working in your art journal, playing and having a good ol’ time while I’ve been tending to my man. I will be back with you guys very shortly...let me get him back to work and I will have a ton of new stuff coming down the pike.

I’ll see you Saturday with more of the good stuff.

peace & love,
Barb

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Art Journaling Blahs - AJWednesday

Sometimes it happens to even the most experienced and prolific art journalists. I call it the Blahs, some might call it a block or some other name but it all means the same kind of thing...it’s when you just can’t find your art journaling mojo.

It happens.

When it happens to me (and it does far more often than I care to admit) here’s one thing I do...


I grab my scissors and a few of the magazines off the stack that is forever growing beside my bed and I have one of my magazine chopping sessions. I usually go through each magazine twice and this is what I look for...

First are the images...any image that catches my attention, whether it is a person, a color scheme, a scene or still life, a drawing or piece of someone else's art, whatever it might be, I chop those babies out first thing. I’m going to alter them anyway so everything is fair game to me. (The images below were all liberated from a recent issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors that I somehow wound up with two copies of.)

Next thing I’m looking for are words and phrases (sorry for the glare)...

that I store in my handy little word/phrase box...

and I look for letters...

that I store in my letter tray (which is really just a plastic bead storage box that I labeled to use for my letters)...

Most of the time just by immersing myself in the simple task of looking for images, words, phrases and letters, I will start to feel my art journaling mojo begin to rise.

What do you do that helps get you past the Blahs?

Back soon with more of the good stuff!

peace & love,
Barb

P.S. Jayne, you forgot to email me your address so I can get your art journaling kit out to you. Please drop me a note at craft4therapy@gmail.com ASAP. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year Giveaway!

*Waving* Hi y’all!

I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve and a quiet relaxing New Year’s Day today. I have a big ol’ ham in the oven, a pot of blackeyed peas and another of cabbage cooking, diced potatoes ready to be fried, and a pan of cornbread ready to bake. Yeah, that’s how we eat on New Year’s here in the south. Yum!

Anyway, So much to tell y’all about...

First, the Art Journaling kit Giveaway...as many of you noticed, I decided 01c07cc90c911646abb7a6c0fd452c201cd1009932to open the giveaway to anyone and everyone who commented on the original post. I’m just not very good at holding to crazy requirements and so many of us already have Amazon Prime...well, I just changed my mind. So, there were 15 comments but one was removed by the commenter so 14 entries.

I used the Random Number Generator  (but can’t figure out how to post a pic of it, dangit!) and the first number drawn was the number 13, Jayne. YAY!!! Jayne, you win the art journaling kit, some of which is pictured.

The second number drawn was the number 8, Trula. YAY!!! Trula, you win the set of four Dylusion Spray Inks. Woo hoo!

So, Jayne and Trula, please drop me an email (craft4therapy@gmail.com)with your mailing address so I can get your goodies out to you ASAP. I am so happy to be giving you guys this cool stuff.

For everyone that didn’t win, I plan on doing more great giveaways in the coming weeks and months so be sure to come back often. Heck, subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!

Back soon with more of the good stuff!

peace & love,
Barb

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